Zoo (film)

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Zoo

Zoo movie poster
Directed byRobinson Devor
Produced byPeggy Case
Alexis Ferris
Written byCharles Mudede
Robinson Devor
Starring
Richard Carmen
Paul Eenhoorn
Russell Hodgkinson
John Paulsen
CinematographySean Kirby
Editing byJoe Shapiro
Distributed byTHINKFilm
Release date(s)January 18, 2007 (2007-01-18)
Theatrical: April 25, 2007 (2007-04-25)
Running time80 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
 
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Zoo

Zoo movie poster
Directed byRobinson Devor
Produced byPeggy Case
Alexis Ferris
Written byCharles Mudede
Robinson Devor
Starring
Richard Carmen
Paul Eenhoorn
Russell Hodgkinson
John Paulsen
CinematographySean Kirby
Editing byJoe Shapiro
Distributed byTHINKFilm
Release date(s)January 18, 2007 (2007-01-18)
Theatrical: April 25, 2007 (2007-04-25)
Running time80 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Not to be confused with the 1985 Peter Greenaway film A Zed & Two Noughts

Zoo is a 2007 documentary film based on the life and death of Kenneth Pinyan, an American man who died of peritonitis due to perforation of the colon after engaging in receptive anal sex with a horse. The film's public debut was at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007, where it was one of 16 winners out of 856 candidates. Following Sundance, it was selected as one of the top five American films to be presented at the prestigious Directors Fortnight sidebar at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Contents

Title

The movie was originally titled In the Forest There Is Every Kind of Bird,[1] but is released under the title Zoo, short for zoophile, signifying a person with a sexual interest in animals.

Cast and crew

Zoo is written by The Stranger columnist Charles Mudede and film director Robinson Devor.

Production

The film was made with co-operation of the two men who took Pinyan to the hospital, as well as other friends of his, in the attempt to explore the life and death of the man, as well as those who came to the farm near Enumclaw for similar reasons, beyond the public understanding of the media. It does contain explicit material of sexual activities, but only in the view of video footage shown on a small television screen.

Awards and recognition

Zoo was one of 16 documentaries selected, out of 856 submitted, for screening at the Sundance Film Festival,[2] and played at numerous U.S. regional festivals thereafter.[3]

It was selected as one of the top five American films to be presented at the prestigious Directors Fortnight sidebar at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.[4][5]

Reception

They called us and were excited about the imagery, the poetry, the experimentation with the documentary form [...] then, strangely, suddenly, in 2005, it becomes the talk of society. [...] How do we go from something being utterly hidden from view, and then suddenly we're consumed with it and so upset by it we need to pass a law?[2]

Charles Mudede

Sundance judges called it a "humanizing look at the life and bizarre death of a seemingly normal Seattle family man who met his untimely end after an unusual encounter with a horse".[6]

The Seattle Times called it "A tough sell that gets respect at Sundance",[7] also noting the local economic effect of landmark films which put a location "on the map". OC Weekly film says, "Zoo achieves the seemingly impossible: It tells the luridly reported tale of a Pacific Northwest engineer for Boeing's[8] fatal sexual encounter with a horse in a way that’s haunting rather than shocking and tender beyond reason."[9] Similar views were expressed by the Los Angeles Times ("remarkably, an elegant, eerily lyrical film has resulted")[10] and the Toronto Star, "gorgeously artful ... one of the most beautifully restrained, formally distinctive and mysterious films of the entire festival".[11]

Other reviewers criticized the film for breaching "the last taboo", or for sinking to new depths: "More compelling than the depths of man's degeneracy is our cultural rationalization of 'art,' whereby pushing the envelope is confused with genius and scuttling the last taboo is seen as an expression of sophistication."[12]

References

  1. ^ Macdonald, Moira (2006-07-03). "Infamous Enumclaw horse sex case to be made into movie". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/2003097374_horse03.html. Retrieved 2006-07-03.
  2. ^ a b Westneat, Danny (2006-12-03). "New movie is the spawn of horse sex". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003459228_danny03.html.
  3. ^ Dentler, Matt (May 4, 2007). "Cannes Countdown: Directors' Fortnight Lineup Impresses". Matt Dentler's Blog. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080209231740/http://blogs.indiewire.com/mattdentler/archives/013464.html. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  4. ^ Levy, Emanuel. Zoo: Inside the Controversial Documentary about Bestiality. http://emanuellevy.com/article.php?articleID=5686.
  5. ^ Hernandez, Eugene (2007-05-03). "Slate Set for 49th Directors' Fortnight; Corbijn's "Control" Opening Section". indieWIRE. http://www.indiewire.com/article/cannes_07_slate_set_for_49th_directors_fortnight_corbijns_control_opening_s/.
  6. ^ http://seattletimes.com/html/dannywestneat/2003459228_danny03.html
  7. ^ Vicchrilli, Sam (2007-01-26). ""Zoo" a tough sell that gets respect at Sundance". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2003541544_sundance26.html.
  8. ^ Kaufman, Anthony (2007-01-23). "Year of the Horse: The Stunning World of "Zoo"". http://www.indiewire.com/article/park_city_07_review_year_of_the_horse_the_stunning_world_of_zoo/.
  9. ^ Nelson, Rob (2007-01-25). "Sympathy for the Devil". OC Weekly. http://www.ocweekly.com/film/film/sympathy-for-the-devil/26581/.
  10. ^ Kenneth Turan (2007-01-22). "'Zoo' is not just 'eeew'". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jan/22/entertainment/et-zoo22. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  11. ^ Pevere, Geoff (2007-01-26). "In praise of real movies". Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/article/175090.
  12. ^ Kathleen Parker (2007-01-26). "Sundance films wallow in perversity, try to pass it off as 'art'". Baltimore Sun. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2007-01-26/news/0701260182_1_marc-klaas-zoo-devor. Retrieved 2011-09-04.

External links