REVIEW: BEING ELMO
Elmo is a household name worldwide. Children of all ages know the furry red monster and his friendly high-pitched voice, but few people would recognize his creator, Kevin Clash, if they passed him on the street. Determined to be on Sesame Street from a very early age, Clash never lost sight of his dream until he made it a reality. Following rave reviews at film festivals and a smash-hit theatrical debut, the inspiring BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY will be available on April 3 to a wide audience via DVD and digital platforms..
BEING ELMO is the story of Clash’s startling rise to prominence as the creator of Elmo, fueled by a lifelong commitment to the art form, a string of fortuitous events, and the support of his family and colleagues. Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Constance Marks (Green Chimneys), creates an intimate profile of the man behind the Muppet™ and a delightful journey into the Sesame Workshop..
While still a kid in 1960s urban Baltimore, Clash began performing locally with the puppets he designed. Once his extraordinary abilities were revealed to his parents, they encouraged him to pursue his talent and follow his dreams. While on a high school senior trip to New York, Clash met with Muppet designer Kermit Love to learn more about Sesame Street and the intricate design of the Muppets. After graduation, Clash began his journey as a professional puppeteer in TV shows and movies, including Captain Kangaroo and The Great Space Coaster..
The film follows Clash through his personal and professional life and chronicles how Elmo’s persona was crafted into the embodiment of love – a theme that resonates in the hearts of children all over the world..
Today, Clash is Sesame Street’s Muppet Captain, Senior Puppet Coordinator and Sesame Workshop’s Senior Creative Consultant..
Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY features extensive interviews with Clash’s family, friends and many talented puppeteers, including Frank Oz (“Miss Piggy,” “Bert”), Caroll Spinney (“Big Bird,” “Oscar the Grouch”), Martin P. Robinson (“Telly Monster,” “Mr. Snuffleupagus”), Fran Brill (“Prairie Dawn,” “Zoe”), and Bill Barretta (“Dr. Teeth,” “Rowlf the Dog”). Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson (President of the Jim Henson Foundation), Joan Ganz Cooney (co-founder of the Sesame Workshop), and John Ziemann from Baltimore’s WMAR-TV are also interviewed in the film..
Along with receiving an Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Sedona International Film Festival and the Audience Favorite Award at the 2011 Hot Docs Film Festival, BEING ELMO was Special Jury Prize winner at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Award winner at the Traverse Film Festival, and was an Audience Choice nominee at the 2011 Gotham Awards. It was a New York Times Critics’ Pick when it premiered theatrically in October 2011 and received rave reviews from publications including Entertainment Weekly, Roger Ebert at the Movies, Los Angeles Times and New York Magazine, among many others. Nominated this year for a NAACP Image Award, BEING ELMO premieres on PBS’s Independent Lens on April 5.
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