2014 DOC NYC in Focus: Special Events

BanksyDoesNY460My look at DOC NYC 2014 continues with an overview of this year’s Special Events, signature selections with notable special guests: Continue reading

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On DVD: RUNNING FROM CRAZY

running from crazyComing 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.

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In Theatres: THE GREAT INVISIBLE

1201x782-GREAT-INVISIBLE-courtesy-of-RADiUS-copy-1160x652Coming 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.

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DocsDF 2014 Overview

revela-novena--500x281Tomorrow, 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

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On TV: BRAKELESS

brakelessComing 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.

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2014 DOC NYC in Focus: Galas

doc nycAmerica’s largest documentary festival, DOC NYC, celebrates its 5th anniversary next month, presenting over 150 films and events November 13-20. As the festival’s Director of Programming, I’m looking forward to presenting this work to our audience here in New York, and will once again profile each programming section here, starting with our Gala presentations. Continue reading

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On DVD: BOUND BY FLESH

bound-by-flesh_592x299Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, October 28: BOUND BY FLESH

Leslie Zemeckis’ biography of once-famed conjoined performers bowed at the Hollywood Film Festival in 2012. Other fests included Chicago, AFI Fest, and Santa Barbara, before its theatrical release this Summer.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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