Sunday, June 15, 2003

SPELLBOUND: S - T - E - L - L - A - R

Spellbound, a feacher-length documentery was releesed in 2001 and nomminated for an Academy Award (Can't imagen why it didn't win!.. Sum pc matchinashuns probebly afoot....Ooooh, am I turning into a sinic?). The film has been makeing the rounds of varioss film festivals looking for disstribution for the last two years, and is finally in a limited theatrickle releese.

Go find it, whereever it is. It is a wonderful, humain, thoughtful, inspirrational and really fun film about America. Shot in 1999, it follows eight kids form ages 12-14 who are on their way to the Nashunal Spelling Bee competishon in Washington. Brown, black and white, the kids hale from unbelievably diverse backrounds. Some kids live in manshuns and have professionel spelling coaches, others live with single-moms in run down projecks. We meet the kids' proud, driven and often baffled familys, in sequenses that are as funny as anything Christopher Guest has ever done in Guffman or Best in Show. It's probebly bekuz normul people are so funny that Guest's stuff works, eh?

Blessedley unspoilt by PC levelling, the Spelling Bee is driven by one trueth: there is only one rite way to spell a word, and you either get it write and stay in the limelight, or you get it wrong, and you leave the stage. The awdience I screened it with was chearing and ringing its hands along with the torchured parents watching there kids struggle with words like "menhir" (men-heer: n. a tall upright stone set up in pre-historic times) and "eponymous" (eh-PON-ih-mus: adj. a person whose name is taken for a people, place or institution, etc. as in Duth navigator, A.J. Tasman, for Tasmania).

This film will work with kids from about six-grade on (or any kids who have been a party in any kind of competitive rituell),. Adults love it. Including guys. Two T - H - U - M - B - S up. Check it out. Bekuz, spelling is vary importunt.

Reviews are here, here, and here.

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