Never has one movie been so thoroughly panned, largely by representatives of its supposed subject community, on the strength of its pre-release trailer alone (see here and here). American Blogger is a documentary created by Chris Wiegand, in which he travels the country in a vintage Airstream RV, interviewing bloggers and getting their take on the reach and scope of our yet-evolving information-age communications platform.
Or it can described more pithily, as per SoCal tweeter @SueBob who describes the film thusly: “Mansplaining Blogging Using My Wife’s Friends.” Indeed, filmmaker Wiegand seems to have set out to record first his wife’s blogging travails, then the entire universe of her blogging friends. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but judging by the trailer, the “American Blogger” of whom Wiegand speaks is white, female, and more than a wee bit attractive (to be fair–sort of–a lone African-American female does appear in the trailer, just as the narrator boasts that Wiegand interviews “a range of bloggers”).
I’m resisting the urge to pile on here, if only because I haven’t seen the movie. The trailer is plenty discouraging though—if the aim was to present the “American blogger” to the world, then I have to suspect that Wiegand has fallen short.
To portray the American blogger, or to even somehow represent him/her/them/us, a filmmaker needs to engage a pool of bloggers as diverse as America itself. Indeed, there aren’t a whole lot of unifying factors across our population, except perhaps this: We think we have something to say, and we’re using this particular platform in which to say it. Does Wiegand capture that? I’m not sure, but the trailer gives no indication that he has.
Beyond that, I’ll do my best to withhold judgment and see what sort of film Mr. Wiegand has created for us. Meanwhile, please enjoy this strange, strange trailer: