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Entries in Doc NYC (8)

Tuesday
Nov132018

Doc Corner: Movie Stars - Fonda, Kael and Dukakis

by Glenn Dunks

DOC NYC is still going in New York, running until this Thursday the 15th. We’re looking at just a very small selection of films screening at the festival including these today based around three iconic names in American cinema: film critic Pauline Kael, and Oscar-winning actors Jane Fonda and Olympia Dukakis.

WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL
I noted on social media as I sat down to watch my screener of Rob Garver’s biography that there were certainly worse ways to spend one’s Sunday evening that surrounded by the words of the late, great Pauline Kael and an abundance of film clips. Sometimes a film can give you exactly what you ask for and that’s exactly what I received from What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael about the much loved (and loathed) film critic...

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Saturday
Nov102018

Doc Corner: DOC NYC - Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 11/9'

DOC NYC is currently underway in New York and one of the great things is that alongside all the world, American, and New York premieres, the festival includes significant documentary titles from throughout the year. We’re using this opportunity to catch up with the latest from Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 11/9, which screened at the fest and is still in limited release across America.

Love him or loathe him – or probably more likely, sit somewhere in the middle of the two emotions – it’s hard to overstate Michael Moore’s importance to American documentary filmmaking. It’s not often that documentaries become pop culture touchstones and he has several that have become just that. The film that this new title is theoretically a sequel to will likely remain the highest grossing documentary of all time for the foreseeable future of cinema. It is interesting to note, however, that the two biggest zeitgeist-hitting political documentaries of the new century – that would be Fahrenheit 9/11 and An Inconvenient Truth – have floundered at the box office with much-belated sequels. Are audiences simply too bombarded by news that the thought of going to see a two-hour movie about the horrors of modern politics is just too much to bear?

Moore's decision to make a sequel to Fahrenheit 9/11 makes a lot of sense in theory, although watching the final product is a curious experience.

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Thursday
Nov082018

Doc Corner: Memories of the past in four new films at DOC NYC

By Glenn Dunks

DOC NYC starts today in New York where something like 100 films will screen. Of the 300+ screenings and events, there are 135 features and 43 world premieres including the just announced screening of the once-thought-lost Aretha Franklin concert doc Amazing Grace. We will be looking at a just a small slice of the selections based loosely around themes. Part one is focused on memories of the past returning to the surface and involves four films which are about grieving families, the NYC art scene of the 1960s, an underappreciated photographer, and the rise of the Nickelodeon network.

EVELYN
Despite his familiarity with war zones in the Oscar-nominated Virunga from the frontlines of Congo’s bloody poaching crisis and Oscar-winning short The White Helmets from the Syrian civil war, director Orlando von Einsiedel has apparently been less well-equipped to deal with the wars of his own family’s anguish. His latest film, recently nominated for the BIFA Best Documentary prize, is an examination of his own family following the suicide of his brother many years ago. Sending himself out into the Scottish highlands alongside various family members and childhood friends for a series of memorial treks, he hopes the wintry walks will allow his family a chance to talk and confront their pain head-on like they have never done before...

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Tuesday
Nov212017

Doc Corner: DOC NYC Wrap Up

By Glenn Dunks

The massive DOC NYC festival wrapped up in New York City last week, having showcased over 250 films and events. We have already looked at a documentary about a David Lynch classic as well as a series of films about the cities around us. We conclude with a wrap-up diving into some of the human portraits that will hopefully be making their way to cinemas, festivals and VOD over the next year.

A MURDER IN MANSFIELD
Barbara Kopple won an Academy Award for her first two films. That those two documentaries, Harlan County USA and American Dream were made 14 years apart becomes an even more impressive statistic when you consider just how prolific she has become since the late 1990s, often averaging two projects a year. This year is no different as she follows This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous with A Murder in Mansfield. YouTube stars and true crime - Kopple certainly knows how to pick zeitgeist themes...

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Tuesday
Nov142017

Doc Corner: David Lynch and the Allure of 'Blue Velvet Revisited'

By Glenn Dunks

The massive DOC NYC festival continues this week in New York City until the 16th, showcasing over 250 films and events. We have one more capsule collection to go up the coming days to close out the festival, but today we're entering the wonderful and strange world of David Lynch in Blue Velvet Revisited, which screens tonight at Cinepolis Chelsea at 9.30pm.

I don’t know about you, but 2017 hasn’t been the strongest year for movies in my eyes. Part of that may have to do directly with the product itself. But a more significant part is that quite literally no movie I have seen this year has had quite the gravitational pull of Twin Peaks. The return of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s classic 1990s television series was maligned by many, but found a dedicated collection of fans for whom it was 18-hours of pure Lynchian madness, the likes of which have been frustratingly missing from our lives since the magically-coiffed master packed up his lawn chair on Sunset Boulevard after trying to milk a much-deserved Oscar campaign for Laura Dern’s performance in Inland Empire in 2006. The series was, simply put, working on a whole different level to every movie I’ve seen in the last 12 months.

Lynch’s mystique is almost as famous as his film and television projects...

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Tuesday
Nov072017

Doc Corner: Tales of the City at DOC NYC

by Glenn Dunks

The massive DOC NYC festival begins this week in – would you believe it – New York City. The festival runs from November 9 - 16 and showcasing over 250 films and events. We’re going to look at some of the films screening there that will hopefully make their way to theatres and VOD over the next year. This edition of our weekly Doc Corner is devoted to three films about cities and the way people interact within and around them.

12th and Clairmont
It is inevitable that Brian Kaufman’s 12th and Clairmount will be compared with Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit considering both focus on the 1967 riots of the city. But whereas Bigelow’s production zeroed in on just one incident of the five-day series of violent and destructive action on the streets of the city, Kaufman’s film examines a much larger canvas, covering the time before, during and after the city's people responded to the significently white police force's swarm of brutality.

It’s a tactic that proves essential to beginning to understand the events that one person in this often compelling documentary describes as “the days of madness in July”...

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