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7 items from 2010

Recommended: Time Out New York's 50 Best Documentaries Of All Time

18 November 2010 9:35 PM, PST | | See recent IFC news »

Time Out New York has a strong list of the 50 best documentaries of all time. The top five goes like this:

1)"Shoah" (1985, Claude Lanzmann)

2)"Sans Soleil" (1983, Chris Marker)

3)"The Thin Blue Line" (1988, Errol Morris)

4)"Night and Fog" (1955, Alain Resnais)

5)"Harlan County U.S.A." (1976, Barbara Kopple)

I had a few quibbles with the rankings, a few too low ("F For Fake") a few too high ("Bowling For Columbine"), a couple omissions (No "Gates of Heaven?"). But overall it's a strong group from Tony's David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich (even if I wish they wrote a little bit more about each selection). Head over to Time Out New York to check out the complete list. »

- Matt Singer

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Toronto: New Errol Morris documentary 'Tabloid' is compelling fun

21 September 2010 11:25 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

I love Errol Morris.  I don't love every one of his movies… a few of them are tough sits, movies I can't imagine watching a second time… but I think he's a tremendous character and a valuable voice in the world of documentary film.  He's been doing it right for as long as I've been watching movies, and his latest film, "Tabloid," is one of the most entertaining he's made in recent memory. Right around the time I discovered Siskel and Ebert on television, they discovered Errol Morris and "Gates Of Heaven," and they started talking about him like he had »

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A seance with Errol Morris

16 September 2010 9:40 PM, PDT | | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

• Toronto Report #5

It's little wonder Errol Morris and Werner Herzog are good friends. They have this in common: They make strange, brilliant films, and they have strange, brilliant minds. I've never had the pleasure of observing either one at those "round tables" they convene at film festivals to give a dozen critics the experience of sitting for a dozen minutes at the same table with a great person, and the opportunity to judge the great person's ability to generate sound bites. I don't even know if Errol does round tables to promote his films. But if he does, I'm pretty sure he would take the entire twelve minutes to answer the first question.

That's not to say he's a bore. Anything but. He enthralls. He answers a question with the precision and care of a philosophy master conducting a tutorial of his best students on a balmy afternoon in Cambridge, »

- Roger Ebert

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Isle of MTV | No Hats No Trainers | American Grindhouse | The Middle | Secret Britain | U Be Dead and more | The weekend's TV highlights

3 September 2010 10:45 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Isle of MTV | No Hats No Trainers | American Grindhouse | The Middle | Secret Britain | U Be Dead and more

Saturday 4 September

Isle Of MTV; Camp Bestival

12midday, MTV; 9pm, Sky Arts 1

Two different approaches at annual music festivals. First off, MTV take over a chunk of Malta for their big, spectacular concert. The bands picked are ones that know plenty about showmanship: Scissor Sisters, Kelis and Kid Rock. In these cash-strapped days such wilful, wasteful consumerism is a wonder to behold and it's great to see MTV actually putting some M on their TV for a change. The other side of the coin is the carbon-neutral Camp Bestival in Dorset. Audiences there, in fancy dress, witnessed an eclectic selection including Madness, Friendly Fires, the Human League and George Clinton.

No Hats No Trainers

12.25pm, BBC2

The lively No Hats No Trainers is back for a second series, and it's well worth »

- Phelim O'Neill, Rebecca Nicholson, Andrew Mueller, David Stubbs, Will Dean, Jonathan Wright, Martin Skegg, John Robinson

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Doc Talk: 'Animal Love,' 'Mine' and 'Gates of Heaven'

25 August 2010 8:02 PM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

This week's Doc Talk was inspired in part by Dennis Lim's recent New York Times piece on films that blur the distinctions between fiction and non-fiction. I love the opening paragraph, which through the ideas of Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette states a belief I've always carried, that all movies are documentaries in some way or another. I'll forgive Lim for not addressing this year's three biggest question mark docs, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Catfish and I'm Still Here (and salute Eric Kohn's lumping of these "elusive" titles), all of which have been met with doubt with regards to their complete truthfulness.

But I'm not concentrating on that topic now. Perhaps later once I've seen the Joaquin Phoenix movie. Instead, Lim's article got me curious about Ulrich Seidl's Animal Love and that subsequently put me in a mood for a triple feature focused on docs about pet owners. »

- Christopher Campbell

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Traveler to the undiscovere'd country

14 August 2010 7:36 AM, PDT | | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

I watched Christopher Hitchens' CNN interview with Anderson Cooper with gathering sympathy. He had cancer. He was going to die. Apart from that, the treatment seemed about to kill him, and he was feeling very unwell. This man who often had a cigarette or a drink close at hand sat with the quiet of a man drained of energy, and reached out a hand to take a sip of water.

He was in the hands of medicine. He was hopeful but realistic. He will come to feel increasingly like a member of the audience in the theater of his own illness. I've been there. There were times when I seemed to have nothing to do with it. One night, unable to speak, I caught the eye of a nurse through my open door and pointed to the blood leaking from my hospital gown. She pushed a panic button and »

- Roger Ebert

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Herzog bags a bizarre voiceover role

8 April 2010 3:30 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The last of the great auteur directors voices the role of a plastic grocery bag in a philosophical short film by much-tipped director Ramin Bahrani

A strange moment punctures the sentimentality of Robin Williams's 1998 drama-fantasy What Dreams May Come. Williams, the Orpheus-like character who trawls through hell in search of his wife, is stepping across what the film somehow manages to portray as a dull, unscary field of human heads. One of the heads calls out to him. It is Werner Herzog. "You're Klaus!" the Herzog head cries, confusing Williams with Klaus Kinski in a way nobody ever has or will again. "Welcome, welcome!"

If it seems like a bizarre cameo for the last of the great auteurs, consider that this is also the man who dragged Joaquin Phoenix from a mangled car, then took off before Phoenix could thank him, the man who got shot during an interview »

- Chris Michael

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