Director: Nina Conti
Screening date: Wednesday, July 25, on the grass along the water at Socrates Sculpture Park (LIC, Queens), 3205 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11106
We know what film buffs are bound to think: Didn’t we see this movie already, when it was called The Beaver and starred Mel “batshit” Gibson? On the contrary, though—Her Master’s Voice, a revealing and honest documentary about ventriloquist Nina Conti (who also directed the film), isn’t a matter of shattered psychosis, even though, yes, Conti spends most of the doc conversing with her favorite puppet, Monkey.
And their exchanges occasionally make Conti shed tears, as Monkey gets her to open up about anxieties and memories of her puppet master dad. Fortunately, Conti also realizes that the audience sees a bunch of toy animals and human-looking dummies surrounding her candid and heartfelt musings, resulting in a unique documentary that balances laughs with genuine emotions.