Coming to NYC’s Film Forum today, Wednesday, October 29: REVENGE OF THE MEKONS
Joe Angio’s look at the surprisingly long-lived band debuted at DOC NYC last year. It’s gone on to screen at Cucalorus, Leeds, Milwaukee, DOXA, Sarasota, and In-Edit Barcelona, among others.
Angio’s entertaining film is a love-letter to the self-effacing UK band which started as something of an art school project at the University of Leeds but has somehow managed to continue for over three decades. Despite critical acclaim and an enthusiastic fanbase, they’ve never quite broken into mainstream success, with bandmates still having to hold day jobs. Angio charts their development from 1976 university students who didn’t quite know what punk was – or how to play the instruments they “borrowed” from the real punk band, The Gang of Four – through multiple reinventions – Thatcher-era folk, American honkeytonk, anti-grunge rock, and most recently art world darlings – alienating record companies along the way, but always remaining quintessentially punk.
Coming to Showtime tomorrow, Thursday, October 30: BRONX OBAMA
Ryan Murdock’s profile of a presidential impersonator bowed at True/False this Winter. Its fest circuit has included AFI Docs, Montclair, Traverse City, Hot Docs, Ambulante CA, and Bergen.
I previously wrote about the film here.
My look at DOC NYC 2014 continues with an overview of this year’s Special Events, signature selections with notable special guests: Continue reading
Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, October 28: RUNNING FROM CRAZY
Barbara Kopple’s exploration of mental illness in a famous family debuted at Sundance last year. It also screened at Sundance London, Tribeca, Nantucket, Hamptons, Cleveland, Camden, Full Frame, and Sarasota, among others.
I profiled the doc before Sundance here.
Coming to theatres tomorrow, Wednesday, October 29: THE GREAT INVISIBLE
Margaret Brown’s exploration of the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster debuted at SXSW this Spring, where it won the doc grand jury prize. It’s gone on to screen at New Orleans, Hot Docs, London, Camden, Abu Dhabi, Zurich, Full Frame, Philadelphia, and the upcoming DOC NYC in the Short List section.
Brown, a native of the Alabama coast that, like other Gulf coastal communities still deeply feels the impact of the oil spill, revisits the accident to which, as signaled by her film’s title, the rest of the world – and the government in particular – has too soon and too conveniently turned a blind eye. Less interested in detailing a comprehensive analysis of blame, Brown instead offers a kaleidoscopic – and sobering – view of the interconnectedness of the oil industry, Southern culture, local economies, and the natural world upon which they’re all dependent. Listening in on good ol’ boy talk from oil company execs one minute, the heartbreaking tales of depression and trauma from survivors the next, followed by the skeptical and wronged fishermen and oystermen whose livelihood has been jeopardized, the film constructs an indelible portrait of just how far-ranging Deepwater continues to be, more than four years later.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 29 sees the start of the 9th annual DocsDF: The International Documentary Film Festival of Mexico City. Attracting tens of thousands of attendees through its wrap up on Sunday, November 9, the festival presents a range of diverse programming, including competitions for new Mexican, Ibero-American, and international work, highlighted below: Continue reading
Coming to PBS’s Independent Lens tonight, Monday, October 27: BRAKELESS
Kyoko Miyake’s exploration of a Japanese train crash debuted on the BBC this Spring. It went on to screen at Sheffield, and now makes it US debut on the popular public television strand tonight.
In the Spring of 2005, a commuter train outside Osaka derailed heading into a curve, killing the driver and over 100 passengers, and injuring hundreds more. Miyake mixes animation and interviews with passengers, family members, and railway drivers to reconstruct what happened, and looks to Japan’s history to make sense of the reason for the crash: the driver’s fear of being late and losing his job as a result. In a country obsessed with technological superiority and efficiency, an 80-second delay set in motion a tragedy affecting hundreds of lives, prompting a reconsideration of national pride in relentless productivity. Far from a dry technical analysis, Miyake’s quietly observed film returns a sense of humanity to the accident, personalizing the loss through the memories of both the bereaved and of the survivors, whose recollection of mundane details from their commute – the smile on the face of an elderly passenger, bumping into a casual acquaintance – achieve a gentle poignancy.