Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

November 13, 2014 at 12:43pm

Onscreen at Olympia Film Festival: "No No: A Dockumentary" (2014)

In 1984, Ellis gained notoriety when he admitted that he was high on LSD when he threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 12, 1971.

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The man was adding new movie titles to the Capitol Theater's glowing marquee when I arrived Wednesday night. Apparently later in the 31st Olympia Film Festival's run I could watch NATURAL LI  E and DI DE  CON CO, so either filmmakers these days really dig inscrutable names for their movies, or I should wait patiently while the man bought a few more consonants and vowels.

Last night's film decided to have a little fun with its own title, calling itself No No: A Dockumentary in honor of its subject, past Pittsburgh Pirates player Dock Ellis. Even the Nos take on multiple meanings as viewers get immersed in this pitcher's colorful career: the "No" stamped on both sides of the big "17" stamped on Dock's jersey; the finger-wagging he endured for behavior considered outlandish during the '60s and '70s, like wearing hair curlers during practice. And guess what they call a pitcher that strikes out every single man at bat?

Dock carved his place in the annals of baseball history by accomplishing his one and only "no no," but we can't forget to add three letters to this story: LSD. To borrow his own description made years later, "I was as high as a Georgia pine" during that fateful game, as well as many more before and after. No No manages to find the jaw-dropping humor in Dock's situation, but still poignantly portrays the pressure that athletes, in particular African-Americans during that era, felt to use almost any drug within reach to stay in the game.

So will I catch No No again as soon as it appears on Netflix? That's an affirmative - times two.  

LINK: 31st Olympia Film Festival schedule


Weekly Volcano previews the Olympia Film Festival

Filed under: Screens, Olympia,
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