Archives for January 2020

ARCHIVES

SUNDANCE | One day, two docs: “All that perishes at the Edge of Land” and “Church and the fourth estate”

These films were shown as part of the "Documentary Shorts Program 2"

PARK CITY, Ut. - Documentaries need not be lengthy to explore a fascinating subject, as I learned at the “Documentary Shorts Program 2” at Sundance. In “All That Perishes at the Edge of Land,” filmmaker Hira Nabi’s camera magnificently captures the “ship breaking” industry of Pakistan, which employs the poorest of the poor to disassemble obsolete carrier vessels for scrap. The ships grounded ... more >

SUNDANCE / INTERVIEW : “The face of the Asian was very much the face of the enemy in America” (Bao Nguyen, director of “Be Water”)

[U.S. Documentary Competition]

Park City, Ut. | Filmmaker Bao Nguyen didn’t mince words when we sat down in a house not far from where his documentary about Bruce Lee, called “Be Water,” premiered at Sundance this week. Nguyen idolized Lee as a young man because there were rather few Asian and Asian-American actors on U.S. television and in movies in those days. When Lee was trying to get his start in Hollywood, World War II ... more >

From the Southside to Sundance : Steve James on the story of Chicago’s race politics in “City so Real”

Produced by Kartemquin Films
This film was screened as part of the official selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Park City, Ut. | Steve James loves Chicago. The city helped to ensure his place in the pantheon of great documentarians thanks to “Hoop Dreams,” widely considered one of the greatest non-fiction films ever made. But in the twenty-five years since that documentary about inner-city high school basketball, the Windy City has continued to give James opportunities to tell its stories. There was ... more >

Sundance 2020: Chasing news stories from the sky in “Whirlybird,” directed by Matt Yoka

[DOCUMENTARY]
What's in your storage unit?
Directed by Matt Yoka

PARK CITY, Ut. | (Film critic Eric Althoff is in Park City covering Sundance 2020 for Screen Comment) Matt Yoka found a rather unusual Los Angeles treasure trove in an unassuming storage unit. There, in multiple boxes, sat some 3,200 ¾ inch Betamax tapes of helicopter news footage, all of it captured in the nineties by a now-defunct aerial news firm called Los Angeles News Service. Yoka, an ... more >

REVIEW : Dark and outlandish humor abounds in Alfonso Llosa’s “La Restauración”

Some parting words from SBIFF2020
Paul Vega, Attilia Boschetti and Delfina Paredes
Directed by Alonso Llosa

Santa Barbara International Film Festival is up against Sundance this year, so the demands for top independent films are especially heightened this season, as are the demands on stars like Brad Pitt (bestowed an honor in California) to choose one or the other. As always, there are unexpected gems, including a rather offbeat comedy from South America I was able to see (review below), and which ... more >

Once upon a time, the twisted twins Jen and Sylvia Soska – INTERVIEW

"Follow your stupid fucking dreams" (Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska)

In the last decade twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska have doggedly pursued film ventures in the horror genre. Armed with ingenuity, a DYI ethos and a pledge to frighten honest, hard-working people, the Soskas have acted in, directed, screenwritten and produced movies that would give Lloyd Kaufman and Eli Roth a run for their money. The Soskas have directed such films as “Dead Hooker in a ... more >

church&state

MOVIE REVIEW: “CHURCH & STATE”

DOCUMENTARY
Directed by Holly Tuckett and Kendall Wilcox

“Church & State” examines the remarkable true story of an inexperienced gay activist who, in partnership with a Salt Lake City law firm and members of the local LGBTQ community, successfully ended Utah's ban on gay marriage. Mark Lawrence, a middle-aged gay man, led the charge for gay marriage equality in Utah. He’s a bit of an acquired taste (he’s so off-putting to some that it made him ... more >