Born On This Day – September 5, 1942

“In my films landscapes are never just picturesque or scenic backdrops as they often are in Hollywood films. In Aguirre the jungle is never some lush, beautiful environment it might be in a television commercial. Sometimes when you see the jungle in the film it is a reality so strange you cannot trust it, and maybe think it is a special effect. The jungle is really all about our dreams, our deepest emotions, our nightmares. It is not just a location, it is a state of our mind. It has almost human qualities. It is a vital part of the … Continue reading Born On This Day – September 5, 1942

LIFE ITSELF

Steve James’ latest documentary Life Itself is heartfelt look at one of the world’s most public and famous movie critics, Roger Ebert. A movie about a man who loved movies so much he practically lived inside them. James, whose previous credits Hoop Dreams (1994) and The Interrupters (2011), owes a great deal to Ebert. Ebert, alongside his on-camera companion, Gene Siskel, championed James’ Hoop Dreams—admonishing the Oscars for failing to nominate Hoop Dreams for not only Best Documentary, but Best Picture—practically put James on the map. Prior to starting photography, Ebert asked James to, “Film the man, not the legend” … Continue reading LIFE ITSELF

Movie Beat – 07.04.14

Beyond the Edge – Part documentary, part dramatic recreation, Beyond the Edge tells the tale of Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay as they ascending Mount Everest in 1953. Now, many have conquered the world’s highest point, but then, we weren’t even sure if such a feat was possible. Chad Moffitt, Sonam P. Sherpa, John Wraight, Joshua Rutter, Dan Musgrove and Erroll Shand re-enact the historic feat, Matthew Metcalfe wrote the script and Leanne Pooley directed it. Out in limited release from IFC Films.   Deliver Us From Evil – New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) has seen … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.04.14

Born On This Day – September 5

“You should bear in mind that almost all my documentaries are feature films in disguise. Because I stylize, I invent, there’s a lot of fantasy in it—not for creating a fraud, but exactly the contrary, to create a deeper form of truth, which is not fact-related. Facts hardly ever give you any truth, and that’s a mistake of cinéma vérité, because they always postulate it as if facts would constitute truth. In that case, my answer is that the phone directory of Manhattan is a book of books. Because it has 4 million entries, and they are all factually correct, … Continue reading Born On This Day – September 5

Movie Beat – 07.19.13

The Act of Killing – Anwar Congo and his cronies helped the Indonesian army kill millions of communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals when the military took over the government in 1965. Anwar himself murdered hundreds with his own hands. Now they are movie stars. Never punished for their actions because they ended up on the right side of history, they are now recreating the murders, the atrocities, their side of the story for cameras in hopes that the truth will out and people will see them for the saviors that they see themselves. Guaranteed to chill you to your core. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.19.13

In Their Words – Tuesday, February 5, 2013

“If everything was planned, it would be dreadful. If everything was unplanned, it would be equally dreadful. Cinema exists because there are elements of both in everything. There are elements of both in documentary. There are elements of both in feature filmmaking. It’s what makes, I think, photography and filmmaking of interest. Despite all of our efforts to control something, the world is much, much more powerful than us, and more deranged even than us.” –Errol Morris Continue reading In Their Words – Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Movie Beat – 01.25.13

There seems to be a theme among January releases: Gangster Squad, The Last Stand, The Baytown Outlaws, and now Hansel & Gretel all are chock-full of scenes of excessive gun violence and a fetishism for the weapons. Seems a tad out of touch of what has happened very recently in our nation. Then again, none of these movies could have predicted that. I suppose it’s just a case of wrong time, wrong place. There are a few other movies in release this week, but we kick things off with the aforementioned gun violence picture of the week. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters – … Continue reading Movie Beat – 01.25.13

Movie Beat – 12.21.12

Barbara – Germany’s official submission for the Foreign Language Academy Award, written and directed by Christian Petzold and starring his muse, Nina Hoss as Barbara. Set in Cold War Germany, Nina is banished to a rural East Germany hospital when she applies for an exit visa. While her lover is working on a way to get her to West Germany, Barbara lies low and tries not to entangle with anyone. Andre (Ronald Zehrfeld), the head physician of the hospital, takes a liking to her, and she to him, but she can’t be certain if he is a spy or not. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.21.12

In Their Words – Friday, December 7, 2012

“Your film is like your children. You might want a child with certain qualities, but you are never going to get the exact specification right. The film has a privilege to live its own life and develop its own character. To suppress this is dangerous. It is an approach that works the other way too: sometimes the footage has amazing qualities that you did not expect.” -Werner Herzog Continue reading In Their Words – Friday, December 7, 2012

In Their Words – Wednesday, November 21, 2012

“The kinds of landscape I try to find in my films…exist only in our dreams. For me a true landscape is not just a representation of a desert or a forest. It shows an inner state of mind, literally inner landscapes, and it is the human soul that is visible through the landscapes presented in my films.” – Werner Herzog Continue reading In Their Words – Wednesday, November 21, 2012