By Alonso Melgar, Jennie Orton and Meaghan Lawrence
I Am Big Bird
I Am Big Bird is a deeply intimate and personal look at the man inside the costume, Carol Spinney, who since 1969 has breathed life into the iconic Sesame Street character. This documentary covers the early years of Spinney’s career including his life changing meeting with Jim Henson, the creation of Big Bird and Oscar The Grouch, and rare footage of Spinney, Henson and Frank Oz perfecting their work. Emphasis is placed on Spinney’s personal connection with his creation and the effect it has had on him and others. (AM)
I Am Big Bird plays at the Globe Cinema Sept. 20, 6:45 p.m. and Sept. 27, 2 p.m.
Dance of Reality
After a 23-year retreat from filmmaking, Chilean director Alejandro Jodoworsky has returned with his latest film, Dance of Reality. The film, an autobiography, is a dizzying surrealist portrait of his alienated childhood. The film weaves nightmarish and mystical imagery of Jodoworsky’s hometown – the small Chilean desert town, Tocopilla.
The story tells of young Alejandro’s struggle for approval from his Stalinist father, Jaime. The narrative later shifts to the journey of enlightenment his father undertakes after his attempted assassination of the Chilean dictator, Ibanez. The visually stunning and symbolic elements make this film not just one to casually watch, but to absorb and to appreciate. (ML)
Dance of Reality plays at Eau Claire Sept. 21, 9:30 p.m. and at the Globe Cinema Sept. 25, 4:15 p.m.
Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot
In Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot, Paolo inherits more than he bargains for after an aunt’s passing: his nephew Zoran, a social misfit with an unholy aptitude for darts. Paolo’s interest in exploiting this talent for gain gets interrupted by an unplanned atmosphere of personal redemption at the hands of growing fondness for his nephew. The story can be seen from a mile away as can the laughs, but the film is digestible enough to be an apt people-pleaser for the indie crowd or anyone who is hesitant to experience international film. (JO)
Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot plays at Eau Claire Sept. 21, 2:15 p.m. and Sept. 23, 7 p.m.
Swedish writer/director Antonio Tublen brings us this bizarre sci-fi/black comedy about a middle-aged amateur scientist named Robert Nord (Patrick Karlson) who discovers a way to hypnotize people through sound. As the film progresses, the lengths in which Robert “tests”his newfound discovery stretch further and further into morally intolerable grounds.
A feeling of slight claustrophobia is also present in the film as the setting never changes from Robert’s house, adding to the eerie tones of the film. The comedy is dark and the story takes uncomfortable turns, but Karlson’s performance and Tublen’s direction keep you interested and mesmerized. (AM)
LFO plays at the Globe Cinema Sept. 20, 1:15 p.m. and at Eau Claire Sept. 27, 9:15 p.m.AB, Alberta, Calgary International Film Festival 2014, CIFF 2014, Dance of Reality, I Am Big Bird, LFO, Zoran My Nephew the Idiot