SXSW Film

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Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Festival Favorites
D: Constance A. Marks; with Elmo, Kevin Clash

If you have a kid or were a kid, you know Elmo. The doc Being Elmo introduces audiences to the hand inside the red puppet. Clash was raised in the Baltimore projects worshipping Captain Kangaroo. When Sesame Street premiered in 1969, Clash was a preteen fascinated by the costumes. He quickly made his own puppet out of his dad's coat. With the loving help of his parents, a career began that peaked when he was given the chance to re-create a minor Sesame Street character named Elmo. Clash realized Elmo's driving motivation was love, and a star was born. The doc follows Clash's inspirational journey well and incorporates amazing footage of him as a young puppeteer. If there's a flaw, it's in the short shrift given to Clash's challenges – both as a kid teased for playing with dolls and as an adult who missed chunks of his daughter's youth while Elmo loved everyone.


Saturday, March 19, noon, Paramount

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