On VOD: LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST

Coming to VOD via Shudder today, Thursday, November 19:
LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST

Director:
Alexandre O Philippe

World Premiere:
Venice 2019

Select Festivals:
Sundance, London, Sitges, Docs Against Gravity

About:
A dissection of the 1973 horror classic through an extensive conversation with its director.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On VOD: COWBOYS

New to VOD this week:
COWBOYS

Director:
Bud Force and John Langmore

World Premiere:
Austin 2019

Select Festivals:
Sun Valley, Thin Line, Lone Star

About:
A portrait of modern-day cowboys over a year.

Shot on eight ranches in seven states in the American West, Bud Force and John Langmore’s thoughtful film details the work of cowboys today over the four seasons. While some of the interviewees, particularly the older ones, relate stories of the past, and some evocative photography captures cowboys in some indeterminate prior decades, the film is very much rooted in the reality of the profession in the present, exploring the sacrifice and hard work involved. More of a portrait of a profession rather than of individuals, the project captures an essential way of life that is still hanging on despite feeling somewhat out of its time.

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On DVD: DESOLATION CENTER

New to DVD this week:
DESOLATION CENTER

Director:
Stuart Swezey

World Premiere:
CPH:DOX 2018

Select Festivals:
Sheffield, DokuFest, Big Sky Doc, Slamdance, DOXA, Indielisboa, Chicago Underground, Revelation, Sydney Underground, In-Edit Spain, Cork, Freep, Florida

About:
A look back at underground happenings stemming from the 1980s LA punk and industrial scene.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: CRAZY, NOT INSANE

Coming to HBO tonight, Wednesday, November 18:
CRAZY, NOT INSANE

Director:
Alex Gibney

World Premiere:
SXSW 2020 (unscreened)

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, CPH:DOX, IDFA, Venice, Montclair

About:
A profile of a psychiatrist specializing in serial killers.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
As a Jewish girl growing up in the 1940s, Dorothy Lewis was driven to understand what makes people into killers, leading her to become a psychiatrist specializing in serial killers. Now in her 80s, she shares her controversial insights with Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney. The film draws upon Lewis’s writings (read by Laura Dern) as well as recordings she made with infamous killers including Ted Bundy. Critics have lauded Crazy, Not Insane as being “ominously absorbing” (Variety) with “clear-eyed compassion” (The Hollywood Reporter).

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In Virtual Release: BORN TO BE

Coming to virtual cinemas today, Wednesday, November 18:
BORN TO BE

Director:
Tania Cypriano

World Premiere:
New York Film Festival 2019

Select Festivals:
Docaviv, Hamptons, Palm Springs, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sarasota, Cleveland, Nashville, Cinequest, Seattle Asian American

About:
A portrait of a physician who specializes in gender transition surgery and his patients at Mt Sinai.

Dr Jess Ting heads up Mt Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York City, but, as he explains early in Tania Cypriano’s affecting film, just a few years ago, he wasn’t even sure he understood what “transgender” meant. He quickly began to learn, drawing on the expertise of visiting surgeons like Dr Marci Bowers, and, in turn, mentoring a new fellow through the course of the film, pointing to the growing need of this specialization in the field – made clear as Dr Ting’s patients contend with months-long waiting lists for consultations, despite a growing staff. While following the unassuming, sympathetic doctor through his work, the filmmaker introduces several of his patients, each reflecting the significance these kinds of surgeries can have for their overall well-being, and providing a welcome humanization rather than a clinical focus on the medical procedures themselves.

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On VOD: YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE AND I DON’T

New to VOD this week:
YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE AND I DON’T

Director:
Scott Kirschenbaum

World Premiere:
Camden 2011

About:
An intimate exploration of the life of a woman with Alzheimer’s.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: NOMAD: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BRUCE CHATWIN

New to DVD this week:
NOMAD: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BRUCE CHATWIN

Director:
Werner Herzog

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2019

Select Festivals:
Telluride, Sheffield, Vancouver, Rome, Doclisboa, Rio, Palm Springs

About:
A personal reflection on the master filmmaker’s friendship with the late English travel writer and adventurer.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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IDFA 2020 Overview, Part Two

Festival:
The 33rd IDFA

Dates:
November 18-December 6

About:
Yesterday’s post covered the Dutch event’s competitive sections, while today’s looks at non-competitive programming strands.

Continue reading

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On DVD: AGGIE

Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, November 17:
AGGIE

Director:
Catherine Gund

World Premiere:
Sundance 2020

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, MoMA Documentary Fortnight, Cleveland, San Francisco, Ashland, Salem

About:
The filmmaker profiles her mother, the influential art collector, philanthropist, and social justice advocate, Agnes Gund.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On VOD: THE TEST & THE ART OF THINKING

Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, November 17:
THE TEST & THE ART OF THINKING

Director:
Michael Arlen Davis

Premiere:
San Luis Obispo 2018

About:
A detailed examination and critique of the SAT and standardized testing.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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