Documentary

Shinsuke Ogawa – 1000-nen kizami no hidokei AKA Magino Village: A Tale (1987)

The movie compiles footage taken by Ogawa Production for a period of more than ten years after the collective moved to Magino village. Unique to this film are fictional reenactments of the history of the village in the sections titled “The Tale of Horikiri Goddess” and “The Origins of Itsutsudomoe Shrine”. Ogawa combines all the techniques that were developed in his previous films to simultaneously express multiple layers of time–the temporality of rice growing and of human life, personal life histories, the history of the village, the time of the Gods, and new time created through theatrical reenactment–bring them into a unified whole. The faces of the Magino villagers appear in numerous roles–sometimes as individuals, sometimes as people who carry the history of the village in their memories, sometimes as storytellers reciting myths, and even as members of the crowd in the fictional sequences–transcending time and space. Read More »

Claude Lanzmann – Sobibor, 14 octobre 1943, 16 heures (2001)

The Sobibor uprising in 1943 in Poland was investigated by Mr. Lanzmann many years ago when he was filming “Shoah” and his interviews with a participant named Lerner date from then. The director felt that the Sobibor uprising, which led to the closure of the extermination camp by the Nazis after many escaped, was too important to be a small part of his epic documentary. Now he has returned to this little known story. Read More »

Michael Apted – 63 Up (2019)

Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults after a 7 year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last seven years. Read More »

Daniel Gordon – The Game of Their Lives (2002)

This is a great documentary about the North Korean soccer team that staged a series of improbable upsets as they advanced through the 1966 World Cup. More than just a sports documentary, it’s a fascinating look at the hermetic nation of North Korea, as well as 1960’s England fascination with their little known or understood guests. Read More »

Catherine Binet – Film sur Georges Perec (1990)

An ultra-rare two-part documentary made for French TV about Georges Perec, directed by his former partner Catherine Binet (who is mostly known for her only feature film, The Games of Countess Dolingen of Gratz). It features a mixture of archival footage, scenes from Perec’s films and to-camera readings of excerpts from his work by various actors and friends of the author (Michael Lonsdale, Marina Vlady, Alain Cuny, Sami Frey, Edith Scob, Harry Mathews and others). Some consider this to be the best documentary about the author that has been made so far. Read More »

Crystal Moselle – The Wolfpack (2015)

Quote:
Locked away in an apartment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan for fourteen years, the Angulo family’s seven children—six brothers named Mukunda, Narayana, Govinda, Bhagavan, Krisna (Glenn), and Jagadesh (Eddie), and their sister Visnu—learned about the world through watching films. They also re-enact scenes from their favorite movies. They were homeschooled by their mother and confined to their sixteenth story four-bedroom apartment in the Seward Park Extension housing project. Their father, Oscar, had the only door key and prohibited the kids and their mother Susanne from leaving the apartment except for a few strictly-monitored trips on the “nefarious” streets. Read More »

Marlon Fuentes & Bridget Yearian – Bontoc Eulogy (1995)

Quote:
Marlon E. Fuentes’ Bontoc Eulogy is a haunting, personal exploration into the filmmaker’s complex relationship with his Filipino heritage as explored through the almost unbelievable story of the 1,100 Filipino tribal natives brought to the U.S. to be a “living exhibit” at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. For those who associate the famous fair with Judy Garland, clanging trolleys, and creampuff victoriana, Bontoc Eulogy offers a disturbing look at the cultural arrogance that went hand-in-hand with the Fair’s glorification of progress. The Fair was the site of the world’s largest ever “ethnological display rack,” in which hundreds of so-called primitive and savage men and women from all over the globe were exhibited in contrast to the achievements of Western civilization. Read More »