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Burning Man: The Burning Sensation (2002)

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"The Burning Sensation" will scorch your senses as it takes you into the heart of the Burning Man experience. In 2001 some 20,000+ souls made a pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert to ... See full summary »

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Nate Foll ...
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"The Burning Sensation" will scorch your senses as it takes you into the heart of the Burning Man experience. In 2001 some 20,000+ souls made a pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert to practice radical self-expression and self-reliance in a temporary, commerce-free community. At the end a 50-foot high, neon-lit, wooden effigy is burned, igniting a wild, tribal, all-night celebration. The world's largest venue for public art, Burning Man has elements of a Vegas acid trip, a nudist colony, a pyrotechnic convention, the Rose Bowl parade, a rave, the Museum of Modern Art, and a Mad Max movie dispersed over the 107 degree desert. The film captures intense footage of several art events as well as interviews with Burning Man organizers Larry Harvey (also co-founder), Crimson Rose and Will Roger who explain how, what started in 1986 as an impromptu Summer Solstice celebration, put on by a few friends at a beach in San Francisco, has turned into a full-blown exercise in city planning and ... Written by Anonymous

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Participants Only, No Spectators

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Documentary | Music

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6 September 2002 (USA)  »

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The Burning Sensation  »

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Nohe's lecherous focus on naked girls is tacky and egregiously misrepresents Burning Man.
11 August 2000 | by (Black Rock City Nevada) – See all my reviews

"The Burning Sensation" is poorly shot, scatterbrained and lecherously obsessed with showing naked girls at the expense of the interesting art and people of Burning Man. Nohe's leering, lingering shots of women showering or dancing are tacky and the disproportionate screen time devoted to the nudie cuties misses the real point of the weeklong art festival in the desert. Here's just some of what he omitted entirely at the '99 fest: the real-life Thunderdome; the fifteen or twenty rave tents; the one-half scale "Small World" installation which blew up and burned; the firefall; the enormous clock tower; almost all of the art cars; the Burning Man opera; etc. All for what? So he could pack the movie with anonymous women in various states of undress, filmed as clinically distant as wildlife in a safari film (we never meet or hear from any of them.)

He includes some interviews with BM founder Larry Harvey spouting his familiar line (which was well-documented before this travesty of a film) and Q&A with a few other old timers; but beyond that, no effort is made to establish a history, a framework, or a context. This really has the feel of poorly-framed, unplanned home movie footage cut together and transferred to film. The big push it received (a premiere at the American Cinematheque) is inexplicable considering that there are at least two other BM documentaries that are far superior. Given this film's tacky emphasis on breasts, I wouldn't be surprised to see this turn up on Spice Channel or Skinemax, which is a shame, since that will only attract more peeping Tom spectators to come to Burning Man in the future bringing with them their videocameras.


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