Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ventriloquist Documentary
Last week end I attended the showing of "I'm No Dummy" at the New York International Children's Film Festival. The DVD was in some ways a strange choice for the presenters to showcase at a children's film festival. I'm not sure that kids are the ultimate audience for this DVD. Seventy year old black and white footage of Edgar Bergen is not really a video generations fair. But the sold out audience of kids from 8 to 12 seemed to like it a lot. After the screening Lynn Trefzger, Tom Ladshaw and myself took questions and taught a quick workshop on ventriloquism. We participated in a similar event at the Seattle International Film Festival.

The kids questions were not soft balls. I was amazed by the depth of their interest. They really wanted to know the internal workings of the art form rather than just how you say the letter "B" without moving you lips.

Although I have seen various cuts of the film, the version we saw in New York is the final version that will be released on April 6th. It is a little odd to see Jeff Dunham on film talking about how much he enjoys being a ventriloquist and how he hopes it will never fade, since he is currently trying to block the release of the film with a lawsuit.

One judge has already thrown the case out of court with a summary judgement dismissal, but the Dunham team refiled. This version of the same case will probably be thrown out as well, but only after the lawyers have milked it for all they can get. In lawsuits like this it is not a matter of who is right or who is wrong, but who can out spend the other.

I don't understand the issue. Jeff looks really good in the film. He is intelligent, artistic and articulate. He is featured in the interviews and in performance bits. His success and accomplishments are acknowledged and lauded. Seems like he would want some positive image re-enforcement. I just don't get it.

As you were,

1 comment:

Roomie said...

Mandy says to tell you that she thinks that Jeff and Lindsay Lohan need to get together on their lawsuits!!!!! Just sayin...
Carry on....