Jim Butterworth – Seoul Train (2004)

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With its riveting footage of a secretive ‘underground railroad,’ SEOUL TRAIN is the gripping documentary expose into the life and death of North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland and China.

SEOUL TRAIN also delves into the complex geopolitics behind this growing and potentially explosive humanitarian crisis. By combining verite footage, personal stories and interviews with experts and government officials, SEOUL TRAIN depicts the flouting of international laws by major countries, the inaction and bureaucracy of the United Nations, and the heroics of activists that put themselves in harm’s way to save the refugees. Read More »

Harvey Hart – Bus Riley’s Back in Town (1965)

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“Bus Riley” and William Inge: or When Playwrights Are Wronged

By Joel Shatzky

Bus Riley’s Back in Town is a 1965 Universal production that is vaguely based on a play written by William Inge (1913-1973) in the early1950’s bearing the same title. Because of the rewriting of the script and plot by the studio so that the story could be more of a vehicle for Ann-Margaret, Inge removed his name from the credits and not even the fact that the title was from an Inge play was mentioned. It is one of the few times, I believe, that a prominent playwright had his credits removed from a script that was based on his own play. Even Tennessee Williams, who had every good reason to remove his name from the credits of A Streetcar Named Desire due to the distorted ending, abstained from such a temptation. Read More »

Gabe Klinger – Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (2013)

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In 1985, filmmaker Richard Linklater began a film screening society in Austin, Texas, that aimed to show classic art-house and experimental films to a budding community of cinephiles and filmmakers. The Austin Film Society raised enough money to fly in their first out-of-town invitee, visionary experimental filmmaker James Benning. Accepting the invitation, Benning met Linklater and immediately the two began to develop a personal and intellectual bond, which has lasted through the present. After the cult success of “Slacker” (1991), Linklater has gone on to make award-winning big budget narrative films including “School of Rock” (2003), “Before Midnight” (2013) and “Boyhood” (2014). Benning, meanwhile, has stayed close to his modest roots and is mainly an unknown figure in mainstream film culture. Combining filmed conversations and archival material, “Double Play” explores the connections between the work and lives of these two American visionaries. Read More »

Duncan Campbell – It for Others (2013)

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‘It for Others’, 2013, (16mm film transferred to digital video, 54 minutes)

Duncan Campbell produces films that look at representations of the people and events at the heart of very particular histories – figures such as John Delorean and Bernadette Devlin. Combining archive material with his own footage, his work questions the authority, integrity and intentions of the information presented. For Scotland + Venice 2013, Campbell has taken Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ 1953 film ‘Les Statues meurent aussi’ (Statues also Die) as both source and artefact, to pursue a meditation on the life, death and value of objects.  In the exhibition, Campbell presents the older film alongside his new work, a social and historical examination of cultural imperialism and commodity that combines filmed footage, animation and archive footage.  ‘It for others’ includes a performance made in collaboration with Michael Clark Company that seeks to illustrate the basic principle of commodities and their exchange. Read More »

Bill Morrison – Re: Awakenings (2013)

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Synopsis:
Original Super8 footage shot by Dr. Oliver Sacks of his patients at Beth Abraham Hospital, Bronx, NY, who were administered the drug L-Dopa in the summer of 1969, and “awakened” after decades of inactivity. Read More »

Sergio Caballero – La distancia (2014)

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A heist-movie of such exquisitely bizarre loopiness to make Inception look like Ocean’s Eleven, Sergio Caballero’s The Distance (La distancia) is a likeably giggle-inducing dollop of deadpan surrealist whimsy. Observing a trio of telepathic Russian dwarves tasked with robbing an abandoned Siberian power-station, Caballero’s follow-up to 2010’s even more deliciously outre Finisterrae confirms the Catalan’s status as a puckish jester in the court of current European art-cinema. Adventurous audiences enduring the longueurs and waywardness of his gloriously uncompromised vision are rewarded with a hilariously abrupt finale that should delight many but leave others baffled and bemused. Festivals with late-night slots to fill will clamor for this cultish item, which might even find small distribution niches in eccentricity-embracing territories such as Japan and France. Read More »

Peter B. Hutton – Skagafjördur (2004)

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“Peter Hutton is a still photographer that puts pictures into motion or it might be more apt to say that Peter Hutton is a motion picture maker that makes them still. His films are images, presented like slides, no inherent story, no specific connection other than local proximity. His camera remains locked down, his gaze intensely fixated on a particular setting as he allows time to unwind before the lens. The moments he captures are ones of small change, but profound beauty. Read More »