Constance Marks’ Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, which looks at the life and career of Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash, has been a regular crowd pleaser since it debuted at Sundance last year. And having rewatched it recently in anticipation of the DVD release, I get it. It’s a hard film to dislike on an emotional level, partly because it is very much a panegyric puff piece, but even more so because it is difficult to ignore the charms of Elmo, the Muppet star at the end of Clash’s arm.
The character’s simple purpose is to love and be loved, and he’s great at achieving both. Especially during post-screening appearances at film fests and special screenings (my wife got a video of the little red guy wishing our niece a happy birthday following a NYC show last fall), which is why it makes sense that the film’s new DVD release includes, among its bonus features, a video of the Sundance Q&A.