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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

August 26, 2010
RATING: 8/10
Any big fan of Maynard James Keenan knows that the Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer frontman has been living a double life for the past several years as a winemaker/entrepreneur. But seeing as the charismatic Keenan is not the most media-friendly of musicians, it's a rare feat to get an in-depth glimpse into what the man's other passion project entails. Blood into Wine, the new documentary from filmmakers Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke (The Heart is a Drum Machine) finally removes the veil.

While Keenan and winemaking partner/mentor Eric Glomski get top billing (and rightfully so), the high desert of Arizona in which they live and work along with the wine itself is just as much of a focal point. The doc kicks off on an amusing note with an "interview" between Keenan and comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), the latter of whom play bland, moronic hosts of a show that focuses on "interesting things." The "interview" with Keenan about his Caduceus wine is a recurring theme in Blood, and if anything shows off the artist's ability to do deadpan.

In fact, Keenan does a have a self-effacing, dry sense of humor, evident in various clips throughout the 100-minute film. But of course, the focus of Blood is not really on the man himself, but his Caduceus beverages, his Merkin vineyards, cohort Glomski and how the pair is leading the movement to elevate Arizona's unlikely status as a resource for fine wine. In between interviews with shamans, herbalists and town historians, a good portion of Blood is practically tutorial, which can go over heads at times, but shows that we can't claim to know shit about wine just by watching Sideways. With appearances by everyone from Milla Jovovich (who did guest vocals on Puscifer's debut) to comedian Patton Oswalt, Blood into Wine does a solid job of both entertaining and educating, and even gets emotional at times (the scene where Maynard discusses a bottle named after his deceased mother, Judith, is perhaps the only time he's ever let his guard down).

It's been fifteen years or so since Keenan departed L.A. for Jerome, AZ, but while he seems to have ably switched back and forth between music and wine, one gets the sense from this documentary that he's more content with the latter than the former nowadays. It might be disheartening to diehard fans, but according to Keenan himself, it's just where he's at in his life's "progression."

SEE ALSO: www.bloodintowine.com

--
Kiran Aditham
When not contributing to LAS and other music/film publications, Kiran Aditham toils away during the day in Manhattan as a reporter for an advertising magazine…though he’d rather not say which one.

See other articles by Kiran Aditham.

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