If you know me, you know I do not drink alcohol, at all. So with that being said, you may have been confused if you happened to see me last night sitting at The City Winery on Varick street, for about 5 hours. I was there with my girlfriend and some other friends to catch the NY premiere screening of the film “Blood Into Wine”.
The film, a documentary about the Arizona vineyard owned and run by Eric Glomski and Maynard James Keenan, had sold out in a flash once tickets went on sale. Now I, like a lot of the attendees, swooped up those tickets fast. Not only to see the film, but also due to the promise of a special guest Q and A following the screening, which everyone expected to include, Maynard James Keenan, himself.
And yes, he was there...
But this is not a post about a Q and A with the man, the myth, the legend, etc. This is a film review, of one hell of a fantastic documentary. In an echo of the introductory speech given before the film, by the now east coast distributor of the wines made at the Arizona Stronghold; It does not matter if you are interested in seeing and being a part of anything Maynard touches, it doesn’t matter if you are the world’s greatest wine enthusiast, it doesn’t matter if all you love is a summer blockbuster that is all about the explosions and special effects, and it doesn’t matter if you really don’t care about anything; this film will move you.
Very quickly, for those who don’t know, Maynard is the lead singer for the band Tool as well as the mind and creator of his ever evolving solo, vaudeville-esque side project, Puscifer. Around 2003 he bought up land in Jerome, AZ and started his own winery with the help of experienced wine maker Eric Glomski.
The film chronicles the hardships and rewards of the entire wine making process from planting to bottling and in the case of these two men, how to market a wine from Arizona, to a country with the mindset that wine not made in Napa, Italy or France, for example, is not a quality product.
But when everything is over, this film is really about passion. It didn’t have to be about wine, though some things a laymen or even a connoisseur, may learn about the history and or myths about wine is fascinating, it could have been about anything. This is a film about two men who are doing something they truly love, that drives them, that makes them want to explore their worlds further. It is something everyone should feel in their lives and even if you have not taken that journey yet, watching Eric and Maynard at what is one’s craft and one’s growing craft, will move you; will inspire you.
It should also be noted that if you think you are walking into a straight forward documentary, you are wrong. This film three-quarters of a learning experience and one-quarter ingenious laugh fest. I dare anyone to see this movie and tell me they did not crack up at least three times (more if you have a sense of humor).
Do yourself a favor, If there is a screening of this movie near you, go. If there isn’t and you are not up to booking your own screening, go to the film’s website: http://www.bloodintowine.com/
where you can pre-order a copy for yourself, to be released on September 7th. You will not be sorry.
I would like to finish this short review by apologizing to Eric and Maynard for the collective group of drunken maniacs who did attend the screening along with me, my girlfriend, my friends and the handful of civil audience members who were there and thank them for the tremendous job they did, in handling the questions and the screaming freaks, kudos.
Thank you gentlemen
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