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VODetails: 'Craigslist Joe'

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by Matt Singer
August 3, 2012 4:22 PM
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"Craigslist Joe."
More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we're looking at "Craigslist Joe," a documentary about a man who hitchhikes across the country with the help of people he meets on Craigslist -- not the story of a man who overcomes impossible odds in order to legally change his name to "Craigslist Joe."

Director: Joseph Garner

Official Synopsis: "In a time when America’s economy and sense of community were crumbling, one guy left everything behind – to see if he could survive solely on the support of the 21st century’s new town square: Craigslist... 29-year-old Joseph Garner cut himself off from everyone he knew and everything he owned, to embark on a bold adventure. Armed with only a laptop, cell phone, toothbrush, and the clothes on his back -- alongside the hope that community was not gone but just had shifted -- Joe lived for a month looking for alms in America’s new town square: Craigslist. For 31 December days and nights, everything in his life would come from the Craigslist website. From transportation to food, from shelter to companionship, Joe would depend on the generosity of people who had never seen him and whose sole connection to him was a giant virtual swap meet. Would America help Joe? Could he survive with nothing, apart from the goodwill of others?"

Trailer:

Reviews:

Geoffrey Morrison, Big Picture Big Sound:

"Imparts a feeling of warmth about the potential greatness of humanity. That we're all in this mess together. And that's something far too easy to forget these days. Highly recommended."

Brittany Taylor, Daily Bruin:

"Brings a new perspective to the survival of a community within a nation that has faced so much in recent years."

Ernest Hardy, Village Voice:

"'Craigslist Joe' is sweet, moving, and frustrating."

Diego Costa, Slant Magazine:

"Unlike 'The Five Obstructions' or 'The Gleaners and I,' another filmmaker's flanêur experiment in which the game rules leave room for negativity, and even thrive on the ugly, the non-heroic, and that which can't be accounted for, 'Craigslist Joe' finds exactly what it wants to."

Dennis HarveyVariety:

"[Garner] gushes that it was 'the most inspiring experience of my life.' But he's a nondescript protagonist."

"Craigslist Joe" is now available on VOD, iTunesAmazon, and in limited release.

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