Category Archives: Releases

In Theatres & On VOD: FLOYD NORMAN: AN ANIMATED LIFE

floyd_norman_at_the_board_apprentice_inbetweener_sleeping_beauty_1956-h_2016New to theatres and VOD today, Friday, August 26: FLOYD NORMAN: AN ANIMATED LIFE

Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey’s portrait of an unsung animator made its debut at Santa Barbara earlier this year. It also screened at Bentonville and Comic-Con.

While not a household name, Floyd Norman was deemed worthy of his own documentary for several notable reasons: He is Disney’s first African-American animator, hired in 1956; he has been part of the creative team of classics like SLEEPING BEAUTY, 101 DALMATIONS, and MARY POPPINS; and, now in his 80s, he makes for an affable, at times wry, subject. Fiore and Sharkey’s film is largely an affectionate tribute to Norman, only occasionally delving into deeper topics of racism and ageism. While his pioneering role at Disney is noted by several individuals here, Norman apparently only had minor issues with some racist co-workers early on, and he resists the label of “black animator” in favor of, simply, “animator.” In contrast, there’s clearly more of a lingering resentment with his forced dismissal from Disney when he reached 65. Not interested in retirement, Norman just kept coming to the Disney offices, serving as an elder statesman of sorts, giving advice, until finally, the powers that be saw the light and rehired him. Covering 60 years and countless films and TV shows, the documentary sometimes feels a bit like a greatest hits survey, but succeeds in clearly capturing its subject and his love of storytelling, illustrated here by original, playful animated sequences as well as quick sketches created off the cuff by Norman.

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On VOD: HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD…

how to let goComing to VOD today, Friday, August 26: HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD (AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE)

Josh Fox’s personal exploration of climate change debuted at Sundance earlier this year. Its fest circuit has also included Hot Docs, Cleveland, Thin Line, and environmental fests in San Francisco, Washington DC, Princeton, and Yale.

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

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On VOD: MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER

MyLoveDontCrossThatRiver-thumb-630xauto-55760Coming to VOD next Tuesday, August 30: MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER

Jin Mo-young’s affectionate profile of inseparable elder love had its premiere at DMZ Docs in 2014. It went on to screen at Hot Docs, Los Angeles, Tempo Doc, Visions du Reel, DocAviv, Sydney, BFI London, RIDM, DOK Leipzig, Moscow, Hamptons, and the New York Asian fests.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: I AM SUN MU

IAMSUNMU-KEYNew to VOD this week: I AM SUN MU

Adam Sjöberg’s portrait of a dissident artist debuted at DMZ Docs last year. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, Boulder, Salem, Human Rights Watch London, Movies That Matter, Cleveland, and DocAviv, among others. It is now available on VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, XBOX, and Vimeo On Demand.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
After fleeing his native North Korea to defect to the south, the artist Sun Mu works under a defiant alias meaning “no boundaries” to criticize the repressive regime of Kim Jong-un. A former propaganda artist, he subverts familiar images which once glorified the Supreme Leader, transforming them into satirical political pop art. Offered an unlikely solo exhibition in China, the anonymous artist prepares his show undercover, potentially risking his own freedom and safety to expose the truth through art.

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On DVD: THE CASE OF THE THREE SIDED DREAM

Rahsaan1-710x450Coming to DVD tomorrow, Friday, August 26: THE CASE OF THE THREE SIDED DREAM

Adam Kahan’s profile of experimental jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk debuted at SXSW in 2014. It went on to screen at New Orleans, IDFA, Big Sky, Full Frame, Salem, Atlanta’s Pan African, Florida, and jazz fests in New York and Burlington, among other events.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: PAPIROSEN

24RDP_PAPIROSEN_SPAN-master1050New to DVD this week: PAPIROSEN

Gastón Solnicki’s generational portrait of his family debuted at Locarno in 2011. Other screenings have included Thessaloniki Doc, Rotterdam, BAFICI, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, San Sebastian, Jeonju, and the New York and San Francisco Jewish fests.

Solnicki captures four generations of his argumentative Argentine-Jewish family over more than fifty years. While most of the footage is his own, stemming from about ten years of recording, the director also mixes in Super 8 shot by other family members that goes back much further. Presented in an often jumbled manner, moving back and forth through time, the cacophony can overwhelm at times. Still, Solnicki’s intimate profile also forces the viewer into the role of silent witness, privy to the tortured imprint the Holocaust has left on his entire clan, from those who made the initial journey from Poland to Argentina in the 1940s, to their offspring who grew up feeling the consequences of this exodus: anger, sadness, and seemingly perpetual dissatisfaction.

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On DVD: THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD

brainwashing_of_my_dad_2New to DVD: THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD

Jen Senko’s personal look at right-wing media premiered at Cinequest earlier this year. Screenings followed at Sarasota, Beverly Hills, and San Luis Obispo.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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