Yann Arthus-Bertrand – Home (2009)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Description
The documentary chronicles the present day stance of the Earth, its climate and how we as the dominant species have long-term repercussions on its future. A theme expressed throughout the documentary is that of linkage; how all organisms and the Earth are linked in a “delicate but crucial” balance with each other, and how no organism can be self-sufficient.

Documentary with commentary by Glenn Close. In 200,000 years on earth humanity has upset the balance of the planet, established by nearly four billion years of evolution. The price to pay is high, but it’s too late to be a pessimist: humanity has barely ten years to reverse the trend, become aware of the full extent of its devastation of the Earth’s riches and change its patterns of consumption. Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s extraordinarily beautiful and moving film was made over three years, shot from the air in more than fifty countries. It is being screened all over the world on the same date, World Environment Day, to convince us all of our individual and collective responsibility towards the planet. Continue reading

Nicolas Rey – Les soviets plus l’électricité (2002) (DVD)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

This art-film is an imaginary documentary film about a man who sets off from Paris to Siberia in search of his father’s past: His father was a communist who had voluntarily gone from France to the Soviet Union to work on a big engineering project in Magadan. Now his adult son travels by train from Paris, through the Ukraine into the depths of Russia, in search of the values and ideas that had been so relevant to his father. The title of the film alludes to Lenin’s definition of communism: communism equals Soviets plus electricity. (Soviets are councils). Continue reading

Raoul Ruiz – El realismo socialista AKA Socialist Realism (1973)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
A people’s court dictates that a laborer kept some tools for himself and thus deserves derision. “But, can’t we improve?” he asks, without blushing, at the moment they decide his expulsion. The story of the laborer that becomes more and more conservative runs along with another one about a conservative publicist who thinks he can foresee a solution by embracing the revolutionary cause; and what relates both reverse paths is Raúl Ruiz’s systemic pleasure for paradoxes. El realismo socialista is not a politic film but a film about politics, rough and uncomfortable in its will to demolish mythologies at the time they were being generated. These 70s Ruiz is showing are not only not glorious, but he’s also guessing they never will be, almost prophesizing the end of that (fake) utopia, all in this film that works as a parallel story to the great Palomita blanca. Oscillating between documentary record and fiction –the concept key reveals itself, or closes the film’s door, towards the end–, and with a notorious use of improvisation, Ruiz seems to confirm what he once said: “The problem with an iron script is that it gets rusty”. Continue reading

Will Pascoe – Noam Chomsky on the World: The Chomsky Sessions (2008)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
One of the most respected intellectuals of the 20th century, Noam Chomsky has had a long and prolific career as a linguist, philosopher, and political activist. Undoubtedly, though, he is best known as the quintessential American dissident. Chomsky’s criticism of U.S. foreign policy began with the Vietnam War and continued over the span of the next 40 years. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – Deaf (1986)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
“Zipporah” wrote:
The School for the Deaf at the Alabama Institute is organized around a theory of total communication i.e. the use of signs and finger spelling in conjunction with speech, hearing aids, lip reading, gestures and the written word. The film shows sequences dealing with various aspects of this comprehensive training such as teaching students and parents to sign; speech therapy; psychological counseling; regular academic courses; vocational training; disciplinary problems; parents visits; sports and recreational activity; training in living and working independently; and developing skills in home and money management. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – La Comedie-Francaise ou L’amour joue (1996)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

From Allmovie.com
Frederick Wiseman was allowed to make the first documentary about La Comedie-Francaise, the French national theater and the oldest continuous repertory company in the world, founded in Paris in the late 17th Century. In the company’s prehistory, the Illustre Theatre was co-founded by Paris-born upholsterer’s son Moliere (1622-73) in 1643. Moliere’s company left to tour the provinces in 1645, and when they returned to Paris in 1658, the king granted a theater in the Louvre, the Theatre du Petit-Bourbon. This troupe became the core for the union of several companies into a new theater, officially titled Comedie-Francaise in 1681. Continue reading

Errol Morris – Demon in the Freezer (2016)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Smallpox was always present, filling the churchyard with corpses, tormenting with constant fear all whom it had not yet stricken, leaving on those whose lives it spared the hideous traces of its power, turning the babe into a changeling at which the mother shuddered, and making the eyes and cheeks of the betrothed maiden objects of horror to the lover. (1848)

— Lord Thomas Macaulay, History of England. Continue reading