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Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (2012)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 136 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 3 user | 24 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story depicts one man's wild, lifelong adventure of testing societal boundaries through his use of subversive art. This 98-minute film combines ... See full summary »

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Title: Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (2012)

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Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story depicts one man's wild, lifelong adventure of testing societal boundaries through his use of subversive art. This 98-minute film combines traditional documentary storytelling with original animation from over 70 years worth of art from the renegade children's book author and illustrator. Using a historical palette of 20th century events to paint an artist's epic yet controversial life story, this HD documentary film offers a feature-length retrospective of Ungerer's life and art, pondering the complexities and contradictions of a man who, armed with an acerbic wit, an accusing finger and a razor sharp pencil, gave visual representation to the revolutionary voices during one of the most tantalizing and dramatic periods in American history. Far Out Isn't Far Enough explores the circumstances of his meteoric rise and fall on American soil, but also delves into Ungerer's formative years leading up to, and prolific years since, his time in ... Written by Producer

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19 December 2012 (France)  »

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Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story  »

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$3,700 (USA) (14 June 2013)

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$33,428 (USA) (6 September 2013)
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Quite enjoyable if not quite emotional
5 December 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Enjoyable documentary about 1960s and 70s children's book author, creator of powerful, iconic anti-war and other political posters, and artist of erotica, often with a bondage or S+M theme. As diverse as this work is, it all shares Ungerer's trade mark dark sense of humor.

The film follows his interesting life, from Childhood in Nazi occupied Alsatia, to his coming to America, his success as an illustrator, and then hugely as a children's book author, his politicalization and involvement with erotic, to the fateful moment when they all came together after he was attacked for his sexual drawings at a children's book convention, and was almost immediately black-listed. His books were taken out of libraries, publishers dropped him, publications (including the New York Times) refused to review his work. Much of the film is Ungerer himself, a very engaging interview subject, now in his 80s ruminating on everything; art, life, death, sex, politics, success and failure, children, fear. He is eccentric to be sure but in a way that feels very open and inviting.

All that said, there's a lack of emotion for the great majority of the film. Also, I'm just slightly mistrustful of how complete a portrait the film actually is. Growing up in NYC I happened to know Ungerer's daughter when we both were about 10 years old. Yet there's no mention of her, or her mother in the film, which gives the distinct impression that Ungerer was a wild man bachelor until he met his later wife, with whom he moved to Canada, and then Ireland. It troubles me a bit that feels like such a through portrait and deals so much with children, sex, morality, and 'the swinging 60s,' there's no touching on what his 'first family' situation was like, or even that they existed.


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