Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
Written(-ish?) by Phillip Shane, Justin Weinstein
Directed by Constance Marks
Starring Kevin Clash, NOT Whoopi Goldberg
a documentary following the life and career of kevin clash. the guy behind elmo and so many other muppets.
I embody some percentage of the stereotypical "gay" characteristics, so I was at varying levels of teariness through this whole endeavor. It was great to see how Kevin came up and how many of his dreams he's been able to fulfill. I can't imagine what it must have been like for him to actually build a friendship with Jim Henson, or to walk into that workshop for the first time. I really like how he has taken on the role master in this field. He's kind of like Anakin Skywalker, except for the part about killing millions of people, and I hope he inspires enough people to continue this tradition for generations to come because I fear that it may be coming to an end. Watching this made me happy.
If it was supposed to be a wider biopic, then it definitely left some holes to fill. I'd like to know about his divorce and how it came about and how it impacted his career. I'd like to know more of his relationship with his daughter than just the couple of clips that we saw. And I want to know those things not simply out of curiosity, but also out of a desire to understand the level of dedication that the craft required of him, and the sacrifices he had to make. I think there are unexplored undertones to his success. I don't think it was as simple as taking crap in high school until he was on TV.
What I want least of all, however, is to end this on a down note. What is on the screen is quite interesting. It's shot well. It's engaging, and I'll say it again: It made me happy.
this was really cute, and grossly heart warming. only grossly because i don't like my heart warmed. i like it as the cold block of ice it is. why is it that anything muppet related really gets to everyone. jim henson was some sort of magic, man. despite it seeming like he his largely responsible for the downfall of sesame street (because it IS piece of crap now. even murray, the coolest new muppet, gets the screen time slash and don't even get me started on the hatred i possess for abby cadaby) since he not only puppeteers elmo, but produces and does stuff behind the scene, i didn't care while watching this movie. he came off like a really cool guy. a guy who knew what he wanted to do really early in his life and just worked to make it happen. i think that level of determination is rare and to have it for something like puppeteering is crazy awesome.
it was great to see the behind the scenes of old school sesame street and labyrinth and other old stuff and that muppet engineer guy, kermit was totally awesome too. a good touch was bringing it full circle as kevin takes an aspiring puppeeter kid around and shows him the muppet studio as kermit once did for him.
if you have a soul and enjoy sesame street or the muppets you should probably check this out. it's on netflix instant. i'm just sayin'.