April 13, 1990 |
A startling and experimental documentary on the order of The Thin Blue Line, James Benning's Used Innocence enjoys its local premiere tonight at Doylestown's James-Lorah House Auditorium. Not even the convicted murderer can solve this murder mystery. Tonight, 7:30, Main & Broad Sts, Doylestown. CLOSELY WATCHED FILMS James-Lorah House Auditorium, Main & Broad Sts, Doylestown. Phone: 345-5663 or 297-8517. Tonight 7:30: Used Innocence, James Benning's structuralist documentary, in which the filmmaker becomes personally involved with the film's subject, a convicted murderer.
August 16, 2012 |
NEW YORK had Max's Kansas City and CBGB's. Los Angeles boasted the Roxy. Liverpool, England, had its Cavern Club. Here in Philadelphia, the pre-eminent rock 'n' roll club for many moons was J.C. Dobbs, a long chute of a room and hangout on the "hippest street in town," a/k/a lower South Street. Hot and happening from 1975 to 1996, Dobbs was the place where local heroes such as Wilmington's George Thorogood and Robert Hazard were discovered, where bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Oasis, Green Day and Rage Against the Machine kick-started a buzz, and solo talents like Sarah McLachlan and Beck first faced and conquered a Philly contingent.
February 11, 2014 |
Former Temple University players LaMont Ferrell and Darrin Pearsall just wanted their former basketball coach to say yes . . . to a documentary . . . about his life . . . for television. But the coach in question was John Chaney. The answer - not surprising - was a repeated and defiant "No!" So Ferrell and Pearsall, once high school basketball stars and rivals, staged an intervention. They gathered 10 of Chaney's former players to convince the 82-year-old Hall of Fame coach that not only was his life worth the effort, but, more important, the filmmakers wouldn't get on his nerves.
April 9, 2013 |
50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS. 9 p.m. Monday, HBO. EVERY SO OFTEN, a documentary comes along with a story so good, it's easy to imagine it as a feature film. "50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus," which premieres on HBO on Monday to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, is one such documentary: It has the characters, the plot points, and most importantly, it has the goose bumps. Which makes it all the more remarkable that the story of Philadelphians Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, who left their own two children behind to rescue 50 Jewish children from Nazi Europe, wasn't much talked about until recently.
June 3, 1996 |
Members of the Abril family hover over their father, who is being kept alive by a respirator. "It's in our hands," says a son, "whether he will live or not. " "It's over, right?" asks another son, his question more of a plea. "It's over, right? There's nothing we can do for him?" "If we remove the respirator, it will seem like we are killing him," anguishes a daughter. "We will be burdened by guilty feelings, that we took him off. " The anguish of the Abril family comes at the beginning of a powerful and timely one-hour documentary airing at 10 tonight on Channel 12. WHOSE Death Is It, Anyway?
August 2, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - One year ago, after putting in a full day of work at her local department store, Betsy DelValley got home and pulled out her video camera. It was July 24, 2010, the day YouTube launched an experimental project asking users of the social-media site worldwide to submit videos about what transpired in their lives over 24 hours. The best submissions would be culled together for a documentary film. DelValley, then 19, was intrigued by the undertaking. The problem was, nothing all that exciting had transpired on the day she was meant to film.
July 12, 2011
BACK IN THE DAY, when major league baseball resembled a half-vast plantation and teams owned players forever and a day, the Cardinals traded centerfielder Curt Flood to the Phillies. It was October 1969 and Flood got the news from the publicity guy, so far down the chain of command he rattled when he walked. Flood said, hell no, he won't go. What he actually said was, "In the history of man, there's no other profession except slavery where one man is tied to one owner for the rest of his life.
April 22, 2011 |
Morgan Spurlock may be a supersized presence in the world of documentary, but he sounds like a guy who's ready to leave the genre behind. Certainly he doesn't want to do it forever. "I hope not," he said. "There are actually a couple of narrative films that I'm attached to right now. One is with Leonardo DiCaprio's company. It's kind of an Erin Brockovich-ish type movie. " Spurlock is promoting "POM Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold," his documentary about product placement in Hollywood movies and new trends in advertising.
April 29, 2011 |
Blockbuster comedy director Tom Shadyac ("Ace Ventura, Pet Detective," "Liar, Liar" "The Nutty Professor") was on top of the world in 2007. And down in the dumps. His extravagant lifestyle wasn't making him happy, and he pondered scaling back to find a new balance in his life. That decision was fast-tracked after a mountain bike crack-up. Sidelined from the rat race during months of painful isolation, he realized the trappings of wealth were genuine traps. Healed, he grabbed his camera and set up interviews with scientists, spiritual leaders and progressive social critics.
December 14, 2012 |
"THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE" makes the sardonic point that exoneration rarely gets the same frenzied publicity as conviction, and takes a small step toward redress. Its documentary subjects are the five boys-turned-men (Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray) railroaded in 1989 for the beating and rape of the so-called Central Park jogger, and of course there is much shame to be conferred in this story on police and prosecutors. They buried evidence, coerced confessions, and proceeded with prosecution even when it must have been obvious to them (the DNA didn't match)