Coming to PBS’s POV this coming Monday, October 6: THE ACT OF KILLING
Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, and their anonymous collaborators disconcerting exploration of Indonesia’s violent history premiered at Telluride and Toronto in 2012. It went on to DOC NYC, Berlin, New Directors/New Films, CPH:DOX, Sheffield, Planete+ Doc, Thessaloniki Doc, Traverse City, Seattle, and San Francisco, and was nominated for an Academy Award.
I previously wrote about the film out of Toronto here.
Coming to theatres this Friday, October 3: KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON
Alan Hicks’ exploration of a musical, crossgenerational friendship premiered at Tribeca this Spring. It has gone on to screen at Hot Docs, London, Sydney, Telluride, Provincetown, and Newport Beach, among others.
Celebrating mentorship as much as music, Hicks’ inspirational and poignant film explores the common bonds between a 92-year-old jazz legend and his 23-year-old protégé. In his storied career, Clark Terry has played with luminaries like Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and counts Quincy Jones and Miles Davis among his past pupils. Now, as he mentors his latest student, blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin, CT faces failing health while Justin tries to persevere despite severe stage fright that threatens his chances for a professional career.
Coming to theatres this Friday, October 3: THE SUPREME PRICE
Joanna Lipper’s portrait of Nigerian democracy through one family made its debut at Full Frame this year. It has gone on to screen at Nantucket, Human Rights Watch, IFF Boston, AFI Docs, and Raindance, among others.
I previously wrote about the doc for Nantucket’s program, saying:
While Hafsat Abiola was attending Harvard in 1993, her father, M.K.O. Abiola, was elected president of their native Nigeria, but he was never permitted to take control of the government. The country’s corrupt military rule refused to relinquish power, M.K.O. Abiola was imprisoned, and the election results annulled. His wife, Hafsat’s mother, Kudirat, took up his struggle and led the nation’s pro-democracy movement, but at a terrible cost. Continuing their legacy, the fearless Hafsat returns to Nigeria to correct the wrongs perpetrated against her parents and her people, and to empower other women to become involved in the struggle for greater democracy and equality.
Coming to HBO tonight, Monday, September 29: THE 50 YEAR ARGUMENT
Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s tribute to The New York Review of Books debuted as a work-in-progress at Berlin at the beginning of the year before its office premiere at Sheffield. Other appearances have included Telluride, Toronto, Jerusalem, and the New York Film Festival.
Scorsese partners with Tedeschi, his documentary editor, to celebrate a half century of intellectual curiosity and debate, as realized through the pages of the influential, if rarified, New York City literary institution. Birthed in the vacuum of a newspaper strike that threatened the industry as a whole – and as a direct criticism of The New York Times Book Review – the Review has prided itself taking its own path, criticizing the critical darlings, and spilling ink on the underappreciated. Despite its supposed titular focus on “books,” the publication has always expanded beyond that remit to offer commentary and reportage on a range of non-literary cultural and political criticism. Effectively, then, Scorsese and Tedeschi’s challenge is to condense the major developments of the past five decades – and the viewpoints of editor Robert Silvers and his contributors on this history – into an accessible form. Largely, they succeed, offering viewers a survey of the magazine’s history, an overview of its greatest-hits, and a sense of its recent concerns – represented here by critical voices on Occupy Wall Street and Tahrir Square. The result can’t hope to be comprehensive, but that’s not its intent – instead it’s more akin to skimming through an issue, reading a bit here and there when one’s curiosity is piqued, and bookmarking some articles to delve into more deeply later.
Coming to the JCC in Manhattan’s CineMatters series this Wednesday, October 1: WATCHERS OF THE SKY
Edet Belzberg’s meditation on genocide had its world premiere at Sundance this year, where it picked up two awards. It’s gone on to screen at Nantucket, Cleveland, Hot Docs, Milwaukee, Melbourne, Sydney, and Human Rights Watch, among other events.
I profiled the doc before Sundance here.
Coming to DVD this coming Tuesday, September 30: IVORY TOWER
Andrew Rossi’s look at the rising cost of higher education had its world premiere at Sundance this year. It’s gone on to Sarasota, Miami, Seattle, Full Frame, Cleveland, and Montclair, among others.
My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.
Coming to PBS tomorrow, Friday, September 26: THE RULE
Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno’s look at an accomplished Newark prep school had its world premiere at Montclair this Spring. It recently was released theatrically in NYC and Los Angeles.
I previously wrote about the doc here.