Category Archives: Film


Koch_450x250Coming to PBS’s POV tonight, Monday, September 22: KOCH

Neil Barsky’s portrait of the controversial NYC mayor debuted at the Hamptons in 2012. Screenings followed at Palm Springs and the Jewish fest circuit, including Boston, New York, Toronto, and Atlanta, among others.

I previously wrote about the film here.

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stop-the-pounding-heartComing to NYC’s Film Society of Lincoln Center today, Friday, September 19: STOP THE POUNDING HEART

Roberto Minervini’s semi-fictionalized minimalist meditation premiered at Cannes last year. It went on to berths at Karlovy Vary, Toronto, London, Thessaloniki, Tempo Docs, New Directors, Biografilm, San Francisco, and Sydney, among many others.

I previously wrote about the film out of Toronto here.

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In Theatres: ART AND CRAFT

art-and-craft-film-tribecaComing to theatres today, Friday, September 19: ART AND CRAFT

Directors Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman and co-director Mark Becker’s portrait of a notorious art counterfeiter bowed at Tribeca this year. It’s gone on to screen at Nantucket, Hot Docs, Montclair, Maryland, and San Francisco, among others.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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The-Sarnos-Still-2-580x300Coming to NYC’s Anthology Film Archives and to Cable VOD tomorrow, Friday, September 19: A LIFE IN DIRTY MOVIES

Wiktor Ericsson’s tribute to a legendary sexploitation director made its debut at Gothenburg last year. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, London, and the San Francisco Jewish film festivals, among others.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
In the 1960s and ‘70s, Joe Sarno was a master of softcore porn, known as the Ingmar Bergman of 42nd Street for his striking B&W photography and focus on women’s desire in films like Sin In The Suburbs, Young Playthings, and Confessions of a Young American Housewife. While his career faded as sexploitation gave way to hardcore, in recent years, his work has been rediscovered and celebrated, prompting the octogenarian auteur to return to filmmaking, with his supportive wife Peggy at his side.

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Special Screening: BRONX OBAMA

Bronx_Obama_570x317Coming to NYC’s Stranger Than Fiction series as its pre-season kickoff special tonight, Thursday, September 18: BRONX OBAMA

Ryan Murdock’s portrait of a presidential doppelgänger premiered at this year’s True/False. It has gone on to screen at AFI Docs, Montclair, Traverse City, Hot Docs, and the upcoming Ambulante CA, Calgary, Bergen, and American Film Fest of Poland.

Louis Ortiz didn’t have a particular interest in politics until the 2008 presidential election. Like many others galvanized by Barack Obama’s campaign, Louis held hope that the young politician would make history – but his reasons were a little more personally-motivated than most. The unemployed single father bears a remarkable resemblance to the Chicago senator, and he saw an opportunity to make money to support his daughter’s education as a full-time impersonator. Murdock’s alternately funny and poignant film follows his affable subject during Obama’s 2012 campaign, as he partners with other professional political lookalikes to up his game, getting the President’s speech patterns, gait, and personality just right as he hopes for another four years in this most unusual career.

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Urbanworld 2014: Documentary Overview

urbanworld_2014-hdrThe 18th edition of Urbanworld Film Festival launches in NYC tonight, Wednesday, September 17. Over five days, the festival will showcase over 70 films by African American and multicultural filmmakers, including eight documentaries among its 26 feature presentations.

SEWINGHOPE_Still_Sister_Rose1Premieres include Marquis Smalls’ hereHATING OBAMA, an exploration of the invective directed against our Commander-in-Chief; Derek Wilson’s SEWING HOPE (pictured), about a nun’s mission to empower Ugandan women through vocational training; and Kenneth Price’s THE HIP-HOP FELLOW, which follows 9th Wonder during his stint as a Harvard Fellow.

FindingSamuelLowe1-240_smOther nonfiction offerings include: Adeyemi Michael’s hereSODIQ, exploring how an aspiring doctor ended up on trial for murder; Alberto Ferreras’ HABLA MEN, the latest in a series on Latino Americans; Jeanette Kong’s FINDING SAMUEL LOWE: FROM HARLEM TO CHINA (pictured), tracing the filmmaker’s Jamaican-Chinese roots; and Laura Checkoway’s LUCKY, about a single lesbian mother with dreams of stardom.

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In Theatres: 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

20000 daysComing to NYC’s Film Forum today, Wednesday, September 17: 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s hybrid portrait of Nick Cave debuted at Sundance this year, where it picked up the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award. It went on to Berlin, Sydney, True/False, Seattle, San Francisco, and IFF Boston, among others.

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

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