Shut Up Little Man! (T/F 2011) by Matthew Bate

Available from Hulu.

In 1987 young Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D left the Midwest in search of good times in San Francisco. They moved into the Pepto-Bismol palace¬Ě in the Lower Haight, so called for its lurid pink color. The walls were also paper-thin and this is how Eddie and Mitch were introduced to the loud, drunken arguments of their alcoholic neighbors, Peter Haskett and Raymond Huffman. Peter was proudly gay, Raymond was fiercely homophobic and they were both usually very, very drunk. Their nonsensical rants are brilliantly described at one point as The Odd Couple meets Waiting for Godot. Eddie and Mitch began to record their noisy neighbors and the cassettes got passed around through the Zine underground, becoming a pre-Internet, viral phenomenon. They inspired comic books, plays and movies. They also inspired Eddie and Mitch to ditch their DIY, punk, anything-goes approach, copyright the material and start making money off the merchandise. Meanwhile Peter and Raymond had no idea they had become such cult anti-heroes and continued to live in penniless squalor. With Shut Up Little Man!¬†director Matthew Bate skillfully explores the boundaries of art, copyright, voyeurism, morality and exploitation in a way that never settles for easy answers. It is frequently hilarious but also terribly sad and it makes you feel just the right kind of uncomfortable watching it.