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Heart warming doco about the man behind the bird

19/11/2015

On December 9 Vendetta Films is releasing the award winning documentary I Am Big Bird. Directed by Dave LaMattina and Chad N. Walker the film looks at the 40 year career of Caroll Spinney, an artist whose work is known in households across the globe even if he remains largely anonymous. Spinney is of course the man behind Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Now 81 Spinney has been on television since 1969 and he has no plans of slowing down.

I Am Big Bird details Spinney's life journey. And it is a tale of tragedy, hope and woe. He was the victim of bullying as a child and was brought up by an abusive father. Early in his career his marriage fell apart and he considered suicide. Later on a woman was murdered on his property by someone who worked on Spinney's home.

Rare footage of his earliest collaborations with Jim Henson and Frank Oz, both of who feature in the film, help to round out this moving portrait of the inspiring and kind hearted Spinney. Nominated for a host of awards from the Melbourne International Film Festival to Seattle and Philadelphia Film Festival where it won the Audience Award, I Am Big Bird rates a healthy 7.4 on IMDB and movie reviewers love it.

"It is the affection between all the key figures in this story that makes it a multiple love story in my books," writes Andrew Urban at Urban Cinefile.

"Shines a much deserved spotlight on this unheralded artists," notes Frank Scheck of the Hollywood Reporter.

"I Am Big Bird evokes the most extraordinary quality of Spinney's legacy: its loping, graceful emotional bravery," Chuck Bowen concludes his review in Slant Magazine.

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