Wine mockumentary released


************************************************ The description of the characters sounds funny to me and Corked is a comedy basically.  I thought I'd read about another Sideways.  I remember a friend bartender standing inside a bar taking a drink (yes he did drink behind the bar!!!) and telling me Sideways is everything a person needs to know about wine.  That was a little shock for me and he was waiting for my response and my thought process ended in a few seconds and I said "whatever" and walked away.  How do you communicate with a person like that about wine knowledge? And I thought I had met them all and knew what to say to anyone about wine.  That is my memory of wine movies.  I was taught something long time ago which I have never bothered to follow but is very interesting.  Sideways brought the argument back:  Sideways is not a movie about wine!  It is about real estate.  The movie is made just like advertisings are made.  Who was it (and he was very famous in Hollywood eons ago) that said "people don't understand that television exists to sell them things and not to entertain."  The point is that television is not about all the wonderful(?) programs offered but about the ads that get sandwiched inside.  Sideways is not about wine, wine country, love of wine, travel, or romance.  Marketing by definition is brings attention to the product or service.  If I write a marketing piece about my laptop and has a visual to "market" the laptop, my coffeecup will also be "marketed."  Sideways may appear about wine from start to finish but if you watch again dwells so much on Southern California residential real estate.  Where does this baffling idea come from?  Here is the good one.  Many of the people who made Northern California wine country the modern day version had backgrounds or serious interests in real estate.  I have to research beyond the handful I know directly but the logic behind I cannot argue with:  Let's say a person has a worthless piece of agricultural land.  Now, let's say this fellow finds gold on his land.  What will happen to the price of his land?  It will become invaluable.  The price goes from nothing to infinity for argument sake.  However, one cannot choose to find gold on its property.  This property is agricultural land as we said.  How about if something grows that is worth gold? What will become of the price of the land?  Will it rise beyond the inflation?  Napa will go through the roof.  All it needs is to make one or a handful of wines praised so highly by the critics that the price of that wine goes to infinity.  This project is more attainable than finding gold by will.  Cult wines may be worth a great deal but usually do not come from large parcels of land.  Here is the best part:  Since one person found or made gold (cult wine) on a piece of now precious but formerly worthless agricultural land, what will happen to the adjacent parcels and those beyond and those beyond the beyond?  They will all rise.  Will it help if they make good wine also? Of course, what if they do not?  The price of land still climbs greatly.  Only, if one knows ahead and buys some of this land.  Is it worth making a movie such as Sideways to raise real estate prices? Of course.  The only thing one needs is a good script about any location and rewrite it to match the chosen geographical region.  Gold is found by will.

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Oliver Styles

A new film that ridicules the world of wine is set to be shown in San Francisco next month after receiving positive reviews from previous screenings.

The film, called 'Corked!', is a low-budget spoof documentary, or 'mockumentary', which follows the travails of four different wineries and the people associated with them. 

Characters in the film include Jerry, the independent winemaker ('eventually, I'll be the hospitality host – if I ever get a tasting room'), the marketing boss ('I certainly don't have to drink wine to sell wine'), Donald, the PR director of a large winery ('this is our provincial Italian courtyard – many people feel it evokes Tuscany…I like to think of it as a French chateau') and Dane, a vineyard manager with a 120dB bird scarer. 

Locations for the film include Simi winery, Bella vineyard, and the Michel-Schlumberger estate. 

The film was premiered at the Cannes film festival in France in May and, despite its low budget, reviews have been positive. 

'It's likely to tantalize the funny-bones of all of us who have endured wine-connoisseur talk…hilarious and smart, it never falls flat, only occasionally bursting its bubble of documentary plausibility… many viewers are not going to realize it's a fictional entertainment,' said The Hollywood Reporter after seeing the film at Cannes.

The LA Times compared it to last year's Bottle Shock, saying it was, 'awkward in places, but tasty and easy enough to swallow, coming as they [Corked! and Bottle Shock] do from places of heightened truth.' 

The makers of the film, Ross Clendenen and Paul Hawley, both have wine country experience. Hawley's family runs its own winery which was featured in the film, and Clendenen, although not related to top Santa Barbara producer Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat, has had cellar experience. 

Corked! was screened at the Sonoma Film Festival last month and will be shown in San Jose from 27-30 July and in Healdsburg in August. Although further screenings are planned for San Francisco, no dates have been announced. 

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