Documentary

Olivier Nicklaus – Vadim Mister Cool (2016) (DVD)

VADİM MİSTER COOL
With his most recent documentary, Vadim Mister Cool (2016), Parisian writer/director Olivier Nicklaus examines the life and career of another Parisian writer/director, the notorious Roger Vadim. His films were groundbreaking for their depiction of sensuality on the screen, eventually making him a pioneer of the French New Wave. However, Vadim’s work was often held back by his personal life. In his lifetime, Vadim was involved with some of the most beautiful and glamorous women in movie history. This reputation as a ladies’ man, combined with his films, made Vadim the male embodiment of the hedonism of 1960s Europe. Read More »

Terry Zwigoff – Crumb (1994)

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A very intimate documentary depicting the controversial, underground cartoonist Robert Crumb along with most of his immediate family, riddled with psychological issues and sicknesses, mental issues and disturbing events. The documentary shows Crumb in all of his artistic genius while also trying to figure out the unique, complex, artistic, troubling, contradict and sometimes even perverse personality that is Robert Crumb. – Read More »

Babis Makridis – Birds (or how to be one) (2020)

Cineuropa wrote:

Following on from L [+] (2012) and Pity [+] (2018), Babis Makridis is returning to the International Rotterdam Film Festival, within the Voices line-up, with Birds (Or How To Be One), a film based on Aristofane’s Greek comedy The Birds, exploring the desire for and fear of freedom. The story tells the tale of two men who distance themselves from the rest of humanity in order to find the man-bird Upupa and build a city where birds can live in harmony, far away from humankind. Makridis takes this premise as his starting point to develop a work of an experimental form, bringing together the casting process, rehearsals for a theatre production of the comedy in question (directed by Nikos Karathanos) and interviews bordering on the absurd.
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Sofia Bohdanowicz & Deragh Campbell – MS Slavic 7 (2019)

A woman who has trouble articulating herself finds a place of her own in researching the letters of her great-grandmother in this entrancing character study. Read More »

Hartmut Bitomsky – B-52 (2001)

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”The B-52 is a very large aircraft,” a crew member says in the straightforward new documentary ”B-52,” which begins a two-week run today at Film Forum. Several clean-cut Air Force personnel give the aircraft’s stats, which include a weight of 184,000 pounds when empty and a wingspan of 185 feet. The plane has been around for what feels like forever, and in this respect it seems like the ordnance version of a great white shark, an enormous and apparently efficient killing machine that hasn’t evolved much since its creation ”over a weekend in a hotel in 1948.” (It was first presented to the military in 1952.) Read More »

Jürgen Böttcher – In Georgien AKA In Georgia (1988)

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In 1986 and 1987, Jürgen Böttcher and his crew travelled to Georgia to film this fascinating country and its people. Böttcher, the painter, was particularly interested in the art of Georgian painter Niko Pirosmanishvili whose oeuvre he had seen in an exhibition in Berlin 20 years ago. Although it was clear for him that times had changed, he reckoned that some of the atmosphere depicted in Pirosmanishvilis paintings should still be there. Thomas Plenert, his director of photography, had been in Georgia a couple of years before, and had been overwhelmed. Another influence was Georgias most well-known contemporary filmmaker, Otar Iosseliani. Read More »

Gary Weis – 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s (1979)

synopsis
The gangs in the South Bronx (about 80 blocks from Tiffany’s in more ways than one) are handled with kid gloves in this one-hour treatment by Gary Weis. The more articulate members of the Savage Nomads and Savage Skulls are interviewed while the less articulate minorities who incongruously brandish swastikas are glossed over. Aside from gang members venting about “social injustice” and cops, there are interviews with the police, a priest, and some community workers. In general, the documentary indicates that this one small part of the U.S. would gladly be engaged in a mini-civil war if left to ferment on its own. Read More »