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Nina Conti: Her Master's Voice

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti, takes the bereaved puppets of her mentor and erstwhile lover Ken Campbell on a pilgrimage to 'Venthaven' the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. She gets to know her latex and wooden traveling partners along the way, and with them deconstructs herself and her lost love in this ventriloquial docu-mocumentary requiem. Ken Campbell was a hugely respected maverick of the British Theatre, an eccentric genius who would snort out forgotten art forms. Nina was his prodigy in ventriloquism and has been said to have reinvented the artform. This film is truly unique in genre and style. No one has seen ventriloquism like this before.

Executive Produced by Christopher Guest

WINNER OF 2012 SXSW SXGLOBAL AUDIENCE AWARD

Review

"an astonishingly successful film." --The Huffington Post

"Funny and kind of weird." --Christopher Campbell, Movies.com

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nina Conti
  • Directors: Nina Conti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008B49EOA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,438 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
While my ventriloquism-loving friends either laughed at the crudeness of Jeff Dunham or sang along with Terry Fator, I found myself pursuing the sheer quirkiness that is Nina Conti. Despite having released at least three shows on DVD, being featured in a Christopher Guest film, and being a regular both at comedy shows and in Youtube clips, true fame has eluded Conti, though I'm hopeful that her first solo film project here will give her greater North American recognition. As is her style, Conti uses her documentary to balance spontaneous humor and genuine human emotion for a sometimes-uncomfortable, always-entertaining tribute to her deceased mentor and spiritual center of the piece, theater maverick Ken Campbell.

The gist of the "story" here is that Conti, feeling uncertain about her future as a performing ventriloquist and saddened by the death of Campbell, considers abandoning the art but first commits herself to visiting an international ventriloquists' convention in Kentucky. With her, she brings her own puppet (Monkey) along, as well as the puppets willed to her by Campbell - "uniquely bereaved objects" whom she tries to help reclaim their lost voices - one of which will finding a resting place at the Vent Haven museum.

As much as I had been hoping to give this film a perfect score, a couple issues keep me from doing so.
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Format: DVD
I'll admit that I've always had a bookish interest in ventriloquism. It's not that I've ever wanted to give it a go - my failure to walk and chew gum at the same time practically insures I'd be nothing short of inept at manipulating a puppet, making it speak, and not moving my lips. Rather, I've always had an interest in acting. Ventriloquists master the unique challenge of creating not one but sometimes many personalities - the artist and the various dolls - and imbuing all of it with charm, wit, and performance grace. As someone who, in his youth, did some minor theatre productions, that's no easy task to do once; can you imagine having to do it simultaneously?

HER MASTER'S VOICE AND THE LEGACY OF SIX BEREAVED PUPPETS is a brilliant mockumentary entirely of Nina's design. When we join her, we find out that she's begun questioning herself and her career choice. At the onset, she's decided that, perhaps, it's time to hang up the puppets, put ventriloquism behind her, and get on with an all new life. And why not? After just ten years, she's mastered the craft, won accolades for her ability to re-invigorate a pretty much dead art form ... so what else is there to do? However, when she learns that her former mentor - Ken Campbell, "a hugely respected maverick of the British theater" - has passed away, she decides to go on a personal pilgrimage to Vent Haven, the final resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. Her plan is to select one of Ken's six bereaved dolls into the Kentucky museum, but along the way she learns more than a bit about herself, her relationship to the world, and precisely what it takes to express grief.

In short? It's marvelous from start to finish.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
After seeing Nina Conte in "Family Tree" with Chris O'Dowd (available on Amazon Prime and also highly recommended) I wanted to see more of clever and irreverent Monkey so I found this. Not a documentary-watcher in general but I watched it immediately because I LOVE Nina and Monkey. I feel you must get this and watch it for the good of everything in general and specifically. There are really no words to adequately describe it. I cried buckets. I laughed out loud when Gran quizzed Nina about her pills and I truly hope Nina and Gran are reunited some day.

I really thought it to be a masterpiece and more fitting a tribute to Ken Campbell than anything else could be.

From imdb:

Her Master's Voice (2012)
www.imdb.com
Internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti takes the bereaved puppets of her mentor and erstwhile lover Ken Campbell on a pilgrimage to 'Venthaven' the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. She gets to know her latex and wooden travelling partners along the way, and with them deconstructs herself and her lost love in this ventriloquial docu-mocumentary requiem. Ken Campbell was a hugely respected maverick of the British Theatre, an eccentric genius who would snort out forgotten artforms. Nina was his prodigy in ventriloquism and has been said to have reinvented the artform. This film is truly unique in genre and style. No one has seen ventriloquism like this before.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Lovely little film looks like it was shot with home video equipment, but very, very well. Extremely personal much of the time and very touching. I've attended the Vent Haven Convention and visited the museum, and know some of the people she interviews in the film (Nacho, the distant voice expert is fun to ride an elevator with- he makes it sound like someone is trying to get in after the doors close and falls down the shaft- hilarious). Nina is wonderfully talented and her mentor Ken Campbell would be proud of the originality and unusual structure of this sweet film.
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