This was the first movie I see at DIFF this year, and what a great way to start the festival!
Radioman is the first feature film for director Mary Kerr, and is a documentary about a guy called Craig Castaldo (or Schwartz as sometimes mentioned in the movie- either way he hates his name) who is an urban legend in New York.
A former homeless guy, he hangs around movie sets in New York, and knows so many actors and their schedules! He’s even gotten roles in some major movies, which you’ll see in the documentary too. The guy has been around for decades doing this, and Hollywood stars are on the lookout for him when they’re shooting scenes in New York.
As Tom Hanks put it, “he [Radioman] is a national institution”. Other interviews include George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Robin Williams (they look so alike, by the way), Whoopi Goldberg, Meryl Streep, Shia LaBeouf, and many more.
Throughout the documentary, we got to know Radioman a little bit more, as they delved into the history behind the name, his life and family, as well as his movie career (Shutter Island and 30 Rock to name a couple!). Then Radioman decided to go to LA for the Oscars, and here it got a bit sad…but you’ll have to watch it to see what happens. All I’ll say is that it made me think twice about how the celebs’ sentiments towards him.
It’s a funny documentary with some serious parts too, and I think how you view this film could also say a little something about who you are too. I’ll be honest; at first I was quick to judge: ‘who would choose to live like this?’, but as I kept watching I changed my mind- we’re so easily sucked into conformity that when we see people like Radioman we’re perplexed and puzzled as to why they didn’t choose the path we chose, or go through the ‘standard routes’ of doing something. But if they’re happy with their choice, why don’t we just accept it and appreciate it? We can’t all be alike, right? And are were truly happy with the choices we’ve made in our life? Are we really doing what we want to do?
The surprise after the screening was Radioman making an appearance! He made us laugh with his Robin Williams impersonation, and he started asking people questions and interviewing them. Really hilarious stuff. I asked him how many radios he’s gone through in his lifetime, and he said over 100!
As funny and quirky as he is, he’s a pretty sharp guy and despite everything he’s gone through, he still dreams big and I really admire that. He has an agent now, so hopefully we’ll be seeing Radioman in more movies!
Rating: Funny and interesting, definitely a must see this festival. I give it 5 Oi’s out of 5.
The next showing for Radioman is on Wednesday 12 Dec, and you can buy tickets online here.
(Image source: dubaifilmfest.com and own photos)