40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60208
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