David Farrier has made his mark in the past several years with documentaries with off-beat subjects like 2016’s “Tickled” and his 2018 Netflix series “Dark Tourist.” Now, he’s back with his latest feature, “Mister Organ,” about perhaps his most weirdest subject yet.
The upcoming doc follows Farrier as he becomes interested in the titular Michael Organ, a wheel clamper in New Zealand. But Farrier’s fascination with the strange character quickly gets sinister, as Organ, a master manipulator, isn’t someone to be trifled with.
Here’s the film’s official synopsis, courtesy of Fantastic Fest, where “Mister Organ” premieres later this week:
Five years ago, Kiwi journalist David Farrier (DARK TOURIST) wrote a piece about a minor scandal involving the clamping of parked cars after business hours in an Auckland shop’s private lot. The parking lot belonged to an antique store, and its eccentric owner refused to allow anyone onto her property, paying an individual to watch the lot like a hawk and then extorting huge amounts of money from the parking offenders. And it turns out that the entire thing was all completely legal.
Digging deeper, Farrier discovers that the parking guard, Michael Organ, is not only the mysterious clamper but also the shop owner’s lawyer… and purportedly a prince. David Farrier’s self-reflective examination of his investigation into Michael Organ’s past reveals the perils of journalistic obsession and persistence. David simply cannot step away, regardless of how bizarre, twisted, and unhealthy his encounters with Michael Organ become.
Farrier’s best known work is “Tickled,” a big critical hit at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. That doc sees Farrier investigating a mysterious tickling competition he discovered online, with members of the group fiercely pushing back against Farrier’s interest. Meanwhile, “Dark Tourist” is an eight-part documentary that has Farrier trotting the globe to explore the ethically murky world of dark tourism, where travelers visit sites with grim and grisly appeal. Netflix and Farrier planned to film a second season but cancelled it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, what’s “Mister Organ” hiding, and does David Farrier get to the bottom of it? Audiences at Fantastic Fest find out when the movie has it world premiere on September 24. Check out the trailer below.