The “Big Brother” concept was a no-brainer that should have supplied far more voyeuristic thrills than CBS was able to milk out of it. While European versions of the show have delivered the goods — i.e. ample nudity and spontaneous outbreaks of rampant humping — we in the colonies were forced to get our Peeping Tom jollies watching boring people do their dishes.
The Internet is ahead of the curve, of course; it’s cluttered with 24-hour webcasts and “hidden” sorority showercams (er…so I’ve heard). In “Story of my Life,” director Josh Tate uses the notion of life lived on video as the basis for a tantalizing but ultimately frustrating mockumentary.
The story emerges in fragments through interviews and found footage. Sarah Billings and her roommate Corrine Lieberthal have set up a dozen cameras around their apartment in order to broadcast Sarah’s life 24 hours a day on the Internet. Eventually they plan to edit the footage, streamlining it into a documentary. But they never get the chance. One night when Sarah is home alone, the house is broken into by burglars and Sarah is later found dead.
Now Corrine has filed suit against the state to retrieve the footage of Sarah’s murder and finish the documentary. Is she exploiting a tragedy for her own personal gain? Bill Burton of the DA’s office seems to think so.
There’s plenty of material here to chew on, but with an under-twenty-minute running time, it seems we barely scrape the surface. In a way, that’s a good thing, as it leaves us with an enigmatic resolution to ponder. But since we don’t have time to get to know Sarah or any of the other characters, we’re not likely to ponder it for long. “Story of my Life” wraps up before it can really get started – and this is one case where less is not necessarily more.