“Life with Alex,” DVD to be Released in September
Grey Parrot Studios is proud to announce the upcoming release of its new movie, “Life with Alex.” Produced in association with The Alex Foundation, created by long-term Pepperberg lab manager Arlene Levin-Rowe, and directed by Emily Wick, this 55-minute memoir is a compelling tribute to the famous African Grey parrot known as Alex.
Whereas the popular book “Alex & Me” (Harper Collins) details the relationship between Dr. Irene Pepperberg and Alex from Irene’s point of view, “Life with Alex” offers an up-close glimpse into Alex’s world, with never-before-released footage of Alex using meaningful human speech to convey his daily thoughts and feelings. We see Alex and his colleagues — Dr. Irene Pepperberg, Arlene Levin-Rowe, their student assistants, and fellow Grey parrots Griffin and Arthur — as they open a window for us into an unprecedented world of non-human cognition and learning.
Dr. Irene Pepperberg has spent the past 35 years studying parrot intelligence. Curious about how non-human brains work and what different creatures think about their world, she chose to work with African Grey parrots, because they could use elements of human language. “Getting into the minds of these animals is critical,” explains Dr. Pepperberg. Her main subject was Alex, purchased in 1977 from an ordinary pet store in Chicago. In the 30 years they worked together, Dr. Pepperberg and her feathered “colleague” showed a frequently disbelieving world that parrots were not the bird-brains many thought they were.
The highlight of the film, of course, is Alex. Whether saying goodnight to Irene (“You be good, I love you.”), coaching fellow parrot Griffin, or creating his own vocabulary, we see Alex’s mind in action. We learn about the daily life, relationships, and accomplishments of the bird who changed forever what we know about how animals think.
Dr. Pepperberg discusses her discoveries and her fight for credibility; we discover what she learned from Alex, and how she learned it. As Dr. Pepperberg notes, “We share the world with these creatures” and “We need to understand them.”
One of Arlene Levin-Rowe’s goals was “to share what it’s like to work every day with an animal who can speak.” As viewers watch Arlene describe her 10 years as lab manager, they will come to appreciate why this amazing bird’s “colleagues” felt it was an honor to work with him. Alex passed away on September 6, 2007, prematurely, at the age of 31. The DVD will be released in September 2012, in honor of the fifth anniversary of Alex’s passing.
To learn more about these ambassadors from the animal world, please go to: http://alexfoundation.org
“Life with Alex” will be available on DVD in September and can be purchased at http://LifeWithAlexMovie.com
Check out the movie trailer on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/c_Tk0-85ZSE
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