findingvivian_01Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, July 29: FINDING VIVIAN MAIER

John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s chronicle of the discovery of the work of the previously unknown photographer made its debut at Toronto last year. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, New Orleans, Berlin, Palm Springs, and Boulder, before its very successful theatrical release.

I previously wrote about the doc out of Toronto here.

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love childComing to HBO tonight, Monday, July 28: LOVE CHILD

Valerie Veatch’s look at a shocking case of parental negligence in South Korea had its world premiere at Sundance earlier this year. Other fest screenings have included Provincetown, Waterfront, and JeonJu, among others.

My pre-Sundance profile of the film may be found here.

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fallen cityComing to PBS’s POV tonight, Monday, July 28: FALLEN CITY

Qi Zhao’s exploration of the aftermath of a natural disaster had its premiere at IDFA in 2012. It went on to have its North American debut at Sundance, and also screened at DOXA, Belfast, Brisbane, LA Asian Pacific, and Boulder, among others.

I previously profiled the doc prior to Sundance here.

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In the Works: ALMOST THERE

The story of the unexpected consequences of newfound attention on an undiscovered outsider artist.

almost_there-01After filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden meet Peter Anton drawing portraits at Chicago’s Pierogifest, they start to befriend the octogenarian artist, and learn that he has created a series of elaborate autobiographical collage diaries in which he has documented every year of his life. Fascinated by his work, they become wrapped up in his life, especially when they discover that his lifelong home has fallen into squalor. When the filmmakers help him mount a gallery exhibition of his outsider art for the first time, this leads to unanticipated revelations about his past, a radical change in his living situation, and questions about the limits of altruism. Continue reading

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Rahsaan1-710x450Coming to NYC’s Rooftop Films tomorrow, Saturday, July 26: THE CASE OF THE THREE SIDED DREAM

Adam Kahan’s tribute to innovative jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk made its debut at SXSW this Spring. Its festival run includes Full Frame, Maine, jazz fests in New York and Burlington, and the upcoming Pan African fest in Atlanta and Don’t Knock the Rock in LA.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a self-described Black classical musician, whose accidental blinding shortly after birth predisposed him to experience the world largely through sound. A musical child prodigy, Kirk developed a unique sound and a penchant for playing multiple instruments simultaneously, becoming, in effect, a one-man band – even playing the recorder through his nose when his mouth was otherwise engaged in certain pieces. Kahan’s film, despite the insider nature of its title, a variation on a 1975 Kirk album that only fans are likely to be aware of, provides more than enough context and background to fill-in those viewers who have never been exposed to the musician before. While anecdote-filled interviews with family, friends, and musician collaborators offer personal appreciations, the strength of the film for music fans is in Kahan’s employ of a range of archival footage showing the virtuoso in various performances, from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW to jazz fest appearances.

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In Theatres: THE KILL TEAM

kill teamComing to theatres tomorrow, Friday, July 25: THE KILL TEAM

Dan Krauss’ investigation into a disturbing case of soldier criminality premiered at Tribeca last year, winning a jury prize. It went on to screen at AFI Docs, San Francisco, Hot Docs, Little Rock, Camden, Vancouver, London, Warsaw, Zagreb, DOK Leipzig, Abu Dhabi, Big Sky, Cucalorus, and Denver, among several others.

I included the film in my AFI Docs coverage here.

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NewFest 2014: Documentary Overview

newfest logoBeginning tonight, Thursday, July 24, NewFest brings six nights of LGBT cinema to NYC audiences for its 26th edition. While still maintaining its slim line-up of only 19 features and just over 20 shorts this year, I expect a re-expansion in the future as the event’s partnership with LA’s larger Outfest continues to develop.

WE_CAME_TO_SWEATblogFor now, the festival presents just four feature length nonfiction or hybrid projects: The world premiere of Kate Kunath and Sasha Wortzel’s WE CAME TO SWEAT: THE LEGEND OF STARLITE (pictured), on the impact of gentrification on NYC’s oldest African American gay bar; Todd Verow and Charles Lum’s AGE OF CONSENT, a history of London’s only gay fetish bar; Stefan Haupt’s THE CIRCLE, a hybrid portrait of Switzerland’s post-war gay underground; and Andrea James’ ALEC MAPA: BABY DADDY, the comedian’s one-man show about new fatherhood.

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