While TV shows like Big Brother and semi-scripted comedies like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office were blurring the line between real life and fiction, filmmakers plunged into the fake documentary. (The early movie models: Peter Watkins' 1965 The War Game for drama and Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run for comedy.) Some of this decade's fakeumentaries sprang from TV Sacha Baron Cohen's characters Borat and Bruno and others reworked the video-camera premise of 1999's no-budget hit The Blair Witch Project, as in the rampaging-monster thriller (Cloverfield). In 2009 the tactic was used to lend naturalism to alien landings (District 9), ghostly emanations (Paranormal Activity and The Fourth Kind) and, scariest of all, the inner workings of the American and British governments (In the Loop). Any second now, the fakeumentary or mock-doc could die from exhaustion or overuse; but at the moment it's keeping the imperiled indie movement alive.
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