Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight (DVD Review)

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Courtesy of eOne Films

Dir: Jason Brown (Twilight in Forks: The Saga of the Real Town)
2010 (DVD Release)

Reason to see: Twilight centric doc is an easy yes for me

I'm not surprized to see that Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight is from the same director as Twilight in Forks: The Saga of the Real Town, both documentaries showcase the town of Forks and the effect that Twilight has had on it and visit various locations of the town. The new doc looks like it was shot late spring/early summer of 2010, and TwiFans will be able to pick out the indicators to easily support that time period. I am a little surprized at the title of this new doc though, as Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight has three separate sections, only two of which are really Forks related. It starts off with the looking at the location of Forks and the twi-effect on the town, then a great section dedicated to the fandom and culture around the fans and the last section is images from the rain forest of Forks set to a score.

They really are three very distinct sections, which I really wasn't expecting and they feel very different from each other. The first part that centres on Forks as a town and the Twi-effect if pretty interesting, looking at different locations and hot spots of the town - most of which were created after Twilight and have a strong tie-in to the books and films. The tone of this section has a slightly voyeuristic feel to it as you literally tour the town with a Bella-inspired red truck, often seen from a distance. There is a lot of footage from fans that are visiting Forks from afar as well as locals that run Twi-inspired or centric locations. Sometimes I found there was ambiguity to the connection with the Saga, although other times they are clear that they are playing along creating and providing an opportunity for people to feel like they are experiences locations in the film and books. I wish this was a little clearer at times, but I did appreciate the earnestness of all the of the people the talked to.

I absolutely loved the middle section though, which was centred on the TwiHards and has footage of interviews with fans during The Twilight Saga: Eclipse premieres as well as folks from different Twilight communities including Twilight Lexicon, Twilight Series Theories Podcast, Twilight Moms, and Kaleb Nation (aka The Twilight Guy). As someone who co-hosts a Twilight Podcast (Before the Dawn) and this is the section I found the most interesting by far - looking at the culture the books and films have created, how it's brought people together & created communities, what the appeal is, what team people are on, etc. It's fascination to hear how fans, superfans, site-runners and podcasters have to say about the Twi-verse and effect.

Now, the final section of the film is the one that feels a bit out of place here. I understand the idea of exploring the rain forest of Forks and the footage they have is absolutely stunning, but it's not super Twi-ish. Sure, there are shots that are very familiar and of course beautiful, but the fusion of nature documentary with a relaxation tape feel just doesn't quite feel aligned to the fandom.

Although the last section did feel a bit off to me, I definitely got a lot out of the fandom section which I loved and found the section on Forks as a town very interesting. Out of the two Twi-centric ties ins out this week I really anticipated this to be the one I'll be taken in by, but it's Music Videos and Performances from The Twilight Saga Soundtracks: Volume 1 that was the one that really wowed me. For completists though, I'm sure you'll be checking out both.

No DVD Extras

Destination Forks: The Real World of Twilight is available on DVD as of December 4, 2010. Check it out over at amazon.ca and amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I really enjoyed the fandom & Forks-specific sections
I'd watch parts of it again
I'd recommend it to Twilight completists

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

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