In little-known 1934 biography The Quest for Corvo, A.J.A. Symons’ chapters encapsulate each significant progression he makes in obtaining information regarding obscure writer/eccentric baron Corvo. Seventy-five years and an Internet age later, Ben Steinbauer takes the same route (think Michael Moore with a higher likability index), inserting himself into this engrossing documentary as instigator, character and conscience. There are times when Steinbauer’s onscreen presence and voice-overs steal a fraction too much of his subject’s spotlight. But it’s a forgivable offense considering how remarkable a feat he has achieved.
The director’s fascination with the titular viral-video precursor, in which Winnebago shill Jack Rebney repeatedly blows his lines, subsequently spouting forth a hellfire of frustration and foul language, leads Steinbauer to track down the now-reclusive Rebney. Who is the man behind the madness, and how has the clip affected his life? To say the Rebney he finds is a handful is a gross understatement. Sure, he’s curmudgeonly, but he’s also highly intelligent and shockingly well-spoken for a fellow whose entire imagined oeuvre consists solely of four-letter words and variations thereof.
Winnebago Man is an uplifting meditation on redemption, privacy, aging, self-expression and humanity. All that, and it’s motherf--king funny as shit, too.