Directed by Constance Marks.
A documentary on the man behind the Muppet - Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash.
I have little doubt in my mind that The Avengers will end up being my favourite movie of the year, but one film has come really close to taking the top spot in the form of Jason Segel’s attempt to bring The Muppets back into the public eye. But there was another Muppet related movie that made the headlines at film festivals around the world last year and did well amongst some film critics during its very small theatrical run a few months back. That film was Constance Mark’s documentary on Muppet legend Kevin Clash – the puppeteer behind Elmo.
The documentary charts Clash’s childhood obsession with the work of Jim Henson and his desires to be a puppeteer. From creating his very first puppet
The film is based on the story "Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees," which features the two lost in a modern-day city and trying to save a friend from a bad guy. Puppeteer Kevin Clash (Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey) is making the film along with The Gotham Group (Abduction). The puppets will be brought to life with the aid of CG technology.
Raggedy Ann was created in 1915, a rag doll with red yarn for hair.
The Muppets are clearly real. Look at footage of them interacting with anyone from infants to world leaders and you'll see the human eyes lock on to those ping-pong ball peepers the Muppets have, and the little bundle of cloth and plastic is treated like a proper person.
Mostly this is down to the operator, the Muppeteer. They do their job so well they become invisible. Constance Marks's excellent, touching documentary focuses on one such puppeteer, Kevin Clash, who controls the phenomenally popular Elmo. Clash's story is one of unwavering belief, from an early age, that he'd end up doing what he loved as a job. It's a story that he must share with many others in his field; puppeteering isn't something one wanders into late in life.
Clash's basic but stable upbringing in Baltimore was far enough away from Jim Henson's New
In this week's episode, Ben and Tyler are joined by Allison Loring (from Film School Rejects) to discuss Mel Brooks' 1968 film, The Producers.
Character Name Game Intro - 3:15
The Cabin in the Woods - 4:15
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey - 11:25
Fire and Ice - 14:35
The Five-Year Engagement - 19:05
Sound of My Voice - 23:20
"New Girl" - 25:25
Harlan County, USA - 30:00
Bare Knuckles - 32:35
Detour - 37:25
The Producers (1968) - 39:20
Next Time: Mystery Movie - 58:15
Listener E-mail/Voicemail/Twitter - 59:25
Character Name Game - 1:05:05
Cinematic Soundscapes - 1:07:00
Where You Can Find Us - 1:18:10
Read more »
Ratings (out of five): *** 1/2
Constance Marks' documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey tells the story of a shy black kid, growing up poor in Baltimore. Kevin Clash has a dream, but it has nothing to do with sports or hip-hop music. Rather, he wants to be a puppeteer on "Sesame Street."
This is a great twist for a movie, but Being Elmo does not dwell on it. In fact, it hardly brings up Clash's skin color at all, and it only brings up his former poverty in terms of the obstacles he overcame. For example, in order to meet puppet designer Kermit Love, he had to wait for a school trip to New York; his family couldn't afford train fare otherwise. (What the movie does not explain is why there was a camera present and footage of this first meeting.)
Pick of the Week
Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
J.J. Gittes is a private investigator who gets roped in a conspiracy in 1930s Los Angeles that involves the wife of an engineer, her tycoon father and the resource the town needs most of all, water. "Chinatown" played a key role in a golden age of filmmaking and remains a classic to this day.
On the Disc:
The audio commentary by writer Robert Towne
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Tyrannosaur While nothing comes close to Chinatown in terms of purchasing power, I will certainly recommend you give Paddy Considine's excellent feature directorial debut, Tyrannosaur, a watch. It is, however, quite dark and a bit disturbing so it's a hard one to recommend as a buy. You can read my glowing review of it from last year right here.
Sunrise - A Song of Two Humans (Limited Edition) Ironically enough, just this last weekend I recorded F.W. Murnau's Sunrise off Turner Classic Movies and haven't yet watched it. I've only seen it once before and am anxious to return to it
Also new are Matt Damon in "We Bought a Zoo," the documentary "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" and the Blu-ray debuts of "Madonna: Truth or Dare" and "Chinatown."
Box Office: $80 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 77% Fresh
Storyline: Steven Spielberg's epic film adaptation of the 1982 children's novel stars Jeremy Irvine as a young man who enlists during World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards (it didn't win any) and costars Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, Benedict Cumberbatch and David Thewlis.
Extras! Both the DVD and the Blu-ray contain "A Filmmaking Journey,
What has a Finnish-made film about illegal immigrants in France got to do with a renowned evolutionary theorist? Or the Guardian? The film in question is Le Havre, by Aki Kaurismäki, a gentle yet robustly political parable set in the French coastal town of the title, with a similar tone to a previous film, The Man Without A Past. Pagel, meanwhile, is an evolutionary theorist who operates on every scale, from genetic codes to language, culture and the history of human co-operation. That gives you a clue to his take on the movie, but the post-screening discussion could lead anywhere, especially since you can watch the film on the Guardian website, submit questions, read the live blog and watch the film any time in the next two months.
Curzon Soho, W1, Fri
Young People's Film Festival, Leeds
This is the type of
The complete list of winners:
Motion Picture Categories
Outstanding Motion Picture
"Jumping the Broom" (TriStar Pictures)
"Pariah" (Focus Features)
"The First Grader" (National Geographic Entertainment)
"The Help" (DreamWorks Pictures)
"Tower Heist" (Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Eddie Murphy - "Tower Heist" (Universal Pictures)
Laurence Fishburne - "Contagion" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Laz Alonso - "Jumping the Broom" (TriStar Pictures)
Oliver Litondo - "The First Grader" (National Geographic Entertainment)
Vin Diesel - "Fast Five" (Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Adepero Oduye - "Pariah" (Focus Features)
Emma Stone - "The Help" (DreamWorks Pictures)
Paula Patton - "Jumping the Broom" (TriStar Pictures)
Viola Davis - "The Help" (DreamWorks Pictures)
Zoë Saldana -
Based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, "The Help" has come under criticism from a number of African-American organizations for having the story of a group of African-American domestic servants at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement be told from the perspective of a young white writer (played in the film by Emma Stone).
The ensuing controversy over the movie may have actually helped the film by raising its profile and helping mobilize it's supporters within the Black Film Critics Circle.
Also making a major splash was "Pariah," which won three awards including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Dee Rees as well as Best Independent Film.
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