REVIEW: Francofonia [2015]

“Why is art unable to teach us prescience?” In a sort of “This Is Your Life” for Paris, France’s Louvre, Aleksandr Sokurov‘s Francofonia exposes a history of artistic heroes you may not expect. The journey takes us through archival footage; re-enactments shown in a faux raw state with clapboards against post-produced visual artifacting; in-close, high-definition […]

REVIEW: I Am Belfast [2016]

“Brick then iron then mesh” Don’t spend too long deciphering the title to Mark Cousins‘ latest essay film on his hometown I Am Belfast because it’s meant to be taken at face value. The film itself is this Northern Ireland city and the narrator (Helena Bereen) is as well. Don’t try to project metaphors or […]

HOTDOCS16 REVIEW: Hotel Dallas [2016]

“What time spits back, history devours and fatten itself on what we lack” Despite the name Hotel Dallas and general premise surrounding a replica of Southfork Ranch (where both the old and new “Dallas” series were filmed) built in Romania by an aspiring capitalist, husband and wife directing duo Sherng-Lee Huang and Livia Ungur‘s film […]

REVIEW: A Film About Coffee [2014]

“Coffee people have to be sexy” I am not a coffee drinker. I don’t even really like the smell of the stuff either despite that usually being what non-drinkers do enjoy about the hot, cold, compressed, dripped, or frozen beverage sold almost everywhere in the United States. So to say I was completely unaware of […]

REVIEW: Our Nixon [2013]

“You felt as if you were in a brilliantly lighted, badly run television show” As someone who wasn’t born during Richard Nixon‘s administration, it is somewhat unfair to just conjure images of Deepthroat a la All the President’s Men or bank robbers like in Point Break. Tricky Dick has become the butt of jokes—the only […]

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Gazelle: The Love Issue [2014]

“There is beauty in everything” New York is full of unique individuals. It’s a haven for them to be able to walk down the street with glances of intrigue rather than disgust. Gazelle is just one “Freak Chic” ambassador, but she is also possibly the most important. This isn’t because her style is best or […]

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Projections of America [2014]

“To introduce America to millions of people throughout the world” It doesn’t take long for optimism to change to naiveté—a lesson learned from watching Peter Miller‘s informative documentary Projections of America. The film focuses on a series of twenty-six shorts produced during World War II by Robert Riskin and the European branch of America’s Office […]

REVIEW: Bizarre: A Circus Story [2016]

“You can’t do anything ‘half’ in the circus” It’s tough to remember that Cirque du Soleil isn’t “new” (1984?!) when you’re an American like me whose idea of the circus growing up was watching goofy clowns in ten-sizes-too-large costumes pile into a tiny car while animals roared and jumped through hoops. I think the main […]

REVIEW: The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga [2014]

“It was always the middle of the night when They came” Writer/director Jessica Oreck admitting how the best part of the filmmaking process on her document of memory and fable The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga was when audiences in the countries she filmed told her they assumed she’d be an old Eastern European […]

REVIEW: A Good American [2016]

“I need you to know that I would never deliberately commit suicide” If any of you “Person of Interest” fans out there still wondered whether or not our government was capable of and/or currently practice many of the same programs its fictionalized establishment utilizes, William Binney would like to tell you the definitive answer: yes. […]

REVIEW: Sweetgrass [2009]

“How can dogs like me if people don’t?” My first thought when John Ahern, Pat Connolly, and the rest of Lawrence Allested’s ranchers took off for the Montanan Absaroka-Beartooth mountains was: “There has to be a better way.” I know such a statement can be construed as demeaning to a way of life that existed […]