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Know Your Mushrooms (2008)

 -  Documentary  -  April 2009 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 212 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 7 critic

Ron Mann investigates the miraculous, near-secret world of fungi. Visionaries Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans lead us on a hunt for the wild mushroom and the deeper cultural experiences ... See full summary »

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Larry Evans ...
Himself
Gary Lincoff ...
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Ron Mann investigates the miraculous, near-secret world of fungi. Visionaries Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans lead us on a hunt for the wild mushroom and the deeper cultural experiences attached to the mysterious fungi. The oldest and largest living organisms recorded on Earth are both fungi. And their use by a new, maverick breed of scientists and thinkers has proven vital in the cleansing of sites despoiled by toxins and as a "clean" pesticide, among many other environmentally friendly applications. Combining material filmed at the Telluride Mushroom Fest with animation and archival footage, along with a neo-psychedelic soundtrack by The Flaming Lips, this film opens the doors to perception, taking the audience on an extraordinary trip. Written by Warsaw Film Festival

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April 2009 (USA)  »

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(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

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(35 mm prints)

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1.85 : 1
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Amateurish and disappointing
28 December 2009 | by (Boulder, CO) – See all my reviews

Let's start with the cinematography. I think this might have been shot on a couple of cellphone cameras by camera operators who had drunk a few gallons of coffee. The shakiness of the image is nausea-inducing, even on a small screen. I pity anyone who had to see this in a movie theater.

The historic stock footage of mushrooms and how they are portrayed in pop culture is the most interesting part of the film, but only makes up a tiny percentage of the movie.

A great deal of screen time is spent on loud music and pointless cheesy computer animations.

The mushroom hunters who converge on the Telluride Mushroom festival are portrayed as insane drugged out hippies, rather than the knowledgeable scientists many of them are.

The editing is random and pointless (kind of like this scattered review that I am writing) and has no narrative thrust. It's just a bunch of random crap strung together, with "Fun With Fungi" factoids popping up every couple of minutes like out of some bad PBS children's TV show, interspersed with shaky footage from the mushroom festival and the previously mentioned stock footage.

As a mushroom fanatic, I really wanted to like this documentary, since there are so few programs out there about fungi. I wish I could recommend this program, but I can't.


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