- Bonus short film Preacher With an Unknown God
- Deleted scenes
- Extended Interviews
BURNING MAN - BEYOND BLACK ROCK
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This film goes behind the scenes at Burning Man - exploring the philosophy that fuels it, the tireless efforts that drive it, and the transcendent experience that makes it a worldwide cultural force. Beyond Black Rock is the first documentary to fully chronicle the planning and preparation required to conduct the Burning Man festival on an annual basis, and how this commitment serves as a binding force for a world-wide, year-round community. This film features key members of the organization and profiles the various departments involved producing the event. It also follows several artists as they take their projects from concept to completion, exploring the unique philosophy of "temporary art" and the significant hurdles in creating, transporting and sharing the hundreds of art projects that adorn the playa and contribute to the cultural tapestry of Black Rock City. This double-sided DVD has a 106 minute main feature and another 2 hours of additional material, including extended interviews, outtakes and deleted scenes, all of which provide a large body of detail and information. Scholars, researchers and burners around the world will find Beyond Black Rock the most comprehensive coverage of Burning Man to date.
Depending on one's point of view, the event detailed in Burning Man - Beyond Black Rock is either a magnificent, life-transforming experience or an excuse for a bunch of drug-ridden oddballs to broast their dust-coated, scantily- (or un-)clad bodies on a scorching, inhospitable expanse of terrain in the middle of the Nevada nowhere. Given that this two-sided, extra-laden disc is proffered as an "official documentary," no one should be surprised that it embraces the former opinion. As director Damon Brown's film shows us, Burning Man (so named for the giant wooden sculpture that's set on fire on the final night) is not a concert, although there's plenty of music; it's not an exhibit, although there are many, many artists and a dizzying array of their works on hand; and it's not a festival, although a good time appears to be had by almost all. Above all, Burning Man is a phenomenon, as for one week every summer the Black Rock Desert becomes the fifth largest city in the state, home to well over 30,000 folks who create what some call "another reality." None of this happens without a good deal of work. As the film chronicles the preparations for the 2003 event, we see that an enormous amount of technical and logistical details are involved, including laying out the roads and boundaries of the "city," bringing in electrical power, dealing with local regulations (among which is the mandate that with the possible exception of a few footprints, every piece of evidence that Burning Man was ever there must be erased when it's over), and other infrastructural particulars. We meet some of the three thousand employees who labor year-round to keep it going (including founder-director Larry Harvey, who staged the first Burning Man for about 250 people in 1990), as well as a few of the participating artists ("temple builder" David Best designs an enormous structure every single year), and, of course, many of the participants. We visit "theme camps" and art installations, witness various amusements and ingenious contraptions, and listen to folks trying to explain not only what Burning Man is but what it means. Hours of bonus material (outtakes, extended interviews, deleted scenes, etc.) will help you draw your own conclusions. --Sam Graham
Top Customer Reviews
From the moment the credits rolled on this the documentary, there was really no turning back. That very night, I promised myself that I would join in this unique experience the very next chance I got. I've since showed it to a few other friends, and they too have fallen under the spell.
As for the documentary itself, it does an excellent job at showing just what goes into making the event happen. I got a real appreciation for the staggering amount of work involved, and the zealot-like devotion it inspires in both its staff and its participants - the line between which is thin and blurred by definition, as everyone who goes is expected to do something to help create the experience. I found their passion infectious. As they described the impact it had on their lives, how it changed them as people, I was left pondering what kind of fascinating ways might Burning Man one day change me?
Of course, it did not make me feel "just like I was there." On the contrary, it fully convinced me that even the best film on this subject could never replace the experience itself, and that if I wanted to truly know Burning Man, I had to go. Some might count that as a weakness of the film, but not I.Read more ›
The film fails in two specific ways. First, the interviews focus almost exclusively on five or six of the main organizers and a couple of the artist-contributors. None of these people actually have that much to say that could not have been finished in two or three minutes. These probably-wonderful people are transformed by this movie into mere talking heads who spend an awful awful AWFUL lot of time laughing at their own jokes as they rave about their "passion" for Burning Man.
Virtually every scene in the first half hour fails to hint at any story, fails to incite the viewer to wonder, "and then what happened?" And where are the paying attendees, who need to be asked Why did you come, What are you doing at this moment, and How has Burning Man has affected your life? Precious little film is focused at any length on their actual faces and bodies, or their individual artistic creations. So it's hard to identify with those who attend.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
nice look at the backend of the event.. too long.. but interesting for the most partPublished 6 months ago by dz
Not the best not the worst, shows you a bit about the early days... I found the persons complaint about tecno on Playa interesting, because the EDM camps are much larger now...Published 7 months ago by roissy
This walks you thru what it takes to put on this very unique event each yearPublished 16 months ago by D Kersey
Entertaining documentary with the story told through the ones who the story is about.Published on December 31, 2014 by J. D. Runyan
Insightful Journey Into The Heart And Soul Of Burning Man And Into Yourself.Published on November 24, 2014