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Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth
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Crackling with infectious energy, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH pays homage to the dark prince of American letters, Harlan Ellison. Master of his craft, Ellison has heroically produced over 75 books and more than 1,700 classics of fiction and non-fiction on one of his Olympia manual typewriters, including the single most popular Star Trek episode ( City on the Edge of Forever ) and brilliant, award-winning short stories, some written in bookstore windows, on very public display.
Wildly imaginative writer, flame-tongued provocateur, unholy fusion of
Lenny Bruce and Mark Twain, Ellison s remarkable personal journey is lovingly rendered by director Erik Nelson.
The film draws on over 25 years of exclusive video footage that captures
Ellison at his most inspiring and irritating, curmudgeonly and lovable. See Ellison rant about the idiocies of geekdom, confess to mailing a dead gopher to an executive at a publishing house, recall his tortuous childhood, and speak about the joy (and craft) of writing. The film features candid interviews with famous and surprising friends, including actor Robin Williams, author Neil Gaiman and Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica), who flesh out Ellison s prodigious contributions to the worlds of literature and popular culture, as well as their very personal encounters with this unique Force Of Nature.
Whether a die-hard Ellison fan or someone tragically uninitiated, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH will amuse, inspire, infuriate, and edify.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : unknown
- Director : Erik Nelson
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 36 minutes
- Release date : May 26, 2009
- Actors : Harlan Ellison, Robin Williams, Neil Gaiman, Edie Adams, Haskell Barkin
- Producers : Amy Briamonte, Erik Nelson, Randall M. Boyd
- Language : Unqualified
- Studio : Docurama
- ASIN : B001NKWLBW
- Writers : Erik Nelson
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #157,325 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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HIs influence, as a person and as a storyteller, has been an invaluable treasure, and it's great to find this documentary which shows him as a person, and allows his voice to be even more thoroughly heard in a more proper context than others often put forward about him.
For any fans of speculative fiction or great literature I would recommend his writing as well as this film.
The deepest insights come about a third of the way through, as Ellison walks us through the only existing home movies of his childhood, then talks about his experience as the only Jew and main target for bullies in his school. He makes some insightful comments about the effects this kind of treatment has on people.
The rest of the movie bears him out. He passionately goads others into striving for the best they can produce, lavishes praise on those who work their talent to create true and honest work, and castigates those who slough off in a brutal, profane manner. It is all of a package. Without the grit, there are no pearls, it would seem.
People who dislike Ellison should probably not watch, because why would you spend money plus 90 minutes of your life on a biopic of someone you dislike? There is nothing here to change your mind, although it may soften your dislike in some respects. Those who do not know him should probably read some stories first -- but why would they be reading this review if they didn't know him? So for everyone else, be warned: This is no soft-focus hagiography. What's best in Ellison, and what's worst, both come through very, very clearly.
But man! Would I like to tour that house.
Top reviews from other countries
I cannot judge how Ellison comes across in this film if you don't know his writing already, but one thing is sure: he doesn't care if you like him or not.
In this age of political correctness, of hypocrisy, of dancing around important subjects out of fear of having any kind of stance or position Ellison is somebody you should listen to. Behind his facade of the angry old man spouting vulgarities is probably the most moral and ethical person you could ever meet on this planet. His views on subjects like intellectual property are enlightening and important, his critique of our superficial and anti-intellectual society is spot-on.
As a film the parts that come across the weakest are some computer visualizations of Ellison's prose, but it's great to hear the man himself reciting excerpts from his stories. Neil Gaiman talks very sympathetically about his friend, as is Robin Williams (who comes across as endearingly vulnerable and warm-hearted, especially in hindsight of his suicide). Dan Simmons acknowledges that he owes his career to Ellison, as do many others.
All in all a great an entertaining documentary that every budding writer should watch to learn one important lesson from the master himself: writing (and art) is not for sissies. You have to take a stance, and you should not be afraid of getting s**** thrown at you. Ellison has gone through all that, and has remained true to himself all the way.
and WOW, was i GLAD.
mr.ellison is ONE of a KIND !
fiery, opinionated, and loveable ..... i'm now encouraged to actually seek out and discover for myself, his large body of work.
this doc was made over MANY years, and is a wonderful testament to his life as a writer, and out-spoken 'personality' .....
even if you have no clue who he is, i am almost certain, that you will enjoy this documentary on him .....
let your curiosity be your guide !
buy it, rent it, don't miss it !