Category Archives: Film

On VOD: ACCIDENTAL COURTESY: DARYL DAVIS, RACE & AMERICA

accidentalNew to VOD this week:
ACCIDENTAL COURTESY: DARYL DAVIS, RACE & AMERICA

Director:
Matt Ornstein

Premiere:
SXSW 2016

Select Festivals:
Cleveland, Atlanta, Nashville, Montclair, Bergen

About:
A portrait of an African-American man who befriends KKK members.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: ORIGINAL COPY

Original_Copy_1Now on VOD via Amazon Video:
ORIGINAL COPY

Directors:
Georg Heinzen and Florian Heinzen-Ziob

Premiere:
Hot Docs 2015

Notable Festivals:
Rotterdam, Vancouver, Leeds, Yamagata Doc, Mumbai, Fantastic Fest, Split, Indian/South Asian fests in San Francisco, Florida, The Hague, and Stuttgart

About:
Mumbai’s last film poster painter struggles to maintain his craft in a changing world.

Mumbai movie theatre Alfred Talkies has seen better days. Dwindling audiences and changing tastes have put the future of the cinema in jeopardy. Behind the scenes is Sheikh Rehman and his small team of craftsmen, who maintain an art studio within the Alfred, where the compose and produce the colorful, lurid movie poster paintings which promote the Bollywood cinema on offer at the theatre. The father and son filmmaking team observe Rehman at work as he explains the science of his design, which involves copying actor photographs in a massive scale, supplemented by action shots to tempt potential viewers; schools his young protegé; and reckon with an uncertain future. The wistful result is at once a portrait of a dying institution and its artisans, as well as a love letter to film and to cinema-going.

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On DVD: SPEED SISTERS

SPEEDSISTERS-KEYNew to DVD this week:
SPEED SISTERS

Director:
Amber Fares

Premiere:
Hot Docs 2015

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Global Visions, Sheffield, Melbourne, EBS Doc, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Calgary, Rio, CPH:DOX, Santa Barbara, If Istanbul, Athena, Glasgow, One World, Atlanta, Cleveland, Palestine fests in Toronto, Atlanta, Boston, DC, Chicago, and Houston

About:
A portrait of an unlikely group of race-car athletes.

I previously wrote about the film here.

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On VOD: THEY CALL US MONSTERS

they_call_us_monsters_still_2_h_2016Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, February 21:
THEY CALL US MONSTERS

Director:
Ben Lear

Premiere:
Los Angeles Film Festival 2016

Select Festivals:
AFI Docs, Austin, Human Rights Watch, Hot Springs Doc, Antenna Doc, Heartland,

About:
A consideration of juvenile offenders who are tried as adults.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: HAUNTERS

1201x782-Haunters_Photo3_byIvayloGetov-1160x652Now on VOD:
HAUNTERS

Director:
Anthony Morrison

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2014

Select Festivals:
Hot Springs Doc, Freep

About:
A behind-the-scenes look at a family that runs a haunted house.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Phobia House consistently has been ranked as one of the best haunted houses in Michigan, but that didn’t stop the fire marshal from shutting down the Gerard family-run business last year. Determined to make up for their losses, the Gerards set out to create their scariest attraction ever. Anthony Morrison shadows them as they scout a new venue, recruit a motley crew of zombies, host screaming sorority visitors, and even contend with intimidation tactics by the local competition in the lead-up to Halloween.

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On TV: 70 ACRES IN CHICAGO: CABRINI GREEN

70acres_0Coming to the World Channel’s America ReFramed tonight, Tuesday, February 21:
70 ACRES IN CHICAGO: CABRINI GREEN

Director:
Ronit Bezalel

Premiere:
Black Harvest 2015

Notable Festivals:
African Diaspora, Chicago International Social Change, Collected Voices

About:
A chronicle of an urban renewal project and gentrification.

Filmed over the course of two decades, Bezalel’s project explores the fate of Chicago’s Cabrini Green public housing projects. Developed between 1942 and 1961 to serve as housing for lower income working class families, a lack of upkeep and a rise in factors associated with poverty – crime, gangs, and drugs – contributed to Cabrini Green’s degradation in the 1980s and 1990s. Concurrently, the projects’ location, adjacent to Chicago’s in-demand lakefront communities, grew desireable for redevelopment, spurring Mayor Richard M Daley’s controversial plan to raze Cabrini Green’s towers and replace them with mixed-income housing. Bezalel’s film surveys the impact of this decision, from community organizers protesting the racial and class undertones of this plan to its uneasy implementation over the years that follow, including draconian restrictions that have had the (likely intended) effect of keeping out most of Cabrini’s past African-American residents. Unfortunately constraining this complex material to a far-too-truncated hourlong project, the director overly depends on overwritten narration that detracts from the stronger longitudinal observational footage featuring appealing subjects like teenager Raymond McDonald. Despite this, the film takes on a vital subject, and demonstrates over time the consequences of ill-thought out “urban renewal” programs that don’t take into account the communities which will be most affected.

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On VOD: RATS

RATS_01Now on VOD via Amazon:
RATS

Director:
Morgan Spurlock

Premiere:
Toronto 2016

Select Festivals:
IDFA, Camden, Fantastic Fest

About:
A look at how humans deal with the furry vermin around the world.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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