Reviews and Festivals
ALA 2021 Notable Film for Adults
NYT CRITIC'S PICK
"The co-opting of Pepe is not easy to trace, and Feels Good Man plunges into that ribbit hole with clarity, humor (when called for), and outright horror (frequently). The director, Arthur Jones, is also an animator, and vibrant cartoon sequences give the movie a refreshing rhythm and visual texture...At its best, the movie is a vertiginous, head-slapping examination of the tangible, unpredictable consequences of making art."
— The New York Times
"Brillianty uncovers the disturbing metamorphosis of Pepe the Frog...If this film does anything, it demonstrates the power of the internet to continuously mutate ideas at an ever-escalating speed...Feels Good Man could serve as a starting point for many difficult discussions in a classroom setting. It touches on the power of art, copyright and intellectual property, culture, politics, mental health, societal isolation, and radicalization. This film is highly recommended for both academic audiences and the general public."
— Educational Media Reviews Online
"A wild, entertaining, and lacerating trip chronicling Pepe's transformation, and the soft-spoken, befuddled Furie's attempts to repair the cartoon's reputation. Though the film starts out light in tone, it moves toward the angry, dark corners of the internet as director Arthur Jones examines how the visual languages of memes are used to produce and normalize racist extremism via anonymous online accounts. The topical Feels Good Man should be of interest to people concerned about the negative impact that social media can have on society."
— Library Journal
"A cautionary tale that examines memes, IP, and hate."
"Plays like a horror story, a Dante-esque descent through the increasingly toxic internet of the mid-00s. Its efficiency is remarkable...Feels Good Man shows the collective lizard brain of the internet at work, explaining how systems driven by engagement naturally propagate outrage and instigation."
— Vanity Fair
"A wild journey into the heart of online life today and the memification of our shared collective culture, where the meanings of images change moment to moment and cannot be controlled even by their creators...Debut director Arthur Jones takes us through a modern-day saga of the internet that must be seen to be believed or understood. Feels Good Man shows us how a character meant to provide joy and fun can slowly morph into something else — but just maybe can change again."
— Sundance Film Festival
"A wild journey into the heart of online life and cultural memification, where the meanings of things change rapidly and cannot be controlled"
— Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
"A strange and terrifying odyssey that says much about intellectual property, fringe groups and the power of online imagery — and culture — to alter the national landscape"
"Well executed emotional journey that will take viewers from amused to bemused to horrified to miserable and probably to a point of genuine anger."
— The Hollywood Reporter
"A perfect documentary of multidisciplinary value...this first-rate film should be in every media studies course, as Jones marvelously synthesizes many threads with the breadth and depth of sociological perspective that deepens the significance of films like these."
— The Utah Review
"An expansive forensic look at the life cycle of an idea, a warp-speed analysis of internet sociology, and a harrowingly made fable about innocence lost."
"A beacon of internet literacy about a whole new language -- that memes are flexible, omnipotent, and pieces of a phenomenon more powerful than their creators."
"Many documentaries become less interesting the more you already know about the subject. But Feels Good Man presents a heavily covered story in a thoughtful and vivid way."
— The Verge
"Feels Good Man, a fascinating doc about the rise and fall and rise of the internet meme. Wonderful portrait of a brilliant artist."
— Darren Aronofsky, Academy Award-Nominated Director of Black Swan
"Kudos to Feels Good Man the Everything-You-wanted-to-know-about-Pepe-the-Frog-but-were-afraid-to-ask doc."
— Rolling Stone
"Feels Good Man's most impressive feat is that it weaves together these disparate narratives concisely."
— VICE Motherboard
"Mesmerizing and kind of trippy, but also makes the film feel like a one-of-a-kind creation in the greater context of the Pepe the Frog legacy...an outstanding documentary. 9/10."
Sundance Film Festival, US Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker
Fantasia Internatioanl Film Festival, Best Documentary, Audience Award
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Special Mention, Best Documentary
Lighthouse International Film Festival, Jury Award, Best Documentary
Sidewalk Drive-In Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature
B3 Biennale International Film Festival, Best Documentary
Sundance Film Festival
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival
Lighthouse International Film Festival
Fantasia International Film Festival
B3 Biennale International Film Festival
SF Film Festival
True/False Film Festival
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival