KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS(Ron Mann) See Indie & Rep Film. Rating: NNNN
Like Mann's movies, mushrooms are subversive. They thrive underground, so much so that their network of threads feeds the entire planet.
In Know Your Mushrooms, Mann visits the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado to learn all about these funky fungi. There, he hooks up with what every documentary so desperately needs: real characters. Larry Evans and Gary Lincoff have been mushroom enthusiasts (go ahead, use the word fetishists) for decades, and their passion bursts off the screen.
As they and others explain the tasty, healing, psychedelic and (possibly) extraterrestrial properties of the mushroom, a super-cool soundtrack and archival footage - a scene from 1933's screen version of Alice In Wonderland, for example - survey the 'shroom's pop cultural resonances.
Information tidbits come via Mike Roberts's animation sequences, which are almost as lovely as the, er, capper - those last images of rare fungi.