In Theatres: DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, July 19:
DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME

Director:
AJ Eaton

World Premiere:
Sundance 2019

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, SXSW, Santa Barbara, Sun Valley, Seattle, Revelation Perth, Boulder

About:
A candid, warts and all portrait of the rock and roll legend.

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

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Outfest 2019: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 37th Outfest

Dates:
July 18-28

About:
Nearly 70 feature are included in the lineup of this venerable LGBTQ event, including 24 documentaries. Continue reading

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Special Screening: THE GREAT HACK

Coming to NYC’s Rooftop Films tomorrow, Thursday, July 18:
THE GREAT HACK

Directors:
Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim

World Premiere:
Sundance 2019

Select Festivals:
Sheffield, Traverse City, NewportFILM, Martha’s Vineyard

About:
A disturbing investigation into data and privacy in the modern digital age.

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

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On VOD: THE EXPERIMENTAL CITY

New to VOD this week:
THE EXPERIMENTAL CITY

Director:
Chad Freidrichs

World Premiere:
Chicago 2017

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Denver, St Louis, Big Sky Doc, Planet in Focus, DC Environmental, Salem, Sarasota, Revelation Perth, Architecture & Design fests in New York City, Washington DC, Los Angles, Rotterdam, Milan, Zurich, Copenhagen, and New Orleans

About:
A chronicle of an almost successful attempt to build the city of the future.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
In the 1960s, frustrated by the growing problem of urban pollution, Athelstan Spilhaus, a visionary scientist and futurist comic strip writer, assembled a team of experts to develop a bold experiment: the Minnesota Experimental City (MXC). MXC would be the city of the future, a domed metropolis for 250,000 pioneering residents, built from scratch and using cutting-edge technology to prevent urban sprawl and pollution. Things didn’t quite go as planned, as explored in Chad Friedrichs’ fascinating look back at the would-be city of tomorrow.

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On TV: 8 DAYS: TO THE MOON AND BACK

Coming to PBS tomorrow, Wednesday, July 17:
8 DAYS: TO THE MOON AND BACK

Director:
Anthony Philipson

World Premiere:
BBC broadcast (July 2019)

About:
An immersive revisitation of the Apollo 11 mission.

This PBS presentation may very well be the last of a veritable subgenre of Apollo documentaries released this year, all timed, of course, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of mankind setting foot on the moon. In some ways, director Anthony Philipson’s project is similar to both Todd Douglas Miller’s epic APOLLO 11 and Tom Jennings’ APOLLO: MISSIONS TO THE MOON, in that it puts heavy focus on archival material. Unlike both of those takes on the Apollo mission, however, this one chooses to incorporate extensive dramatized re-enactments to supplement extant material. In practice, this amounts to actors portraying Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Mike Collins lip-synching actual audio recordings of conversations between them and Mission Control. It’s frankly an odd stylistic choice, and one which viewers may find to be distracting more often than not. Leaving that aside, Philipson is more successful at weaving together the audio with actual mission footage, as well as Walter Cronkite’s useful CBS News coverage of those historic eight days in space. As the former plays out, particularly, of course, the lunar landing and return to Earth, the film does achieve its intended immersive impact, resulting in an at times absorbing watch that would seem to approximate the experience of watching the events on those days back in 1969.

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Special Screening: ANBESSA

Coming to NYC’s Rooftop Films tomorrow, Wednesday, July 17:
ANBESSA

Director:
Mo Scarpelli

World Premiere:
Berlin 2019

Select Festival:
Hot Docs, Maryland, Mountainfilm Telluride, Woods Hole, Human Rights Watch, Berkshire

About:
A portrait of a rural Ethiopian boy as he contends with modern development.

10-year-old Asalif lives on the outskirts of Addis Ababa with his mother in a small structure with intermittent electricity. Sprouting up around them but financially out of reach for his family is a new complex of condominiums, whose inhabitants frequently throw out treasure that the creative Asalif scavenges to repurpose into lights and toys. At night, he hears hyenas in the distance, and during the day, he occasionally listens to tall tales from the older men at the local bar. In her likeable but too understated portrait, director Mo Scarpelli observes Asalif’s childlike wonder as he explores his rapidly changing environment, plays – and fights with – local boys, and, less successfully, injects a dose of magical realism by reimagining Asalif as a would-be lion – the film’s title in Amharic – on the prowl, defending his limited domain.

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On DVD: ROBERT SHAW: MAN OF MANY VOICES

Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, July 16:
ROBERT SHAW: MAN OF MANY VOICES

Directors:
Pamela Roberts and Peter Miller

World Premiere:
Atlanta Symphony Hall (April 2016)

Select Festivals:
Newport Beach, San Diego Jewish, Breckenridge

About:
An appreciation of acclaimed conductor Robert Shaw.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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