From the award-winning movie director of COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL, GRASS, GO FURTHER and a host of paradigm-shifting films reappraising the backwaters of popular culture, Ron Mann investigates the miraculous, near-secret world of fungi with his newest piece of cinema, “Know Your Mushrooms.”
Mushrooms; we put them on our pizza and steaks and in our soups and salads, we marvel at their variety and are sometimes repelled by their grotesque beauty when encountering them in the bush. And yeah, some have even sampled their more exotic possibilities and asked the question: “Do mushrooms come from a far away planet?” Still, others have asked: “Can mushrooms save the planet?” The world of fungi and their integral relationship with the health of the planet have only recently been appreciated. The oldest and largest living organisms recorded on Earth are both fungi. And their use by a new, maverick breed of scientists and thinkers has proven vital in the cleansing of sites despoiled by toxins and as a “clean” pesticide among many other environmentally-friendly applications. Inspired by a chance conversation with fellow filmmaker and mushroom buff Jim Jarmusch, Mann set off to the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado. It was there he encountered the unique sub-sub-subculture surrounding fungi that includes an unlikely assortment of nerds, nuts, hipsters, tripsters, artists, chefs, musicians, foodies, foragers, and seekers all paying homage to the mighty mushroom.
The movie “Know Your Mushrooms” follows uber myco visionaries Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans (two of the more expert and unforgettably mercurial characters in the community) as they lead us on a hunt for the wild mushroom and the deeper cultural experiences attached to the mysterious fungi. Combining material filmed at the Telluride Mushroom Fest with animation and archival footage along with a neo-psychedelic soundtrack by the Flaming Lips, KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS opens the doors to perception, takes the audience on a longer, stranger trip and delivers them to a brave new world where the fungi might well guide humanity to a saner, safer place… with extra cheese…
CONSUMER WARNING: Don’t Go Into The Forest Without This Movie; “Know Your Mushrooms!”