SXSW Film

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Dreams With Sharp Teeth

D: Erik Nelson

"People always say you're entitled to your opinion, but that's not true: You're entitled to your informed opinion. And most people just aren't that informed." So goes the underlying, often cantankerous, and occasionally downright vitriolic world-view of Harlan Ellison, who at 73 boasts countless books and articles and teleplays and written miscellany, the majority of it in the fields of sci-fi, fantasy, and speculative storytelling. Erik Nelson's doc, like its subject, arrives fanged and gnashing, but for Ellison (popularly credited with coining the term "bugfuck," which speaks volumes in a concise two syllables), life is a contentious battlefield, with him on one side of the trenches and the burgeoning hoards of mediocrity, religion, Hollywood vampires, and the decline of Western civilization on the other. Nelson's intimate, informative doc reveals Ellison's wonderland to be less "crotchety old Jew"-ville than that of a profoundly engaged and hopelessly romantic humanist (of Ellison's storied love life, Robin Williams says, "He's seen more pussy than a litter box"), forever writing truth to power, 120 words a minute, two fingers, with zero mistakes and the sharpest teeth in the game.

Friday, March 14, 9:45pm, Paramount

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