Feels Good Man traces the surreal journey of cartoonist Matt Furie’s character Pepe the Frog as it evolved from a niche web comic image into a white supremacist icon during Donald Trump’s ascendance to the Presidency. It follows Furie’s quest to reclaim his character from the clutches of alt-right extremists and to rehabilitate Pepe’s image, and, by extension, his own. Feels Good Man is an eye-opening exploration of questions of authorial intent, virality, magical thinking, and the internet’s influence on our culture. The film captures a strange and evocative chapter in the rise of Donald Trump and illustrates the far-reaching consequences of meme culture.
In this event, director Arthur Jones and producer Giorgio Angelini will join moderator Chelsea Kai Roesch (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion of Feels Good Man.
Director Arthur Jones
Arthur Jones is a director, animator, designer, writer, and producer. He won the 2020 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker, the Cinema Eye Honor for Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design & Animation, and an Emmy for Outstanding Research: Documentary for his debut film Feels Good Man.
Producer Giorgio Angelini
Giorgio Angelini is an architectural designer and filmmaker. Working for Schaum/Shieh Architects, Giorgio helped design award-winning projects like The White Oak Music Hall and The Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology. While practicing, Giorgio directed his first documentary, OWNED: A Tale of Two Americas, which took on the history of post-war housing policy in America. The success of the project led him down a path to pursue more film work, including collaborating with OWNED animator Arthur Jones on his directorial debut Feels Good Man.
Moderator Chelsea Kai Roesch (Film and Media Studies, UCSB)
Chelsea Kai Roesch is a PhD student in the Film and Media Studies department at University of California, Santa Barbara and organizer of the Alt-Right Media Literacy Series, a multicampus graduate student initiative sponsored by the UC Humanities Research Institute and Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB. She is a University of California Regents Fellowship recipient, awarded to exceptional doctoral students in the humanities. Her current research interests include tech labor, casino gambling, Internet subcultures, right-wing movements, memes, Marxism, and pop culture.
This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center and Media Fields Journal.
Presented as part of the Alt-Right Media Literacy Series, a multicampus graduate student initiative sponsored by the UC Humanities Research Institute and Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB.
The Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to screening documentaries from across the world that engage with contemporary and historical issues, especially regarding social justice and environmental concerns. Documentaries allow filmmakers to address pressing issues and frame the critical debates of our time.