Category Archives: Film

On DVD/VOD: BOGALUSA CHARM

New to DVD and VOD this week:
BOGALUSA CHARM

Director:
Steve Richardson

Premiere:
Slamdance 2017

Select Festivals:
Bentonville, SF Doc Fest

About:
A portrait of a small Louisiana town known for its charm school.

Bogalusa, Louisiana developed as a company town around the world’s largest sawmill in the 1900s. Today, the paper mill that replaced it accounts for most of the town’s economy. Director Steve Richardson returns to his hometown to craft an understated, even rough-hewn, but revealing portrait in his almost Errol Morris-like slice of small-town Americana. At its core is Miss Dixie, who has run her summertime Smoky Creek Charm School for girls for nearly three decades. Representing the traditional Southern way, the school extols old-fashioned etiquette and gender roles, and is noticeably primarily geared toward nice, white, Christian girls. Other Bogalusa residents speak more candidly about the Southern town’s relationship to race and religion, both historic and present-day, notably Sandy, who owns local restaurant Birdie’s Roadhouse. Though a smaller film, it maintains viewer interest in piecing together its mosaic of provincial Southern life.

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On DVD & Digital Download: NARCISSISTER ORGAN PLAYER

photo by PJ Norman

New to DVD and digital download this week:
NARCISSISTER ORGAN PLAYER

Director:
Narcissister

Premiere:
Sundance 2018

Select Festivals:
SXSW, Locarno, Frameline, Outfest, Stockholm

About:
Against the backdrop of her provocative and inventive performance, Narcissister reflects on the personal impact of her mother’s illness and death.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Releases, Sundance

On VOD: FREE SOLO

Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, February 12:
FREE SOLO

Directors:
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

Premiere:
Telluride 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Toronto, Los Angeles

Notable Recognition:
The documentary has been nominated for the Academy Awards.

About:
The chronicle of a man’s attempt to be the first person to scale a notorious cliff wall without ropes or safety gear.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD/VOD: ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX FASHION & DISCO

Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, February 12:
ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX FASHION & DISCO

Director:
James Crump

Premiere:
London 2017

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, IDFA, Guadalajara

About:
A portrait of an unheralded figure in the 1970s fashion scene.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: THE WORLD BEFORE YOUR FEET

Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, February 12:
THE WORLD BEFORE YOUR FEET

Director:
Jeremy Workman

Premiere:
SXSW 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Denver, IFF Boston, Nashville, RiverRun, Newport Beach, deadCENTER, Heartland, Bergen, Woodstock, Hot Springs Doc

About:
A man explores NYC by walking every single one of its streets.

I previously wrote about the film here.

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On TV: SEALAB

Coming to PBS’s American Experience today, Monday, February 11:
SEALAB

Director:
Stephen Ives

Premiere:
American Experience (February 2019)

About:
The story of the pioneering US Navy project which expanded the limits of deep sea diving.

Even as America’s astronauts were inspiring the country with their brave exploration of the final frontier, another group of pioneers were poised to challenge another great unknown – the unforgiving and dangerous deeps of the ocean. As revealed in Stephen Ives’ informative film, these aquanauts were part of Sealab, an experimental project conceived by Dr George Bond, a rural Appalachian doctor on a mission to expand humans’ ability to explore the ocean by expanding our ability to endure the pressures of the ocean floor and to successfully escape its dangers. Under Bond’s leadership, the program successfully broke deep sea diving records and trained the next generation of undersea explorers, though a tragic accident unfortunately led to its premature conclusion. While following in the standard American Experience mode, the doc impresses with its archival footage as it reveals the largely forgotten story of Sealab.

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On TV: STUDIO 54

Coming to A&E tonight, Monday, February 11:
STUDIO 54

Director:
Matt Tyrnauer

Premiere:
Sundance 2018

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, Tribeca, Full Frame, CPH:DOX, Reykjavik, Provincetown, Santa Barbara, Hot Springs Doc, Savannah, Vancouver, Sidewalk, Outfest, Frameline

About:
A look back at the meteoric rise and crushing fall of the legendary NYC nightclub.

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

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance