March 28, 2011
Richard Leacock, 89, a documentary filmmaker and pioneer of the unobtrusive camera technique cinema verite who followed John F. Kennedy on his presidential campaign and was seen by some as the grandfather of reality television, died Wednesday in Paris. His technical acumen supplied the likes of Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut with the tools of their trade. His insightful direction laid the groundwork for generations of filmmakers seeking to use their cameras to capture real life as it happened, colleagues said.
October 1, 2011 |
Let's raise a toast to Ken Burns, and not just any old swill. How about a sidecar? Or an aviation? Or a clover club? Or any of dozens of elegant cocktails that were popular and widely consumed in the 1920s, when alcohol was illegal in the United States and the country, nevertheless, became the biggest importer of cocktail shakers in the world. Burns and his collaborator, Lynn Novick, have held the reins taut and produced a rarity for them - a historical documentary that sticks to the point and runs at a reasonable length.
May 10, 2013 |
For all the talk about immigration, rarely does the conversation veer into why so many Latinos have come to the United States. Harvest of Empire attempts to fill in the gaps, and the reasons don't include some naive notion about streets being paved with gold. The documentary, based on the book by journalist Juan Gonzalez, makes a persuasive argument that immigration from Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, and other nations is the direct result of American maneuvering in Latin America. The film follows a pattern, looking at each country individually and hearing personal tales from immigrants before taking a deep dive into the history of that nation.
May 17, 2015 |
There is a fascinating story buried in Iverson , a biographical documentary of the 76ers great. Director Zatella Beatty does her best to tease it out of her subject. But her greenness at the helm shows, as she relies heavily on a cloying score, obvious imagery, and a simplistic structure. The film, which premiered at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, starts with Allen Iverson's hardscrabble youth in the projects of Newport News, Va., hitting on his controversial 1993 arrest after a bowling alley brawl (which leads to a cameo by current NBC10 reporter Monique Braxton)
June 12, 2013 |
"THE TRIPTYCH" is the title of a new documentary co-directed by Barron Claiborne and Terence Nance , and produced by AfroPunk Pictures. The documentary explores the behind-the-canvas lives of three artists who run in the same circle but whose very different lives contribute to their work. The project came together when Nance, who was profiling unknown artists, teamed up with Claiborne, a self-taught photographer who was working on a similar project on better-known artists, including himself.
November 4, 2011
OPENING LAST night and continuing through Tuesday is the fourth annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, sponsored by HBO and Comcast and screening at various locations around the city. The festival comprises 10 features and 18 shorts for all audiences, from romantic comedy to documentary. Today's Asian American filmmakers target broader audiences by exploring more universal themes while retaining an Asian American flavor in their work. "Enforcing the Silence," for example, explores themes of discrimination as it focuses on the unsolved murder of San Francisco Vietnamese activist Lam Duong in July 1981 by anticommunist extremists.
August 9, 2012
Robert Hughes, 74, the eloquent, combative art critic and historian who lived with operatic flair and wrote with a sense of authority that owed more to Zola or Ruskin than to his own century, died Monday at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He died after a long illness, said his wife, Doris Downes. With a Hemingwayesque build and the distinctively rounded vowels of his native Australia, Mr. Hughes became as familiar a presence on TV as in print, over three decades for Time magazine, where he was chief art critic and often a traditionalist scourge in an era when art movements fractured into unrecognizability.
October 7, 2012
End of Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are best friends and patrol car partners, cruising the mean streets of South Central L.A. in David (Training Day) Ayer's visceral, violent cop thriller. R Looper A slam-bang blast of a time-travel thriller, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as a guy named Joe - yes, they're the same guy, separated by 30 years in the dystopian future and brought together when Young Joe, a hit man, gets a job to kill Old Joe. Emily Blunt co-stars, as the mother of a kid with weird powers.
December 18, 2011
Bert Schneider, 78, a producer of Easy Rider and other films that helped define the social unrest of the late 1960s and early '70s, died Monday in Los Angeles. Mr. Schneider was a major behind-the-scenes force in the movement to make Hollywood more responsive to a youthful audience. Hearts and Minds (1974), which he produced with Peter Davis, was a documentary that focused on opposition to the Vietnam War. It won the Academy Award as best documentary in 1975.
February 22, 2013
By Steve Hallock This year's menu of Oscar-nominated short documentaries offers not only compelling viewing but also hope for those who despair over the decline of a robust, independent press that serves as investigative watchdog over government, business, and society. Not only are some newspapers going out of business, but those remaining - other than a few major city dailies - are eliminating investigative reporting teams and closing foreign and national bureaus. Broadcast television, meanwhile, long ago saw its special reports and foreign bureaus wither as the networks and the cable brethren exponentially increased sports and entertainment fare.