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11 user 33 critic

Dreams with Sharp Teeth (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 4 June 2008 (USA)
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A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.

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Credited cast:
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Trina Yale in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Haskell Barkin ...
Himself
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Hymie Kelly in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
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Frank Fane in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Michael Cassutt ...
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Stu Levin ...
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Himself
Nicholas Podbrey ...
Himself
Dan Simmons ...
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Tom Snyder ...
Himself (archive footage)
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A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.

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Not Rated
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4 June 2008 (USA)  »

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Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Harlan Ellison: [pointing to metal shelving] These are my extra typewriters.
Robin Williams: [laughing loudly] This is like an ammunition dump!
Harlan Ellison: Well, yeah, I use typewriters. They're all Olympias, and I have all my typewriter ribbons in the refrigerator.
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Connections

Featured in An Evening with Sharp Teeth (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Man, The Myth, The Misanthrope...

If you are, or ever have been, an avid reader of fiction, especially the SF/Fantasy genre, you can probably recall at least one author whose work was so vivid, potent and visceral, it changed the way you looked at everything - not just reading, or writing, but your entire world view - for the rest of your life. I recall that very moment well: I wasn't even into my teens yet, when I picked up a copy of DEATHBIRD STORIES and read "The Whimper Of Whipped Dogs." Whatever sense of true naiveté I had gasped its last breath that day, when I read the last page of that story.

Not necessarily a bad thing, either. So when I heard about this documentary all these years later, I had to know if the man responsible for that story and that book, was every bit as cynical, angry, vitriolic, nihilistic and insanely brilliant as the reputation that preceded him. I can now verify: he is that and so, so much more.

Perhaps it's most telling that at the opening of DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH, we are introduced to Harlan through the eyes, perception and quicksilver wit of one of the author's closest, long-time friends: Robin Williams. Harlan is at his calmest (if the word can be applied to him) and most amiable when he is in the company of like-minded, intelligent and especially famous people, many of whom chime in here to help tell his story: Neil Gaiman, Ron Moore, Dan Simmons and his own fifth wife, Susan among them (and she gets not nearly enough screen time, more's the pity.)

Through rare home movie footage, recited excerpts of his work, various rants, tirades, anecdotes and reveries, we get a sense of who the man is apart from the author, and it's certainly a complex, perplexing, funny and often times very sad picture. For long-time fans, it will be a validation of everything you've heard over these many years since he began writing pulp paperbacks under a pseudonym barely out of his teens.

If you're not a fan or haven't read a single thing by him, I would suggest you pick up an anthology like DANGEROUS VISIONS or even just a story or two if possible. That way, he'll look a lot less like just one more short, angry old man screaming "YOU KIDS GET THE F*** OFF MY LAWN!!!"


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