Trailervision: Why Can't I Be a Movie Star? Albert Nerenberg

Celebrity, according to cultural critic Cintra Wilson, is a virulent killer of fundamental values and the only way to control it is to "quit believing in it." It is an idea Canadian director Albert Nerenberg could easily get behind, provided the goal was also to make you laugh. In his first long-form feature, Why Can't I Be a Movie Star?, Nerenberg lambastes our culture's moronic worship of Hollywood by fearlessly questioning the absurdity of it all. It is a lively, sometimes chaotic amalgamation of complex ideas, overacting and schlocky movie references that, if you give it a chance, can have a purgative effect on your assumptions about the Hollywood myth machine. Those familiar with the Trailervision oeuvre — Nerenberg's web site that features trailers for non-existent films — will find much to love here. But the real raison d'etre behind the current release for Why Can't I Be a Movie Star? is a showcase for their greatest hoax: the storming of the red carpet by Nerenberg and company at Toronto's annual International Film Festival. The march down the carpet, prominently showcased with or without commentary, forms the premise of this greatest hits anthology and is worth every subversive moment. "We weren't trying to prove that we could be stars," Nerenberg states categorically in an interview featured on the disc, "just that anyone can be a star. Give them a limousine, an entourage, a pair of sunglasses and have them arrive at the right time at the right event, add a few fans and voila, a star." Like the best comedians and social critics, Nerenberg understands only too well how important humour is in getting his audience to swallow a bitter pill, and after 70 minutes of faux-trailers it is difficult — well, damn-near impossible actually — to walk away from this disc and not question our culture's desire to press its nose against the window of celebrity. Plus: deleted scenes and outtakes, sneak peeks, bios, extra trailers, bios. (Microfilms, www.microfilmsinc.com)