Masao Adachi – Ryakusho: renzoku shasatsuma AKA Serial Killer (1969)

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Midnight Eye wrote:
A horrifying series of murders, committed by a teenaged killer in 1968, prompted a group of filmmakers to chart his path, capturing the things he might have seen before committing his crimes. Their result is this provocative, rarely-screened meditation on geography and society. Continue reading

Nick Broomfield – Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam (1995)

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Synopsis:
A documentary crew from the BBC arrives in L.A. intent on interviewing Heidi Fleiss, a year after her arrest for running a brothel but before her trial. Several months elapse before the interview, so the crew searches for anyone who’ll talk about the young woman. Two people have a lot to say to the camera: a retired madam named Alex for whom Fleiss once worked and Fleiss’s one-time boyfriend, Ivan Nagy, who introduced her to Alex. Alex and Nagy don’t like each other, so the crew shuttles between them with “she said” and “he said.” When they finally interview Fleiss, they spend their time reciting what Alex and Nagy have had to say and asking her reaction. Continue reading

Rebecca Baron – Detour de Force (2014)

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Detour de Force presents the world of thoughtographer Ted Serios, a charismatic Chicago bell hop who, in the mid-1960’s produced hundreds of Polaroid images from his mind. Constructed from 16mm documentation of Serios’s sessions and audio recordings of Serios speaking with Dr. Jule Eisenbud, the Denver psychiatrist who championed his abilities, the film is more ethnography than biography, portraying the social and scientific environments in which Serios thrived. The film foregrounds the state of image and sound recording technologies of the period as essential to the emergence of Serios’s psychic photography. It is also a document of the filmmaker’s encounters with the archival materials themselves. The film enjoys a rich sound environment by Ernst Karel, Kyle Bruckmann and Guiseppe Ielasi. Continue reading

John Ford & Otto Brower – Sex Hygiene (1941)

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Searching for John Ford by Joseph McBride wrote:
Shot quickly at Fox and ready for use by March 1941, the black and white Sex Hygiene is suitably horrifying but also somewhat tongue in cheek. Coing directly from making Tobacco Road, Ford was in a bawdy mood when he filmed the scenes of the soldiers (including George Reeves, later known as TV’s Superman) playing pool in an army canteen before one young man makes the mistake of slipping off to a brothel. The results of his and others’ sexual follies are displayed in a graphic illustrated lecture by a medical officer intoned in stentorian fashion by Charles Trowbridge, who later was promoted by Ford to admiral and/or general in They Were Expendable, When Willie Comes Marching Home and The Wings of Eagles. Perhaps it is fitting that the one Ford film dealing explicitly with sexual themes makes the subject seem so thoroughly revolting. Continue reading

Xiong zaixia – Yi Ge Ren De Zi Mu aka Zen for Subtitle (2017)

Synopsis
What does subtitle translation mean in my eyes? I have devoted my youth and effort of 4 years of campus life and 2 years of work life. When I have given up translating subtitle, I want to look back to and remember such a bygone by documentary.
  Subtitle is equal to public: By this documentary I want to show how a cinephile makes a link with film and makes effect to more cinephile in such a special situation in China. This documentary also displays a tip of the iceberg of the cinephile cultural history in China.
  Subtitle is equal to privacy: I hope to experience the progress of subtitle translation again, in order to cast my ambition and burden in the old days. I want to say goodbye to that ego with subtitle translation and move forwards to that ego with indie-documentary direction. I want to search more possibilities to the films. Continue reading

Joshua Oppenheimer – Early Works – A Collection of 12 Films (1995 – 2003)

Quote:
Joshua Oppenheimer is one of the world’s most renowned documentary filmmakers. His multi award-winning films The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014) have challenged and redefined perceptions about the very nature of documentary cinema.

Dušan Makavejev on THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE.

The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase is an imaginative and innovative film essay which combines faux and real documentary with lyrical fiction to paint a monstrous yet beautiful portrait of America at the end of the millennium. With unflinching originality, the film meditates humorously on faith, myth, scapegoats, the idea of the alien, the end of the world, and the beginnings of redemption. The film is a playful intellectual travelogue through the abandoned remnants of the Wild West, an ex-frontier turned into a heartland deprived of its promises, gazing at the stars for signposts to a brighter future. The film reminds us that the West may share something more than barbed wire with genocide, and that history can be told through the moving image in startling new ways. Oppenheimer suggests that we may look to cinema to understand the dark secrets at the heart of the American dream. Oppenheimer asks: if we can identify with larger-than-life epics on the silver screen, why can’t we see the larger-than-life history of the United States in the fringe acts of violence (motivated by the most irrational fantasies) which this country nurtures more than any other on our planet? Continue reading