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Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora is an interesting look into the world, work, and associations of Ed Wood, the director, the screenwriter, the cross-dresser, and the man. It is done in a very humorous way with anecdotes, archival footage, and interviews with people that knew and worked with Wood like Delores Fuller, Conrad Brooks, Stephen C. Apostolof(director of that awful film Orgy of the Dead), and his wife Kathy. You will get the opportunity to see clips of Wood as a cowboy as well as some other stuff you just won't see anywhere else. The documentary is also filled with many neat little facts about Wood's life and work too. It is mainly a piece of camp rather than a scholarly look into the work of Wood. I really liked how the narrative was pieced together as something told by Ed Wood himself through clips of his films and Wood quotations. Very innovative. Although full of laughs and guffaws, the end result is one of sadness as Wood became a bloated porno actor/writer with not a cent to his name nor a shred of dignity left. It really would have been nice to see Ed Wood enjoy the success he now enjoys posthumously.
Just to make one thing clear; this documentary is hysterical. To use Edward
Davis Wood Jr.'s own words from his movies to tell his personal story is a
good idea because he wasn't exactly brilliant in writing for the screen.
result: Approx one hour of Far Out dialogue. Totally enjoyable.
But it doesn't dig deeper into the person Edward D. Wood Jr. Tim Burton's Ed Wood showed great depth in his relationship to Bela Lugosi, this documentary only show us his relationship to angora sweaters. Enjoy it, but please don't belive it.
I highly recommend this made-for-video Rhino documentary about the departed Ed Wood! If you have never seen any Ed Wood films or are wondering, "What's so great about this guy?", rent or buy this! It's a harmless inexpensive way to sample his works (from "Crossroads Avenger" to "Love Feast") and learn about what made him tick. Includes interviews with Wood starlet Dolores Fuller, Wood extra Conrad Brooks (who currently overrates his involvement in Wood's films), Wood's last wife Kathy Wood, and other acquaintances of Wood to paint a firm picture of the man behind the camera. Unfortunately, no footage of Wood's newly discovered gem "Night of the Ghouls" is shown (even though Rhino released it!) and some great public domain footage (mainly of transvestites) is never credited! Other than that, the narration is nice and campy, the clips frequent and brimming with Ed Wood magic, and the interviews informative and downright poignant. Check this out, you will either be further drawn into the bizarre cinema of Edward D. Wood, Jr. or alienate yourself from it.
The other reviewer may think that LOOK BACK IN ANGORA is not very good, but it is probably more hysterical than anything. Of course LOOK BACK IN ANGORA can't cover as much as the book documentary can -- it's only just over 55 minutes long!
However, using Ed Wood's own films to tell his story is ingenious.> See or buy this movie -- it's a hoot, and I learned many subtleties that NIGHTMARE OF ECSTASY did NOT touch on.
ED WOOD: LOOK BACK IN ANGORA (1994)
*** (out of four)
A somewhat interesting documentary about Ed Wood, the man and his movies. Features interviews with Dolorus Fuller, Kathy Wood and Conrad Brooks and tells Wood's story using clips from his movies. Director Ted Newsom has several other documentaries out there, including 100 YEARS OF HORRORS and to his credit, this was one of the first Wood documents. With that in mind, the film has been passed in quality by future documentaries like THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EDWARD D. WOOD, JR., which runs double the time and features more interviews. If you're a fan of Wood then this film is a good introduction but for better stories check out the other doc.
Was available through Rhino on DVD but it's now out of print.
Do not look for anything deep and meaningful here. Nightmare of Ecstasy covered the same ground in greater detail. Wood's life just becomes one big joke in order to sell more Rhino videos. The interviews seem to have been shot on a camcorder, and the clips of Wood's films are funny, but get old fast. Poor Ed. I give this a 5.
If Ed Wood is remembered for anything, it should be what not to do if you want to become a film maker. Or should I say, a good film maker. Look Back in Angora is Ed Wood's life in a nutshell. His life was as weird and pointless as the film's he made. Ed Wood represents thousands of the talentless artists in the world that don't know there talentless. They crave the attention and are fueled to believe that there stories are important and need to be told. Ed Wood tried to write and direct serious films and they came out terrible. The reason, he was a terrible film maker. Wanting to be the next Orson Welles is one thing, but believing that you are as good if not somewhat talented like Welles is another. His downfall is a proper punishment of what any "professional" community theater member should get by producing trash nobody wants. The fans of Ed Wood today enjoy his work because they are a laugh and nothing more. Whether you agree or disagree that Ed Wood was an overall success in gaining a fanbase, the sad fact is Ed Wood is the worst director of all time and we need not repeat his efforts.
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