A look at 2 other Full Frame documentaries

Apr. 04, 2013 @ 02:31 PM

“Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story,” by Brad Bernstein (Screens at 10:20 p.m. today in Cinema 4, Carolina Theatre)

In director Brad Bernstein’s documentary, Tomi Ungerer calls himself “the nightmare of all the pedagogues … that don’t believe in instilling fears in children – no blood, no alcohol, no cigarettes.” Ungerer’s book “Crictor,” published in 1958, broke new ground in children’s literature because Ungerer, who wrote the text and drew the illustrations, made a sympathetic character of a boa constrictor. With the success of “Crictor,” be became a popular children’s book writer and illustrator. In the 1960s, Ungerer extended his vision, creating politically provocative poster art and erotica. When critics decried having a creator of erotica also write children’s books, libraries in the United States banned his books, and Ungerer stopped writing children’s literature and moved to Canada.

Ungerer eventually wrote and illustrated another children’s book, and he continues to work today in France. Bernstein’s documentary helps viewers understand what’s behind this talented, charming man with a fine sense of humor.

--Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun

“AKA Doc Pomus,” by Peter Miller and Will Hechter (Screens at 4:40 p.m. Saturday, Durham Arts Council)

Jerome Felder, known as Doc Pomus, was disabled at an early age by polio. Later, he heard the music of Big Joe Turner and became a blues singer. Unable to support a family or a wife working clubs, he became a songwriter at the mecca of American popular song in the 1950s and 1960s, the Brill Building in New York. Sharyn Felder, Doc Pomus’ daughter, conceived of this loving documentary of the man who, along with songwriting partner Mort Shuman, wrote “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “This Magic Moment,” “Young Blood” and many more hits.

--Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun