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Amargosa (2000) More at IMDbPro »

Amargosa -- In the ghost town of Death Valley Junction stands the Amargosa Opera House, where for the past 33 years former New York dancer and artist Marta Becket has performed her own ballets in the theater she spent seven years handpainting with stunning murals.


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The inspirational story of Marta Becket: 76-yr old singer, writer, dancer, painter, visionary, and her creation Amargosa. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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7 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
While I didn't hate it I sure had a hard time loving it. See more (9 total) »



Paul Becker ... Himself
Marta Becket ... Herself

Ray Bradbury ... Himself
Omar Felix ... Himself
Paul Lyday ... Himself

Mary McDonnell ... Narrator (voice)
Tom Willett ... Himself

Directed by
Todd Robinson 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Todd Robinson 

Produced by
Kenneth A. Carlson .... producer
Traci Robinson .... executive producer
Sidney Sherman .... producer
Original Music by
Randy Miller 
Cinematography by
Curt Apduhan 
Film Editing by
Clarinda Wong 
Sound Department
Ken King .... production sound mixer
Roland N. Thai .... production sound mixer
Roland N. Thai .... supervising sound editor
Michael Mullane .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Craig I. Burns .... grip
Daniel Canamar .... crane operator
Andre de Castilho .... camera loader
Frank Q. Dobbs .... additional cinematographer
Bruce Alan Greene .... Steadicam operator
Randy Hodges .... key grip
Douglas S. Holgate .... camera operator: second unit
Tom Holm .... best boy
Kurt Jones .... Steadicam operator
Kent Turansky .... gaffer
Ryan Jay .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Steve Madigan .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Todd Robinson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
P.J. Marsiglia .... colorist
Chris Regan .... color timer (as Christopher Regan)
Heather K. Weide .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Jeff Vaughn .... scoring mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Frank Q. Dobbs .... technical consultant
David Gene Gibbs .... helicopter pilot
Leah Bathe .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min

Did You Know?

The soundtrack was provided by indie-singer/songwriter, Amy Cook. Director Todd Robinson discovered her when he entered the kitchen on location one morning and heard Amy's demo CD playing on production assistant's stereo. The production assistant, Leah Bathe, is a good friend of Amy Cook.See more »


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
While I didn't hate it I sure had a hard time loving it., 19 August 2008
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

"I remember waiting to be born..."

"Vision quest that was the American West."

"We went to a psychic..."

"I'm sure their first reaction is that she's cuckoo"

"...the place is haunted..."

"I think there's another dimension right here."

An artist (Marta Becket) and her husband many decades ago left the hustle and bustle and culture of New York and moved to a god-forsaken town with a population of 10 in Death Valley. There, they renovated a theater--painting it is a very home-spun/folk art manner. And, once finished, she bega putting on dancing performances for practically no one. In many ways, it's highly reminiscent of the Werner Herzog film FITZCARRALDO or FIELD OF DREAMS--though AMARGOSA is a documentary of a real person--not a mythical crazy man like Klaus Kinski or Kevin Costner. Her husband eventually leaves--much of it apparently because of the lifestyle she chose. So, today she lives on with her ten cats and a sanctuary for burros eventually along with her new male companion, Tom.

What you think about this documentary depends on your perspectives. If you are into New Age ideas and open to these sensibilities, then you'll more likely appreciate the film. Her talking about how she remembers her birth, ghosts, vision quests and psychics frankly made the psychology teacher in me cringe and this would definitely be the case for many people. In addition, her burro sanctuary and trying to preserve horses in the desert will most likely appeal to PETA and many other animal lovers, though with my background in environmental concerns and biology, I see the burros and horses as a blight that would destroy the native plants and animals. So on two different accounts, I tend to think quite the opposite of Marta--who is more of a "feeler" and "sensing" individual. Depending on how you feel about all this will definitely color your opinions--and I am pretty sure most people will either think she's a genius or a nut! You'll just have to guess what I think.

Now despite all this, the film is interesting and Marta's life is definitely NOT dull--particularly since in recent years, people have actually begun taking trips to the desert to see her perform. There is a definite following for her and her unusual little world. While I would not be nearly as positive as most reviews, I also can't be as negative as the one review, as there is definite merit to this odd documentary. I like films about unusual people and Marta certainly is unusual! I also appreciate her love of her art and happy life--that is a rare gift.

I teach psychology at an arts school and it sure would be interesting to show this to the staff--where I am pretty sure we'd get a strong positive and negative reaction to the film--probably depending on whether the teachers taught the arts classes or core curriculum! It sure would be interesting.

By the way, and I am not trying to be sarcastic, but when Marta's husband was having affairs, with whom did this occur?! After all, they lived in the middle of no where and I was left wondering where he'd find partners.

By the way, if you'd like to see her perform and/or stay at her hotel, it can be found at . The site is in English, French and German and hotel rates are pretty reasonable as are ticket prices.

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