Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Man Named Pearl


Some documentaries are easy going as well as informative, but really play better on the tube. A Man Named Pearl is such a docu. The bar has been set way to high after non-fiction films as engrossing as Taxi From the Darkside to Man on Wire literally blow us away with their story and their technique to be lulled into thinking Pearl is anything but a mild diversion.
Topiary artist Pearl Fryar began his garden as a form of rebellion when he, a black man, moved into a racist neighborhood. What started as trimming a few bushed accelerated into full blown sculptures that rival anything you might remember from Edward Scissorhands. Nowadays his topiaries grace museums and his tolerance has outlived the animosity that originally greeted him.
It's an inspirational story to be sure but the film is quite prosaic. Horticulturists might put A Man named Pearl at the top of their list though.

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