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Dreams with Sharp Teeth (2008)

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A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.



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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Trina Yale in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Haskell Barkin ...
Hymie Kelly in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Frank Fane in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Michael Cassutt ...
Stu Levin ...
Josh Olson ...
Nicholas Podbrey ...
Dan Simmons ...
Tom Snyder ...
Himself (archive footage)


A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

4 June 2008 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Director Nelson was only 24 when he first videotaped Ellison at a typewriter for a March 1981 PBS documentary about science fiction and fantasy writers - footage that is included in this film See more »


Harlan Ellison: Most writers I know run that idiotic number about "Oh, I like to have written but I don't like to write. It's hard work."... Of course it's hard work. If it weren't hard work, everybody would be doing it. And the better you do it, the harder the work is... Art is supposed to be hard.
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Featured in An Evening with Sharp Teeth (2009) See more »

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Learn from the master
9 October 2015 | by (Munich, Germany) – See all my reviews

Harlan Ellison is hands down one of the most fascinating personalities of literature, and this documentary does him justice by just letting him talk about god (or his/her nonexistence) and the world. A lot of these monologues are rants, but they are so fascinating to listen to (and wildly entertaining) that you will enjoy this documentary greatly. 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.

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