Arts preview: 'Tickled'

Jim Fischer
David Farrier, Richard Ivey and a tickle subject in TICKLED.

David Farrier happens onto a social media site promoting a "competitive tickling event," and he believes he's got the next subject for his segments on the fun and offbeat for a New Zealand TV station. What he gets is covert meetings, legal threats and character assaults. Being a reporter, Farrier can't stop digging, despite the bullying.

That's the background for the documentary film "Tickled," which screens this weekend at the Wexner Center. The challenges didn't end with the film's release, as confrontations happened at the film's Sundance Film Festival premiere and again at the True/False Film Fest in Missouri, where Wexner Center Associate Curator of Film/Video Chris Stults saw "Tickled."

"They stopped the film in the middle and police escorted a bunch of people out," Stults said. "They were subjects of the film, secretly recording the film itself, because they had been secretly recorded. At the reception following [the screening] the filmmaker was served with a subpoena."

What's up, then, with this competitive tickling thing? Stults said the film is a better watch without too many spoilers.

"If you go in clean and not knowing much, it's all kind of a ride. It starts out as this light look at a peculiar topic and shifts into this ominous thriller."

Wexner Center for the Arts

7 p.m. Friday and Saturday,

July 15 and 16

1871 N. High St.,