James should be high-fived every day of his life for telling the real story of Roger Ebert—a writer, a former alcoholic, a showboat, a hero, a lover, a man who changed from an uncouth kind of a dick to one who was unfailingly witty and kind. Last but certainly not least, Roger Ebert was a movie lover, and this is the kind of movie he would have loved. [A]
Premiering at Sundance earlier in the year, where it nabbed the Audience Award, and now playing in theaters across the country, “Alive Inside” contains a tiny revolution within its message, and will likely end up being one of the most important documentaries of the year. [B+]
Parallels and sociological discussions could be prompted by "The Kill Team," which is both thorough and more of a conversation starter than capper. Today's generation of citizens and soldiers live in a world that seems bigger than ever before with the advance of the information age and the population growth worldwide. Death becomes something of an abstract concept: the weight and meaning is lost by those at a young age with no guidance, given a gun and just a little bit of adrenaline from being surrounded by peers. "The Kill Team" underlines how necessary and, sadly, insubstantial that it really is, when one soldier remarks that there was nothing "special" about the Kill Team themselves: they were just the ones that got caught. [A]
1. Man With A Movie Camera, (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
2. Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985)
3. Sans Soleil, (Chris Marker, 1982)
4. Night And Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955)
5. The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1989)
6. Chronicle Of A Summer (Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin, 1961)
7. Nanook Of The North (Robert Flaherty, 1922)
8. The Gleaners And I (Agn?s Varda, 2000)
9. Don’t Look Back (D.A. Pennebaker, 1967)
10. Grey Gardens (Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, 1975)
'Man With A Movie Camera' Tops Sight & Sound's List Of Best Documentaries Of All Time | The Playlist
You can watch Man With A Movie Camera online right there at the link.
"After the movie happened, people who weren’t in it —but who were a part of the group— had gripes with this intrusion into our lives and people making money off it, while we’re still struggling, starving, and finding our way through life, alone. That’s not to say [the filmmakers] did us wrong on that, because those of us who were in the movie chose to be. But there was a lot of dysfunction both prior to and after the film's release—people going from being in this little subculture, dealing with these complex situations in a sleepless city, to being a part of this new pop culture, with all that dysfunction and trauma squared," he explained. "It’s still a very sensitive topic—there’s a lot of resentment. So this documentary is quite a responsibility on me, you know what I mean? I had to do a lot of reflecting on myself first to get to the point of even doing this interview, 20 years later."
Contrary to popular belief, “F for Fake” is not Orson Welles’s last completed film. That honor goes to the rarely seen (or even discussed) 1978 documentary “Filming Othello.” As you would expect from the title, the doc traces the creation of Welles’s 1952 Palme d’Or-winning adaptation of “Othello.” Though the film was never officially released outside of one screening at the 1978 Berlin Film Festival and two in New York in 1979 and 1987, you can now watch it in the comfort of your home, courtesy of The Seventh Art.
Some of the story moments in “The Overnighters” bubble up too quickly and without enough context or connection to the overall narrative—this is not a film that is going to hold your hand and walk you through itself step by step. Issues rise to the surface and pop before you can even expect or process them, and there are a few times when, as an audience member, you want more guidance. But it’s truly more realistic this way, and the film is not going to slow down or over-explain for anything. It will leave you stunned, questioning, and unsure of what is right and what is wrong—as most great docs do. And Pastor Jay Reinke is one of the most unforgettable tragic figures in 2014 cinema. “The Overnighters” is starkly bleak and devastatingly humane, and an indelible American documentary. [A-]