The documentary “The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan,” is not only a mockumentary, but last month Sci-Fi Channel actually lied about Shyamalan trying to shut down the documentary by Nathanial Kahn (My Architect) and Callum Greene. According to Eugene Hernandez comments on Kahn’s “performance”:
Its a performance not far from Kahn’s own battle to learn more about the life and death of his enigmatic father, architect Louis Kahn, captured in the Oscar-nominated doc “My Architect”. Seeing him so effectively reprise his role as a passionate doc director in “Buried Secrets” tonight, I couldn’t help but wonder about the sincerity of his on-screen persona in “My Architect.”
In a time when we are used to Governments lying in order to go to war (and killing thousands of people as a consequence) and Jon Stewart’s fake news show having more credibility than “legitimate” news, this PR stunt of generating a fake controversy should perhaps not be too disturbing. But somehow it is. Manipulating the media seems to be de-rigueur, and even if its a cheesy pr stunt to generate buzz, it is disturbing.
Mockumentaries have a venerable history from “David Holzman’s Diary” to “This is Spinal Tap,” and if the sci-fi channel has caught up with film history, that may not be so bad. I think we are so used to thinking of personal docs as coming from some uber-sincere space, that we never question the artifice in that form, and Kahn maybe just a good filmmaker who uses that form very effectively, but does that make “My Architect” a less credible film?