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Zoo (film)

Zoo
File:Zoo(2007 film) poster.jpg
Zoo movie poster
Directed by Robinson Devor
Produced by Peggy Case
Alexis Ferris
Written by Charles Mudede
Robinson Devor
Starring
Richard Carmen
Paul Eenhoorn
Russell Hodgkinson
John Paulsen
Cinematography Sean Kirby
Editing by Joe Shapiro
Distributed by THINKFilm
Release date(s) January 18, 2007 (2007-01-18)
Theatrical: April 25, 2007 (2007-04-25)
Running time 80 min.
Country United States
Language English
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.

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

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • "News24. May 22, 2007
  • Lim, Dennis. "The New York Times. April 1, 2007.
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