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Know Your Mushrooms (2008)

Larry Evans , Gary Lincoff , Ron Mann  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Know Your Mushrooms + The Complete Mushroom Hunter: An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms + National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
Price for all three: $46.52

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Product Details

  • Actors: Larry Evans, Gary Lincoff
  • Directors: Ron Mann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002C68WSM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,161 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

From the award-winning director of Comic Book Confidential, Grass, Go Further and a host of paradigm-shifting films reappraising the backwaters of popular culture, Ron Mann investigates the miraculous, near-secret world of fungi with his newest piece of cinema, KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS.

KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS follows über myco visionaries Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans as they lead us on a hunt for the wild mushroom and the deeper cultural experiences attached to the mysterious fungi.

Combining material filmed at the Telluride Mushroom Fest with animation and archival footage along with a neo-psychedelic soundtrack by The Flaming Lips and The Sadies, KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS opens the doors to perception and takes the audience on a longer, stranger trip.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mann's Mushrooms...Bravo! October 27, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's hard to tell what a general audience will make of Ron Mann's new film Know Your Mushrooms. It opens with a clip from one of the first motion pictures ever, Georges Méliès' 1902 Trip to the Moon. After their rocket smacks the moon right in the eye, the astronauts disembark to discover that the moon is covered with what Méliès must have considered the most other-worldly of life forms: mushrooms.
The film segues to the almost equally fantastical Telluride Mushroom Festival--playful enthusiasts, funny hats, costumes, and ceremonial Tibetan bells. The opening credits explode with the psychedelic animation of Mike Roberts, colorful and sparkling--he makes fungus dance. Just as we're beguiled into a world of mushrooms that are funny, exotic and frivolous, the canny filmmaker brings things down to earth with film consultant and mycologist Gary Lincoff explaining that a fungal mat underlies and nurtures all life on earth.
I've followed Mann's work since his first film, Comic Book Confidential, which came out while I was researching my book on the history of MAD magazine. He's very good at illuminating the many facets of a subject in vivid ways. For Know Your Mushrooms he cleverly chooses two complementary guides. Lincoff and Larry Evans are both middle-aged white guys with an obsession with fungus, but their sensibilities quite different. Evans is a pig-tailed, brilliant, chatty, self-described "mushroom gypsy" who can hunt down, field-dress, and cook up our favorites while spouting a stream of fascinating facts and lore. By contrast, Gary Lincoff is a bona-fide mycologist and much-published author who speaks in paragraphs and fills the audience in on the scientific side of things wit and verve.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The first 5 minutes of the movie promise much. "Wow," I was thinking, "this is cheesy, but not too cheesy -- reasonably good 'special effects' and a quality documentary feel."

The film moves along nicely from there, following the various mushroom gurus and fugiphiles as they go on forays, identify mushrooms in the field, speak at festival events, cook up mushrooms, and talk about mushroom induced hallucinations.

If you like colourful characters and getting to know enthusiasts with their blushingly wonky theories about the role of mushrooms in the evolution of our species, you will like the film. It has an almost tongue in cheek feel to it, a sort of halfhearted attempt to present what is clearly an eccentric subculture as objectively as possible.

So, for what it is, it is entertaining and even educational with animated interludes reminiscent of Bill Nye or the Nature Nut showing a little mushroom coming out and quizzing us on our mushroom knowledge. These have a nice "don't take this too seriously" feel to them too.

So, why not a higher rating? Frankly, this film doesn't do anything really well. It is not a straight forward documentary like a NOVA or National Geographic episode delving into the science of the mushrooms and their effects on the body, it is not a big-business-bashing muckraking expose showing the mushroom industries efforts to keep people from finding free mushrooms all on their own, and it is not a "how-to" video on finding, cooking, and enjoying mushrooms. It touches on all these things, but feels like the film maker never really made up his mind on what the film would be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting March 27, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
So many things I never knew about Mushrooms. The people in the video are interesting as well. I had no idea that people even went to festivals for mushrooms till I watched this video.

Choose this rating because if you have not watched and what to know more about Mushrooms you should watch this video.
I liked the whole video very much.
I would recommend this product to anyone interested in expanding their knowledge about mushrooms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun doc February 9, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I didn't really realize how overlooked mushrooms are in the US. Picking mushrooms is a big hobby in a lot of countries (Russia for example). The documentary makes me want to study up on this really interesting subject.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Fungi!!! September 1, 2009
By Peziza
Great movie! Lighthearted, informative, and nostalgic. Ron Mann does a great job of bringing mushrooms to life with animation and old film clips while tripping along with real life fungophiles Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans. Fun movie for everyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and entertaining January 29, 2014
By simms 9
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Puts the fun in to mushrooms. Knowledge gives you the power to judge you mushrooms. Different and informative. Very colorful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Flick! December 4, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Saw this on the Indie channel but they had the wrong title listed on the TV guide list,so it was hard to find.

If you love to eat mushrooms,or just like a cool and fun documentary,this is a great video!

This was one of those great finds.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, fun and informative documentary January 15, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Know Your Mushrooms is a quirky documentary that mixes informational interviews, psychedelic imagery, vintage commercials, and high school-style pop quizzes and animations to provide a rather interesting overview of a segment of biology most often overshadowed by the plant and animal kingdoms. Upon first viewing, you aren't really sure what to make of the documentary as it begins with a radio broadcast and odd visual imagery that seems to have been created by somebody who might have actually been tripping on psychedelic mushrooms at the time. Despite its odd nature, the film is actually quite interesting and very informative. It certainly holds your attention, and because of these qualities would definitely be a good film for high school and/or college biology courses to use. Although the film does look into the psychedelic qualities of certain mushrooms, it isn't a documentary about drugs. Much more time is spent on mushrooms as a food source, as a medicine, and as an important part of the ecosystem. It pulls from the great knowledge of noted mycologist Gary Lincoff, but mushroom hunter Larry Evans is certainly the stand-out because of his hippy-like appearance and fun personality.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Who knew.....
A smart, funny look at the wonderful world of 'shrooms and the people who love them. Some great characters and some interesting facts, both delivered with reverence and respect. Read more
Published 9 days ago by mitch smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Well made and fairly informative
I'm not sure why the negative reviews. This is a well-made, entertaining documentary that provides a good introduction to mushrooms and the people who are fascinated by them. Read more
Published 18 months ago by NJC
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie is TERRIBLE!
I am so thoroughly disgusted with this documentary that I have stopped it and needed to write a review. There is almost no usable information in this film. Read more
Published 19 months ago by SAPFloyd
2.0 out of 5 stars Mildy entertaining, not very informative
I'm glad I got this from the library. I'm newly interested in mushroom hunting and was hoping for a factual overview. Read more
Published 19 months ago by France
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to watch!
Very informative, but I still would be a bit apprehensive about picking wild mushrooms and having them with my steak!
Published 23 months ago by R. Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS
i think the movie is awesome, this is what people need to know more, and about the benefits of fungi. Read more
Published on March 29, 2012 by sunny
1.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but not Informative
This movies has some useful information included in a large amount of speculation and inaccurate myths. Read more
Published on December 21, 2011 by Rashelle Bellarosa
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun little movie.
Gives you a little information on mushrooms, while following a "mushroom gypsy". Mostly made me wanna go do some some magic shrooms though. Read more
Published on December 15, 2011 by J. Schaefer
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