The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

( 5 )

Overview

Telegraph Hill is a neighborhood in one of the hillier sections of San Francisco that over the years has become home to a large flock of wild parrots. While no one is certain how they got there, the birds were for the most part left to their own devices until they were discovered by Mark Bittner. A street musician and self-described "Dharma bum," Bittner had no practical background in ornithology when he first encountered the parrots, but it wasn't long before he developed a close bond with them and took it upon ...
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Overview

Telegraph Hill is a neighborhood in one of the hillier sections of San Francisco that over the years has become home to a large flock of wild parrots. While no one is certain how they got there, the birds were for the most part left to their own devices until they were discovered by Mark Bittner. A street musician and self-described "Dharma bum," Bittner had no practical background in ornithology when he first encountered the parrots, but it wasn't long before he developed a close bond with them and took it upon himself to feed and care for the birds, and even gave many of them names. Bittner's friendship with the parrots became a growing experience that taught the guitarist as much about himself as it did about the birds, and with the passage of time, his work earned him the respect of his community as well as a home. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is a documentary which recounts the story of Bittner and his birds, as well as an unexpected twist of fate which added a poignant note to their tale.
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Special Features

Flock Updates; Behind the scenes; Parrots around the world; Mark Bittner and Judy Irving update; Music video: Ballad of the Brooklyn parrots; Please don't feed the birds; Urban legends; Special homage to Connor; Origins of the flock; Mark Bittner's home movies; California Quail bonus short; Original theatrical trailer; 2 new films by director Judy Irving: Christmas at the Bait Shop and 19 Arrests, No Convictions
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This small-scale documentary from filmmaker Judy Irving became something of a minor sensation upon its release in 2004, attracting moviegoers almost solely by word of mouth. Made with beguiling simplicity, the heartwarming film explores the principal passion of Mark Bittner, a struggling musician living in a rundown San Francisco cottage, where he looks after a flock of red-headed Conure parrots that have, inexplicably and improbably, taken up residence in the nearby trees. Bittner -- clearly an eccentric, but a gentle and lovable one -- feeds the birds, tends the sick ones, and even tries to encourage the mating of a blue-headed misfit he names Connor. There's something joyful about watching the parrots, a species of outcasts with whom our human protagonist seems to identify. Irving's camera examines them closely and before the final fadeout most viewers will root for them just as much as Mark Bittner does.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/28/2008
  • UPC: 767685139820
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Video Group
  • Presentation: Special Edition
  • Time: 5:00:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 74,838

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mark Bittner Participant
Ivan Stormgart Participant
Maggie McCall Participant
Gary Scott Thompson Participant
Elizabeth Wright Participant
Jamie Yorck Participant
Jann Eyrich Participant
Shawn Hall Participant
John Aiken Participant
Tom Eby Participant
Denise St. Onge Participant
Richard Schulke Participant
Betsy Lott Participant
Nate Lott Participant
Technical Credits
Judy Irving Director, Camera Operator, Editor, Producer
Sam Lehmer Sound Editor
Chris Michie Score Composer
Patrick Rickey Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
1. Introduction [6:57]
2. Mingus [8:11]
3. Connor [9:50]
4. Finding Nature [4:32]
5. Picasso and Sophie [4:26]
6. Lorikeet Aviary [6:58]
7. A New Breed [4:18]
8. Urban Legends and Hawks [8:20]
9. A Career [13:46]
10. Tupelo [6:14]
11. The Last Feeding [6:28]
12. Credits [2:58]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
   Play
   Scenes
   Extras
      Flock Update (6:58)
      Deleted Scenes
         Babies (3:29)
         The Display (0:37)
         Urban Legends (2:04)
         Ashley's Release (2:19)
         Theo (1:16)
         Flock Origins (14:14)
         Juveniles (1:29)
         Play All
      Short Films
         Homage to Connor (11:55)
         Mingus at the Oasis (8:08)
         Mark's Home Movies (28:15)
         California Quail (3:08)
         Play All
      Audio Set Up
         Stereo 2.0
         Dolby 5.1
      Music Video (4:13)
      Theatrical Trailer
      Filmmaker Bio
      About the Book
      About the Soundtrack
      About Pelican Media
      Pelican Media Credits (1:00)
      About Docurama
         Credits
      Catalog/Trailers
         Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back
         Brother's Keeper
         Go Tigers!
         Guerrilla: The Taking
         Lost in La Mancha
         Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
         The Weather Underground
Disc #2 -- Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: Bonus Disc
   Updates
      Play All
      Flock Update - 7 min.
      Please Don't Feed the Birds - 16 min.
      Mark and Judy Update - 11 min.
      Parrot Rescue - 6 min.
   Outtakes
      Play All
      Erica and Russell - 3 min.
      Ace in the Hole - 2 min.
      Behind the Scenes - 4 min.
   Mark and Judy Interview
   Music Video
   Short Films
      Play All
      Parrots and Power Poles - 9 min.
      The Parrot Trade - 5 min.
   New Documentaries
      Play All
      Christmas at the Bait Shop - 6 min.
      19 Arrests, No Convictions - 30 min.
   Strictly for Parrots
      Play All
      La Amazons - 8 min.
      Parrots Around the World - 20 min.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Haven't seen the movie, but reading the books.

    I ahven't seen the movie yet, but will be buying it. I love the book so far. Each chapter is like a short story. I live east of San Francisco and go out there often. I've heard of the flock, but hadn't seen them until about 6 months ago. What a sight to see and hear.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Incredibly Sweet

    What a pleasure to see! Am going to buy for my small grandsons so they have a special appreciation for wild birds and how to treat them with dignity, respect, and love. Beautifully done. My husband and I were both so very touched...makes me want to go to SF to see these glorious creatures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a gentle story

    Although this documentary is titled as if it is about some birds --- and it is --- it is equally about the nature of affection, challenge, mortality, empathy. It is told from the point of view of a human, with a pragmatic point of view: if these creatures behave in a recognizably human fashion, who are we to conclude that they are motivated differently? This is a touching film. Given what happens to Tupelo and Connor, the ending is quite sweet, and full of ... Hope.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing, touching, a must film

    I saw this documentary thinking that it would be an insight into parrots, but it went beyond that. It's amazing that we don't look up sometimes to see and feel the living that occurs high in canopies of trees. It's a wonderful film of bonding of man to bird that transcends the wonders of nature. This film exceeded my expectations in a heartwarming way that proved emotions and personalities of different species (man and bird) can co-exist if given the habitat and space, even in a big city like San Francisco's Telegraph Hill.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews