Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of: an RV salesman whose hilarious, foul-mouthed outbursts circulated on VHS tapes in the 90s before turning into a full-blown Internet phenomenon in 2005, seen by 20 million people worldwide. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer goes in search of Rebney and finds him living alone on a mountain top, unaware of his fame. WINNEBAGO MAN is a laugh-out-loud look at viral culture and an unexpectedly poignant tale of one man's response to unintended celebrity.
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The starting point of "Winnebago Man" is nothing special -- just another wacky video, a dime a dozen in the Youtube age. I've had days like that myself; it's just that no-one happened to have a video camera. The filmmaker might equally well have documented whoever first put Mentos in Coke or Rick Astley's new lease on stardom.
What matters is what we find after the fifteen seconds of fame, and Jack Rebney is indeed a promising subject. His mesmerising manner, his ability to switch from eerie control to scattershot anger, the all-too-briefly glimpsed contents of his bookshelf and the tragedy of his sudden physical decline are all out of the ordinary.
Disappointing, then, that all it seems to take for angry Jack to make peace with humanity is a visit to San Francisco for a chat with some unremarkable young filmgoers. How low must his opinion of us have been to have been reversed so easily? What was he trying to tell us before he was found, and what became of his crusade? As watchable as it is, "Winnebago Man" only hints at Jack Rebney's story, at the awful possibility that the work of a lifetime -- whether genius or madness, we never learn -- might pop like a bubble and vanish with the first touch of outside air.
and cursing, and politics, and the youtube generation, and the red vic, and much more.
the movie starts out as a simple conceit. When Jack Rebney is "rediscovered" he seems like a gentle old coot. Then at 30 minutes into the film, he decides that he wants to tell his story.
I loved this film.
This makes me wish for the olden days, before the internet. When you had to have a friend of your cousin dub a tape they got from the public access station in Jamaca Plains.
The film was heartwarming esp. for all the F**K and S**T. Watch it if you love the Angriest Man in the World, watch it if you have never met the man. Just watch it because you don't know Jack.
An absolute fucking masterpiece. No bullshit from anybody and that includes Jack Rebney. This film answers the question of why society loves viral video and why we love Jack.