'Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of ...'
(Crazy Legs Conti, et al / DVD / NR / (2004) 2007 / Blue Underground)
Overview: Crazy Legs Conti is an eccentric New York City window washer, nude model, sperm donor, and huge fan of the annual July 4th hot dog eating competition. When he casually breaks the world oyster eating record in New Orleans, Crazy Legs decides to dedicate himself to fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a professional competitive eater.
DVD Verdict: "Every American is eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day," says the eponymous hero of Danielle Franco and Chris Kenneally's lighthearted foray into the world of competitive eating. "They're just not eating it on the professional level!" That's the thrust of this hour-plus profile, which argues—not entirely without founding—that competitive eating is just like any other sport, requiring discipline, training, and even an ethical management agency, the International Federation of Competitive Eaters (IFOCE).
Adding further insight into Crazy Legs Conti's unusual lifestyle are some interview clips with those who know him best - his close friends and a few select family members. Couple this with some interesting background information on the actual competitive eating events and the body that governs them and you've got a documentary that's part sports piece and part freak show. That said, as interesting as Conti is, he does get a little irritating after a while. The director's seem to have picked up on this, hence the other interviewees and the competition footage that's used throughout the picture.
The resulting film is as much a look at the subculture that the sport has grown as it is a peek at one man's strange obsession. A little broader scope with a little less focus specifically on Conti might have made for a more interesting and, dare I say it, educational take on things but as it stands this movie is definitely worth a look particularly for fans of strange sports and subcultures.
Mysteriously healthy and always good-humored, Crazy Legs himself seems oblivious to the more grotesque aspects of his art; it's also less than appetizing to picture him making ends meet, as he does, by donating sperm. But anyone who can down 34 dozen oysters in three and a half hours deserves props of some kind! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) and comes with the Special Feature of:
Audio Commentary with Star Crazy Legs Conti and Co-Producer/Directors Chris Kenneally and Danielle Franco