Category Archives: Film

On VOD: ENLIGHTEN US: THE RISE AND FALL OF JAMES ARTHUR RAY

enlightenNew to VOD this week:
ENLIGHTEN US: THE RISE AND FALL OF JAMES ARTHUR RAY

Director:
Jenny Carchman

Premiere:
Tribeca 2016

Select Festivals:
Tallgrass, Telluride Mountainfilm, Poland’s American Film Festival.

About:
A disgraced self-help guru reflects on his past while trying to move forward.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: DOGS ON THE INSIDE

dogs on the insideNew to DVD this week:
DOGS ON THE INSIDE

Directors:
Brean Cunningham, Douglas Seirup

Premiere:
Boston International Film Festival 2014

Select Festivals:
San Diego, Rhode Island, Global Visions

About:
Prison inmates foster stray dogs.

In Gardner MA’s North Central Correctional Institution, the Don’t Throw Us Away program pairs prisoners with homeless and often abused strays. Saving the thankful dogs from euthanasia, inmates train and rehabilitate the canines to give them a chance to enter the adoption system, and in return provide inmates with marketable skills, responsibility, and empathy that will aid them in their return to society. In their earnest but unremarkable doc, Cunningham and Seirup profile a few pairs as they find themselves transformed by the program. Though running just over an hour, it feels like a padded PSA more than a fully fleshed out film, and might have been more successful as a short doc.

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On VOD: RESET

1237700_large_reset_original_1New to VOD this week:
RESET

Directors:
Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai

Premiere:
French TV 2015

Select Festivals:
Tribeca, Sydney, Jerusalem, Melbourne, IDFA, Seattle, Vancouver

About:
A new director aims to shake up the Paris Opera Ballet.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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Slamdance 2017: Documentary Overview

slamdanceThe 23rd edition of the Slamdance Film Festival runs this Friday, January 20 through next Thursday, January 26. The event offers just over two dozen features to compete with its higher-profile neighbor, Sundance, among them the below ten doc features:

the-children-send-their-regards-program-film-still-02_600Making their world premiere are: Cullen Hoback’s WHAT LIES UPSTREAM, following the filmmaker’s investigation into drinking water contamination; Stephen Richardson’s BOGALUSA CHARM, a portrait of a Louisiana charm school; Patricia Josefine Marchart’s THE CHILDREN SEND THEIR REGARDS (pictured), about now adult victims of clergy sexual abuse; Scott Drucker and Yu Gu’s WHO IS ARTHUR CHU?, a profile of a JEOPARDY winner-turned-cultural critic; Michael Rubenstone’s ON THE SLY: IN SEARCH OF THE FAMILY STONE, about the filmmaker’s ill-fated quest to track down the reclusive musician; and Stefan Avalos’ STRAD STYLE, which follows a man’s attempt to reproduce a Stradivari violin.

the_modern_jungle-5x7-3_600Charles Fairbanks and Saul Kak’s look at indigenous Oaxacan lives, THE MODERN JUNGLE (pictured), makes its North American premiere at the festival. US premieres include Matteo Borgardt’s YOU NEVER HAD IT: AN EVENING WITH BUKOWSKI, which repurposes a lost interview into a new portrait of the writer; and Pete Gleeson’s HOTEL COOLGARDIE, which follows the latest in a string of new young female bartenders in an Australian mining town. Finally, the festival also screens DOC NYC alum SUPERGIRL, Jesse Auritt’s portrait of an Orthodox Jewish teenage powerlifting champion.

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On DVD/VOD: HIERONYMUS BOSCH: TOUCHED BY THE DEVIL

jheronimus_bosch_-_touched_by_the_devil_12012085_st_2_s-highComing to VOD this Sunday, January 21 and to DVD next Tuesday, January 24:
HIERONYMUS BOSCH: TOUCHED BY THE DEVIL

Director:
Pieter van Huystee

Premiere:
IDFA 2015

Select Festivals:
Sydney, Moscow, DOK.fest Munich, Festival dei Popoli, Docs Against Gravity

About:
A Dutch museum organizes a 500th anniversary exhibition of the work of the medieval painter.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: TIME: THE KALIEF BROWDER STORY

time kalief browderTIME: THE KALIEF BROWDER STORY
A preview of the first two episodes of the new Spike TV docuseries examining a case of wrongful incarceration.

Festival Section:
Special Events
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On DVD: (DIS)HONESTY – THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES

dishonesty-the-truth-about-liesComing to DVD next Tuesday, January 24:
(DIS)HONESTY – THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES

Director:
Yael Melamede

Premiere:
Full Frame 2015

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, Montclair, Bentonville

About:
A consideration of the psychology behind deception.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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