Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, a documentary by Miami-based filmmaker Brad Bernstein, opens in theaters across the country this summer. But Miami got to see the film months in advance when it screened at the Miami International Film Festival earlier this year. We spoke to Bernstein in March about filming the quirky, controversial artist. If you missed seeing the film back then, you're getting a second chance this weekend, when it shows at O Cinema.
The documentary Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story is the latest project from Miami-based Brad Bernstein, a veteran writer, director, and native New Yorker. Tomi Ungerer is a French-born, octogenarian illustrator with an astounding resume of work to his unsung credit, from children's books to antiwar posters to controversial erotic drawings.
Mixing traditional documentary techniques with inventive animation, Bernstein captures every facet of the complex man, channeling both his despair and wit.
"Everything [Tomi] says is edgy, and you don't know whether to laugh or take a step back," Bernstein says. "I had an inkling he would be special, but when I went to France and met him, he opened the door and we drank four bottles of wine together, and smoked cigarettes all day. At the end of that, he said to me, 'Brad, you are now my favorite Jew from New York.' At that point, I thought, we've got a great film on our hands."
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As an added treat, the film offers what Bernstein believes to be the second-to-last public interview with legendary writer Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), recorded nine months before he died.
"I'd heard so many things about him," Bernstein says. "That he's a recluse, he can be difficult, etc - and we got there, and he was the most charming man I'd ever met: warm and inviting, and the seven hours we spent with him that day are etched into my memory."
Catch Far Out Isn't Far Enough at O Cinema Wynwood. The film shows this Thursday through Sunday, and GA tickets cost $10.50. Visit o-cinema.org.