1-20 of 55 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
On July 26, 2009, Diane Schuler left the New York campground where she was vacationing and began her trip home to Long Island with her two children and three nieces in tow. Over the course of the next four hours, she would appear on a gas station security camera, pull over at a highway rest stop, dial three wrong numbers from the shoulder and drive nearly two miles at high speed in the wrong direction on the Taconic Parkway, eventually colliding head-on with an SUV. Of Schuler, the five kids, and the three men in the other vehicle, only Schuler's son survived. My timing here is off, and not only because Liz Garbus' HBO documentary about the events of that day, »
Despite the UK Film Council's golden age, 2011 was very much a mixed bag of events
In some ways, 2011 was the strangest year in living memory for British cinema. The UK Film Council was officially wound up at the end of March, a showy act from this coalition government, annulling a Labour creation on the grounds of high salaries and cronyism, but transferring much of its budget and responsibilities to the British Film Institute. And this at a time when the Film Council was having a golden age: a bag of Oscars for The King's Speech and a feeling that it had fostered real talent. Something was going very right for British cinema. Lynne Ramsey's We Need to Talk About Kevin premiered at Cannes; Steve McQueen's Shame and Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights made waves at Venice.
Two film-makers from Iran showed that cinema was able to address »
- Peter Bradshaw
Cinelan, the video publisher that syndicates three-minute documentary films, has announced today an open invitation to non-North American filmmakers to contribute to its Focus Forward series.
Teaming with Ge, it’s an initiative of three-minute docs that focuses on innovation and ideas that change the world.
In addition to Oscar and award-winning filmmakers who have signed on to produce the 30 three-minute films such as Joe Berlinger, Lixin Fan, Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney, Steve James, Barbara Kopple, Ross Kauffman, Cinelan co-founded Morgan Spurlock, Jessica Yu and newly announced filmmakers Lucy Walker, Stanley Nelson, Phil Cox and Leslie Iwerks, Cinelan is accepting brief treatments for three-minute stories around the Focus Forward “ideas and invention” theme. Those interested should write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Focus Forward series will premiere in 2012 as curated collections at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals and at major festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, »
- Jason Guerrasio
The greatest problem with Le Quattro Volte (2010, New Wave, U) is figuring out how to describe it in a manner that doesn't sound either fantastically off-putting, unbearably pretentious or just plain boring. Calling it a "near-silent Italian goat farming film", for example, clearly does director Michelangelo Frammartino's extraordinary vision few favours, as does highlighting its central concern with archaic methods of charcoal production in Calabria that have been passed down from generation to generation. Labelling it a "meditation on life, the universe and everything" is even worse (this has nothing in common with Malick's Tree of Life), particularly when one adds to the mix an underlying thesis about the transmigration of souls. One sublimely comic scene – involving a dog, a van and a piece of wood – could be compared to those allegedly "unstaged" clips from You've Been Framed, »
- Mark Kermode
Title: Bobby Fischer Against the World Director: Liz Garbus It’s hard to fathom today, but at the height of his career, chess master Bobby Fischer was by certain accounts better known than any other living person in the world — athlete, entertainer, politician or otherwise. His 1972 World Championship match against Russian Boris Spassky, with the allegorical heft of its East-versus-West implications, helped spark a worldwide surge in the interest in chess, while his hermetic personality rendered him a compelling if inscrutable public figure far outside the realm of his area of expertise. “Bobby Fischer Against the World,” a new documentary which frames itself against the backdrop of the aforementioned »
With underwriting from General Electric and the support of the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals, video publisher Cinelan is partnering with a cross-section of top nonfiction filmmakers on a short-film series spotlighting the "human power of ideas and invention." Dubbed "Focus Forward - short films, big ideas," the series' initial group of filmmakers include Joe Berlinger, Lixin Fan, Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney, Steve James, Barbara Kopple, Ross Kauffman and Jessica »
Following on from the hugely successful theatrical run, Dogwoof proudly presents Award-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus’s fascinating portrait of one of the most intriguing and enigmatic figures of the 20th century – World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer.
Available on DVD 12th September, a week after the iTunes release, Bobby Fischer Against the World traces the Grand Master from child prodigy to Cold War hero to controversial recluse. Cutting interviews with Bobby and the people who knew him with footage and news reports, Bobby Fischer Against the World is a mesmerising portrait of the rise and bizarre fall of one of the great American icons. With DVD extras including three short films, selected trailers and “Taking on a Grandmaster” clips; this is a DVD must buy for all chess fans or anyone wanting an insight into troubled genius.
To be in with a chance of winning one of two copies of the DVD we have to give, »
- Matt Holmes
“A must for all chess enthusiasts”. Not really a great selling slogan - permit me to rephrase. Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011) is a must for all enthusiasts of brilliant documentaries. Liz Garbus, the film's acclaimed director, has scoped her masterful documentary eye on the now unrecognised face of Bobby Fischer, a man, the documentary exclaims, was secondary only to Jesus Christ in notoriety stakes in the early to mid 1970s in America.
- Daniel Green
Brooklyn boy Bobby Fischer, the temperamental, reclusive 1970s chess champion, is probably best known by most people under 40 -- if he’s known at all -- for being that crazy ex-pat who said America got what it deserved on 9/11. Or maybe they’d heard of the 1993 drama Searching for Bobby Fischer, which really doesn’t have much to do with the man at all. Here, documentarian Liz Garbus (Girlhood) examines Fischer in a more comprehensive way than has ever been attempted before, and explores his enigma in ways that even those who do remember him at the height of his fame will find fascinating. Because even when he was known, he wasn’t very well known at all. With our hindsight today, however, Garbus’s portrait of Fischer as a lonely child and a monomanical young chess player becomes a portrait of his times as well »
- MaryAnn Johanson
During the summer of 1972 the world was riveted by the cold war drama of the chess games in Iceland between the Soviet chess master Boris Spassky and his American challenger Bobby Fischer. I remember it well as I produced George Steiner's series of analyses of the contest for BBC Radio 3. Steiner's classic essay on the affair for the New Yorker was published in book form the following year as The Sport Scene: White Knights of Reykjavik. Liz Garbus's fascinating but rather low-key documentary traces Fischer's life from childhood prodigy to the burgeoning insanity that culminated in his lonely, isolated death as a paranoid, antisemitic and anti-American Jewish American in 2008. The centre and highpoint of his career is of course that successful challenge to Spassky at the age of 29 from which the madness stems. It is a tragic story, often painful to watch and listen to, with some eloquent, highly »
- Philip French
Cell 211 (18)
Sometimes all you need is a great set-up: a prison guard, first day on the job, gets trapped in a cell just as a riot breaks out, and must therefore pose as an inmate to survive. It's better not to know where this tough Spanish thriller goes from there, but rest assured you're in very good hands. There's tightrope tension and breakneck pace, but wider questions of honour and justice unfold, too – everything you could ask for, in fact.
Having sat through the deathly dullness of Part 1, here's our reward: a rousing finale that strikes all the right notes, ties up 10 years' worth of loose ends, plunges you into 3D battle, and perhaps even wrings the odd tear – all without inducing effects fatigue. »
- Steve Rose
A riveting documentary about the troubled Us chess champion and his battle with Boris Spassky
Liz Garbus's gripping documentary about the life and times of the troubled American chess genius Bobby Fischer asks a number of questions. Did Bobby's missing dad create an emotional void which was neurotically filled with chess? Is there something in the game that encourages immersive obsession and ultimate madness? Would Fischer have gone the same way if he had been a plumber or a welder? And why is it that antisemitism is the bigotry of choice for mentally ill people?
Non-chessers like me are already basically aware of the second and third acts of this American life. The middle act was Fischer's sensational world championship victory against Boris Spassky in 1972 followed by an immediate withdrawal into depression. His victory was perhaps merely an interruption to the reclusiveness which had, in effect, begun many years before. »
- Peter Bradshaw
At the height of his popularity in the 1970s, Bobby Fischer was a household name. What Muhammad Ali was to boxing, Fischer was to chess. His ability inspired thousands to take up the hobby and is widely credited as being one of the finest, if not the finest, chess player ever to have lived.
Bobby Fischer Against The World tells the story of how he rose from a gifted child prodigy who accepted fame reluctantly to a champion who defeated the might of the Russian incumbent Boris Spassky during the Cold War. He lost the title by default in 1975 because he refused to defend it and later became a recluse only to resurface almost 20 years later to play a rematch with Spassky in Yugoslavia – an action which broke »
- Jez Sands
In this week's podcast, Jason Solomons meets director Jamie Thraves to talk about his new film, Treacle Jr, starring The Wire's Aiden Gillen. Thraves discusses his long wait to return to cinema following his acclaimed 2001 debut, The Low Down, also starring Gillen.
Finally, Xan and Jason review some of this week's other releases, including the final Harry Potter film, a Turkish delight named Bal (Honey) and the Spanish prison drama Cell 211.
Subscribe for free via our iTunes feed. (Here's the non-iTunes URL feed). Follow us on Twitter to receive updates on all guests and reviews. Film Weekly is also on Facebook, where you can join our Film Weekly Fans group. And you can listen back through our archive here. »
- Xan Brooks, Jason Solomons, Jason Phipps
If you thought chess was just about old dudes with clocks stroking their chins a lot, think again. Bobby Fischer Against The World unleashes the world's first chess-playing superhero, a maverick genius who could crush evil communists with just a well-timed move of a tiny man on a horse. And not even Tony Stark can say that.As this new clip shows, Fischer was up against the colossal resources of the Soviet Union and its formidable chess masters, Boris Spassky and Garry Kasparov. The American, a child prodigy and on the cusp of greatness by his 29th birthday, was a tortured soul who struggled under the pressure. He took on the 'Evil Empire' without so much as a supportive family member in his corner. Think Rocky IV with Spassky in the Drago role. brightcove.createExperiences(); It's directed by Liz Garbus whose previous documentaries, including the prison-set The Farm: Angola, USA and Killing In The Name, »
#10. I Saw The Devil - Kim Jee-woon (March 4th) Byung-hun Lee and Min-sik Choi going head to head in a revenge drunk, ultra violent game of cat and mouse, crafted by the headstrong stylings of Kim Jee-woon? Sign me up. #9. Bobby Fischer Against the World - Liz Garbus (HBO Premiere) An interest in chess helped peak my interest, but Liz Garbus's doc about the insanity that was chess master Bobby Fischer's life is an absorbing bit of film making. With an excellent sense of pace, and a cast of interviewees that not only were probably the only people that could tell Fischer's story, but told it with ardent detail whether they loved him, or thought he was a complete nut job, the HBO doc is sure to spread the good word of chess to the masses while simultaneously entertaining. #8. Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles - Jon Foy »
#10. The Dish and the Spoon - Alison Bagnall (2011 SXSW) An out of step pas de deux, The Dish and The Spoon deftly explores where you go when you reach the end. A cuckolded wife, a mysterious waif and the Delaware seashore offer a story that charms in its rueful sadness. Though you know their relationship won’t last, you can’t help wishing it would. #9. Cave of Forgotten Dreams - Werner Herzog (April 29th) The oldest known artwork, the Chauvet Cave, is explored here with the newest form of filmic expression, 3D. Herzog shot the film in 3D to “capture the intentions of the painters”. Through its sweeping, gentle camerawork and Herzog’s penetrating narration, Cave of Forgotten Dreams brings these 30,000-year-old paintings to life. Caught this at SXSW. #8. Super 8 - J.J. Abrams (June 10th) An homage to its producer, Super 8 gives a lot, asking nothing in return. »
Bobby Fischer was one of the most enigmatic personalities the game of chess has ever seen, and Liz Garbus’ film Bobby Fischer Against the World tells his story from his early years and noted proficiency with the game to the famous match with Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky in 1972.
This clip has some of the little footage of the man himself, and hints at a man ill at ease with his fame and the pressure of being in the world’s spotlight. Dave posted a trailer for the film a few weeks ago and the film is out in UK cinemas on the 15th of July.
Here’s a synopsis or you fine people,
‘Bobby Fischer Against the World’ is the first documentary feature to explore the tragic and bizarre life of the late chess master Bobby Fischer. The drama of Bobby Fischer’s career was undeniable, from his troubled childhood, »
- Jon Lyus
He was the chess genius who electrified the planet – until his life unravelled spectacularly. Can a new film explain Bobby Fischer
Bobby Fischer was the blessing and the curse of chess in the 20th century. The American electrified the game when he rose to prominence in the 1950s and 60s, and won the world championship in a thrilling match against Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in 1972. But then, increasingly unhinged, he refused to defend his title in 1975, wandered the world for the next 30 years, and in 2008 died in Iceland – the scene of his 1972 triumph and, by the end, more or less the only country that would give him sanctuary. His absence from the chess stage was more interesting than anyone else's presence could possibly be, and his shadow still looms over the game. (A prize if you can name the current world champion.)
That current champion, a very sane and pleasant fellow, »
- Stephen Moss
Bobby Fischer was not only one of the greatest chess players of all time, he was possibly also one of the most enigmatic figures of the 20th century.
After his 1972 World Championship victory in Iceland against the Ussr's Boris Spassky (pictured right), Fischer - who was born in Chicago and raised in New York - vanished off the radar but resurfaced for a 1992 rematch held in Yugoslavia.
However, Yugoslavia was under a Un embargo at the time, so Fischer's American passport was revoked. When he travelled to Japan on the invalid documentation, he was detained there for nine months (see picture below), before being granted citizenship by Iceland where he lived until his death in 2008, aged 64.
Now his story is being brought to life by the award-winning, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus.
Released in UK cinemas by distributors Dogwoof on July 15, Bobby Fischer Against the World traces the Grandmaster from »
- David Bentley
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