Monday, July 18, 2016

Kudos Flying High for Gaona Family Film -- 100% High in Rotten Tomatoes

Among modern day trapeze flyers, Tito Gaona was arguably, easily, the greatest showman who flew through the air.

His sly surprising last trick — after the act was over and into the net he fell, but bouncing back up high enough to land sitting upright on the fly bar — now that wowed the crowd.  And into their hearts flew Tito Tito, sealing his legendary status.

The Gaona family brought a personalized zest to the air that may have inspired others, like the flamboyant Ramon Espana who brought stardust to Circus Vargas.

Suddenly rising under the media sun,  and countering an earlier negative notice in the Hollywood Reporter, the Gaona documentary by director Tom Moore is drawing warm critical marks from Los Angeles to New York.  This may spur commercial distribution, and then I could see the film, too. 

Latest to endorse is Los Angeles Times lead film critic, Kenneth Turan:  “Made without computer-generated imagery or elaborate special effects, The Flight Fantastic will nevertheless have you doubting your eyes as you watch its action unfold ... never fails to elevate and enthrall.”

From The New York Times, writes Neil Genzlinger, “The film, propelled by archival footage and vivid recollections from the Gaonas and their admirers, moves engagingly from the early days to the spotlight years. Tito Gaona’s quest to become the first aerialist to execute a quadruple somersault in performance makes an especially compelling segment.”

Another good review appeared in The Village Voice.

Quibbles?  Turan shares a few, one being, "the film’s extended sequences showing us what the Gaonas are doing today, much of which involves teaching and passing on their knowledge to the next generations. This stuff is sweet and good-natured but it seems to come from another film entirely ... But its core of balletic trapeze footage is always gripping.”

Concedes  Genzlinger:  "Is the film a bit self-promotional? Sure, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless."

These major reviews are good news for the Moore project.  And for potential distribution.  I'm waiting to take the ride.

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