Les Invisibles: Speaking up, stepping out

Les Invisibles: Speaking up, stepping out

Les Invisibles does more than you’d expect of a documentary about elderly gay and lesbian people. I went into this film anticipating a series of interesting stories about individual lives, but this is a film that offers far more. Sébastien Lifshitz has imposed a true director’s conception of mood and theme to this film, which […]

‘Village at the End of the World’: Help Wanted?

‘Village at the End of the World’: Help Wanted?

“Village at the End of the World,” a documentary set in Greenland, presents some interesting similarities with “Eat Sleep Die,” the last film I reviewed. Both revolve around unemployment, and the threat it poses to community. Admittedly, the village of Niaqornat in the north of Greenland makes the southern Swedish village of “Eat Sleep Die” […]

‘The Queen of Versailles’: a call for revolution

‘The Queen of Versailles’: a call for revolution

This documentary gives curious viewers a glimpse into the life of timeshare mogul David Siegel and his family. The titular ‘queen’ is Siegel’s wife Jacqueline, and Versailles is the monster home they are constructing. Modelled on the original French palace, Versailles was set to become the biggest house in America. Having begun filming prior to […]

The Power of Limits in ‘The Five Obstructions’

The Power of Limits in ‘The Five Obstructions’

How are you doing with your new year’s resolutions? Did you start this month with enthusiasm and optimism? We seem to enjoy this annual ritual of creating restrictions for ourselves. Some restrictions which seem to complement each other (like exercising and eating less chocolate) in fact serve to double the challenge (burning more calories while […]

The Past and Future of Film Criticism at Cinema City

The Past and Future of Film Criticism at Cinema City

The Cinema City film festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, hosted a panel discussion on the future of film criticism with director Gerald Peary, following the screening of his documentary, For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009). The film offers a useful summary of the different roles of the film critic […]

Beauty Day (2011)

Beauty Day (2011)

“I was dealing with human beings, and they’re a pretty fucked up breed.” It probably wouldn’t surprise a lot of people if it were revealed that Ralph Zavadil, the source of the above quotation, weren’t human after all. (He made a name for himself by snorting raw eggs, squirting chocolate syrup on the backs of […]

Berlinale Day 4: The Allegory of the ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’, 3D

Berlinale Day 4: The Allegory of the ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’, 3D

When I arrived at my hotel in Berlin to cover this festival, I was surprised to discover a default image of a fireplace quietly crackling away on the flat screen TV on the wall of my room. I wondered what our caveman relatives would have made of a civilization that has come to this point: […]

Catfish (2010)

Catfish (2010)

“Catfish” is one of those films that will have as many interpretations as it has viewers.  The middle-aged hipster-loathing intellectual will see it as nothing more than an outlet for the filmmakers to glorify their modern, pseudo-bohemian cookie-cutter coolness.  The bleeding heart will see it as bad form, an exploitative fame-grab at the expense of […]

The Tillman Story: A Tale that Needed to be Told

The Tillman Story: A Tale that Needed to be Told

The name might already be familiar to you from news reports during the mid-2000s. Pat Tillman was a young American football player who chose to put his career on hold in order to join the US Army. When he was killed on duty in Afghanistan, he was held up as the archetypal all-American hero by […]

Tabloid: The Unblinking Gaze

Tabloid: The Unblinking Gaze

Tabloid is a documentary which uses interviews to investigate a case which was a source of lurid fascination to the British public in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Joyce McKinney was an American beauty queen who came to England in search of her fiancé, Kirk Anderson, who was a Mormon. She believed that his […]

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