It's time for another treat courtesy of the Guardian Screening Room: a five-film season of cutting-edge documentaries that should contain something for everyone. All life is here: secrets of the master chefs, the inside scoop on classic monster movies; what life is like for learning-disabled punk rockers; the intricacies of lettering and typeface design; and the story behind a Russian orthodox nunnery. It all kicks off a week today, but now's the time to enter our competition to give away free viewings to 1000 people.
So, on 15 April, we begin launching our film season: one film a day for five days.
First out of the traps is El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, a film about the legendary Spanish restaurant, which closed in 2011. During its heydey it pioneered "molecular gastronomy
Short Film Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Jan. 22, with feature film awards announced at a separate ceremony on Jan. 26. The festival runs this year from Jan. 17-27.
Click below for the entire Sundance jury list:
U.S. Documentary Jury
Liz Garbus is a prolific documentary filmmaker.
Below are 10 bits of indispensable advice from Hustwit’s workshop:
1. Connect with the audience early
With his most recent film, Urbanized, Hustwit launched
Where Urbanized finds most success is in the presentation of workable solutions. Sure, there is some education on just what urban planning involves, but it’s much more a film about philosophies and practical problem solving. For example, there’s an interview with the mayor of Bogota, who explains how the city reduced a good deal of its traffic congestion by restricting parking spaces in the city. Less parking, less driving. It’s a simple solution that then allowed the city to implement a wide range of
The first entry in the Design Trilogy was 2007′s Helvetica. You wouldn’t think a documentary about a ubiquitous font would be interesting, but Helvetica proved to be one of the best documentaries of recent years. While the topic was typography—and one font in particular—the documentary was really an exploration of the prevalence of design and how it shapes our perception of the world around us. I don’t say this about documentaries very often, but Helvetica actually changed the way I see the world around me. I look at things differently and I’m much more aware of
Urbanized premiered this year at Toronto, and we’ve got the trailer below.
The final documentary in director Gary Hustwit’s design film trilogy (Helvetica and Objectified), Urbanized asks who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? How does the design of our cities affect our lives? Traveling to over 40 cities and exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, from massive infrastructure initiatives to temporary interventions, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.
Meanwhile Dave Robson had this to say:
“I expect that fans of director Gary Hustwit’s previous films Helvetica and Objectified are already making plans to see his latest work. They won’t be disappointed. The audience at Friday’s screening certainly wasn’t.
Luckily for me I dodged all the movies that received unanimous negative feedback. Perhaps the six films that have been panned the most by critics and audiences alike are, Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz, Guy Maddin’s Keyhole, Madonna’s W.E., Joel Schumacher
Directed by Gary Hustwit
2011, USA/United Kingdom, 82 minutes
I expect that fans of director Gary Hustwit’s previous films Helvetica and Objectified are already making plans to see his latest work. They won’t be disappointed. The audience at Friday’s screening certainly wasn’t. Observing the sea of people armed with library books, copies of The New Yorker, and NPR on iPods, Hustwit remarked that the output of Toronto’s creative community had been brought to a halt. To everyone else, then: the object of this review is to convince you that Urbanized is a witty, informed, and essential examination of one of the world’s most vital issues.
This documentary is a heady (but not at all overwhelming) mix. Urban design experts—architects, developers, city planners, academics, urban activists, and more—discuss their part of the field over slick cinematography featuring the some of world’s most iconic cities.