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Amargosa
Amargosa
Actor: Marta Becket
Director: Todd Robinson
Genres: Drama, Educational
G     2006     1hr 33min

In the remote California ghost town of Death Valley Junction (pop 10) stands the Amargosa Opera House, where for the past 33 years former New York dancer and artist Marta Becket has performed her own ballets in the theater...  more

     
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Movie Details

Actor: Marta Becket
Director: Todd Robinson
Genres: Drama, Educational
Sub-Genres: Drama, Educational
Studio: Cinequest
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 12/05/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Marta and Co., Oh How You Shine!
Erin K. Booth | Amargosa Valley, NV | 08/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of the truly most beautiful films I have ever experienced.

Not wanting to spoil it for anyone, I will say that you will be moved more then you could ever possibly imagine watching and ultimately experiencing it. From the beauty that is Amargosa and Death Valley themselves to the beautiful and multi-talented Marta Becket and company and her story - oh my gosh, what a Diamond mine in the desert this is!

I'm a newly implanted Amargosa Valley Resident myself who was interested in finding out about Marta's story and I have to say that having not been on a stage for awhile myself, I am inspired once again and I have Marta to thank for it, not to mention everyone in the film. They all have something significant to say and oh but the true beauty of Death Valley Junction and the surrounding area...the animals and people...you will love this, I know it! I was moved more then once to tears. A good thing!

The only thing I have left to do now is to make it to her performances.

Shine on, Marta and company!"
Fascinating portrait of an artist, loner, dancer, free spiri
T. Bryson | Los Angeles, CA, USA | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a lovely, fascinating, and OUTSTANDING documentary portraying Marta Beckett's development of the Amargosa Opera House...an abandoned theatre on the edge of Death Valley which she renovated, painting an audience on the walls and performing her vaudeville style ballets and skits. And then the real audience came. She was profiled in National Geographic in the 70's and is still performing. The documentary also discusses her help with saving wild burros and horses, the haunted hotel, and the local handyman who became her friend and colleague."
"Don't Fence Her In"
Susan K. Schoonover | Boulder, CO | 05/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"AMARGOSA is the story of Marta Beckett an artist and dancer who at the age of 43 left her native Manhattan to settle in a tiny isolated town in the California desert called Death Valley Junction. The town was developed in the early 20th century for the Borax mining industry but at the time Marta first came there it was a virtual ghost town with an abandoned theater and hotel that Marta and her then husband renovated. Marta soon covered the walls with intricate murals and begin giving solo dance performances as her audience gradually expanded.

The film meanders at time with too lengthy sequences concerning the possibility of the hotel being haunted, Marta feeding the wild horses and the shooting of wild burros by Death Valley National Park rangers. Yet the film is quite fascinating when Marta talks about her relationships - the complicated bond with her controlling but artistically nurturing mother, the breakup of her marriage to her husband because he took second place to her artistic visions and her unlikely late in life partnership with Tom a roto rooter operator who joins her on stage as a clumsy clown to her delicate dancer. Marta describes her life in the desert as one little yellow flower blooming all by itself and that is the image I will remember from this documentary about a strong and unusual woman."
The Story of Marta Becket
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 08/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There are many interesting and mysterious things to see and do in the Mojave Desert. Since most of these things are historical or natural, Marta Becket is one of the few living human attractions. "Amargosa" is a documentary about Becket and her life as a dancer and painter at the Amargosa Opera House. "Amargosa" chronicles her childhood, early family dynamics, marriage and the events that inspired her to open a performance hall in Death Valley Junction. "Amargosa" is a well-made film that was crafted with a good deal of love. Footage includes restored photographs of her New York years and early days in Death Valley Junction. Those who've only know an elderly Becket will be surprised to watch vintage footage of a young and spry dancer. Helicopter shots provide poetic images of the town from the air. The interview is often used to document Becket, Wilget (her then partner), Ray Bradbury (sci-fi writer), visitors and townsfolk. Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin in the new Battlestar Galactica) provides poetic narration. The main event is a performance for a bus load of former New York City colleagues. Amazon reviewer bellczar's constructive feedback is valid. The one and a half hour film is long winded as it shares just about every imaginable detail about Becket and the town. Vignettes include her burro adoption program, pet cats and the town ghosts. While being comprehensive, let's remember that this is the only theatrical look at a cultural institution. Already, her partner Wilget has passed away so that anybody seeing her recent shows will only find solo performances. At some point in the near future, Marta Becket will permanently retire from being a unique part of the area's living history. As her murals suggest, she may eternally dance over the opera house. "Amaragosa" is a call for everybody to see her perform before she's gone. After she joins Wilget, the only tangible remnants will be the opera house and hotel, her book and this Emmy Award-winning documentary. See it now or you'll regent not having gone when you had the chance. Since not everybody can make the trip to the edge of Death Valley, the next best thing is to cherish this film as the essence of an uncommon person in a special place and time. Marta Becket carved out her own vision of rugged individualism in an artistic way that can inspire all of us to self-actualize."