Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we are looking at three films from the Melbourne International Film Festival.
We will be looking at Keith Maitland’s Tower in the coming weeks, but the current boom of animated documentaries – we also saw Oscar nominated doc short Last Day of Freedom – reaches its most absurd and gleefully entertaining point with Nuts! A ridiculous story that finds a storytelling home in director Penny Lane’s fabulous criss-cross of animation, archival footage, and talking heads.
Like her last film, Our Nixon of which I had some issues, Nuts! highlights Lane’s canny ability to fish fascinating stories out of the archives and is her latest is a significant step forward creatively. Here, she is wise to use the animation technique to recreate the strange life story of Dr. John Romulus Brinkley and use it as a leaping off point for some wonderfully inventive renderings of the myths and the true stories about this very weird man who built an empire in the 1920s by conning a swath of men across America that surgically grafting goat’s testicles inside an impotent or infertile man’s scrotum would somehow improve their sexual prowess and to use his ahead-of-his-time knowledge of radio to expand his brand.
More on Nuts!, Oscar possibility Newtown, and A Flickering Truth after the jump...