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Swiss Army Man might not seem like highbrow cinema to everyone — some walked out of the Weekend at Bernie’s-like comedy when it screened in January at Sundance — but A24’s marketing campaign for the film, which stars Daniel Radcliffe as a flatulent, boner-popping corpse stuck on a deserted island with Paul Dano, is truly performance art.
A glass bottle containing a message printed on a beige scroll — “Hi, I’m Manny. I’m bored and dead. Text SOS to 25827” — was sent to scores of media outlets in early June.
Once the number was texted, “Manny” began days of communication involving intimate questions (“What’s sex like?”), singing phone calls, surprise pizza deliveries and a GIF from the film featuring his boner. “Manny” even sent two pizzas — one pepperoni and one cheese — to The Hollywood Reporter office from Fairfax Avenue hotspot Prime Pizza.
A24 won’t reveal much about the wacky marketing ploy except to say that 10,000 people are engaged in conversations with the fictional dead body.
It’s unclear how much longer Manny will make contact, as the artsy-fartsy film directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert opens on June 24.
A version of this story first appeared in the July 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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