If you’re in the New York City area in the next few days, do yourself a favor and get over to the IFC Center and see the documentary Strongman from New York filmmaker Zachary Levy. The film is playing there through this Tuesday night, and it’s sure to entertain! If you’re not in NYC, the film is also playing in Chicago at Facets Cinematheque this week and will make its way soon to The Charles Theater in Baltimore, The Pickford in Bellingham, Real Art Ways in Hartford, and several other places.
Strongman follows Stanley “Stanless Steel” Pleskun, who is the strongest man in the world when it comes to bending steel and metal. The doc captures the aging strongman over several years’ time in his normal life making a living wage at a scrap-metal yard in New Jersey, as well as the life he lives pursuing his passion as a heavy lifter and bender, as he performs amazing feats like bending pennies in half with his bare hands and holding back airplanes with his arms.
The NY Times gave Strongman a great review and the documentary even made the Times’ “Pulse” list this week.
Here’s an excerpt from the NY Times review:
“You can’t bend people,” this gentle giant acknowledges in a rare flash of insight, but that doesn’t keep him from trying. And in Mr. Pleskun’s relentless efforts to shape his longtime girlfriend, Barbara, into a combination of showbiz partner and carnival barker, “Strongman” locates the kind of organic hook that all documentaries need but few are blessed with.
The general consensus on Strongman has been that not only does it have heart, but it’s also unexpectedly humorous — and not in a ‘mocking the subject matter’ way but rather because the spotlight is on someone who is truly entertaining. Pleskun has a dream, and like other unexpectedly inspiring documentaries like Anvil!: The Story Of Anvil, you’ll find yourself hoping this muscleman will have his heart’s desire.
Definitely check out Strongman before it ends its run at IFC this Tuesday night. The IFC Center is located in Manhattan in Greenwich Village at 323 Avenue of the Americas (at Third Street). If you’re looking for a great place to eat before/after seeing the movie, I recommend Quantum Leap on Thompson St (off W. 3rd), it’s just three short blocks from the theater and it’s my favorite restaurant in the Village.