Documentary

Hartmut Bitomsky – B-52 (2001)

Quote:
”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)

Quote:
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 »

Makoto Satô – Self and Others (2001)

Synopsis
In 1983, photographer Gocho Shigeo met an early death at the young age of 36. The view we see reflected in Gocho’s photographic images has become more profound over time since his death and has struck a chord in people’s hearts. While focusing on Gocho’s collection of photographs Self and Others, the film also visits places associated with him, creating a collage with the manuscripts, letters, photographs and voice recordings remaining in an attempt to capture “one more gesture”—a theme pursued by Gocho through photographic expression. This film is neither a critical biography nor a monograph on the photographer. Rather, we are offered a new perception. As if mesmerized, the photographs Gocho left behind captivate us in their gaze. Read More »

Alexander Leith – Age of the Image (2020)

From the Introduction
Every age is said to have its genius. The 18th century is often called the age of philosophy. The 19th century is the age of the novel. But our own age is undoubtedly an age of the image.

Other periods had images, of course, but, in the last 100 years or so, we made more images than ever before, and they have changed not just what we see, but how we see.

This was an era that rewrote the rules of image making. Beaming pictures into our homes, manipulating them, making the impossible visible and, in the digital age, revealing them in eye-opening detail. Read More »

Sharon Grimberg – American Experience: McCarthy (2020)

“McCarthy,” a new two-hour documentary chronicling the remarkable rise and precipitous fall of Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator whose zealous anti-communist crusade would test the limits of American decency and democracy, premieres Monday, January 6, 2020, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on American Experience on PBS. Read More »

Mark Cousins – A Story of Children and Film (2013)

Quote:
The world’s first movie about kids in global cinema. It’s a passionate, poetic portrait of the adventures of childhood ? its surrealism, loneliness, fun, destructiveness and stroppiness ? as seen through 53 great films from 25 countries.It includes classic movies like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and The Red Balloon, also dozens of masterpieces (many directed by women) that are almost unknown.It combines the child?s eye view of Mark Cousins? acclaimed film The First Movie, with the revelations and bold movie history of his 15 hour documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Read More »