Filmmaker Brian Pew Would Like to Get Your Opinion on This Toilet Paper

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Both creepy and hilarious, writer-director Brian Pew’s short satire Focus Group takes us into the impossibly dry and claustrophobic world of a consumer focus group — one that manages to bring together both The Wire's Jamie Hector (already a Picture Palace alumnus) and CNBC Fast Money star Dylan Ratigan (no, really) — where a cross section of characters is gathered and grilled about their responses to a product, in this case toilet paper. The antiseptic, deliberate filmmaking style feels perfect for this sort of material — it’s sort of like that opening interview in The Shining, re-imagined as a comedy of advertising. And for some reason we can’t help but get a bit nostalgic watching this film: The whole voice-of-your-corporate-masters vibe feels very much like something out of those heady pre-financial-crisis days.

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