Wednesday 23 November 2016

Review: Tickled (2016)

In between the cinema trips and desperately trying to catch up with Westworld (which I’ve done - yay!) I put some time aside to check out a documentary that I’d seen reviewed on a few blogs I follow called Tickled. I can count the number of documentaries I’ve seen on one hand, so although I was curious to add to the number, I did wonder how interesting it could be without the dramatics of a regular movie.

Tickled was funded by both Kickstarter and the New Zealand Film Commission in 2014, and is directed by journalist David Farrier and his colleague Dylan Reeve. David makes a living from looking into all things unordinary, so when he saw videos online of ‘Competitive Endurance Tickling’, needless to say his curiosity was tickled! Har har har. That’s where the laughs stop though. These videos are far from ordinary, and feature young men bound by their wrists and ankles, and then tickled by other young men.

There didn’t seem to be a sexual connotation about the videos, the young men were clothed at all times, but the ‘sport’ was certainly weird enough for David to want to look into it. The videos were produced by a company called Jane O’Brien Media, which had it’s own Facebook page, so David sent a message asking if he could conduct an interview with either Jane herself or another producer to learn more for his article.


Rather than be welcomed with open arms, or politely turned down, David was instead bombarded with hostile responses, pointing out David’s own sexuality and firmly stating that this sport is a “passionately and exclusively heterosexual athletic endurance activity”. When David persisted with his line of enquiry, Jane O’Brien Media sent legal threats and even flew out 3 members of staff to intimidate David and Dylan.

Really, that’s as far into it as I want to go in this post. This is all most other bloggers wrote about, and honestly, if that alone is enough to get you interested than you’ll find the rest of the documentary absolutely fascinating. The way it had me chuckling at how absurd the sport is to suddenly feeling shocked at what was happening is just a little bit unreal.


As I said, I watch very few documentaries so I don’t feel able to comment on how well it was filmed, edited, etc, but I was hooked from the very first minute right up until the credits rolled. Then I had to sit in silence for about ten minutes while I took it all in. If you’ve already seen Tickled, then check out the Wikipedia page for it, right at the bottom is a section about the response to the documentary from the people involved, and that in itself is quite shocking. It’s definitely a subject that I want to keep updated with!

Has anyone else seen Tickled? If you have it was probably your blog that led me down this rabbit hole! I don’t know whether to thank you or curse you, ha!

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