'The Green Fairy' is a groan-inducing fantasy nonfiction ode to absinthe

The belief that absinthe induces hallucinations is the stuff of ignorance and myth, as “The Green Fairy,” a “fantasy documentary” about the long-banned quaff, goes to tortured lengths to chronicle. But consider it a matter of scientific certainty that the film will induce groans from its audience.

Like a wedding toast gone awry, the movie doesn’t know where to begin or end and is cluttered with factoids and awkward asides. Over 90 very long minutes, director Dan Frank (“Speed Dragon”) traces the wormwood-based spirit’s rise in popularity from an 18th-century medicinal elixir to a mass-distilled product, and then its vilification as an intoxicant associated with antisocial behavior and violence by a growing temperance movement.

From its opening eight-minute rant against prohibitionists, the doc unfolds as an erratic cocktail of the scolding, the celebratory and the sensationalistic. Vying for screen time are faux vintage footage, info-dispensing talking heads and cockamamie dramatizations featuring the late wrestler Roddy Piper as Oscar Wilde (!) and Linda Blair as a murder victim, all set against the soft-porn thump of the nonstop score. Narration delivered by Richard Grieco, laced with mispronounced French, fills in the missing historical pieces.

In absinthe’s Swiss birthplace and its stateside home of New Orleans, the filmmaker enlists the expertise of personable connoisseurs. But he does them no favors by letting their interviews play out at laxly edited length. At the opposite end of the knowledge scale, he represents the drink’s exaggerated seductiveness: Green-tinged actresses in skimpy get-ups vamp away, fugitives from an exploitation flick set in Oz.

-------------

‘The Green Fairy’ 

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes 

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood

See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour »

photo 'The Green Fairy' is a groan-inducing fantasy nonfiction ode to absinthe images

photo of 'The Green Fairy' is a groan-inducing fantasy nonfiction ode to absinthe

Article 'The Green Fairy' is a groan-inducing fantasy nonfiction ode to absinthe compiled by Original article here

Relax 'The Green Fairy' is a groan-inducing fantasy nonfiction ode to absinthe stories

Evil spirits crash the wedding in Marcin Wrona's funny-spooky 'Demon'

“Just a normal wedding,” the mother of the bride sniffs more than halfway through Marcin Wrona’s “Demon.” She’s exaggerating a little. By that point in this Polish-set matrimonial horror film, the weather has taken a foul turn, a few guests have come to physical blows and the groom has been confined

'For the Love of Spock': A warm father-and-son trek

Just as Leonard Nimoy had an uneasy relationship with his famous alter ego, his standing with his son wasn’t always on terra firma, as explored in Adam Nimoy’s honest but warmly affectionate screen memoir, “For the Love of Spock.”

Colorfully animated 'The Wild Life' is light on heart

The story of Robinson Crusoe, loosely based on the real-life experiences of castaway Alexander Selkirk, has been told multiple times since Daniel Defoe's 1719 epistolary novel. But what if it were related from the perspective of the animals and local wildlife he encountered during his

It's all in the family for Kevin Smith's sloppy horror-comedy 'Yoga Hosers'

“Yoga Hosers” is a spinoff of Kevin Smith’s last film, “Tusk,” a project that he conceived of on a podcast and then took to Twitter for a fan vote. In “Tusk,” a grotesque horror comedy about a man being turned into a walrus, Smith’s teen daughter Harley Quinn Smith and co-star Lily-Rose Depp

Danish shock comedy sequel 'Klown Forever' falls flat

Like “American Pie 2,” “The Hangover Part II,” and much of Sacha Baron Cohen ’s post-“Borat” output, “Klown Forever,” the sequel to Denmark’s raunchy hit, “Klown: The Movie,” illustrates the diminishing returns inherent in going back to the shock comedy well.

Beach drama 'Summer of 8' swims in shallow waters

The jury’s still out on whether Ryan Schwartz’s “Summer of 8” is a movie or an ad campaign for a swimwear line. It’s certainly got all the hallmarks of one: the sun-dappled, slow-motion, seemingly Instagram-filtered shots of attractive guys and gals frolicking on the seashore in casual sportswear.

More stories

Recent Post

Recent movies