Most of us have been in the situation where we’ve had one too many cups of coffee, there are the jittery side effects, the quickened speech, the racing heartbeat—but that’s all in a day’s work for Winter, the mono-named star of Starbucking. Winter’s mission is to visit each and every official Starbucks in the world, as of this date he’s been to 6,939 stores, and this entertaining documentary allows a peek at his borderline manic journey and his optimistically caffeinated world.
Hate them or love them, for a lot of people Starbucks is part of the daily routine; you stop in to pick up coffee, maybe grab a newspaper or a muffin, and then head to the office. But for Winter, Starbucks sort of is the office. For the past 10 years he’s trekked all over the world—when he’s on the road he literally lives out of his car, even sleeping in his small Honda hatchback—in a seemingly never-ending attempt to reach his goal. He seems to realize it’s a process that is likely to last his lifetime, but he is completely undeterred.
Undeniably a work of enormous scope, Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoires du cinéma eludes easy definition. An extended essay on cinema by means of cinema. A history of the cinema, and history interpreted by the cinema. An hommage and a critique. An anecdotal autobiography, illuminated by Godard’s encyclopedic wit, extending the idiom established by JLG par JLG. An epic – and non-linear – poem. A freely associative essay. A vast multi-layered musical composition. Histoires du cinéma is all of these. It is above all, a work made by a man who loves and is fascinated by the world of film. Continue reading
Laos: the most bombed country, per capita, on the planet. Australian bomb disposal specialist Laith Stevens has to train a new young “big bomb” team to deal with bombs left from the US “Secret War”, but meanwhile, the local children are out hunting for bomb scrap metal. This timely story is terrifying and yet filled with eccentric characters and moments of humour, vividly depicting the consequences of war and the incredible bravery of those trying to clear up the mess.
Rogosin took the fight for equality to his homeland with his astonishing and powerful fourth feature Black Roots. The film, which is ripe for rediscovery, featured an extraordinary cast, including Reverend Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick; attorney and feminist activist Florynce “”Flo”” Kennedy; and musicians Jim Collier, Wende Smith, Larry Johnson and Reverend Gary Davis. All tell stories of heartbreak and despair while their songs blow the roof off the rafters. In an extension of the famed shebeen scenes in Come Back, Africa, the participants in Black Roots spoke openly about politics and race in a way that is still rarely seen on screen. In 1970, it was a radical and daring move by a great director. A deeply humanist film, Black Roots combines tales of oppression with hauntingly beautiful images of the faces of black men, women and children. Continue reading
Pereda’s films pass through a transitional period; Los mejores temas was probably a conscious farewell to a filmic representation system while Matar extraños turned out to be an enigmatic first test; El palacio is a new attempt at renovation, an experiment. These last two films show a novel element —the shifting of the family and domestic spheres to a public and political space. Whereas Matar extraños used revolution as its focal concept, in this enigmatic film the microphysics of power is the permeating idea.
The opening wide shot is brilliant; the 17 women who appear in this film are washing their teeth at the same time. Among this group there are little girls, young and old women, and they are not at a bathroom but at a patio filled with large sinks. Their activity unites them, though their experiences and, eventually, their functions differ. Where are they? For several minutes the only thing we will see are the diverse cleaning-related actions performed by these women. Everything happens in an old house, without any indication of its location. Abstraction and routine. Pereda is capable of filming someone hanging clothes to dry or making a bed as if those were aesthetic events.
A donkey wonders around and imposes a comical tone for a moment; but a donkey is an animal used for servitude. And the title of the film mentions a palace.
This documentary is highly recommended, as it somewhat manages to keep a neutral point of view on this most controversial issue of post war german history.
This documentary by German filmmaker Andres Veiel takes a look back at German politics of the ’70s and ’80s, a troubled era when the government was engaged in a war against the leftist movement known as the Red Army Fraction. The conflict is addressed by focusing on the lives and deaths of two men whose fates became tragically intertwined in 1989. Alfred Herrenhausen was a high-ranking member of the Deutsche Bank who was killed by a Red Army Fraction bomb attack. Wolfgang Grams, a radical activist, was a major suspect in the attack. Four years later, he was tracked down by police and killed. Through interviews with relatives, friends, and colleagues of both men, a clear picture of the times emerges. While the film makes no attempts to place blame or assign guilt, it does raise many questions about German politics today. ~ Connor McMadden, All Movie Guide
In Chile, at three thousand metres altitude, astronomers from all over the world gather together in the Atacama desert to observe the stars. The desert sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.
It is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact : those of the mummies, explorers and miners. But also the remains of the dictatorship’s political prisoners.
Whilst the astronomers examine the most distant galaxies in search of probable extraterrestrial life, at the foot of the observatories a group of women are digging through the desert soil in search of their disappeared relatives… Continue reading