Daily News header

Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story Movie Review

By     get stories by email

One of the sidebar issues intimated in the artist biopic, Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, an enchanting voyage through that elusive entity known as the creative imagination, is what has befallen literature in this era dominated instead by the combo image/cyberspace prevailing mass consciousness in the present. Though not so perhaps in the case of children's books, whose enduring visual and visceral intensity defies the otherwise literary obsolescence in progress.

And in the forefront of this artistic challenge is the more than equally defiant human subject of this documentary, Tomi Ungerer. A lifelong formidable creative force fueled by massive psychological contradictions, Ungerer serves as a kind of self-analytical shrink as well, in talking about his work. As the culturally French storyteller sketches out a conflicted life both traumatized and inspired by identity crisis issues stemming from his birth in the contentious French/German border province of Alsace, and Nazi era intimidation endured in his youth. Even as the subsequently triumphant French scorned his acquired German accent under nazi rule, and shockingly went about burning the German books of Goethe and Shilling.

Persisting and prevailing even into old age with a youthful creative vigor, this multi-award winning octogenarian writer and illustrator of over 140 children's books is also oddly enough a both famed and frowned upon controversial, eventually blacklisted sadomasochistic erotic satirist, with a weirdly beloved treasure trove of headless sex slave barbie dolls. Along with penning scathing political art denouncing the US war in Vietnam, and fashioning the original movie posters for Dr. Strangelove and Monterey Pop.

All of which would seem to be far too much in Far Out, to cram into a single documentary. And first time filmmaker Brad Bernstein nearly but not quite does just that, compensating for curious omissions with his own enchantingly conceived, vigorous assemblage of animated gems throughout. Even as a need to know more frustration materializes, concerning the absence of focus and influence regarding radically outspoken extrovert Ungerer's current, nearly invisible family life, and the politically dedicated artist's likely observations, as he lived for the past four decades through the traumatic years affecting Ireland.

And Bernstein's alluring in their own right visuals enlivening the film at times do threaten to compete with Ungerer's own imaginative impulses. While the fast forward procession of the artist's work could have done with a bit of slowing down. But in any case, the cinematic compositions infusing Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, more than satisfyingly inform and delight.

First Run Features
Unrated
3 stars

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Potable water is becoming increasingly scarce. Water is life, but human misuse of water is causing big problems, according to the Secret of Water documentary.
Don't miss these opening movies of the week including Cinderella, starring Lily James, a live-action version of the classic fairytale.
Working man Darnell Lewis is stuck on the wrong side of the tracks in South Central L.A., living the opposite life to Mr. King who has money all around him.
High-action movies, starting with The Gunman, with Sean Penn, directed by Pierre Morel, plus the sci-fi Insurgent, with Shailene Woodley and Taylor Lautner in Tracers.
Sean Penn showcases his abilities in drama and action, as an assassin who leaves the scene of the crime only to return years later, expecting his girlfriend to be still waiting.
Besides covering the Obama administration, April's responsibilities include hosting 'The White House Report,' a syndicated show airing on about 300 radio stations around the country. The Morgan State grad still lives in her native Baltimore which is

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site