Category Archives: Recommendations

Special Screening: THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS

measure of all thingsComing to NYC’s The Kitchen tomorrow, Friday, November 21 and Saturday, November 22: THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS

Sam Green’s live documentary rumination on mankind’s desire to make sense of itself debuted at Sundance at the beginning of the year. Performances followed at Hot Docs, Planete+ Doc, Sheffield, and at Mass MOCA, among other venues.

I profiled the project before Sundance here.

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In Theatres: LITTLE WHITE LIE

little whiteComing to theatres tomorrow, Friday, November 21: LITTLE WHITE LIE

Lacey Schwartz’s personal exploration of the impact of family secrets had its premiere at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The doc has gone on to screen at DOC NYC, New Orleans, Sidewalk, Black Harvest, BlackStar, Trinidad and Tobago, Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard African American, and Philadelphia Jewish fests, among others.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Growing up in an upper-middle-class Jewish household, Lacey Schwartz knew she looked different from the rest of her family, but her darker complexion and curly hair were brushed off as traits inherited from her Sicilian grandfather. When she finally begins to dig deeper, Lacey uncovers unspoken family secrets and willful denial that cuts to the core of her very sense of self, inspiring an intriguing re-evaluation and redefinition of identity.

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Special Screening: A WORLD NOT OURS

A-World-Not-Ours-Key-Image-580x300Coming to NYC’s Maysles Cinema as part of the DocWatchers series tonight, Thursday, November 20: A WORLD NOT OURS

Mahdi Fleifel’s memoir of his refugee camp upbringing bowed at Toronto in 2012. Other fest screenings included Berlin, Abu Dhabi, CPH:DOX, BAFICI, and DOC NYC, where it won a jury award.

I previously wrote about the doc upon its theatrical debut here.

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In Theatres & On VOD: DEATH METAL ANGOLA

Death-Metal-Angola-Key-Image-Johan-Legraie-280x140Coming to theatres and to VOD tomorrow, Friday, November 21: DEATH METAL ANGOLA

Jeremy Xido’s look at catharsis through music debuted at Dubai in 2012. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, New Orleans, Rotterdam, Sarasota, BAFICI, DMZ Docs, CPH:DOX, Docslisboa, In-Edit Rio, Transylvania, Sydney, and Bergen, among several others. In addition to its theatrical run in NYC, the film becomes available on iTunes.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Sonia runs the Okutiuka orphanage in Huambo, Angola’s second largest city, nearly decimated by decades of civil war. Her boyfriend, Wilker, is a death metal guitarist. To raise awareness and funds for the orphanage, the industrious couple organizes the country’s first-ever national rock concert, tapping into the unexpected healing power hardcore music can engender in a youth population that has directly witnessed the worst of humanity and now only seeks a peaceful future.

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In Theatres & On VOD: HAPPY VALLEY

happy valleyComing to theatres today, Wednesday, November 19 and to VOD this Friday, November 21: HAPPY VALLEY

Amir Bar-Lev’s look at the community most affected by the Penn State scandal had its world premiere at Sundance this year. It has gone on to screen at Nantucket, DOC NYC, Hamptons, Camden, Traverse City, Indie Memphis, BAMcinemaFest, Philadelphia, Sarasota, True/False, Nashville, and Little Rock, among several others.

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

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In Theatres: PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH & SUPERMARKETS

pulpComing to theatres today, Wednesday, November 19: PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH & SUPERMARKETS

Florian Habicht’s affectionate ode to the band and to the working-class city that birthed it bowed at SXSW this Spring. It went on to screen at Hot Docs, Sheffield, Film Society’s Sound + Vision, Awesome Fest, Rooftop Films, Docaviv, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai, Traverse City, Dokufest, Taipei Golden Horse, Ambulante, and In-Edit Barcelona, among several others.

Habicht’s refreshingly quirky take on the music doc makes for a perfect match with the Sheffield band’s sensibilities. At once down-to-earth and tragically hip, the Jarvis Cocker-fronted Britpop band returns to its hometown to give a final concert, and one that aims to make up for their memorably underwhelming 1988 farewell concert. Rather than mixing the expected concert performance footage with backstage hijinks or snippets of band history, Habicht’s film instead uncovers the key to understanding the band’s appeal in a portrait that captures the city itself, whose residents, old and young, espouse a general, if sometimes muted, admiration for the local boys (and one girl) who made it in the big time in the mid-1990s. Beyond casual interviews with the band, the driving conceit of the film is Habicht’s staging of several elaborate set pieces starring local residents as they enact some of the band’s repertoire, including “Common People” and “Help the Aged,” to create a whimsical, often charming, and very human testament to the connection between the band and the city.

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IDFA 2014: Overview, Part Two

idfa_logoI covered IDFA‘s competitions yesterday, while today’s looks at the fest’s non-competitive programs. The festival’s 27th edition begins tomorrow evening, and runs through Sunday, November 30. Continue reading

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