REVIEW: Presenting Princess Shaw

17 07 2017

If it were possible to present an Upworthy article in documentary form, Ido Haar’s “Presenting Princess Shaw” would be it. This fable of the social media heralds the virtues of technology that enables an Israeli music producer to connect with a New Orleans-based YouTuber. In reality, the story is just creepy when you really stop to think about it.

And you’ll have plenty of time to think about it, believe me. “Presenting Princess Shaw” should be one of those 3-4 minute videos you see in your Facebook news feed that a news site posts to play into the site’s algorithm. Instead, it’s an 83 minute slog extending a simple collaboration between two geographically distant people into a feature-length bore.

Samantha Montgomery, the real woman behind the golden-voiced Princess Shaw persona, is the main subject of the film. Haar gives us way too many moments of her plaintively pondering the changes to her life coming through her discovery by Kutiman, an international producer. She’ll just amble the streets, and one of her songs will play in the backgrounds. Then Haar will cut to Kutiman’s musical direction from afar, and the film just feels a little too “Catfish“-y for its own good. I can honestly say I don’t know if I’ve ever seen something meant to feel empowering come across as downright predatory. C+



5 responses

18 07 2017

Interesting. One of my favorites of last year. I totally bought it and thought it captured the experience of being a youtuber so well.

19 07 2017
Marshall Shaffer

It did, but I don’t think it earned the runtime!

19 07 2017

Fascinating. I responded completely differently

19 07 2017
Marshall Shaffer

As you have every right to do.

19 07 2017

Yeah it is just interesting when that happens

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