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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Know Your Mushrooms DVD Review

Know Your Mushrooms - A Films We Like Release

Released as a Special Edition Box-Set on: September 1st, 2009

On DVD: September 15th, 2009

Rated G

Running time: 73 minutes

Ron Mann (dir.)

Ron Mann (writer)

Original Music by The Flamiing Lips

Larry Evans as Himself

Gary Lincoff as Himself

Our reviews below:


Know Your Mushrooms DVD Review By John C.

***1/2 (out of 4)

Know Your Mushrooms is an entertaining and very funny documentary about everything we know, and don't know, about the world of mushrooms. What makes it work so well is that it’s short, to the point, and more importantly, entertaining. Filled with off-beat animations and random trivia facts about fungi, there’s nothing boring about this film.

My only fear is that people will watch this documentary and then think that they can eat the mushrooms that pop up after a rainstorm. The message I got from the documentary is that if you want mushrooms, you should go to the grocery store.

The film is being released today on a 4-gigabyte re-usable flash drive, that comes packaged in a hand-crafted wooden box. It also includes some dried mushrooms. It will be released on regular DVD on September 15th.


Know Your Mushrooms DVD Review By Erin V.

***1/2 (out of 4)

Know You Mushrooms is a really fun documentary. While some documentaries focus on seemingly too many related subjects - that are tied only loosely together - this film is about mushrooms and only about everything that has to do directly with mushrooms.

This is not just a documentary for fans of mushrooms. I don’t really like the taste/texture of mushrooms all that much to eat, although I do find them an interesting subject. The information is told in a fun, retainable way, with little animation segments popping up to review facts. These little clips were entitled Fun With Mushrooms. I really liked the little animated mushroom... Anyway, all in all, I would definitely recommend getting this documentary with all of it’s cool packaging, (on a flash drive in a wooden box with mushrooms).

*Oh, and just a word of warning: Before eating any mushrooms that you may find in the wild, check with a professional. This film is not enough to qualify you to check mushrooms, for eating, yourself.


Know Your Mushrooms DVD Review By Nicole

**** (out of 4)

Know You Mushrooms! is a funny, quirky, and very educational film about one of the world’s most numerous organisms; mushrooms. In this documentary, we meet Larry Evans, a mycologist (mushroom expert) who takes us to both the Telluride Mushroom Festival, and around the world, on a mushroom hunting expedition. The travels with Larry Evans are interspliced with old film clips, old ads and PSAs about mushrooms, as well as fun, animated factoids entitled “Fun with Fungi”.

We are introduced to many different mushrooms, from crude oil eating oyster mushrooms, to hallucinogenic psylocibes, from mushrooms that are good to eat; to ones that are toxic. Mainly this film focuses on the many edible species. I never realised that so many edible ones existed. Seeing them all just made me hungry.

We also hear about mushrooms in literature, such as the fly agaric in Alice in Wonderland. After watching this film, I gained a new appreciation for these seemingly humble fungi.

It would be a bad (and dangerous) idea to assume, after watching this documentary, that you know mushrooms, enough to eat them before having a mycologist inspect them first. But after seeing this film, I hope that people will gain more respect for our natural world. Buy or rent Know your Mushrooms!. This documentary is great to show in a school, or to watch at home.


Know Your Mushrooms DVD Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Who knew mushrooms could be so interesting and fun. “Know your Mushrooms” is a very entertaining and informative 78 minute documentary about mushrooms and the people (mycologists) who make their living being fascinated by mushrooms.

There is a nice mix of animation (Fun with Fungi) and live footage that keeps things light and fun while still delivering all the facts. Any adult who is interested in mushrooms will enjoy this documentary. This also would be an excellent choice for high school science classes. It sure beats reading the information out of a textbook.


Know Your Mushrooms DVD Review By Tony

***1/2 (out of 4)

Know Your Mushrooms is the latest documentary from Canadian Ron Mann. Like his previous films, it provides a remarkable amount of information without taking itself too seriously. The film follows two world class fungus evangelists, Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans, as they hold forth at the Telluride CO Mushroom Festival. Fitting the stereotype of aging hippies, they tell stories, take groups into the woods to gather mushrooms, and even cook them up for their guests. Various types of fungus are covered, including medicinal, psychedelic and one that digests oil spills. Each type is introduced by an animated clip with a multiple choice question. Some interesting archival footage is also provided, for example of gringos under the stonefaced supervision of a shaman laughing hysterically on their first psychedelic trip. The light tone is supported by music from the Flaming Lips.

Remarkably, this was my first Ron Mann documentary. At 73 minutes it was just the right length–always informative and entertaining and never boring. Even if you don’t particularly care for mushrooms you will not regret the time spent watching. I look forward to looking up Ron Mann’s previous work, especially Grass.


Consensus: Know Your Mushrooms is a fun and informative documentary! ***1/2 (Out of 4)

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