Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'The Hooping Life' Is A Funky, Inspirational Doc

By Darlene Donloe

Back in the day, the Hula Hoop was all the rage. Everyone would grab a plastic circle, place it on their hips and begin to wiggle in order to keep it from falling.  There would be numerous contests and challenges to see who could keep it up the longest. The Hula Hoop was not only a phenomenon, it was and still is simply irresistible. Those were the days.

Well, apparently, those days are back with a vengeance according to Amy Goldstein’s documentary, The Hooping Life, recently released on DVD. Not only is it a great was to relax, the Hula Hoop has taking on mega-branding proportions.   It’s big business. Now, even celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal are singing its praises and even getting into the act.

O’Neal, who introduces the documentary, talks proudly about how when he was a kid he completed 55 revolutions in a row.  According to O’Neal hula-hooping is  great way to stay in shape and a great thing to share with your friends.

Even Art Linkletter praised it worthiness. For anyone under 30, you’ll have to Google Linkletter.

Through intimate and personal portraits, The Hooping Life takes its audience on a journey as it chronicles a sub-culture that rises out of the West Coast music scene and goes global.  Who knew?  Apparently a lot of people knew as the Hoop has a huge, dedicated following.

Don’t get it twisted. This is not your momma’s hula hoop story!!!

The documentary reveals how modern hula-hooping is visually mesmerizing with roots in dance, spirituality and community.  It’s not only sexy, it’s a contemporary art form that is gathering steam.

This is the first film to authentically capture the genesis and rise of modern day hula-hooping

Who knew Los Angeles, Tinseltown, was actually considered a hooping Mecca.  

The film shows how hooping can inspire a determined teacher to provide kids with a hopeful alternative, a trans beauty to stand up to bullying and a suicidal preacher’s son to create a popular spiritual practice.

Not only is hooping itself infectious, so is the documentary. It’s inspirational, it’s affecting, it’s fun, it’s enlightening, it ROCKS!  This doc makes you feel good. It takes you back. It takes you in. It draws you in on the lives of those who find solace in the Hula Hoops power to change lives.  The real people, like Tisha, who runs an after school Hula Hoop program for kids and Anah, who is a much-respected Los Angeles artist who claims hooping saved her life – bring the importance of Hooping to life. It’s not just a piece of plastic you swirl – it’s so much more.

Even the First Lady Michelle Obama has hooped at the White House.

This is one of my favorite documentaries of the year!!!  Kudos to The Hooping Life filmmakers.  Original music in the documentary is by Basement Jaxx.

Running time: 1 hour, 10 minutes.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), The Hooping Life gets an E (excellent).

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