24 Hours On Craigslist

"Good"

24 Hours On Craigslist Review


In certain parts of the country, the word "Craigslist" requires no additional explanation. In other regions people will look at you, baffled about what you could be talking about.

Craigslist, for those of you not in the know, is an online bulletin board system that is, almost singlehandedly, responsible for the decline of newspaper classified advertising. People use it to find apartments, sell stuff, find jobs, and make love connections. I've sold many a piece of old furniture through the free listings on Craigslist. Two of filmcritic.com's film critics met through its personals and, in fact, are now married.

That's some system!

24 Hours on Craigslist is, of course, a documentary about the Craigslist phenomenon, shot here in the San Francisco Bay Area, ground zero for Craigslist and its home base. As expected, director Michael Gibson trolls through a day's worth of posts and interviews the people behind them. There are couples looking for bondage slaves, a sad woman seeking a roommate to replace her deceased friend, a diabetic cat support group, a gay porn star, a heavy metal chef, and on and on. Pretty much the kind of stories you hear in San Francisco every day when you live here.

But 24 Hours on Craigslist is a little more than this: It is Craigslist itself. Every facet of its production seems to have been funded or sourced through a Craigslist ad, from equipment to music for the film. And that is kind of the movie's problem. Like many people, Gibson is obviously a very enthusiastic fan of Craigslist, but his idea for a movie that covers the phenomenon is really weak. The "24 hours" structure is forced and irrelevant, and the film comes off more as SF navel-gazing than an expose of a popular website. But maybe that's the root of it all: This is a documentary about a website. I can't imagine 24 Hours on Google being any more or less compelling.

The other issue here gets to the heart of Craigslist: Gibson's ragtag crew are clearly amateurs, and the film itself is sloppy and rushed. Craigslist frequently takes heat for being the dominion of cheapskates and the untalented (and anyone who's sold stuff or hired staff through Craigslist knows what a mixed bag it can attract). I have no idea what equipment was used here, but it looks like first-generation digital video that is terribly grainy on a decent-size TV. The movie is hit and miss, and it's ultimately up to the stories to carry the show. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. And while Gibson's filmmaking never gets in their way, he never does much to encourage them either.



24 Hours On Craigslist

Facts and Figures

Run time: 82 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th October 2005

Distributed by: Heretic Films

Production compaines: Yerba Buena Productions Inc.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Michael Ferris Gibson

Producer: Michael Ferris Gibson

Starring: Rachel Berney as Herself, Mike Curtis as Himself (as Michael Curtis), Holly Dalton as Herself, Darleen Hollis as Herself, Brent N. Hunter as Himself, Lee Ping Kwan as Himself, Tina McRee as Herself, Christopher Murdock as Himself, Sadie as Herself, Mark Sargent as Himself

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