documentary

NYFF 2014: Last Hijack Film Festival

NYFF 2014: Last Hijack

Last Hijack is a hybrid of documentary and animation, set in the failed state of Somalia and told from the perspective of a former pirate struggling to resist the temptations of the life he left behind. Tracking Mohamed, the film attempts to illustrate how he became an outlaw, along with the realities of that existence. Read More
This Ain’t No Mouse Music Movie

This Ain’t No Mouse Music

The setting is an outdoor blues concert in Louisiana. Sitting in a chair in the middle of the audience wearing earth tones and a baseball cap is Chris Strachwitz, the 83-year-old founder of Arhoolie Records, one of the leading roots music labels in the world. It’s an intermission in between sets, and there’s some modest music playing on Read More
Arhoolie Records Founder Chris Strachwitz on ‘Hardcore’ Music, the Joy of Record Hunting Interview

Arhoolie Records Founder Chris Strachwitz on ‘Hardcore’ Music, the Joy of Record Hunting

“If somebody wants to sing, sing god damn it!” Chris Strachwitz, founder of Arhoolie Records and purveyor and evangelist of obscure, down home blues music, isn’t the biggest fan of modern pop music. He likes the “hardcore stuff” (whatever that means). He likes no-nonsense music that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go, Read More
Altman Movie

Altman

Simplicity can be the most effective method sometimes, especially in the case of Ron Mann’s documentary Altman. Instead of taking an ambitious approach to legendary director Robert Altman’s life, Mann shows the life and career of his subject with a concise, linear presentation. Framing the film around the definition of “Altmanesque,” Altman goes through the Read More
20,000 Days on Earth Movie

20,000 Days on Earth

Nick Cave, a musician, songwriter, author, and sometime actor, whose music seems to polarize listeners into love or hate categories, fictitiously frames his 20,000th day on earth in this choreographed documentary. A day in which Cave allows the world (and let’s face it, it’s mostly his fans who are interested) into his brain and career. Viewers Read More
TIFF 2014: The Look of Silence Film Festival

TIFF 2014: The Look of Silence

After making The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer goes back to the same subject matter for his follow-up The Look of Silence. A brief background: In The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer followed several people responsible for slaughtering hundreds, if not thousands, of suspected communists in the 1960s military coup of Indonesia. Oppenheimer was shocked Read More
Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (TIFF Review) Movie

Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (TIFF Review)

As Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait opens, a title card claims “1,001 Syrians” helped make the film. The reason for such a bold and unconfirmed claim is because of co-director Ossama Mohammed’s reliance on footage from online sources. Mohammed, a Syrian filmmaker, left his country in forced exile back in 2011 as the Syrian Civil War Read More
Episode of the Sea (TIFF Review) Film Festival

Episode of the Sea (TIFF Review)

Directors Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan profile the small, unique town of Urk in Episode of the Sea, a playful documentary premiering in the Wavelengths programme at TIFF this year. Urk used to be an island in the Netherlands until the government drained the surrounding waters as a way to increase farmland. Attempts Read More
Tracy Droz Tragos On Finding Hope and Love in Rich Hill Interview

Tracy Droz Tragos On Finding Hope and Love in Rich Hill

With her incredible documentary Rich Hill, Tracy Droz Tragos takes us into the homes and minds of three teenage boys–Appachey, Andrew, and Harley–living in poverty in rural Rich Hill, Missouri. The boys’ experiences aren’t atypical; there are thousands of towns just like Rich Hill throughout the country, but rarely do we see such an honest, Read More