Category Archives: Releases

On VOD: HOMO SAPIENS

New to VOD via Amazon this week: HOMO SAPIENS

Director:
Nikolaus Geyrhalter

Premiere:
Berlin 2016

Notable Festivals:
Cinéma du Réel, Honk Kong, BAFICI, Docville, DOK.fest Munich, Docs Against Gravity, DocAviv

About:
A portrait of nature’s reclamation of once inhabited spaces.

I previously wrote about the film here.

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In Theatres: GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM

Coming to theatres this Friday, March 31:
GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM

Directors:
Todd Wider and Jedd Wider

Premiere:
Hot Docs 2016

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, DOC NYC, Cleveland, Big Sky Doc, Kansas City, Calgary, Woodstock, Hamptons, Maryland, Full Frame

About:
An immersive exploration of a woman’s experience of mental illness.

I previously wrote about the film for Nantucket’s program, saying:
After one of the coldest winters on record, a woman’s body is found in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse. A journal next to her reveals her name, Linda Bishop, and chronicles her life with poignancy, humor, and beauty. It also offers clues as to how she came to this unfortunate end. Using Linda’s own words, supplemented by interviews with family members and friends, the Wider brothers simultaneously construct a compelling, poetic eulogy to a once bright, vivacious woman who fell victim to an insidious enemy – mental illness – and offer an indictment of a flawed mental health care system.

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In Theatres: TONY CONRAD: COMPLETELY IN THE PRESENT

Coming to theatres this Friday, March 31:
TONY CONRAD: COMPLETELY IN THE PRESENT

Director:
Tyler Hubby

Premiere:
Chicago Underground 2016

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Leeds, Cork, Rotterdam, Big Sky Doc, Ann Arbor

About:
A portrait of the late, pioneering artist.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Filmed over the past two decades, acclaimed editor Tyler Hubby’s feature directorial debut captures the freewheeling creativity of the groundbreaking avant-garde multimedia artist Tony Conrad, whose work in experimental film and video, music, and sound art – and even public television – spans more than 50 years. From flicker films and drone music to collaborations with Jack Smith and Lou Reed, Conrad playfully and joyously pushed the limits of art in its various forms, inspiring the likes of the Velvet Underground, Moby, and the Yes Men.

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In Theatres: ALL THIS PANIC

Coming to theatres this Friday, March 31:
ALL THIS PANIC

Director:
Jenny Gage

Premiere:
Tribeca 2016

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, Tribeca, Camden, Vancouver, London, Göteborg, Glasgow, CPH:DOX, Cleveland

About:
A portrait of teen girls coming of age.

I previously wrote about the doc for Nantucket’s program, saying:
Teenagers grow up fast, but perhaps nowhere else quite so rapidly as in New York City. Fine art photographers-turned-filmmakers Jenny Gage and Tom Betterton turn their cameras on Ginger and Dusty, the teenage daughters of their Brooklyn neighbors, and capture their coming of age as it unfolds over three years. Beyond profiling the contrasting personalities of the sisters, this intimate, enchanting film expands into their social circle to include five other girls, each finding her own way. Gage and Betterton balance the excitement and drama of growing up with the bittersweet changes young adulthood brings to family and friendships.

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In Theatres: DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE

Coming to theatres this Friday, March 31:
DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE

Directors:
Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm

Premiere:
Venice 2016

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, London, Taipei Golden Horse, Rotterdam, SXSW, CPH:PIX, Hong Kong

About:
The famed filmmaker reflects on his origins as a visual artist.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
While known for his distinctive, dreamlike films like BLUE VELVET and MULHOLLAND DRIVE, David Lynch began his creative explorations through art, originally training as a painter in Philadelphia. This candid profile grants viewers unparalleled, intimate access to the enigmatic auteur while he works in his painting studio. Early memories and reflections on his formative years through the triumph of ERASERHEAD reveal eerie connections to his body of work, making this portrait an indispensable look at an artist and his process.

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On DVD: FOR GRACE

Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, March 28:
FOR GRACE

Directors:
Kevin Pang and Mark Helenowski

Premiere:
SXSW 2015

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Nashville, Hot Docs, Bentonville, Documentary Edge, Seattle, SF Doc Fest, Melbourne, Chicago, Tallgrass

About:
A portrait of a chef as he embarks on the opening of his new restaurant.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Coming to HBO next Monday, March 27:
ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Directors:
Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

Premiere:
HBO (March 2017)

About:
A Florida prison program provides a last chance for young perpetrators to avoid extensive sentences.

The Miami-Dade County Corrections & Rehabilitation Boot Camp Program puts young inmates through their paces over 16 arduous weeks in the hopes that the experience will help them turn their lives around before they become part of the revolving door of the prison system. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who executive produced the project, knows this world well, having had run-ins with the law as a youth. Appearing in the film, he encourages the young men to take advantage of the program, no matter how difficult the drill instructors push them, knowing that on the other end is the possibility of a new start. Alpert and O’Neill follow several subjects through the rigorous boot camp, designed to break them down through psychological and physical tests, encourage them to break bad habits, learn discipline, and prepare them for life on the outside so that they don’t once again return to lives of crime. While subjects aren’t individuated particularly well, the overall setting is very effectively conveyed, offering viewers an often intense and affecting experience.

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