Wednesday, November 2, 2011

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Being Elmo:
A Puppeteer's Journey

Kevin Clash / Elmo

October 21, 2011 (LIMITED)
Expanding throughout Holidays!

Constance Marks

Submarine Deluxe

1 hour 16 minutes



It seems that most of the years best films have something to do with childhood.  For example, 'Super 8,' while a Spielberg homage and a sci-fi thriller, was a story of kids filming a low budget zombie flick and having a fun time at heart.  The final 'Harry Potter' film ended a decade long movie franchise that generations of children grew up on.  Now we have 'Being Elmo:' a documentary that captures the life of Kevin Clash, also known as the man behind the most lovable Sesame Street character of all time, Elmo.  Having grown up watching Elmo on TV and on VHS, I was very excited to see this documentary, which made a huge splash at Sundance earlier this year.  The Philly Film Festival decided to bring director Constance Marks and the man with the puppet into the City of Brotherly Love, so my family was THERE.  Luckily, this movie lived up to the Sundance hype as it was funny, heartwarming, and emotional as heck.  'Being Elmo' might have been the only movie at the festival where I was actually crying in it.  If you have a heart of any kind, 'Being Elmo' is the single must see movie of the year, and the most heartwarming movie to come out since 'Toy Story 3.'  Scratch that, this movie is better than 'Toy Story 3!' 

I almost guarantee that no other movie will tug at your heart strings while at the same time sweetening it up quite like 'Elmo does.  You see the hard side of a puppeteer's life, and the sacrifices Clash had to make throughout life, including working on Jim Henson's 'The Dark Crystal.'  People will be crying, and they should be.  Like 'Toy Story,' you get some nice laughs out of the film as well as a great story and lots of heart.  If you can't handle one of those three things, do you even have a soul?  The film's currently making its way around the country, so I'd suggest taking a look at this 76 minute documentary when it hits your area. I'd only say leave the kids home because the exposure of Clash as Elmo may be as shocking to them as Santa not being real. But whatever way you can, go find and check out the sweetest and most heartfelt movie of the year: 'Being Elmo.' There is no better entertainment anywhere out there right now that is so honest and sweet as this movie.

Director Constance Marks, Kevin Clash/Elmo, and other crew members at the Philly screening of 'Being Elmo.' (Sorry for the crappy shot)

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Hello viewers of this blog,

Due to recent comments of spam and profanity present from obnoxious kids who think they are the funniest people in the world, I would like to request that the comments posted here are in good taste, meaning that they have no Anti-Semitic remarks, profanity, sexual innuendo, or any insults to myself. You can criticize the review and give pointers on how to make them better, but how about we be adults about this. Ok? Thank you, and have a nice day.

- Zach Marsh