On VOD: THE PEARL BUTTON

pearlNew to OVID.tv last week: THE PEARL BUTTON

Director:
Patricio Guzmán

World Premiere:
Berlin 2015

Select Festivals:
Toronto, BAFICI, Biografilm, Sydney, Jerusalem, Melbourne, San Sebastian, Bergen, Vancouver, London, Yamagata

About:
A personal excavation of Chile’s dark legacy.

I previously wrote about the film here.

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On VOD: BOYS WHO LIKE GIRLS

New to OVID.tv last week:
BOYS WHO LIKE GIRLS

Director:
Inka Achté

World Premiere:
Sheffield 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Bergen, Sao Paulo, Nordisk Panorama, Helsinki

About:
Indian men and boys seek to break the cycle of gendered violence.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
In the aftermath of the infamous Delhi gang rape, one man works to change the way Indian boys view females. Harish and his nonprofit are devoted to educating impoverished male youth like Ved to respect women and girls. Despite the progress the activist makes in combating toxic masculinity, Harish struggles to find funding because his work is focused on males. Provoking and thoughtful, Inka Achté’s film is a tender tale of activism in the midst of a furious global discussion on gendered violence.

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Neighboring Scenes 2020: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 5th Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema

Dates:
February 14-18

About:
Presented by Film at Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical, this annual showcase of contemporary Latin America Cinema is split evenly between fiction and nonfiction work. Continue reading

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On VOD: DON’T BE A DICK ABOUT IT

New to VOD this week:
DON’T BE A DICK ABOUT IT

Director:
Ben Mullinkosson

World Premiere:
IDFA 2018

Select Festivals:
Sheffield, Göteborg, DocPoint Helsinki, Docs Against Gravity, Maryland, DocPoint Tallinn

About:
An affectionate portrait of a pair of bickering teenage brothers.

The duo at the center of Ben Mullinkosson’s unassuming but often very entertaining film are his cousins, Peter and Matthew, who he follows over the course of a summer vacation. Their ginger hair may be all the brothers have in common; Peter, on the autism spectrum, is outgoing, loud, and immature, while Matthew is quieter, awkward, and has an irrational fear of dogs. Obsessed with the reality competition show SURVIVOR, Peter generates frequent humor here as he “votes off” family members from his presence when they irritate him, something Matthew barely tolerates, generating universally familiar moments of sibling antagonism. Mullinkosson’s camera – often acknowledged by the boys – captures these and other mundane moments over the course of the slight, barely feature-length running time, and while the results may not be earth-shattering, they’re certainly both pleasurable and memorable.

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In Theatres: THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS

Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, February 12:
THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS

Director:
Patricio Guzmán

World Premiere:
Cannes 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Biografilm, San Sebastian, Busan, Chicago

About:
The continuation of the master documentarian’s exploration of Chile’s fraught history.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
An exploration of identity, history, and landscape by acclaimed Chilean director Patricio Guzmán. In his latest philosophical act of cinematic self-reflection, the Andean Cordillera mountain range becomes an ark where the most important poetic laws are stored, containing the ruins of the director’s childhood memories and the acts of police brutality and civil resistance that happened under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Spectacular aerial images bring us into the Cordillera and the troubled history it continues to witness.

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On DVD: MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND

Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, February 11:
MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND

Director:
Midge Costin

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2019

Select Festivals:
Cannes, BFI London, Munich, Deauville, Sitges

About:
An exploration of the largely overlooked history and craft of film sound.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: ALI & CAVETT: THE TALE OF THE TAPES

Coming to HBO tonight, Tuesday, February 11:
ALI & CAVETT: THE TALE OF THE TAPES

Director:
Robert S Bader

World Premiere:
SXSW 2018

Select Festivals:
Traverse City, Milwaukee, Black Harvest

About:
Tracing the development of Muhammad Ali through his appearances on THE DICK CAVETT SHOW.

As an iconic figure of American popular culture, Muhammad Ali’s life, career, and impact have been well-covered in fiction and nonfiction books and films over the decades. In his directorial debut, Robert S Bader, working with longtime collaborator Dick Cavett, offers an intriguing and very specific lens through which to explore “The Greatest” – his longtime friendship with the talk show host, on whose program he appeared more than a dozen times. Utilizing Cavett’s reflections and very enjoyable clips from these freewheeling appearances, as well as interviews with Ali scholars and associates, Bader seeks to chronicle the highlights from the charismatic Ali’s storied life, from Olympic victory to converting to the Nation of Islam, conscientious objection to Vietnam and being barred from boxing. When hewing closely to the Cavett relationship, the film is at its most interesting, but, unfortunately, Bader too often breaks with this central premise, resulting in a retread of very familiar terrain absent the specificity of focus – while still, as a whole, worthwhile, it ends up being less than it could have been.

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