CLEANIN’ UP THE TOWN: Remembering Ghostbusters, is the definitive retrospective documentary, resulting from twelve years of research and production from film-making duo Anthony & Claire Bueno. It charts the making of the original 1984 Ghostbusters, featuring interviews with director Ivan Reitman, and lead cast Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. In addition, the documentary explored the extraordinary achievements made by the filmmakers working on the films incredible visual effects . It reveals ‘a story of ingenuity, innovation and emphasises just how ambitious an undertaking the making of Ghostbusters really was’.
The film-makers avoid falling into the trap that several other similar documentaries have of relying too heavily on archive interviews/footage; what we actually get is a bunch of freshly filmed interviews with many of the cast (yes, Bill Murray is a notable but expected exception) as well as the team behind making the movie and exploring it’s lasting impact.
There is nothing revelatory here and probably nothing new to learn for die-hard fans but it does go beyond previously released bonus materials thanks to the addition of fresh interviews and serving as a great overall look at the story of the film being made. Where this documentary really excels is hearing from the special effects team including SFX master Steve Johnson about how a lot of the effects and scenes from the movie were actually achieved with limited time and resources.
This aspect is possibly even more enjoyable for us film nerds than hearing from the cast themselves. These sections are accompanied by some great test footage and concept art; lots of which is sourced from the featured crew’s personal archives.
Visually there is a fun and nostalgic vibe to the film; with specially shot title sequences and animation/graphics reminiscent of Ghostbusters – a huge credit to the art department. The scoring is also reminiscent of ghostbusters and the fun continues through the credits with the inclusion of some fun out-takes and un-used footage.
4/5 – A must see for both ‘Ghostheads‘ and casual fans alike!
The film has its European Premiere at BFI’s IMAX Cinema on December 3rd of its theatrical release with both filmmakers in attendance. A UK theatrical release is planned for December 2019.
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