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International Programme 2016
Mattress Men Colm Quinn

The Irishman Paul is unemployed and perennially unlucky until he turns discount trader Mattress Mick into a YouTube star – but comes away empty-handed again … A Ken Loach style social comedy.

Mattress Men

Documentary Film
84 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ciarán Deeney, David Clarke, Colm Quinn
Colm Quinn
Michael Fleming
Colm Quinn
John Murphy
Alone among all the haircuts in the world Mick chose to wear the mullet in his youth – and stuck with it. It goes well with his business, a mattress discount shop in Dublin exuding the musty smell of economic decline. The second mattress man is Paul, a jobless man employed by Mick as a modern day worker. And then there is Brian who walks the streets as a living mattress, talking to himself. This advertising gimmick is developed into a guerrilla marketing campaign featuring Mattress Mick as a brand to be built via YouTube and the social networks. Go viral! It’s smart and helps business.

The shooting of this side of the story is completed. But comedy is not what this film is about. With a sure sense of the social relations between his protagonists, the director focuses on the relationship between Mick, the owner, and Paul, who has nothing but debts. Paul is the mastermind behind the campaign. He shoots and edits the videos with Mick, puts them online, feeds Twitter & Co. But his work gets neither financial nor public recognition. The conflict arising from this is precisely observed, intelligently edited and produces an authentic and atmospheric narrative evocative of the films of Ken Loach – save for the fact that Mattress Mick and Paul are real people.

Matthias Heeder

Nominated for Healthy Workplaces Film Award