Dreams with Sharp Teeth

2008

Biography / Documentary

0
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 575

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 02, 2020 at 04:31 PM

Director

Cast

Jill St. John as Laurel Scott in 'The Oscar'
Tony Bennett as Hymie Kelly in 'The Oscar'
Stephen Boyd as Frank Fane in 'The Oscar'
720p.WEB
885.89 MB
1280*704
English 2.0
NR
29.97 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by allegra-sloman 8 / 10

Even if you don't know a thing about him, it's funny and revealing of human nature

I had the privilege of watching this with two other people who saw Harlan Ellison with me at a now legendary appearance in the late 80's in Toronto, and we kept looking at each other and snickering. But even if you never saw him live, read any of his work, or had any familiarity with him at all, you can appreciate this documentary as being about a man WORTHY of a documentary. He's just that bloody entertaining.

The soundtrack - by Richard Thompson, the legendary Brit folkie - is amazing, by the way.

Some of the camera work is really amateurish, but most of the straight interview footage is well shot. The camera work and the parts that got left out of Ellison's bio - probably in deference to his storied litigiousness - are what knocked this down to 8 out of 10.

His initial 'interview' with Robin Williams is worth watching even if you can't spend the time on the rest of the movie. Within minutes we were all helplessly laughing.

If you're at all interested in SF, either literary or media, movies, have a love affair with the English language or just want to see what it's like to be a legendary, visionary, prolific, brilliant and uncompromising pain in the rear, see this film. I intend to watch it again as some of the dialogue went by so fast I missed it, and it was really, really funny.

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 8 / 10

a mind with sharp teeth

While Harlan Ellison might bite my head off for going off into self-indulgence in writing about whether or not I enjoyed Dreams with Sharp Teeth, I should mention how I came across him and why I had to seek out this documentary, for better or worse. The first was watching the adaptation of his short story, A Boy and His Dog, by LQ Jones from the mid-70s, a warped, outrageous, and yet insanely lucid fantasy satire that was the direct inspiration for Mad Max. It's still unlike few stories out there in terms of matching wit with real decrepit atmosphere fused with the cold-blooded non-ideal of living underground in a false utopia.

The second was reading Harlan Ellison's Watching, a collection of his film criticism from the mid 60s to the early 90s. For anyone looking to become anything of a writer about film or one who just wants to become more knowledgeable of Ellison's sardonic and ferocious pen need to check it out, as it is, in my opinion, on par if not more enjoyable than Pauline Kael. He brings personal experience into the work, as well as some imaginative leaps/flights of fancy (i.e. imagining the nimrods going at the mall to see Rambo: First Blood Part 2 opening weekend), and while it and his film writing get only passing mention here, it is something that should be mentioned at every turn. That, along with I would wager reading just one of his stories, will turn you on to him... or turn you off.

The documentary on Mr. Ellison and his successes, and his own personal anger at life and the world in general most days, is adoratory but not unaware of the man's tendencies to lunge out at people's throats (if only figuratively) any chance he gets. He's alive like few other writers (I'd say Hunter S. Thompson could take him, but that's about all that pops into the mind at first), and like all good writers knows that a legacy is legitimate only by the work left behind. As we see here, it is the work that is incredible, if only for the abundance of it: hundreds of short stories, loads of TV work, 8 Hugo awards, and a Master of Science Fiction award. Oh yeah, and apparently this 5'5 Jewish kid from Ohio was a super Ladie's man in his time, though we only get a hint of that and more-so the lovely, acerbic relationship with his current wife of twenty years, who seems to be the only one who can stand up to him when he goes off the rails.

If the filmmakers may take some choice clips that don't quite dig into all the crevices we might want (i.e. they brush over the fact, though make mention, of his lack of contact with a sister, and his personal life in general with his family), they do provide us an idea of his working relationship, maybe so much so that you wonder who could work with him. He's a professional, to be sure, but he'll also nail a gopher to a door of a publisher or go into a Three Stooges style stunt to give a big-time sock in the nose to someone he has a vendetta against, and never will a fool be treated kindly. What one takes away with in Dreams with Sharp Teeth, ultimately, is that whether or not you'll "like" this guy or even "like" the guys writing, he's alive. He won't be a zombie in the world, though he admits that he's thought once or twice it would be more convenient than waking up every morning angry as hell. You wouldn't want to walk down a dark alley and meet this guy's mind and not be ready to spar. If nothing else, the film does a fantastic job illuminating that and the man's career.

Reviewed by cchase 8 / 10

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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