Category Archives: Recommendations

In Theatres: NO ORDINARY MAN

Coming to theatres today, Friday, July 16:
NO ORDINARY MAN

Director:
Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt

World Premiere:
Toronto 2020

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, AFI Fest, Inside Out, Calgary, Translations, Vancouver, RIDM, Atlantic, NewFest, Sofia, Sydney Mardi Gras, BFI Flare, Salem, Cleveland

About:
The legacy of musician Billy Tipton is brought to life by a diverse group of contemporary trans artists.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
For decades, the life of American jazz musician Billy Tipton was framed as the sensationalistic story of an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of a music career. Now that history gets re-interrogated by trans artists as they try to reimagine Tipton’s life through acts of performance, reclaiming him as a trans icon. Filmmakers Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt join Tipton’s adopted son to reckon with Tipton’s complicated and contested legacy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

In Theatres/Virtual Release: CAN YOU BRING IT: BILL T JONES AND D-MAN IN THE WATERS

Coming to theatres and virtual cinemas tomorrow, Friday, July 16:
CAN YOU BRING IT: BILL T JONES AND D-MAN IN THE WATERS

Director:
Rosalynde LeBlanc, Tom Hurwitz

World Premiere:
DOC NYC 2020

Select Festivals:
Frameline, Vancouver, Milwaukee, SF Dance, Outshine Miami

About:
The story behind Bill T Jones and Arnie Zane’s titular performance piece on the devastation of AIDS.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Beginning in 1980s New York City, this film chronicles the love story between dancers Bill T Jones and Arnie Zane, the diverse dance company they founded, and the painful devastation of AIDS on the arts community, as told through the company’s signature performance piece D-Man in the Waters. Following a millennial dance troupe’s efforts to re-interpret the piece for their generation, directors Rosalynde LeBlanc and Tom Hurwitz offer an engrossing examination of dance, love, and loss—and the power of art to move through pain. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

In Theatres: ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, July 16:
ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN

Director:
Morgan Neville

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2021

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, AFI Docs

About:
A remarkably constructed portrait of the uncommon life and untimely death of the late storyteller, explorer, and chef.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

On VOD: THE LONELIEST WHALE: THE SEARCH FOR 52

Coming to VOD this Friday, July 16:
THE LONELIEST WHALE: THE SEARCH FOR 52

Director:
Joshua Zeman

World Premiere:
Nantucket 2021

Select Festivals:
Boulder

About:
In this fascinating story about isolation and interconnection, the filmmaker and a team of intrepid scientists set out on a wild quest to find the 52 Hertz Whale, which has spent its entire life calling out at a frequency that is different from any other whale.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

On TV: LANDFALL

Coming to PBS’s POV tonight, Monday, July 12:
LANDFALL

Director:
Cecilia Aldarondo

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2020 (unscreened)

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, New Orleans, BlackStar, IDFA, Florida, Boston Latino, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia Latino, Guanajuato, Camden

About:
A poetic look at Puerto Rico as the island faces new challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane María.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
An intimate and lyrical portrait of trauma, resilience, and resistance in Puerto Rico at a time when economic, political, and ecological forces post-Hurricane María have created a breeding ground for new predatory colonial practices. Told through the experiences of a close-knit community of hopeful and politicized people and through the encounters with cryptocurrency traders, luxury real estate developers, and newcomers flooding the island, Cecilia Aldarondo’s film raises vital questions about identity, survival, and recolonization.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

In Theatres: THE LONELIEST WHALE: THE SEARCH FOR 52

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, July 9:
THE LONELIEST WHALE: THE SEARCH FOR 52

Director:
Joshua Zeman

World Premiere:
Nantucket 2021

Select Festivals:
Boulder

About:
In this fascinating story about isolation and interconnection, the filmmaker and a team of intrepid scientists set out on a wild quest to find the 52 Hertz Whale, which has spent its entire life calling out at a frequency that is different from any other whale.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

Special Screening: TAMING THE GARDEN

Coming to Rooftop Films tomorrow, Friday, July 9:
TAMING THE GARDEN

Director:
Salomé Jashi

World Premiere:
Sundance 2021

Select Festivals:
Berlin, CPH:DOX, New Directors/New Films, Shanghai, Cinéma du Réel

About:
An artful look at the unusual disruption caused by the removal and transport of several massive trees from small Georgian villages.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

Leave a comment

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

On VOD: OVER THE LIMIT

Coming to VOD via Film Movement+ this Friday, July 9:
OVER THE LIMIT

Director:
Marta Prus

Premiere:
IDFA 2017

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, Moscow Doc, Visions du Reél, DOK.fest Munich, DocsBarcelona, Zagreb Dox, Krakow, Docpoint, Göteborg, Thessaloniki Doc, One World, Ambulante

About:
A brutally candid look at a rhythmic gymnast’s Olympic training.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

On DVD: STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET

Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, July 6:
STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET

Director:
Marilyn Agrelo

World Premiere:
Sundance 2021

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, Seattle, San Francisco

About:
A look back at the origins of the pioneering children’s television powerhouse.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

Leave a comment

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

Cannes 2021: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 74th Cannes Film Festival

Dates:
July 6-17

About:
After postponing and then cancelling its 2020 edition, the most influential cinema event in the world returns with a robust slate of nearly 100 new features, counting two dozen docs among that number – although none in either Competition or Un Certain Regard. Its parallel sidebars, meanwhile, offer just three nonfiction works among their combined 37 slots.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations