Reel Paradise

DVD Released (Y/M/D): 2006-02-14

Genre: Documentary

Director: Steve James

Stars: John Pierson, Janet Pierson, Georgia Pierson, Wyatt Pierson

MPAA Rating: R

Synopsis: Indie-movie guru John Pierson fell in love with the remotest movie theater in the world, the 180 Meridian Cinema, located on the island of Taveuni in Fiji. Instead of filing the place away as an exotic memory, he decided to move his family to Taveuni for a year and run the movie house, an experience documented in the entertaining Reel Paradise. It's not all papaya and roses, as Pierson, his patient wife Janet, and their two willful teenage kids learn; the island's culture shock is real and sometimes alarming. The best part of the film isn't the domestic bickering of the Piersons but the affectionate portrait of the 180 Meridian, with its beat-up chairs, raucous audience, and projectionists who might or might not show up that evening. Pierson is the enthusiastic and sometimes stern high priest of the Meridian, willing to show the Jean-Claude Van Damme movies beloved by locals but also insisting on educating them with more ambitious fare. (The Three Stooges are here confirmed as the universal language of cinema.) Director Steve (Hoop Dreams) James assembled this chronicle, which doesn't skimp on revealing John Pierson as an eccentric, volatile, but very committed presence. The kind of person who gets things done--including this South Pacific lark.     Source:

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