June 13, 2024

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‘Caliphate’ Meets ‘Game of Thrones’ in HBO Docuseries ‘Ren Faire’

‘Caliphate’ Meets ‘Game of Thrones’ in HBO Docuseries ‘Ren Faire’

Succession meet game of thrones In the documentary series rang verwhich premieres Sunday on HBO.

Lance Oppenheim directed the three-part film about the battle to take the reins of the Texas Renaissance Festival, the largest Renaissance festival in the world. At outdoor festivals of this type — in case you didn’t know — performers dress in medieval attire, musicians play flutes and harps, fire eaters consume bonfires, and fans devour massive turkey drumsticks and handfuls of kettle corn.

Logan Roy – or if you prefer, King Aerys II – in this scenario is the elderly Governor George Cullam, the founder and governor of Texas. He’s a colorful character, to say the least, and if you doubt that, consider the way he describes himself on his website: “George Collam is a healthy, 6’2”, 173 lb., sexually active Caucasian businessman of 86 years old. “.

George Collam in a movie

George Collam in “Ren Faire”


“He has power, as the elected mayor of the city he founded,” the series synopsis notes. “He enjoys the glory, as the undisputed employer and self-appointed ruler of thousands. He has enormous wealth, as the festival’s majority shareholder. Now he is prepared to give up everything and spend the last years of his life searching for a romantic companion. But before he retires, he will choose George finally decides which of his old employees will take his crown.

Those aspiring to power include general manager Geoffrey Baldwin, “Corn Lord” Louie Migliaccio, and elephant trainer Darla Smith. Watch the trailer below.

Darren Aronofsky and Lance Oppenheim

Darren Aronofsky and Lance Oppenheim at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Matthew Curry

Oppenheim spoke about his documentary series at the Boston Independent Film Festival earlier this month. “What we thought was comedy at first, which at first seemed rather silly — the universe and the landscape — became tragedy,” he said in a question-and-answer session. “I feel like we all know a version of these people. We all know Jeff, we all know George, we all know Louie. … Everybody [knew] They’re part of the game, and they wanted someone to be there to basically document it.



Oppenheim said he consulted with cinematographer Nate Hurtsellers before filming began about how to answer key questions: “How do we immerse the audience in the world that’s out there? How do we take the fantasy elements, the mythological things — how do we bring that into a back-office kind of drama, where we can… Is this essentially a business?

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At the age of 28, Oppenheim has directed eight short films, a documentary series, and two feature documentaries, including The world of sperm, which premiered this year and is now streaming on Hulu (tagline: “Three men enter the new Wild West of making babies — online forums where sperm donors connect with hopeful parents — but find themselves exchanging more than just genetic material”). Darren Aronofsky produced his first feature film, A kind of paradisewhich premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. This film focused on The Villages, “Florida’s friendliest retirement community for adults over 55,” where forced positivity masks some dark events.

George Collam in a movie

The head who wears the crown is easy to lie to. Did they have sunglasses in the Middle Ages?


David Joffe Herbert, executive producer of rang ver who brought the project to Oppenheim, evaluated the director’s work at a Boston Q&A, observing, “He’s obsessed with people who get trapped in worlds of their own making.”

In the world of Texas Renaissance Festival owner George Collam, he is sovereign and calls the shots — with occasional help from celestial beings.

“If he talked to an angel, which is what happened, it could get someone fired,” Oppenheim noted.

Is Colam closer to Shakespeare’s playful Falstaff, or to the mad King Lear? The trailer below may provide some clues.

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