Documentary Days: “Get a Life” & “Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven”

I’ve really been slacking off in the documentary department, but I’ve watched a couple more since last checking in. So far, I’ve watched 11 this month, which leaves me waaaay behind (I wanted to do five per week, or 25 total). Instead, I found this new series on Netflix called Lost Girl, and have been wasting incredible amounts of time drooling over one of the main characters. Seriously, how can you go wrong with this:

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Kris Holden-Ried as Dyson the werewolf, from the series “Lost Girl”

Last week I ended up watching William Shatner’s documentary about Star Trek conventioneers, Get A Life. It was entertaining, though certainly nothing earth-shattering. I grew up in a very sci-fi oriented household, with a Trek-loving mom and a dad who would gladly plop down to watch the newest space-invader flick any time. I personally turned to Star Wars early in life, but Star Trek wasn’t ever far from my radar. I wasn’t a super fan, though, so there’s still much to learn from watching die-hard Trekkies (Trekkers?) do their thing.

The costumes in this film are especially inspiring – check out the winner of the costume contest. I won’t ruin it for you, but OH MAN is that outfit awesome! Watching this movie definitely made me want to get more involved and more active with fandom – I love costuming, and have always wanted to get dressed up to go to comic book conventions, but somehow never make it around to it. Since I’m already a member of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, with an invitation to march in our annual Mardi Gras parade, I made the decision to go the Star Trek route this year. I’ll post pics later – the parade is this Saturday.

The other movie I ended up watching was Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven, about the famous New York eatery Le Cirque, its owner Sirio Maccioni, and his three sons. It was another of those rather mindless documentaries where you’re more or less along for the ride, rather than plopping down to learn something important. The movie follows Maccioni and family as they close down the original Le Cirque location and build the restaurant again in a new location. Throughout the film, you learn snippets of the restaurant’s history, Maccioni’s childhood, how the boys feel about their lives in the family business, and how each of the family members feels about the others. It’s not too heavy, though, and I really would have liked to have seen something with a bit more meat on its bones.

Overall, the movie feels like it’s just going through the motions rather than taking a stab at genuine exploration, though maybe that’s a result of watching this family run their business with much less passion than one would expect from a family of Italian restauranteurs. Now that I’m thinking back on it, I wonder if the director was a fan of Fellini. There’s a lot of bittersweet happening in the scenes, just underneath the (boring?) placid surface. Meh. I don’t have it in me to critique fully. Watch it yourself and tell me what you think.

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