The trailer above really captures the dramatic, spastic and somewhat incoherent film style of the documentary “Power Trip: Theatrically Berkeley,” by filmmaker Emio Tomeoni. The showing—Monday at the PFA—was attended by Tomeoni himself and an oddly boisterous crowd of twenty or so Berkeley residents in their forties.

The film claimed to be about Measure G, passed in 2006 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent in the city by 2050. According to the pamphlet handed out at the showing: “This film intended to follow Berkeley leadership from City Hall to the grass roots as they blaze a path to success, and set an example for the nation.” The only part of that statement that we could really agree with is the word “blaze.”

The film’s goal, as you can probably guess from the title, portrayed Berkeley as a city of theatrics: a circus of crazy characters, ridiculous political figures and overzealous hippies fighting for causes that the rest of the country wouldn’t bat an eye at.

It followed Lee Kechley as she dug through dumpsters and passionately explained how Berkeley stole the idea of curbside recycling from her. It showed Shirley Dean bickering with her husband in her home and RunningWolf’s cry for attention campaign for Mayor and of course the altercations between the BPD and the sitters of the infamous tree sit. Oh yeah, and they talked about Measure G, we think …

Becky O’ Malley, Executive Editor of the Daily Planet, who spoke multiple times in the film, said: “I thought it was funny, kind of like a cartoon.” The film was many things: a criticism of Berkeley culture, a visual seizure or just very confusing (random interspliced title cards like “There are dead birds”), but a cartoon was not one of them.

That said, the film was definitely Berkeley, we’ll give him that.

Power Trip – Theatrically Berkeley [YouTube]
Earlier: Documentary Reps People of da Wood

Emio Tomeoni said:
Oct 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Thank you for the review, and thank you for attending.
2 things.. the final count was 63 people.. geez, twenty…come on, you make it sound like it was just me and my family(which it actually was)
anyway – It seems like you get it.. the reason I wrote “this film Intended..” was because that’s what I set out to do, follow measure G but it’s definitely not what happened..My mom said this was a bad review, but I don’t read it that way, cause you described exactly what I did, you wrote a better description of the film then I did.
sometimes people don’t realize I am in on the joke with you, I know just what the film is
..I LOVE the line at the end “the film was definitely Berkeley”.. that’s it – its a documentary.
I feel so validated when somebody gets it.
Thank you – I really dig your write up (and I’m not being sarcastic)

Trisha McDoogles said:
Oct 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm

This review really makes me want to see the film. I’m new to Berkeley and have already noticed the oh so theatrical characters roaming the streets. Another showing please?

Phoebe Sorgen said:
Dec 2, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Saturday December 5th 7:00pm
film maker Emio Tomeoni will appear LIVE at a screening of his hilarious,
illuminating documentary about Berkeley politics
POWER TRIP (78 minutes)
at the Berkeley Fellowship Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar at Bonita, between MLK/Shattuck

Conscientious Projector series
$5 to $10 donation requested

also screening a 10 min. short by Viva Barrows re the Oct 24 UCB walk-out
“free speech for a dollar”

Public transit to BFUU:
about half way between the downtown and north Berkeley BART stations
Cedar bus 79, Shattuck lines 7, 9, 18

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Mar 1, 2011 at 1:40 am

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