5 items from 2014
Werner Herzog is one of my all time favourite directors. Ever since watching his take on Nosferatu, I knew I was hooked. Exploring both his fictional and documentary films, you will find a fascinating body of work. Sure, some of his opinions I really don’t agree with (I’m talking about you, Into the Abyss and Death Row) but whether you agree with the content or not, a film with Herzog’s name on it will at least touch you in one way.
The British Film Institute recently released a 10 disc box set of some of Herzog’s films. Over the coming weeks (and maybe months) I will be going through each disc. Part review. Part retrospective. Hopefully you will join me on my Herzogian journey.
Whether you are a fan of Herzog or a newcomer to his work, I hope you at least get something out of this. »
- Mondo Squallido
By Anjelica Oswald
Where feature filmmakers head into a project with a script and a plan, the path for documentarians is unpredictable. They follow real subjects and real issues often in real time — and sometimes for years at a time — and piece everything together as the footage comes along. Sometimes, things fall apart or the subject has to change, such as it with Alex Gibney’s The Armstrong Lie (2013). Though different skill sets go into the distinct film forms, some documentary filmmakers choose to transition to narrative features and vice versa, such as Spike Lee, whose next release will be a documentary titled Go Brasil Go!.
Rob Epstein and Jeff Friedman have made the jump from documentaries to feature films and have said that they intend on continuing to make both types of film. Epstein and Friedman won an Oscar for their first co-directed documentary, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt »
- Anjelica Oswald
Main Street during The Telluride Film Festival
The Telluride Film Festival seemingly appears overnight against the gorgeous backdrop of rugged mountains. It lasts just four days but in fact it takes more than a month of intensive labor to transform the elementary school, high school, hockey rink, library, the park in the middle of town and a masonic temple into theaters. Now in its 41st year,up until recently this hallowed Labor Day weekend event has long been a quiet fixture on the festival circuit. As most of the festival world knows, the escalating word of mouth about the quality of Telluride’s unofficial premieres caused the Toronto International Film Festival to issue an ultimatum to those hoping to land choice spots in the fall line-up: if you choose to screen at Telluride first, your film will be pushed back on Tiff’s slate. Realistically- Toronto has little to fear from Telluride besides buzz. »
- Lane Scarberry
‘Stories We Tell,’ ‘Blackfish’ out of the Oscar 2014 race: Academy’s Documentary Branch ‘anti-female’? (Photo: Sarah Polley [with camera] directing ‘Stories We Tell’) Besides Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, among the other glaring Oscar 2014 absentees were Robert Redford and Golden Globe-winning composer Alex Ebert for All Is Lost; Joel and Ethan Coen’s well-received Inside Llewyn Davis from the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay shortlists; Daniel Brühl and his movie, Ron Howard’s Rush, which was completely shut out; two Weinstein Company releases that were also completely shut out, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, and their respective stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, and Michael B. Jordan; Guillermo del Toro-Charlie Hunnam’s Pacific Rim and Marc Forster-Brad Pitt’s World War Z from any of the technical categories; and finally, Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s »
- Andre Soares
Earlier this week, Drafthouse Films released one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year, The Act of Killing, on Blu-ray and DVD, which includes both the 122-minute theatrical cut and the 166-minute director's cut. This compelling documentary from director Joshua Oppenheimer examines the country of Indnonesia, where leaders of brutal death squads are celebrated as heroes. We have an exclusive clip featuring commentary with Joshua Oppenheimer and executive producer Werner Herzog, who break down a scene that can only be seen in the director's cut.
In this inventive and critically-acclaimed documentary by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by documentary titans, Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life) and Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War), the filmmakers examine a country where Indonesian death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes, challenging them to reenact their real-life mass-killings via musical numbers, »
5 items from 2014
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