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Posts tagged: documentaries

Movies! Movies! Movies!

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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RIP, Bobby Womack

Singer, songwriter and composer Bobby Womack has died. The stand-alone importance of his music aside, Womack’s songs were used in innumerable film soundtracks and Womack composed the soundtrack for Across 110th Street (1972). The Los Angeles Times, Time and The Telegraph have obituaries. At Ebony, Gary Harris remembers Womack. The New Yorker considers “The Unimpeachable Songs of Bobby Womack.” …

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At The Gutter: You Can’t Make A Masterpiece Without Madness

SF/F Editor is inspired by the madness of Jodorowsky’s Dune.

Jodorowsky’s Dune has been frequently compared to Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about filmmaker Terry Gilliam’s calamitous attempt to make an adaptation of Don Quixote. While the two documentaries tell a similar story (and involve Orson Welles!), the effect of each could not be more different. Lost in La Mancha, for me, is infused with bitterness, with regret, with frustration. Jodorowsky’s Dune, by contrast, soars. Where Lost in La Mancha makes me mad, Jodorowsky’s Dune makes me want to cheer for the lunatic director and his eccentric band of “spiritual warriors.” In theory, it is the story of a failure, of millions of dollars and countless hours of effort wasted. It doesn’t feel like the story of a failure, however. The overall impact the documentary had on me wasn’t one of the disappointment of a failed project or the short-sightedness of timid studios; it was one of elation, of re-inspiring my love of and faith in the potential of film, the beauty of storytelling, and the wonder of those who are truly visionary, truly driven to create, and genuinely, gloriously weird.

You Can’t Make a Masterpiece Without Madness

You Can’t Make a Masterpiece Without Madness

duneThere are a number of books and films I’ve classified as “having seen,” because I have. But, upon reflection about these titles, I realize I remember nothing about them, usually because I experienced them decades ago and as a young lad. Neuromancerby William Gibson was a big one. It hit me a few years ago that, although I count the book as one of the most influential in my life, from one of my…

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RIP, Al Feldstein

Al Feldstein has died. Feldstein got his start at EC Comics, creating Tales From The Crypt and several other titles, and later became editor for MAD Magazine. The Comics Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine and Robot 6 have obituaries. NPR’s All Things Considered remembers Feldstein. At The Atlantic Wire, Eric Levinson considers, “How Al Feldstein Helped Shape Modern…

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"Cambodia’s Lost Rock’n’Roll

“Cambodia’s Lost Rock’n’Roll

Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n’roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism…

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"Indian Comics Beyond Balloons and Panels"

“Indian Comics Beyond Balloons and Panels”

Alok Sharma spent five years finding creators of Indian comics for his documentary, Chitrakatha: Indian Comics Beyond Balloons and Panels. Check out all the resources at the film’s website and this ten minutes of footage from the film.  There’s also an older news story about the film at The New Indian Express. (Thanks, Aseem Chandaver)

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At The Gutter: Tammy Faye Says Give Everyone A Chance!

Screen Editor alex watches The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000):

As someone who spent most of my teens and twenties struggling with depression, it took me a long time to arrive at the realization that I am an optimist. It was a fact that was obscured by my overall misery, as well as an aesthetic that involved a lot of skulls, listening to melancholy music, and reading sad books to make myself cry. My mother asked me to play guitar and sing at a few of her dinner parties, but after a round or two she looked at me hopefully and asked whether I didn’t have anything less bleak in my repertoire. (In case you’re wondering, the answer was no.) I didn’t feel like someone who believed that everything would work out until proven otherwise, but looking back I can see that being optimistic was one of the things that saved my life.

image via Ghosttowns.

At the Gutter: How To Be A Man In Four Hours: The Perils of Instant Gratification

Screen Editor alex ponders self-help books, Mansome and what it means to be a man:

As a transguy, the question “What makes me a man?” has meant both pretty much the same things to me as to any other guy, and also something a bit different. I had to figure most of it out on my own, going through a second puberty of sorts at a point when all my peers were full grown, and in the process I’ve read about and watched a lot of versions of masculinity. From Charles Atlas and men’s exercise magazines to feminist and gender theory, there are so many options and perceived limits around how to be a man. Men’s self-improvement books like The 4-Hour Body and movies like Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Mansome are just a few examples.