Burning Man Festival
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Top Customer Reviews
Burning Man is a truly one-of-a-kind event, kind of a Woodstock, Rainbow Gathering, and circus freak show, all rolled into one. You'll never believe what amaing art projects people haul out to the desert in the middle of nowhere. What's more, the people who go to Burning Man become part of a special community, and many find their lives are changed for the better.
Winston's documentary does a great job of showing Burning Man in all it's glory. We get interviews with the organizers and participants from many walks of life. Also, we follow the adventures of the four filmmakers as they try to join in the fun..
If you want to learn more about what truly creative people are up to in this country, you definitely need to see this movie!
The two documentaries on this DVD, by first-time filmmaker Joe Winston, are a huge improvement. The first of these two films captures perfectly the wonderment of arriving at Burning Man for the first time, not knowing what you are in for. The filmmakers are greeted by a fearsome-looking man with a machine gun (they don't do this anymore) who forces them to sing "This Land is Your Land."
The camera then sort of wanders through the event - which has grown much bigger since this movie was made, but retains the same spirit. We meet all sorts of strange and wonderful characters, some of whom do seem pretty wasted, but many of them have fascinating things to say about what it means to be at Burning Man.
That is the key to the festival. Burning Man is something different for everybody. There's no official line on what it is exactly, and no one ever tries to sell you anything. If only the rest of the world could be like that, we'd be in a much better place (a sentiment echoed by several festivalgoers in the documentary.)
The second movie, called "Burning Man: Just Add Couches," gets into more depth as to why the festival is so special to so many people. The filmmakers come back the following year, and set up their own Theme Camp. They participate in the event.Read more ›
Thousands of people drive out to the Nevada desert every summer for a seven-day arts festival which culminates in the burning of an enormous human effigy - the Man. As if the beauty of the desert and the spectacle weren't enough, participants each create their own mini-spectacles, from huge peeing sculptures to rabbit motorcycles to entire night clubs. The result is an entire village, right out of Mad Max, full of improvised technology and nonstop entertainment.
Possibly the most impressive thing about Burning Man is how it has gone on for year after year, and never become commercialized. Aside from the admitedly steep $200 admission fee, nobody ever buys or sells anything, which keeps it from becoming a concert or swap meet, or worse, an MTV-sponsored party.
Joe Winston's documentary movies do a great job of capturing this madness, and shedding some light on the people who put this show on year after year, from the festival organizers on down.
The DVD is broken into two parts. The first movie is essentially a National Geographic travelogue, following a car full of newcomers to Burning Man. Together with them, we marvel at the parade of strange sights and colorful, often naked people.
The second movie finds the same group returning to the festival to set up their own attraction.Read more ›
The Burning Man Festival which director Joe Winston portrays in his movies is every bit as weird and hedonistic as those brief clips you've seen on CNN suggest - and he even gets to show the (many) naked revels in their full glory. But what never makes it into the news accounts on television is a genuine subculture that seems to have arisen in the Nevada desert, where the annual Burning Man Festival takes place.
Naturally, a lot of young people from the San Francisco Bay area show up to Burning Man to stay high for days on end and frolick without supervision, and Winston captures them with a jaundiced eye. Whether or not these people running around in nothing but blue paint are "liberated" from the contraints of straight society, he leaves up to the viewer - but they are certainly fun to watch.
But, there is much more substance to Winston's documentary. As his fascinating interviews with the festival founders and more intelligent participants reveal, some serious work is being done amidst all the partying.
Many artists come to Burning Man to create work, and none of them seem to be high. Along with various performers, musicians, and rabble-rousers, they form a tight community in their ramshackle tent city. No one is ever seen selling T-shirts or anything else.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gave a good look at what seems on the surface the party side of Burning Man but in it's own way goes deeper.Published 18 months ago by Bill F.
This video is not worth the time or money, unless you intend to visit the festival, if so, good luck. Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by dust jacket
This dvd is really TWO documentaries in one. They're both by the same film makers, but they're really quite different in both their angle and their effectiveness. Read morePublished on December 21, 2007 by A. Steckel
The primary strength of both the compelling films contained on this DVD is what it avoids, its strength to resist temptations common to other film of its like. Mr. Read morePublished on December 10, 2007 by Matthew Wendeln
Great documentery coverage of a festival that has grown bigger and bigger each yearPublished on January 3, 2007 by Ken Heinemann
i love the burning man festival- but this dvd is a complete waste of time and money! it's basically a narcissistic story about 3 guys' trip to the festival in 1995, and how they... Read morePublished on October 31, 2006 by tahoedawg
I agree with other reviewers that this documentary movie does a great job of introducing the spectacle and philosophy of Burning Man to newcomers, while also being satisfying for... Read morePublished on November 26, 2005 by Craig69