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John Safran vs the World
June 23, 2007 2:53 AM   Subscribe

In 1997, the ABC gave John Safran, "Australia's most exciting guerilla filmmaker", his big break on Race Around The World. Although he came last in the competition, it's not too hard to fathom why he won the popular vote, with these submissions: Don't screw with the rules in Japan, The ambulance chaser (Mumbai), Anarchy in the Renault family hatchback (Bristol), The right to bare grudges (Cote d'Ivoire), Mum I'm not Jewish any more (Cote d'Ivoire), Father Pino vs the Devil (Sicily), Mohammad's guide to busting a move (Lebanon), Football's my religion (Jerusalem), The series of unfortunate events and The happiest place on earth, my butt (Disneyland). youtube; each ~6 minutes
posted by goo (16 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Scuse typo - 'bare' is a (sic) though.
posted by goo at 2:58 AM on June 23, 2007


And if you only have time to watch one of these, I recommend the final one (Disneyland).
posted by goo at 3:02 AM on June 23, 2007


That lively fellow. John Safran Vs. God is also worth a watch. It's a pity I can't find the Voodoo road test. It's fantastic.
posted by Jilder at 3:39 AM on June 23, 2007


Oh! The Catholicism road test also rocks my socks, if only for Father Bob.
posted by Jilder at 3:42 AM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Off-topic: Why do loads of YouTube videos have the same style of intro text, which is white Arial against a blue background? Is it because that's all Windows Movie Maker can do, or is it something built into YouTube?
posted by humblepigeon at 3:42 AM on June 23, 2007


These days he can be found kicking it with Father Bob on TripleJ's Sunday Night Safran.

His series John Safran's Music Jamboree for SBS was also a ripper :-)
posted by fFish at 4:17 AM on June 23, 2007


No to mention Not The Sunscreen
posted by mattoxic at 4:49 AM on June 23, 2007


My favourite was when he interviewed klan members in "John Safran Vs God" and admitted to them that he was Jewish. Fun times.
posted by liquorice at 6:32 AM on June 23, 2007


he da man!
posted by zog at 8:47 AM on June 23, 2007


For the uninitiated, what is the name of the program encompassing the rating of the videos? Don't think we USians have that bit.

I thought the bits were ok, nothing overly stimulating so far that I've seen, but I'd like to see what he was competing against and for.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:24 AM on June 23, 2007


Duuuuuh. Never mind. My amerocentrism blinded me to the Australian Broadcasting Company. So sorry.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:26 AM on June 23, 2007


Great post.
posted by nitsuj at 10:19 AM on June 23, 2007


Wow. I thought the first one was mildly amusing but barely worth the time, but the second one (Mumbai) was terrific.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 PM on June 23, 2007


Thank you so much for this. I love all his work that I've seen (vs. God, Music Jamboree, Speaking in Tongues), and I've been very curious about Race Around the World. For some reason, looking for it on YouTube never occurred to me.
posted by interiority at 1:53 PM on June 23, 2007


For the uninitiated, what is the name of the program encompassing the rating of the videos? Don't think we USians have that bit.

I thought the bits were ok, nothing overly stimulating so far that I've seen, but I'd like to see what he was competing against and for.


I guess you found your answer, but for anybody else who doesn't look up the first wiki link, the videos were part of a reality TV show, in which people had to travel the world & produce a four-minute 'doco' every ten days:

The successful applicants undertook a brief course in documentary film-making, before deciding on an itinerary for their journey around the world. They were then given a digital video camera, and sent to their first destination.

Over the next 100 days, the racers were required to devise, arrange and film a series of ten four-minute documentary films, as well as a stand-by documentary and five "postcards". This gave them ten days to travel to their next destination, film the video, and send it back to the ABC in Sydney with detailed editing instructions.

The series was broadcast as a weekly half-hour program, with four films shown per episode. Each film was then judged by a panel of three media and film experts including Sarah Macdonald, Tony Squires and Sigrid Thornton, as well as being put to a popular viewer vote. Points were deducted for late submissions.


Another contestant, John Thiris (think it was him), was pretty funny, too, in an ultra-cynical way. He seemed to treat the competition as nothing more than a free trip around the world, and would submit the most token videos possible: "here's me having lunch with my family in Greece!" Hearsay from friends in the TV industry is that he admitted as much.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:13 PM on June 23, 2007


Oh, and I recommend the Jerusalem video. That one caused a bit of a collective national "WTF?" when it aired...
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:17 PM on June 23, 2007


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