Category Archives: Documentary

In Theatres: BOONE

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, April 28:
BOONE

Director:
Christopher LaMarca

Premiere:
SXSW 2016

Select Festivals:
New Orleans, Portland, Berlin, Maryland, Virginia, IFF Boston, Ashland, BAFICI, Thessaloniki Doc, Wild and Scenic, Woods Hole

About:
An observational portrait of a small Oregon farm.

LaMarca takes a strictly verité approach in this beautifully made, evocative look at what turns out to be the final year of Boone’s Farm, located in rural Jacksonville OR. Immersing the viewer in this setting, the film offers little in the way of explaining the relationships between the three farmers who run Boone’s, focusing instead on the hard work they do, following the natural rhythms of the farm as they tend to their goats and other livestock, make cheese, and keep up with repairs and other chores. There’s an undercurrent of sadness that comes to fruition as it’s eventually revealed that Boone’s is being sold off, but this lends the project more of a poignancy than a depressing air.

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On DVD/VOD: DISTURBING THE PEACE

New to DVD/VOD this week:
DISTURBING THE PEACE

Directors:
Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young

Premiere:
Ebertfest 2016

Select Festivals:
Jerusalem, Traverse City, Hamptons, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

About:
A profile of Combatants for Peace, a nonviolent Israeli/Palestinian peace activist coalition.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Theatres & On VOD: CASTING JONBENET

Coming to theatres and to VOD via Netflix tomorrow, Friday, April 28:
CASTING JONBENET

Director:
Kitty Green

Premiere:
Sundance 2017

Select Festivals:
Berlin, True/False, San Francisco, Montclair

About:
An exploration of the 1996 murder of child beauty pageant winner JonBenet Ramsey from the perspectives of the local community.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On DVD: AMERICAN ANARCHIST

New to DVD this week:
AMERICAN ANARCHIST

Director:
Charlie Siskel

Premiere:
Venice 2016

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Hamptons, Chicago, Vienna, Stockholm, Thessaloniki Doc, Vilnius, Cleveland

About:
The author of a notorious book is forced to reckon with its destructive impact.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Theatres: OBIT.

Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, April 26:
OBIT.

Director:
Vanessa Gould

Premiere:
Tribeca 2016

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, AFI Docs, GlobeDocs, Philadelphia, Provincetown, New Zealand, Traverse City, Hot Springs Doc, Denver, Palm Springs

About:
An inside look at The New York Times obituaries department.

Gould profiles the small editorial department of the paper of record responsible for summarizing the lives and accomplishments of a select few of the just departed, often under punishing deadlines – no pun intended. Writers and editors determine who merits the limited space that they have available, set out to confirm that their subjects have actually died – not always the case in an era of false news and rumor, and delve into the essentials of their lives. While they have headstarts on some, having crafted advanced drafts for aged public figures, for example, other deaths come as a surprise, necessitating a quick turnaround to come up with their memorial. Gould benefits from a lively cast of subjects, and from the enthusiasm and respect they show for their unusual beat.

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Hot Docs 2017 Overview

Festival:
The 24th annual Hot Docs

Dates:
April 27-May 7

About:
The Toronto event, the largest nonfiction fest in North America, offers nearly 150 new feature docs. Continue reading

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On DVD: CATHOLICS VS CONVICTS

New to DVD this week:
CATHOLICS VS CONVICTS

Director:
Patrick Creadon

Premiere:
Chicago 2016

Select Festivals:
Denver

About:
A reflection on the notorious college football rivalry between Notre Dame and the University of Miami.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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