SDFF: The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus

Written by  //  November 5, 2012  //  Cinematical, Starz Film Fest, The Theatre  //  1 Comment

Every once in awhile an octopus comes along that changes everything.

Paul the Psychic Octopus Denver Film FestMany people probably think “Paul the Psychic Octopus” was all bullshit. A pure coincidence, or worse—a con job. But I’ve got it under good authority that the octopus was actually psychic. What reason is there not to think he knew the outcome of the Euro Cup? Because he lived in water, and he was an octopus, and octopussies don’t know anything about what’s outside their water tank? All very interesting arguments, if you are trying to pigeon hole all octopussies and call them non-psychic entities. Sure, 99% of the time they are probably not psychic. But every once in a great while an octopus comes along that changes everything.

So of course there should be a documentary about him. The Life and Times of Paul The Psychic Octopus, directed by Alexandre O. Phillipe, is a homemade affair, meaning it was brought to us by folks from Colorado. What is the connection between Colorado filmmakers and the octopus? I have no earthly idea. But after seeing the documentary I’m not sure they were the best people to tell Paul’s story.

The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus Denver Film Fest

I think it is easy to tell apart the documentaries that really go for it, and the ones that play it safe inside the lines. Paul plays it really safe, which is kind of disappointing considering that the movie is about a fucking psychic octopus!

If someone told Dr. Seuss that a documentary was being made about a fucking psychic octopus, what would he say? Something like, “Oh the places you’ll go…”

I expected to see a documentary that illustrated the life and death of Paul in a fun way, with an inspired vision and unique voice. But this is about as straight forward of an examination of a psychic octopus as I’ve ever seen (and I haven’t seen many).

I didn’t really feel any sense of enthusiasm about the subject from the filmmakers. It was as though they found a great topic to make a movie about, and then went about doing it the way a corporation might go about inventing a soft drink. They played it as broadly as they could, trying to appease the masses, hoping to make the definitive documentary about Paul. It ends up backfiring; the end product is a generic, ho-hum affair that I hope Paul never saw coming.

See it or skip it

Monday, November 05, 6:45 PM

L2 Arts and Culture Center

For Information about Alexandre O. Phillipe’s The Life and Times of Paul The Psychic Octopus, visit the film’s website and check out its Starz Denver Film Fest info page.

About the Author

Hugo Dracula

Richard Karpala, aka Hugo Dracula, is a film maker and critic based in Denver. His first short film, "Deadbox" was an official 2012 selection at the 8th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival, the Gen Con Indy Film Festival and the International Film Fest of the Bizarre. In the hallowed halls of the Manse Richard is known as "Hugo Dracula," a former inmate and current best-selling author of "Life in 2D", a survivalist tale that recounts his harrowing prison sentence inside of the Phantom Zone. He is currently writing the follow-up, "Zoning Out: Life On the Streets." Follow Richard Karpala on Twitter

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One Comment on "SDFF: The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus"

  1. Shipon December 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm · Reply

    He picked Spain.Too bad there wasn’t a silecteon for Heavily carded game played by two teams of ponces and little girls. Every 4 years the World Cup reminds me why I hate soccer. Glad this idiocy is only once every 4 years. My only hope for the World Cup is that the idiots that run it will discover this new technology called instant replay . It might save them from more embarrassments. And they should allow refs to kick the babies flailing about on the pitch after someone runs past them. Short of blood, the little girls that play soccer should get back up and play the stupid game. It’s as if the entire tournament was populated by hair stylists and fashion designers worried about their nails.

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