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Feels Good Man

Starting at $89

A Film By Arthur Jones and Giorgio Angelini

92 minutes

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

Grades 9 - Adult
Item #:FGM-1179

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DVD
K-12 Schools, Public Libraries, Community Groups - $89
K-12 DVD + Digital File - $139
Colleges, Businesses, Other Institutions - $295
Colleges (DVD with Digital Site License) - $395
What happens when an innocent character created in an artist's early adulthood morphs into a widely recognizable symbol of hatred only a decade later? This is the issue that underground comic book artist Matt Furie must grapple with as he seeks to reclaim his character, Pepe the Frog, from the grip of the Alt-Right.

In the early 2000s, San Francisco based artist Matt Furie shared his comic Boy's Club on the internet via MySpace. The series followed a group of anthropomorphic post-college friends and their misadventures. Among them was Pepe the Frog, a peaceful, laid-back character. Managing to catch on as a popular meme, Furie initially found Pepe's status funny and scoffed at the idea of enforcing his legal copyright. That opinion drastically changed as the tenor of Pepe's use online took a sinister turn.

After a bizarre series of events, the factions of the internet that heavily imprinted on Pepe went to the extreme lengths of "ironic" bigotry to keep him under their control. In doing so, Pepe became widely recognized as a hate symbol, even gaining official recognition from the Anti-Defamation league as such. Now thoroughly wrenched from his original context, Pepe helped indoctrinate wide swaths of internet denizens to the philosophies of the then-burgeoning Alt-Right movement, helping to set the stage for the contentious 2016 election and its ultimate outcome.

The film takes viewers on a wild journey through various corners of the internet to show how far one's creation can get away from their original intention and explores the power of symbols and iconography. If the genie cannot be put back in the bottle, can it at least be transformed into something else? Various artists, psychologists, lawyers, and internet culture analysts also share their perspective on this iconic cartoon frog.

With trippy Furie-esque animations, Feels Good Man puts forward a message of hope and positivity to combat a constant cycle of cynicism and hatred.

FEATURING:
  • Joel Finkelstein, Director, Network Contagion Research Institute, Princeton University
  • Jeremy Blackburn, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Binghamton University
  • Dr. Susan Blackmore, Author, The Meme Machine
  • Dale Beran, Author, 4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump
  • Dr. Aleks Krotoski, Author, Untangling the Web
  • Johnny Ryan, Angry Youth Comix
  • Lisa Hanawalt, Artist/Writer, Tuca & Bertie/BoJack Horseman
  • Emily Heller, Comedian/Television Writer
  • Brian McMullen, Editor/Art Director, McSweeney's
  • Adam Serwer, Staff Writer, The Atlantic
  • John Michael Green, Author, Encyclopedia of Natural Magic
  • Matt Braynard, Former Director of Strategy and Data for the Trump Campaign


FILMMAKERS' STATEMENT: "Pepe found himself in the cross hairs of this culture war. He was being used by white supremacists, mysogynists, teenage fascists, as a way to obfuscate their agenda and also meme their ideas into the public consciousness. Things got so bad that in 2016 Pepe was officially declared a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation league. So what do you do when this ridiculous drawing of a stoned frog you drew in your early 20s to entertain your friends years later becomes an icon of hate? Well that's what this movie's about. Feels Good Man is a documentary that's about artistic agency, but it's also a righteous objection against the rampant cynicism that the internet has wrought upon our society. It is a reconfirmation and a strident expression of love."
— Adam Jones and Giorgi Angelini
Feels Good Man
Feels Good Man

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