Tag Archives: documentary

Nemesis of the Controversial Documentary “Tickled” Dies

David D’Amato speaking to Tickled co-director, Dylan Reeve at a film screening

by Legendary Lew

David D’Amato, the subject of last year’s controversial documentary Tickled has died, according to the film’s directors David Farrier and Dylan Reeve with confirmation via The New York Times’ Obituary section.

D’Amato was alleged to have been behind a fetish film company called “Jane O’Brien Media,” which paid lucrative sums of money to young men for tickling films. The documentary uncovered bullying tactics and blackmail perpetrated against some of the men appearing in and assisting with the tickling fetish shorts.

With legal and even thinly-veiled personal threats against them, Farrier and Reeve set out to discover who was behind “Jane O’Brien Media.” That trail led to D’Amato who, according to Tickled, was the sole source of funding for the fetish films. D’Amato’s past disturbing criminal history was also exposed in connection with the creation of tickle fetish films.

The news of D’Amato’s death was a bit of a shock, given that Tickled was only just given a very broad release on HBO. (Last year, it was granted a limited theatrical release and available on iTunes and Amazon on Demand).

With D’Amato’s passing and personal legal threats left behind, I have a feeling more accusations may pop up. A number of posts on TKLFrat and Tickling Media Forum (TMF), two outlets for the tickling fetish community, have expressed condolences.

Others expressed no sorrow. One case in point: the post by TMFJeff, a co-founder of TMF who was on the receiving end of one of D’Amato’s lawsuits. He explained how he was practically forced to censor any discussions about D’Amato on his website, in order to keep the forum from being shut down:

Years and years ago, after he got out of jail, he sued a bunch of Internet companies including Google and Yahoo, for five million dollars. Among those named were me personally and the company that was hosting the TMF at the time. Nobody wants to be sued for five million dollars, but I wasn’t that worried because it was an obviously ridiculous suit.

But our hosting company wanted no part of it. I got a call at about 8:30 AM one day from their lawyer who said I had four hours to take down the TMF. It wouldn’t have been a huge deal, just a few days of downtime while we found a new host, but who needs that headache? So I said “What if I just put his name and alias into my spam filter, and make it impossible to have discussions about him on my site? Would that satisfy you?”

They agreed, so that’s what I did, and that’s why he’s been on the blocked list for so long.

David D’Amato may be dead, but I have a feeling some of the stories of his damage may continue to emerge.

BTW, I interviewed Dylan Reeve last year regarding the movie Tickled. Be sure to give it a listen right here.

Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex, host of “Mediatrocities” and the upcoming “Vital Media Show.” An avid collector and expert of weird movies, music and TV, he also hosts monthly rare board game nights and invites you to join us in Chicago!

 

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Mediatrocities #24: Director Andrew Friend on His New Documentary “Schoolidarity”

schoolidarity-poster-4webby Legendary Lew

Over the last few years, teachers unions in Madison, WI and Chicago, IL have been under attack from political forces with a privatization drive. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker fought for a right-to-work law, which union claim would undermine the power of collective bargaining guaranteed by law. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel showed a consistent disdain for the Chicago Teachers Union from the moment he took office.

Documentary filmmaker Andrew Friend, an unapologetic supporter of teacher unions, created a new documentary recounting the struggles in Madison and Chicago over the last few years.

The film Schoolidarity is a reminder of what can be accomplished with collective action and what it means to be in a struggle for the long haul.

I interviewed Andrew via Skype for the latest installment of Mediatrocities. Give a listen and please comment and/or share with others!

Mediatrociities Podcast #23: Dylan Reeve of “Tickled”

tickledby Legendary Lew

This episode of Mediatrocities features Dylan Reeve, co-director (along with David Farrier) of the hit documentary, “Tickled.” You’ll want to give a listen, because you’ll learn something about me you’ve never known before.  We talk tickling contests, strange festival happenings, lawsuits, abuse of power and what it’s like to be part of a male/male tickling community. By far, the most personal discussion I’ve ever given.

Check for local screenings here: http://www.tickledmovie.com

 

 

 

Is Chicago Ready for “Sci Fi Sol”?

Of course, it is! Now featured on Nina Metz’s Chicago Tribune article and rated “not to be missed” by Chicago Journal! To get your tix, head on over to the CIMMFest site here. I will be onhand with CDs of Melody Nife’s “Sci Fi Sol” soundtrack album, along with DVDs of other films by filmmaker Joseph R. Lewis should you wish to support us while attending.

If you want a little taste of what’s in store, dig this:

I would also be remiss to forget that TUGM pal Dominick Mayer will be presenting his Facets Night School lecture, “Kings of Classic Gaming and the Race to Conquer Kong” at midnight Saturday night. Yes, you can attend both, as Sci Fi Sol will be finishing before midnight. Only a couple of miles separate Wicker Park Arts Center from Facets, so a short bike or taxi ride will get you to the lecture in time.

TUGM’s Joseph R. Lewis Presents Facets’ Night School’s Lecture/Screening on “The Beaver Trilogy”

Joseph R. Lewis, director of Scumbabies and co-director of SCI FI SOL, will be on hand tonight to host Facets’ latest descent into cinema dementia, The Beaver Trilogy directed by Trent Harris.  The first of the trilogy is the life-changing meet with aspiring entertainer Richard Lavon Griffiths (aka “Groovin’ Gary) in a parking lot in Beaver, Utah. The subsequent two shorts are dramatizations starring then unknowns Sean Penn and Crispin Glover as Groovin’ Gary performing as Olivia Newton John.

Harris’ trilogy has been a cult favorite and popular bootleg trade ever since its creation in the mid-1980’s. Come on over tonight at midnight to Facets (1517 W. Fullerton) and check it out. I’m told there’s going to be a surprise, so if you miss it–weep, weep the mighty river.

AND…don’t forget! Next Saturday, the world premiere of SCI FI SOL at CIMMFest!

Chicago Cinema Society Presents “The Bengali Detective” Saturday Night at Facets

TUGM pal Neil Calderone from The Chicago Cinema Society presents the Chicago premiere of the documentary The Bengali Detective. The film follows the true adventures of a gun-for-hire who takes on criminal cases ditched or ignored by police in Kolkata, one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

Oh, and he’s a Bollywood dancer, too!

Playing Saturday night, 3/31/2012  at midnight
Facets Multimedia
1517 W Fullerton
Chicago, IL
Admission: $5,  FREE for Facets Members. (Learn how you can become one here). Lecture before and discussion after the screening.

BTW, this movie is not to be confused with a fictional film by the same title that you can download easily on YouTube.

Support your local indie theaters!