5 items from 2016
NBC Sports continues its efforts at releasing documentaries with the debut of “More Than Gold: Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” The one-hour documentary will debut Sunday, February 14, at 12:30 p.m. on NBC.
“More Than Gold” features interviews with three members of the U.S. team who competed in the 1936 Olympics: Adolph Kiefer (Gold Medalist, 100-Meter Backstroke); Iris Cummings Critchell (200-Meter Breaststroke); and John Lysak (Doubles Canoe), as well as 1948 U.S. Olympic team member Herbert Douglas (Bronze Medalist, Long Jump). The film also features Owens’ daughters Beverly Owens Prather, Marlene Owens Rankin and Gloria Owens Hemphill.
The documentary also features archival footage from the 1936 Berlin Games, including restored elements from “Olympia,” the official film of the 1936 Olympics by German director Leni Riefenstahl.
“More Than Gold” could serve »
- Variety Staff
Michael Bay propagandizes for a right-wing idea of “true America,” seething with disdain for anyone who isn’t a former elite soldier turned mercenary. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): not a Michael Bay fan
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
This purportedly true account of the 2012 “Battle of Benghazi” opens with American military contractors Jack Silva (John Krasinski: The Wind Rises, Monsters University), who has just arrived in town, and his old buddy Tyrone “Rone” Woods (James Badge Dale: The Walk, Parkland) bluffing their way past a roadblock by armed Libyans. It doesn’t matter what side the Libyans are on; in the chaos that erupted after Gaddafi’s death: the point is that they are Libyans — suspiciously lawless violent folk, that is, who cannot even get their own nation under control — and not Americans. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Rko's morale-building wartime thriller adds an element of sexual perversion to its story of Nazi crimes against children, thus creating one of the studio's all-time biggest hits. Bonita Granville is the victim Tim Holt her Nazi-youth heartthrob, and Otto Kruger provides the perverted sneers. Hitler's Children DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1943 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 82 min. / Street Date December 1, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Otto Kruger, H.B. Warner, Lloyd Corrigan, Erford Gage, Hans Conried, Gavin Muir, Nancy Gates, Egon Brecher, Peter van Eyck, Edward Van Sloan. Cinematography Russell Metty Film Editor Joseph Noriega Original Music Roy Webb Written by Emmet Lavery from the book Education for Death by Gregor Ziemer Produced by Edward A. Golden Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Perhaps the most popular anti-Nazi info-propaganda thriller of the war, Hitler's Children is a very well made shocker that »
- Glenn Erickson
In Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin's Oscar shortlisted Best Documentary Film nominee Meru, three of the world’s most accomplished mountain climbers, Conrad Anker, Renan Ozturk and Chin himself, attempt to conquer nature, outward and inward, to reach the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, the heretofore impossible peak in the Himalayas. The footage is breathtaking, the obstacles seem insurmountable, the trust and friendship between them has to be complete and you will find yourself cheering them on.
Jimmy Chin: "I owe so much to Conrad …" Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
The Arnold Fanck films with Luis Trenker and Leni Riefenstahl The Holy Mountain (Der Heilige Berg) and The Great Leap (Der Grosse Sprung) and Storm Over Mont Blanc (Stürme Über Dem Mont Blanc) with Riefenstahl and Sepp Rist came to mind as I spoke with Jimmy Chin. He expressed his love of the ocean, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Directed by Leni Riefenstahl
It is never easy to look at Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will as anything other than what Dr. Anthony Santoro quite rightly calls a “supreme propaganda film.” As that, it is nearly unparalleled in the dubious annals of film history. Contributing to its difficulty in terms of analysis, however, is the fact that it is, at the same time, more than simply a notorious document of evil in bloom. For all the troublesome features that recurrently arise through the course of this film—the domineering presence of Adolf Hitler being just one obvious example—this is one remarkably well-crafted motion picture. Its status as the ultimate work of cinematic propaganda is, indeed, a direct result of just how superbly powerful, sadly persuasive, and expertly realized the documentary is, for better or worse. »
- Jeremy Carr
5 items from 2016
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