When indie filmmaker John Pierson has a midlife crisis, he really takes it seriously. Pierson, burnt out on the world of indie film, decided to take a year off to live on Taveuni the most remote island in Fiji, showing free movies at a theater called the 180 Meridian Cinema. To make things even more fun, Pierson took his family - wife Janet and teens Georgia and Wyatt - along for the ride, and invited a film crew to record the last month of the family's adventure. The result, Reel Paradise, is an entertaining, though at times frustrating, documentary.
Pierson is, at times, really annoying to watch. His brash American pushiness, which he refuses to at all modify in light of the culture he is visiting for a year, grated on my nerves, so I can just imagine how he felt to the natives he was living among. The man has an enormous ego, and his lack of awareness of how he is perceived by the people he has come to live among is really kind of fascinating. He's like his own Catholic Church, bringing the gospel of film to the heathen, formerly cannibalistic masses.