New Documentaries: Nuts!

Friday, Feb 2, 2018 7 – 9 pm

Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60201

FREE  (Penny Lane, 2016, USA, DCP, 79 min.)

Filmmaker Penny Lane describes her documentary on the early 20th century huckster and self-promotion wiz Dr. John Romulus Brinkley as “mostly true.” Fittingly, the film is both the story of Brinkley, who rose to prominence by selling goat-testicle transplants as a cure for impotence, and a playful deconstruction of the unreliability of the documentary form. Lane uses animated re-enactments, interviews, and archival footage to document Brinkley’s exploits, and then reveals where and how she’s not been telling the whole truth. It’s a show-and-tell of how media can be used to influence the public, or outright lie, but done so through the tale of a captivating eccentric, a charlatan who promised miracles and built an unrivaled marketing machine for himself. “As illuminating as it is immensely entertaining.”—Rolling Stone