In Theatres & On VOD: DEALT

Coming to theatres and VOD tomorrow, Friday, October 20:
DEALT

Director:
Luke Korem

Premiere:
SXSW 2017

Select Festivals:
Dallas, Sarasota, IFF Boston, deadCENTER, Shanghai, New Zealand, Bergen

About:
A portrait of an acclaimed card magician who also happens to be blind.

Richard Turner has nurtured a love for playing cards into a lifelong career. While he prefers the term “card mechanic,” most would describe his sleight-of-hand proficiency as magic. Impressive as his tricks may be, they make an even bigger impact when it’s revealed that Turner is blind. As detailed in Korem’s engaging portrait, however, Turner has actively resisted being described as blind, and has typically passed as sighted, relying on his son Asa to assist him in public. When Asa must leave his father’s side for college, Turner finally must reckon with his disability and come to accept it, jettisoning decades of stubbornness and pride, and learning from the example set by his sister, who is also blind, and, like Turner, also hyper-capable.

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Margaret Mead 2017 Overview


Festival:
The 41st Margaret Mead Film Festival

Dates:
October 19-22

About:
A presentation of NYC’s American Museum of Natural History, this annual event showcases nearly 30 documentary features. Continue reading

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In Theatres: THE PARIS OPERA

Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, October 18:
THE PARIS OPERA

Director:
Jean-Stéphane Bron

Premiere:
Rendez-vous with French Cinema 2017

Select Festivals:
San Francisco, Seattle, BAFICI, BelDocs, Docs Against Gravity, Moscow, Locarno, Melbourne, New Zealand, Biografilm, Jerusalem

About:
An observational portrait of the French cultural institution over a tumultuous season.

A project in the vein of Frederick Wiseman’s institutional studies, Bron’s film provides audiences with a privileged behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Opéra de Paris, whose expansive mandate covers not only opera but orchestral concerts, ballets, and more. Eschewing interviews for fly-on-the-wall scenes, the filmmaker is presented with a bounty of goings on which could fill at least two features, from the debut and quick departure of celebrity ballet director Benjamin Millepied to a national strike hindering full productions to the terror attacks at the Bataclan and elsewhere around Paris, placing other cultural activities under high alert. Beyond the above, other threads include the experiences of a new Russian singer as he adjusts to the Opera and the search for a bull to take on a special role in the opening production of the season. It’s to Bron’s credit that he juggles these events as well as he does, though at times the film does suffer from being overstuffed. Still, it does succeed in offering a rare glimpse of what goes into pulling off world-class performing arts productions.

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In Theatres: LIBERATION DAY

Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, October 18:
LIBERATION DAY

Directors:
Morten Traavik and Uģis Olte

Premiere:
IDFA 2016

Select Festivals:
CPH:DOX, Sydney, Göteborg, Vilnius, Movies That Matter, One World, Docville

About:
A controversial cult rock band from the former Yugoslavia is selected to be the first to play in North Korea.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: HOMELAND: IRAQ YEAR ZERO

homeland-23New on VOD via Mubi this week:
HOMELAND: IRAQ YEAR ZERO

Director:
Abbas Fahdel

Premiere:
Visions du Réel 2015

Select Festivals:
New York, Rio, Lussas Doc, Hamburg, Yamagata Doc, Doclisboa, CPH:DOX, Jihlava, Mar del Plata, Cinema Vérite, Göteborg, True/False, Vilnius, BAFICI, Taiwan Doc, Dokufest Kosovo, Vienna

About:
Life in Iraq, before and after the 2003 American-led invasion.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: THE SKYJACKER’S TALE

Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, October 17:
THE SKYJACKER’S TALE

Director:
Jamie Kastner

Premiere:
Toronto 2016

Select Festivals:
CPH:DOX, Victoria

About:
A convicted murderer hijacks a passenger plane to escape to Cuba.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD/VOD: STEP

Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, October 17:
STEP

Director:
Amanda Lipitz

Premiere:
Sundance 2017

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Nantucket, True/False, Seattle, San Francisco, Wisconsin, Montclair

About:
Members of an African-American Baltimore high school stepping team pursue their goals of higher education.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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