NUTS! review

2016
Directed by Penny Lane



To me the best documentaries are the ones that open you up to a story or way of life you would have otherwise never heard of. Dr. John Romulus Brinkley is a character in American history whose story desperately needed to be told. Most of the people reading this I assume are like me in that they are in no way familiar with Dr. Brinkley's story so I will do my best to give you the basic information about this film without getting into some of the finer details. If you are like me, then you don't need to know anything more about this film other than its about a doctor who back in the 1920's cured impotence with goat testicles.

Penny Lane weaves together animation, interviews, archival footage and what I think is actual audio of the good doctor to create her film. While this story belongs to Dr. Brinkley there is an infectious energy in the film that can directly be credited to who the story is being told by. The material here is so strong that most filmmakers or documentaritons would settle for talking heads and newspaper clippings to deliver this fascinating tale. Our director supports the story in way that's bold, funny, irreverent and always engaging. Very few art house documentaries allow themselves to be this fun.

With Lane's previous film OUR NIXON she was able to utilize super 8 footage of the president to present a familiar story in an intimate way that cast a new light on those familiar events. With NUTS! she is telling a story that should be familiar but has somehow gone by the wayside and to the best of my knowledge, never been adapted to film before. How this is not a Coen brothers film is beyond me. But I'm truly pleased that Penny got here first. She made this story hers in a way that few filmmakers would.
 
 I'm writing this immediately after screening the film and I can't wait to start talking about it. I can't wait to here how people react to this story.





NUTS! (Sundance teaser trailer) from Penny Lane on Vimeo.