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ALMOST ELVIS

USA, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: John Paget

'Images of Elvis', the pinnacle of the Elvis impersonator's art, a cutthroat competition staged in Memphis to determine the worlds finest 'Elvis' (almost). This cheeky documentary, loaded with pathos, plumbs the dedication, desire and devotion of Elvis fandom, specifically a half dozen impersonators hungry for the spotlight.

Irv Cass, hot favourite, has come runner-up in 'Images of Elvis' twice. He's determined to make it third time lucky or hang-up his jumpsuit. The competition is fierce... and peculiar. Quentin Flagg, child Elvis, a paperboy by day, 'The King' by night. Doug Church, playboy Elvis who owes his charm to a pair of stick-on sideburns he keeps in a special case. Robert Washington, this year's only black Elvis (although there are a number of Japanese Elvises and Ginger, lady Elvis!)

Working through cosmetic surgery, outrageously expensive costumes, blue suede shoes and bad Karate moves, the contestants circle for the final showdown and the title of America's No. 1 hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love.

John Paget is the award-winning director of several critically acclaimed documentaries with a keen interest in American pop culture. His works include Route 66: An American Odyssey (1995), Oldest Feathered Friend (1996) and Piano for Quitters (1996).

See also...

IL MIO VIAGGIO IN ITALIA

Italy/USA, 2001
If Martin Scorsese never made another movie, he could unquestionably sustain a career as one of the greatest ever teachers of film. This is an epic masterclass on how to watch films, how to interpret… More »

TO BE AND TO HAVE

France, 2002
To Be and to Have (in Official Selection at Cannes this year) follows an academic year in the lives of a dozen youngsters, aged 4-10, who are taught every subject, from math to gym, by one dedicated … More »

THE TRAMP AND THE DICTATOR

Germany/UK, 2001
When Victoria Chaplin, daughter of Charles, rummaged through her father's effects she stumbled across a pile of new film rolls. Revealed here for the first time, the find is Sydney Chaplin's colour d… More »

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

USA, 2001
"The world of reality television wouldn't exist without Frederick Wiseman's lingering examinations of fragments of society. And those who've grown up watching such programs should look at this film t… More »

CINEMANIA

USA/Germany, 2002
Are you prepared to alter your diet to avoid the need for toilet breaks, thus fitting in more movie screenings each day? Do you take changes of clothes to the cinema to avoid coming home? Can you liv… More »

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