The Essence of Irwin | Chicago Reader

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In Darren McDaniel's 99-minute mockumentary a Chicago ad agency seeking local color for a campaign commissions footage of a small Texas town. Shooting with actors in Florida, McDaniel shows us calculated and exaggerated eccentrics such as Hugabelle, who hugs everyone she meets while stealing their watches, and Virgil, who makes art from car parts. When the resulting commercials are unveiled for the townspeople, the name of a rival town has been used. It's hard to see the point here, unless it's that all media are fake—but we've heard that before. It's even harder to see the point of Patricia Erens's Waiting for the New York Times (2004, 12 min.), unless you want to hear why the residents of Three Oaks, Michigan, like the newspaper.

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