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Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, and Nonfiction Storytelling

Documentary Film Reviews

This is an alphabetical list of documentary film reviews posted on J R Martin Media.

Scroll down through list or use SEARCH (above) to find specific film.

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1- 2014 Documentary Oscar Nominees

Posted by on Jan 18, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

2014 Documentary Oscar Nominees for Best Feature length documentary and best short documentary.

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2012 DOCUMENTARY OSCAR NOMINEES

Posted by on Jan 24, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

2012 DOCUMENTARY OSCAR NOMINATIONS -Best documentary feature “Hell and Back Again” - Danfung Dennis - See Review “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” - Marshall Curry See Review “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” - Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky “Pina” - Wim Wenders “Undefeated” - Stephen Bannon This years group of nominated documentaries seems to be and odd assortment. Hell and Back Again and If A Tree Falls feel like traditional documentaries that might get nominated.

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2013 Documentary Oscar Nominees

Posted by on Jan 20, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

2013 Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Nominees

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American Experience: Walt Disney — Review by Jim Martin

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, REVIEWS | 0 comments

American Experience: Walt Disney — Review by Jim Martin

PBS - American Experience: Walt Disney documentary provides an uncensored, well researched, exploration of Walt Disney, the man, his work, and his passion for achieving goals. The 221 mintute documentary looks into Walt Disney’s contributions to the art of film, his strengths and weaknesses. The film examines his great insight into American culture and at other times his opaque insensitivity to historical, political and social issues facing Americans. Walt Disney was an artist and an entrepreneur, greatly aided in his goals by Roy Disney, his brother who complemented Walt’s obsessive personality with a practical nuance. American Experience: Walt Disney informs and entertains. It is a great biography of Disney and the development of animated feature films.

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AMERICAN SHOPPER

Posted by on Apr 13, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

AMERICAN SHOPPER

In American Shopper an event for a new sport called “aisling,” involving supermarket shopping, is set up in Schnuck’s supermarket in Columbia, Missouri with a cash prize of $10,000 for the winner. American Shopper is a good example of a "hybrid" documentary style. In this approach an environment is created in which an event takes place. The event, the participants, and the results are documented and edited into a story. The actuality of what the subjects do may be authentic but the situation artificially created.

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ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL

Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL

Anvil: The Story of Anvil begins "in the day" as they say, when Heavy Metal music emerged and bands like Scorpians, White Snake and Metalica roamed the planet along with Anvil. This well made documentary opens with scenes of Anvil performing a the Super Rock Festival in Japan in 1984 in front of thousands of head bobbing, arm waving fans. According to the opening scene these bands all went on to sell millions of Albums, all except Anvil. Even though Lars Ullrich of Metalica, "thought they were cool," and Anthax's Scott Ian said, "they were and inspiration." Anvil's, Metal On Metal album is considered to have established the basic formula for Heavy Metal Rock and Roll. They were musicians, musicians in that world. Anvil put out a dozen albums but never became a household name. Anvil: The Story of Anvil, directed by Sasha Gervasi, tells the story of of Steve Kudlow (a.k.a) "Lips," vocal and lead guitar and Robb Reiner, drums who for thirty plus years have struggled doing menial jobs to keep the notion of Anvil alive.

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ART & COPY – Inside Advertising’s Creative Revolution

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

ART & COPY – Inside Advertising’s Creative Revolution

Sitting down to watch Art & Copy, directed by Doug Pray, you might think you’re about to see the history of advertising or how to create excellent advertising campaigns. But that would only be a small part of this well made documentary film. Art & Copy communicates on many levels. It’s about the creative process; about the artists, craftsmen who work in the intdustry and how advertising fits in to the world we live in today. Watching Art & Copy is actually inspiring for anyone in the arts, film and advertising.

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BALLET RUSSES

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

BALLET RUSSES

You may love the Ballet or you may know little about it. Either way you will be educated and entertained by this look into the history of the BALLET RUSSES, dance companies that possibly did more to save this dance form and help spread it around the world then anything else. BALLET RUSSES centers around a reunion of the Ballet Russes dancers in June of 2000 in New Orleans. Some of the dancers attending the reunion were still active and in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The reunion is a focal point that launches the film in to the history of two unique dance companies and the individuals who were part of them.

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BEAUTIFUL LOSERS – MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

BEAUTIFUL LOSERS – MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING

With no real training they established trends in pop culture based on their Do It Yourself (DIY) backgrounds. Beautiful Losers begins with archival footage shot as early as the 1980’s. It tells the story of outsiders who came together and found common ground in a small New York City storefront gallery. These individuals, with diverse backgrounds, including sub cultures like skateboarding, hip hop, surf, graffiti and punk began to invent their art. Today many of these non-traditional artists have become mainstream in the Pop Culture area and are sought after for various types of projects including art exhibits and by advertising agencies. Shepard Fairey, Ed Templeton, Harmony Korine, Mike Mills, Barry McGee, Chris Johansoon, Geoff McFetridge, Jo Jackson, Magaret Kilgallen, Stephe Powers and Thomas Campbell are names you may or may not recognize. However, their work is unmistakable in style and content.

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BEING ELMO A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

BEING ELMO A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY

BEING ELMO A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY begins with a nine-year-old boy becoming fascinated with puppetry. The boy is Kevin Clash and his love affair ultimately becomes his career. BEING ELMO is an inspirational documentary story that explores “the soul of puppeteers” and what goes into bringing the puppets to life. The film tells the tale by focusing on Kevin Clash, a puppeteer whose characters have included Elmo, Hoots the Owl and Baby Natasha. He became Sesame Street’s Senior Puppet Coordinator, Muppet Captain and Senior Creative Consultant. This is a documentary that in the end is about doing and focusing on your passion despite what anyone else may think or say.

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BEST WORST MOVIE – THE STORY BEHIND THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE – TROLL 2

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

BEST WORST MOVIE – THE STORY BEHIND THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE – TROLL 2

BEST WORST MOVIE is funny and a little sad at the same time. At first you have to wonder, is this a real documentary? Why would anyone make a documentary about the worst movie ever made? After watching BEST WORST MOVIE you may not be compelled to rush out and watch Troll 2, but you will have enjoyed this entertaining story about an amateurish horror movie that has become minor cult film, the cult members, the actors in the film and Troll 2 director, Claudio Fragasso. Michael Paul Stephenson, who was a child actor in Troll 2 when it was made in 1990, directs the documentary BEST WORST MOVIE.

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Blackfish – Never Capture What You Can’t Control

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 2 comments

Blackfish – Never Capture What You Can’t Control

BlackfishblucovercropBlackfish is a documentary that may anger you. It may cause you to never want to go to Sea World again or for the first time. It will make you aware that holding sea mammals like Orca Whales (AKA Killer Whales) in captivity is a crime against these sentient creatures with which we share the planet. Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, is a documentary that presents and explores a number of issues starting with the death of Dawn Brancheau. Dawn was a trainer at Sea World in Orlando. She was killed in February 2010 by Tilikum, an Orca Whale she performed with and trained. But this was not the first time Tilikum had attacked a trainer.

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BORN INTO BROTHELS - "THE POWER OF ART TO TRANSFORM LIVES"

Posted by on Nov 7, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 7 comments

BORN INTO BROTHELS - "THE POWER OF ART TO TRANSFORM LIVES"

One of the great things about making documentaries is that it’s always a learning experience. In BORN INTO BROTHELS, Zana Briski shares her firsthand experience making the film with you as she goes into the brothels of Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, West Bengal India, a city of 4.5 million people in a even larger metropolitan area of 15.7 million inhabitants, the capital of East India. BORN INTO BROTHELS takes place in the Red Light district of Kolkata (Calcutta) where Zana Briski, a photographer from New York, initially embedded herself to document the life of the women who work there. But she soon becomes more concerned with the children of the prostitutes, those who are “Born Into Brothels.” Because the women are working in a trade that is illegal, they are criminals and their children are branded as criminals as well. The girls will ultimately have no choice but to enter the sex trade (known locally as the line) and the boys will become involved in illegal activities like drug dealing. An advocacy documentary that helps solve the problem it looks at.

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BUCK - "THERE'S NO WISDOM WORTH HAVING THAT ISN'T HARD WON."

Posted by on Jul 9, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 3 comments

BUCK - "THERE'S NO WISDOM WORTH HAVING THAT ISN'T HARD WON."

At first you might not think, BUCK, a documentary about a “horse whisperer,” would have universal appeal. But once you start to watch this documentary you realize it connects with everyone on a number of levels. Buck Brannaman is a "horse whisperer," a real one. But he and is methods are unique, built on his life experience. He’s a sincere, unpretentious cowboy with a philosophy from which everyone can learn. BUCK tells a story that transcends the point-of-view of many documentary films that deal with humanistic, social or advocacy issues. BUCK will make you think, laugh and cry. It is a documentary with emotion, drama and a fundamental message.

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CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

Posted by on Jun 23, 2011 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 1 comment

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS in 3D, directed by Werner Herzog is a glimpse and a brief exploration of The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in France overlooking the former bed of Ardeche River in Southern France. The Chauvet cave houses prehistoric cave paintings that are 32,000 years old according to carbon dating. Hertzog who narrates the documentary explains that experts have determined that there was a landslide at least 10,000 years ago which sealed the entrance to the cave on the limestone cliff thereby preserving the paintings inside.

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CRUMB

Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

CRUMB

Crumb looks at the life and work of R. Crumb (Robert Crumb) and his often-bizarre, at times sexually obsessed, world. It is an intimate portrait of a talented artist. As a documentary film, Crumb explores the gray area of erotic art, fantasy, dysfunction, and reality of Robert Crumb at one point in his life...

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Cutie And The Boxer

Posted by on Jan 19, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

Cutie And The Boxer

Cutie And The Boxer is about relationships and other things like how the choices we make shape our lives. It’s also about a talented female artist loosing herself in the role of wife and supporter, resenting it and in the end finding herself again. It’s about the daily struggle of artists to survive in a world of shows and trying to sell their work. It is a human story that really doesn’t moralize about issues. The documentary observes and explores. It introduces the viewer to the lives of real people with all the frailties humans have.

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DARK DAYS - HOMELESS LIVING UNDERGROUND

Posted by on Nov 28, 2011 in Baldwin Park - Production, Documentary Film Reviews, REVIEWS | 0 comments

DARK DAYS - HOMELESS LIVING UNDERGROUND

DARK DAYS explores the lives of homeless people who live in the dark, rat infested, tunnels under Penn Station in New York City. Some of the residents have lived there for up to 25 years listening to the sound of the trains rumbling in and out. DARK DAYS begins by following a resident, outside walking along the street and then down into the tunnels. He talks about why he lives in the tunnels, after he drops down trough a hole, and walks down the dark tunnel making his way to the place he calls home. He talks about feeling safer there, underground, than on the streets where he can get mugged.

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DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND - WHICH PATH WILL THEY CHOOSE?

Posted by on Jun 10, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND - WHICH PATH WILL THEY CHOOSE?

Devils Playground – 2001 – Stick Figure Productions – 77 min. – Directed by Lucy Walker – This story follows Amish youth at 16 turned loose to experience the outside world until they can decide whether or not to commit to a life time within the Amish religion and culture. “Devil’s Playground” is the term the Amish use for the world outside their own insular community. This documentary, with the same name, takes you into that “Devil’s Playground” as Amish teenagers practice "Rumspringa" (running around). At the same time the documentary is a candid look at Amish life. When an Amish child turns sixteen they may explore and experience the “English,” non Amish world, the “Devil’s Playground.” Only after this "running around" phase, it's believed, will they be able to make the decision to be baptized into the Amish religion which was founded on the principal that no one should be baptized as a Christian until they are able to make that decision for themselves.

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Dirty Wars – The World Is A Battlefield

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

Dirty Wars  – The World Is A Battlefield

Dirty Wars is an investigative, personal journey narrated by Jeremy Scahill that progresses like a nonfiction book more than a documentary film. The structure is visual, rather than words on a page, but the voice over, and first person narration by Scahill makes him the center of the episodes or chapters of this documentary. This is his story as much as anything else. A documentary about how he investigated the issues involved. “Art is a hammer, not a mirror,” said John Grierson, who was an early champion of “Advocacy Documentary Filmmaking." If he were alive he might find this style of documentary self-indulgent.

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DOGS DECODED

Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Baldwin Park - Production, Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

DOGS DECODED

DogsDecoded covcrpHow did dogs get to be our best friends? What do they really know? The documentary film Dogs Decoded may shed some light on those and many more questions; it will surprise you in many ways. Dogs Decoded in a PBS/Nova documentary directed by Dan Child. PBS categorizes it as a “Nature” documentary but it seems to go beyond the nature label in to how humans interact with a very important animal, one that may have helped humans survive over thousands of years.

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DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS - The Birth of Extreme

Posted by on Aug 19, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 2 comments

DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS - The Birth of Extreme

DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS, directed by Stacy Peralta, is a documentary that brings you into the world of skateboarding starting in the 1970’s after the sport basically faded in the 1960’s. Peralta has special insight into this world, as he was one of the original Dog Town Zephyr Boys Skateboard team and an award winning skateboarder in the day. He also founded the Z-Boys Bone Brigade. DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS as a documentary demonstrates a style of nonfiction filmmaking that Stacy Peralta will build on for subsequent documentaries like RIDING GIANTS and KRIPS AND BLOODS in later years.

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Eight Days A Week -The Beatles – The Touring Years Review by James R (Jim) Martin

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

Eight Days A Week -The Beatles – The Touring Years  Review by James R (Jim) Martin

Just when you thought you knew everything about the Beatles along comes Ron Howard with a new traditional documentary film focusing on the Beatles in the beginning, getting underway, then moving on to the years of touring the world, reaching crowds so large they needed super big venues like Shea Stadium housing 50,000 fans at a time on some occasions.

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Fat, Sick &Nearly Dead

Posted by on Jul 15, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

Fat, Sick &Nearly Dead

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is personal story directed by Joe Cross, who finding himself one hundred pounds overweight, loaded up with steroids and trying to deal with an autoimmune disease, decides he’d had enough. This documentary begins with Joe weighing in at 310 pounds. He doesn’t see any future in his current condition except pain, suffering and an early demise. Doctors and conventional medicine seem unable to help him. Fast, Sick & Nearly Dead comes across as a serious nonfiction story advocating one way of obtaining good health.

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FIRST POSITION Documentary Ballet Competions

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

FIRST POSITION Documentary Ballet Competions

First Position is a documentary about the rigors faced by children and young adults, both male and female, as they train to become ballet dancers. The story explores the lives of six or seven main characters from a seven-year-old boy to a seventeen-year-old girl about to graduate from high school, as they train and ultimately compete in various competitions. The documentary also explores the involvement of parents, trainers, environment and stress on everyone.

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Five (5) Broken Cameras – A film by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi

Posted by on Feb 18, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

Five (5) Broken Cameras – A film by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi

There is always more than one side to any story. 5 Broken Cameras is a different side than most people ever see of the ongoing, never ending Israeli – Palestinian conflict on the West Bank. In this documentary the point-of-view is from residents of the West Bank in particular Bil’in a village there. Their non-violent protests and the reaction of Israeli military and settlers is recorded, almost entirely by Emad Burnet a Palestinian farmer. The footage shot since 2005 was given to Israeli co-director Guy Davidi to edit.

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FOR ALL MANKIND

Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

FOR ALL MANKIND

For All Mankind – 1989 – The Criterion Collection – 79 Min. Directed by Al Reinhart – This film is a compilation of NASA archival documentation of nine US missions to the moon beginning in 1968 and ending in 1972. Narrated by the Astronauts who made the historic journeys. For All Mankind uses dramatic footage from all of the nine NASA missions to the moon to aid in creating a moving and human story of one trip to the moon, a moon landing and return home.

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FORKS OVER KNIVES – “Let food be thy medicine.” –Hippocrates

Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

FORKS OVER KNIVES – “Let food be thy medicine.”  –Hippocrates

Forks Over Knives is both a personal journey story and an educational documentary. It explores the world of nutrition and the damage foods derived from animal-based food products (meat and dairy) may be doing to human health. Forks Over Knives also makes the claim that "most, if not all" degenerative diseases that plague us can be controlled or reversed by moving away from animal-based and processed foods.

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4 LITTLE GIRLS

Posted by on Apr 5, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

4 LITTLE GIRLS

4 Little Girls is set in 1963; Birmingham, Alabama in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement struggles, but it also looks back at the earlier history of Birmingham. The documentary story centers around four young girls who were killed on September 15th 1963 when a bomb went off at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Joan Baez sings Richard Farina’s Birmingham Sunday, as archival photographs of the girls, their graves and shots of troubled Birmingham stream by. Directed by Spike Lee, 4 Little Girls makes extensive use of archival footage showing the deeply rooted racism prevalent in Birmingham in those days. The film also uses archival photographs of the extended families of the four girls, as parents and others are interviewed. 4 Little Girls is a documentary film that brings to life an episode in American History that needs to be shown to each new generation.

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GENGHIS BLUES

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Baldwin Park - Production, Director, Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

GENGHIS BLUES

Genghis Blues is a road trip that pulls you in and takes you on an incredible voyage to the lost land of Tuva. This is a wonderful nonfiction story. Paul Pena, a blind blues musician living in San Francisco, hears some strange music, coming from Radio Moscow, on his ham radio one day. He ultimately discovers that what he’s hearing is throat singing; a form of singing that produces multiple harmonic vocal tones and is unique to the Tuvan people in Central Asia near Outer Mongolia.

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GIMME SHELTER - ROLLING STONES

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

GIMME SHELTER - ROLLING STONES

Viewing Gimme Shelter, A Maysles Films Inc Production, recently released on Blu-ray Disc by Criterion Collection, is a worthwhile trip back to December 1969, and the Altamonte Speedway near San Francisco, where we visit a free Rolling Stones Concert that some say ended an era.

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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, REVIEWS | 0 comments

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

The Going Clear documentary is based on a book written by Lawrence Wright, titled Going Clear: “Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief. The Going Clear documentary is a pretty straightforward expose style piece that mainly goes after the management of the International Association of Scientology (IAS) and the Church of Scientology. In particular it singles out David Miscovige, a self-appointed protégé of L. Ron Hubbard (LRH) and current Chairman of the Board, as a megalomaniac and serial abuser of staff. Going Clear also questions and explores the not-for-profit, religious status of this Billion-dollar corporation.

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GRIZZLY MAN - IN NATURE THERE ARE BOUNDRIES

Posted by on Jun 4, 2011 in Director, Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

GRIZZLY MAN - IN NATURE THERE ARE BOUNDRIES

Timothy Treadwell lived with the wild Grizzly bears in Alaska for thirteen summers until he and his visiting girl friend, Anne Huguenard overstayed his usual time there resulting in them both being attacked and devoured by a Grizzly bear. Grizzly Man, directed by Werner Hetzog, incorporates a mix of footage shot by Treadwell over thirteen years, interviews shot by Hertzog with people who knew Treadwell and archival footage. Herzog also narrates parts of the documentary.

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GUNNER PALACE - SOME WAR STORIES WILL NEVER MAKE THE NIGHTLY NEWS

Posted by on Oct 9, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

GUNNER PALACE - SOME WAR STORIES WILL NEVER MAKE THE NIGHTLY NEWS

GUNNER PALACE 2004 87 MINUTES -- Documentaries like 2011 Oscar Nominee RESTREPO and Fiction Films including Oscar Winning HURT LOCKER are strong stories about War. GUNNER PALACE is a documentary that offers insight into the soldier’s life and their psychological attitudes in a war zone. The daily grind of patrols, guns and occupying captured territory and property are see from the inside looking out. A soldier’s sense of humor under these conditions may seem bizarre, macabre or odd in these situations but it is representative of the stress of dealing with life threatening situations and conducting war.

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HAIL HAIL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Posted by on Mar 25, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

HAIL HAIL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

"CHUCK BERRY HAIL! HAIL! ROCK ‘N’ ROLL" is a documentary that entertains and informs on many levels. Sit back and enjoy the music, anecdotes as told by the artists, a great concert with insight into the social and historical aspects of the emergence of Rock 'N' Roll. "Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock N Roll" is an amazing documentary that begins when the director Taylor Hackford asked Keith Richards to be musical director/producer for the film and to put together a solid backup band for Chuck’s 60th birthday concert. Keith, “…wanted to serve Chuck up with a good band, because he hadn’t had one for years.” Keith brought in Johnnie Johnson on piano. Chuck Berry started out with Johnnie in St Louis. Keith also brought in Steve Jordan on drums and other musicians including himself to put together an excellent back up ensemble for Chuck's concert...

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HELL AND BACK AGAIN - Oscar Nominee 2012 Best Documentary Feature

Posted by on Jan 29, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

HELL AND BACK AGAIN - Oscar Nominee 2012 Best Documentary Feature

HELL AND BACK AGAIN proves the notion that "war is hell," and that coming home wounded is a difficult task. This documentary combines actual combat footage shot by photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis while he was embedded in Echo Company, U.S. Marines who were part of a major assault in southern Afghanistan in 2009. The footage of the Marines on patrol and in combat is similar to the footage seen in RESTREPO, directed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger which was nominated for an Oscar in 2011. Cinematographer and director Danfung Dennis brings you with the marines into combat.

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I AM – What if the solution to the world’s problems was in front of us?

Posted by on Aug 10, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

I AM – What if the solution to the world’s problems was in front of us?

Tom Shadyac, director of Bruce Almighty, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Nutty Professor is living high. He has it all, luxurious homes, corporate jets; the life style of the rich and famous until one day he has an accident riding his bicycle. The concussion he received in the accident puts him in the hospital for an extended stay. Even when released he suffers from Post Concussion Syndrome - the same malady pro football players experience. When he finally recovers he decides he needs to find the answer to two key questions: "What is wrong with our world?" and "What can we do about it?" With a small documentary film crew of four, Shadyac goes on a quest to find the answer to these questions by interviewing some great minds including authors, poets, teachers, religious leaders and scientists (Lynn McTaggart, Desmond Tutu, Thom Harman, Coleman Barks, David Zuzuki and others). "We started asking what's wrong with the world and ended up discovering what's right with it." -- Tom Shadyac.

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IF A TREE FALLS - A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT - 2012 Oscar Nominee Best Documentary Feature

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

IF A TREE FALLS - A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT - 2012 Oscar Nominee Best Documentary Feature

IF A TREE FALLS is a documentary that explores many important issues in a story that focuses on the rise and fall of The Earth Liberation Front (ELF). It does this mainly through the eyes of David McGowan, as he becomes radicalized into the ecological movement and ultimately in to its most radical component the ELF. The film opens with archival footage of a ski resort burning. The ELF burned it because the resort had plans to expand in to a forest area. It is scenes like this that seem senseless contrasted with actual plundering of the environment that provoke questions about both sides of the environmental argument.

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I LIKE KILLING FLIES

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

I LIKE KILLING FLIES

I Like Killing Flies is an intimate, funny, cinema verite style documentary that pulls you in and makes you feel as if you were there in Shopsin’s small kitchen as he cooks one amazing concoction, after another and at the same time talks to you about his life, experience and philosophy, often in a humorous, bawdy context. Kenny Shopsin also appears to be one of those New Yorkers who believe that the “F” word has a number of grammatical uses as a verb, noun, adjective, pronoun etc. But in his case it never seems gratuitous or out of place.

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INEQUALITY FOR ALL

Posted by on Nov 9, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

INEQUALITY FOR ALL

Inequality For All is an exceptionally well-made documentary that allows Robert Reich, former U.S. Labor Secretary, to explore the widening economic gap between the middle class and the top 1% in the United States. But the story doesn't stop there. After a brief opening montage, with excellent graphics, Reich, his Mini Cooper, and commentary by a number of persons on the state of income disparity in the U.S.; the film moves into a lecture hall at U.C. Berkeley where Reich is conducting the Wealth And Poverty Class.

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INSIDE JOB 2011 OSCAR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM - THE FILM THAT COST OVER $20,000,000,000,000 TO MAKE

Posted by on Mar 13, 2011 in Director, Documentary Film Reviews, Subscribers | 2 comments

INSIDE JOB 2011 OSCAR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM - THE FILM THAT COST OVER $20,000,000,000,000 TO MAKE

Inside Job tells the nonfiction story of the global economic crisis of 2008 including the history that leads up to this disaster. Inside Job goes beyond documenting the event from a historical perspective; it discusses the cause of the catastrophe, and names the culprits who cashed in, benefiting at the expense of the taxpayers. The documentary does all this in a way that is insightful and not difficult to comprehend. Inside Job is the rare documentary that definitely looks at a problems issues, causes, and outcomes, then offers solutions to stop it from happening again. This 2010 Oscar winning documentary should be seen by citizens of the United States and citizens of countries world wide. Inside Job makes a strong case for the prosecution of individuals, bankers and others involved in criminal activities including fraud and for reinstating of regulations that would prevent the banking industry from repeating the same crimes.

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INTO GREAT SILENCE – INSIDE THE FAMED CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY

Posted by on May 14, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

INTO GREAT SILENCE – INSIDE THE FAMED CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY

Have you ever wanted to spend a year as a monk in a monastery where conversation is not allowed? Where there is basically a vow of silence? Where you can read, meditate, sing and pray? Well, "Into Great Silence" is your opportunity to experience a year at The Carthusian Monastery in the French Alps. A year with the monks, all in less than three very quiet hours. Director Philip Gröning allows you to experience daily life at the monastery over four seasons of the year, beginning during the winter months. Two young men are initiated early in the film providing a glimpse of what it would be like to enter the order complete with having your head shaved.

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INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS: STORIES OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT

Posted by on Mar 19, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS:  STORIES OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT

Into The Arms Of Strangers is the story of ten thousand German/Jewish children who, in an effort to save their lives, were sent to Great Britain by their parents in the year before WW II. This process was known as Kindertransport. England agreed to accept children of up to seventeen years of age, as refugees providing they did not take jobs away from English workers. Many were placed in menial and domestic jobs. Most lived with families. Into The Arms of Strangers is a well-made documentary that should be watched by anyone interested or studying this tragic period of history. Into The Arms Of Strangers: Kindertransport are nonfiction, stories about and told by, the actual people who experienced these events. Their interviews and recollections are supported by actuality documentation including newsreel footage, photographs and other documentation.

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IT MIGHT GET LOUD - The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs)

Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in Baldwin Park - Production, Documentary Film Reviews | 2 comments

IT MIGHT GET LOUD - The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs)

IT MIGHT GET LOUD, directed by Davis Guggenheim, tells the story of three well-known electric guitarists, each a legend in his own right. The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) jam on an empty stage beginning a dialog that covers more than their music. If you like electric guitar, if you ever played or tried to play guitar or if you just like rock music you will enjoy this documentary. Each of these men has their own unique style and approach but they all share a passion for this instrument and the music they produce with it. What ultimately emerges from the speakers when they perform is each of their unique voices.

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JAZZ-A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY KEN BURNS Review by Jim Martin

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

JAZZ-A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY KEN BURNS   Review by Jim Martin

“…the Constitution, baseball and jazz music. They're the three most beautiful things Americans have ever created." – Gerald Early Jazz is one of Ken Burns’ best documentary films. Like most of his work it transcends being a historical record of facts. Burns put the facts into historical context. Jazz, the documentary, fits the evolution of this music with American culture, Black History, individuals and politics of the United States. The history of Jazz, it turns out, is born out of circumstances uniquely American to a large extent, in New Orleans of the 1890’s. Jazz -- “It is a creation of the African American community there, but incorporates all kind of music heard in the streets of what was the country’s most cosmopolitan city.” Jazz soon moves out of New Orleans and becomes a national passion.

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JERRY SEINFELD COMEDIAN

Posted by on Jan 4, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

JERRY SEINFELD COMEDIAN

If JERRY SEINFELD COMEDIAN was only about Jerry Seinfeld deciding to resurrect his career as a stand-up comedian after ending his hit TV show, it would be a rather narrowly focused and possibly short story. But the documentary goes beyond this premise and explores a number of other issues and ideas about comedy, performing, career choices and just what it takes to be a comedian.

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JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI

Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI is a documentary that communicates on several levels. Directed by David Gelb JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHIbegins as the story an eighty-five year old master sushi chef who creatively makes and serves only sushi in his ten seat, sushi bar restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, located in a Tokyo subway station. But this story has a number of themes that immediately surface and go beyond the act of making sushi, the art of which is beautifully shot in mouth-watering close-ups accompanied by an original score by Philip Glass.

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LAST TRAIN HOME

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

LAST TRAIN HOME

To a large extent life in China is opaque to the rest of the world. The most many people in North America get to see of China is the "Made In China" label on a piece of clothing or other item at Walmart. Last Train Home takes you on a train ride home and back, with one of the hundred-thirty million migrant worker families who make these export items. Every year the 130 million migrant workers in China go home for the Chinese New Year holiday. Last Train Home looks at the life of one family over approximately twenty-eight months, including the parents pilgrimages home to spend time with their children.

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LEVITATED MASS

Posted by on Dec 28, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 1 comment

LEVITATED MASS

Levitated Mass, directed by Doug Pray is a documentary that has appeal as an adventure story, an exploration of the place of monumental art in America, the work of an artist with and alternative view of space and time, and it all revolves around a 900 million year old rock. Levitated Mass is the saga and the implementation of an idea envisioned in 1968 by artist Michael Heizer.

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Life Itself

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, REVIEWS | 0 comments

Life Itself

Life Itself is an intimate documentary story about Roger Ebert one of the most well known film critics in the world and the only film critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. He reviewed films for the Chicago Sun Times starting in 1967. He and Gene Siskel co-hosted “Sneak Previews” on PBS and then “Siskel an Ebert At The Movies” for about twenty-three years. Throughout the documentary quotes from Roger Ebert’s book by the same name as the film, Life Itself, published in 2011 are heard voice over. This feels like an interview with Ebert and ties the viewer into his thoughts about his life and his experiences. It gives the story continuity and Roger Ebert a voice. Due to complications with thyroid cancer treatment he lost the ability to speak, eat or drink in 2006. Even after the loss of his voice and normal life style, Roger continued writing and working.

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LOST BOYS OF SUDAN

Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

LOST BOYS OF SUDAN

LOST BOYS OF SUDAN looks at what it's like to be a refugee from Sudan, a war torn country in Africa, suddenly transported to the United States and a new life. While there is a support system to help the refugees adjust and acclimate to the new alien environment, there are many problems. The ongoing war that ravaged the Sudan has killed millions of people and displaced thousands more. Twenty thousand young boys escaped being slaughtered when troops from the north swept into their villages killing men and taking woman and girls. The boys ended up in refugee camps in Kenya. They are the "Lost Boys of Sudan."

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MAD HOT BALL ROOM – ANYONE CAN MAKE IT IF THE LEARN HOW TO SHAKE IT.

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

MAD HOT BALL ROOM – ANYONE CAN MAKE IT IF THE LEARN HOW TO SHAKE IT.

Ever picture yourself doing the tango or merengue? How about swing dancing or just gliding across the floor doing a ballroom style waltz? But maybe you’ve always been a little shy about getting out there and trying it? Well MAD HOT BALLROOM is a chance to vicariously enjoy the experience of learning to do competitive ballroom dancing through the eyes of New York City Public School forth and fifth graders. In the process you might pick up a few steps as well. At the very least you will laugh and cry with the students as they learn to dance the merengue, tango, swing and Cuban rumba in preparation to ultimately compete and take part in a number of competitions. MAD HOT BALLROOM is entertaining, fun, informative and inspirational, so you don't have to be a closet dance fan to enjoy it.

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Meet The Patels – Review by Jim Martin

Posted by on Jun 19, 2016 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

Meet The Patels – Review by Jim Martin

Meet The Patels, winner of the audience award at the 2014 Los Angles Film Festival, achieves explores the pressure on Indian American Families to maintain their culture and traditions, in particular those relating to marriage, in the face of the assimilation of the second generation. It is informative and entertaining.

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MILTON GLASER TO INFORM & DELIGHT

Posted by on Oct 11, 2011 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

MILTON GLASER TO INFORM & DELIGHT

MILTON GLASER – To Inform & Delight is a unique documentary profile of an artist whose widely seen and acclaimed work carries universal appeal. Milton Glaser is an amazing talent with a wonderful outlook on life and art. He appears to be someone who has been successful at what he creates and the way he lives. MILTON GLASER, the documentary explores this man’s extraordinary life and work. Yet outside New York City art and design circles, the average person does not always associate Milton Glaser with his work. MILTON GLASER – To Inform & Delight, is a documentary everyone, especially anyone involved the arts will enjoy and learn from.

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MITT

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 2 comments

MITT

The documentary film "Mitt" feels like it was edited by Ann Romney. Mitt is a documentary that goes behind the scenes with Mitt Romney, family and political team starting in 2006 and running through 2012. After a conference with the family Romney decides to run for president in the Republican primaries for the 2008 elections. During this run against McCain, Huckabee, Giuliani and others Romney faces many obstacles. The documentary is there through the debates, and primaries in various states. This is a look at what it’s like to try to become the President of the United States. But there are no surprises; Mitt Romney is still the Mitt Romney, the general public has been exposed to. He comes off as good ol’ Mitt. Seems like there should be more. If you’re into politics and what goes on behind the somewhat sanitized scenes, in Mitt, then you’ll enjoy this documentary. It’s a slightly more candid look behind the scenes than was available on cable news channels.

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MURDER BALL - FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY STUDENT COMMENTS

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 62 comments

MURDER BALL -  FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY STUDENT COMMENTS

Murder Ball focuses on the USA Paraplegic Rugby team’s path to the 2004 Olympics in Greece, their rivalry with the Canadian team; it’s coach Joe Soares and the US paraplegic players themselves. The pace of the film does not slacken as it takes you with these warriors on their quest to win the Olympic Gold in Athens.

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MUSCLE SHOALS – THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF A SMALL TOWN WITH A BIG SOUND

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, REVIEWS | 0 comments

MUSCLE SHOALS – THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF A SMALL TOWN WITH A BIG SOUND

The documentary film Muscle Shoals is a beautifully shot and edited film directed with sensitivity and class by Greg “Freddy” Camalier. Muscle Shoals is a town on the Tennessee River in Alabama where cotton grows and the river, as described by early Native Americans, is said to sing to those who will listen. The film opens with a montage of strong visual impressions of the Muscle Shoals area, the sky, the fields and the Tennessee River in places around the shoals where you might hear it sing. It's not surprising that the most amazing thing to come out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama is music. There appears to be something special that attracted new artists, famous musicians and bands to record there. Aretha Franklin, Wilson Picket, Bono, Alicia Keys, Steve Winwood, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Cliff, Percy Sledge, and many others have worked with Rick Hall and/or the Swampers to create great music that’s part of the American music legacy. Muscle Shoals is a must see documentary for anyone interested in music or just wanting to watch an entertaining and informative nonfiction film. Sundance Film Festival Selection 2013

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NANOOK OF THE NORTH - NOTES AND STUDENT COMMENTS

Posted by on Sep 28, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 623 comments

At the Mannheim Film Festival in 1964, Filmmakers, from all over the world, selected Nanook of the North, as among the greatest documentaries of all time.[i] It is said that Nanook Of The North established a new genre of documentary filmmaking. However, the film has been criticized because Flaherty staged a number of scenes and selected certain Inuit for roles in the documentary. These criticisms fail to take into account that Flaherty’s goal was to depict Eskimo life and traditions. He wanted to show Eskimo traditional way of life before the European explorers came to the area. There were no “actors” in the film. Everyone is an Eskimo living the life in which they are depicted. In addition Flaherty was breaking new ground; there were no rules as to what constituted a documentary. Up to this time there had been only short "actuality" and "travelog" films in the nonfiction area.

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NECESSARY EVIL – SUPER-VILLAINS OF DC COMICS

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

NECESSARY EVIL – SUPER-VILLAINS OF DC COMICS

Necessary Evil explores the world of Villains and Super Heroes, because “you can’t have one without the other” say’s Christopher Lee, who narrates Necessary Evil between the interviews with Marvel Comics staff, artists and consultants. Necessary Evil appeals to comic book readers, fans, storytellers and story watchers. “Evil has many faces,” quotes Christopher Lee as Necessary Evil begins. “Many faces, but just one name, Super Villains.” They reflect human concerns and fears. The question is posed, “is the villain more vital in the story than the hero?” “The Super Heroes are always reacting. The Villains are the ones that make things happen,” says Geoff Boucher, Sr. Writer Entertainment Weekly. Can there be a hero without some villain or harmful obstacle to overcome? Without the villain the story lacks the necessary ingredient of conflict. And so Necessary Evil begins a documentary exploration of the basic tenants of storytelling on many levels. At the same time this documentary is entertaining, fast paced and edited well.

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NIGHT AND FOG - ”...we turn a blind eye to what surrounds us and a deaf ear to humanity’s never-ending cry.”

Posted by on Jun 24, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

NIGHT AND FOG - ”...we turn a blind eye to what surrounds us and a deaf ear to humanity’s never-ending cry.”

NIGHT AND FOG is extremely cinematic using editing in a way that constructs the story. But this is not an easy subject to watch. NIGHT AND FOG is a short documentary that cannot be ignored. It graphically demonstrates the horror of the holocaust and the eleven million people who were murdered. There are no reenactments or speculations in this thirty minute historical documentary essay. Only actuality, questions and reflection about how and why something like this could happen and why it must never happen again in human history. In the years since this documentary film was made there have been many fictional films produced based on true stories or other information, but none of these films has had the impact of NIGHT AND FOG which methodically explores the reality of this gruesome time in history in the context of the concentration camps.

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NO DIRECTION HOME – BOB DYLAN

Posted by on Dec 8, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, REVIEWS | 0 comments

NO DIRECTION HOME – BOB DYLAN

If you don’t know much about Bob Dylan, his work, or his music then, especially today when a voice like Dylan’s is badly needed in the current climate of oppression and self-oppression, you should. Bob Dylan did not want to be part of any movement or political group. He said his writing was not topical, but he gave voice in his songs to the most pressing issues of the day. NO DIRECTION HOME – BOB DYLAN takes those who were there back to the days when they bought every album released by Dylan and knew the words to his songs. The documentary covers Dylan and events up to 1966. What emerges from NO DIRECTION HOME - BOB DYLAN is that Bob Dylan’s work reflects back the time period when it was written. Dylan at times claimed he was not a protest singer and at other times that all his songs were protest songs. Both things are true. Dylan was active in the Civil Rights movement, but also claimed he was not political. He wrote and sung, “The times they are a-changing” metaphorically in all his work. His writing did not just apply to civil rights; it applied to life styles and relationships, being American, and the culture in general. Dylan is as much a poet and writer as he is a singer and musician. He found his voice after being exposed to the poets and coffee houses in Greenwich Village, NYC and went on from there. In many respects Bob Dylan chronicled or documented injustice and other issues broadcasting them to the public much like a journalist or documentary filmmaker.

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ORWELL ROLLS IN HIS GRAVE -- "Who controls the past... controls the future - who controls the present controls the past." -- Orwell, 1984

Posted by on Sep 18, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 2 comments

ORWELL ROLLS IN HIS GRAVE -- "Who controls the past... controls the future - who controls the present controls the past." -- Orwell, 1984

Using quotes from George Orwell's novel, 1984, the documentary film, Orwell Rolls In His Grave, written, directed and edited by Robert Kane Pappas explores the role of media in today’s world. It is a prophetic documentary conveying a message that seems even more urgent in 2011 than when the film was made in 2004. Orwell Rolls In His Grave asks controversial questions about a number of issues concerning the political and corporate control of the public’s need to know. Pappas, aided by a number of knowledgeable individuals, deconstructs events in recent history that bring to light the Orwellian world we live in today. Orwell Rolls In His Grave is a social, historic and advocacy nonfiction statement. It asks questions, and explores issues using an objective reality format that presents actuality in a way that makes you think about the world you live in today. This documentary removes the foggy eyeglasses issued by indifference and spin to reveal a world that would make Orwell Roll In His Grave.

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OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH’S WAR ON JOURNALISM

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH’S WAR ON JOURNALISM

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, directed by Robert Greenwald is ten years old July 2014, but the picture it paints of Murdoch, and Fox News is more relevant and accurate now then it was when it was released in 2004. This fast moving seventy-eight minute documentary begins with Murdoch’s purchase of Fox and the steady move toward a non-journalistic approach to covering topical subjects that stretch the meaning of the word “news.” A must see anytime but especially in light of Murdoch's 2014 bid to buy Time Warner.

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REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR Sequel to WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR

Posted by on Feb 11, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR Sequel to WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR

The long awaited sequel to the documentary WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR is here, it’s called, REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR – You Can’t Kill An Idea Whose Time Has Come. And yes both documentaries are worth seeing! Chris Paine directed both films putting together not only the history of the electric car up to GM’s EV1 in WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR, and more recent developments in the reemergence of electric vehicles in REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR.

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ROTHKO’S ROOMS – THE LIFE AND WORKS OF AN AMERICAN ARTIST

Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Director, Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

ROTHKO’S ROOMS – THE LIFE AND WORKS OF AN AMERICAN ARTIST

ROTHKO'S ROOMS, produced and directed by David Thompson is a journey into the world of Mark Rothko (1903 to 1970), who in the period from 1940 into 1960’s was one of the leading American Painters in the Modern Art world. The unique thing about this educational documentary is that it goes beyond mere facts and history. Through a combination of action, interviews, archival elements and additional footage, the documentary story penetrates Rothko’s abstract view of the world, unlocking the door to Rothko’s rooms. This is a beautifully crafted documentary film well worth watching on it’s own.

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SCRATCH

Posted by on Apr 1, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

SCRATCH

Scratch explores DJs, Hip Hop history, MCs, Rap, Beat, Digging, Breaks, DJ Battle, Turntablism and how they all connect to the “chizza chizza” scratch breaks of the best DJs. Scratch is a documentary that submerges you into music, the actuality and the growth of this phenomenon. Scratch skillfully presents the evolution of all the elements as seen through the eyes and work of Grand Master Flash, Steinski, Mix Master Mike, and DJ Qbert amongst others. As the documentary moves though jam sessions, DJ Battles, and sessions with DJ Relm, DJ Flare, and DJ Shadow it becomes clear that DJing needs to be recognized as an art form using or creating a new instrument to create its music. “The turntable is a musical instrument as long as you can see it being one.”

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SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN – 2013 Oscar Winner Best Documentary

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 2 comments

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN – 2013 Oscar Winner Best Documentary

Searching for Sugar Man will quickly engage you on an emotional and documentary level. It’s the true story of a man, an American from Detroit known as Rodriquez, a musician and singer, who became a legend in South Africa but was not aware of it. Over a forty-year period the songs he wrote and sang on two albums inspired South Africans originally involved in protesting Apartheid and the restrictive government of South Africa. In many ways he was their Bob Dylan. The words of his songs set them free to oppose the government.

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SOUND AND FURY If you could make your deaf child hear, would you?

Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

SOUND AND FURY  If you could make your deaf child hear, would you?

Sound and Fury is the story of Heather Artinian, a young deaf girl caught up between the opportunity to hear the sounds around her and the opposition of her family and the deaf community which accepts deafness as a way of life. She, her deaf parents, parents hearing siblings, non-hearing and hearing grandparents are caught up in the issues and politics of giving Heather the ability to hear through a surgical implant known as a cochlear implant. (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.

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SOUND CITY

Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

SOUND CITY

Good documentary films take you on journeys to places you may not have visited. They open up new realities and reveal points-of-view you may not have considered. New places, people and ideas are introduced; concepts you thought you understood completely are presented, but now you explore them from a fresh perspective. Sound City is such a documentary. If you love music, rock and roll, and the creative process you will love this documentary. But wait there’s more to this story. It’s a look at many aspects of the recording industry, recording methods, analog vs. digital and what makes the music we listen to human. Sound City, Directed by Dave Grohl has an intimate universal story to tell, which goes beyond simply recording music. It's a story that anyone in the arts should hear and appreciate.

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TABLOID

Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

TABLOID

Like many documentaries by Errol Morris, TABLOID is a unique combination of Interviews, graphics, archival material, film clips, animation and visits to the scene of the crime as the story progresses. TABLOID is based on the alleged kidnapping of a Kirk Anderson, a young Mormon missionary who went missing in 1977. Last seen on the steps of a Mormon meetinghouse in England. A few days later Anderson turned up unharmed, claiming he’d been abducted by Joyce McKinney, driven to Devon where he was imprisoned against his will. He claimed he had been chained to a bed in a cottage where Joyce McKinney attempted to seduce him, and then raped him. The case became known as “The Case of The Manacled Mormon.”

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THE ACT OF KILLING

Posted by on Jan 19, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

THE ACT OF KILLING

The Act of Killing allows former members of Indonesian death squads to make what is essentially a "mockumentary," reenacting their real-life mass murders. Men who in 1965 killed over a million people across North Sumatra who they accused of being Communist or found to be ethnic Chinese Indonesians. The murderers include pathetically humorous musical numbers, reenactments of their murders and gangster style interrogation scenes. In between these sequences the murderers talk about the experience of killing, how they felt about it then and how they feel now. Mostly they are proud of their actions.

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THE BRIDGE - A Story About Suicide By Jumping

Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Director, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

THE BRIDGE - A Story About Suicide By Jumping

Suicide is a difficult subject to deal with. Some might call it morbid. The documentary, The Bridge begins with panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, recreational activities, boats, rowers, people walking across the bridge, standing by the rail, talking on cell phones. A late middle-aged man, dressed casually, wearing running shoes, suddenly climbs on to the railing, stands there for a few moments and then jumps off the bridge. The goal of a documentary film is to explore actuality, that which is known as reality, with as little interference as possible. The expectation is that the process will reveal some truth about that subject. Give some new insight into a problem or a way to deal with an issue that faces humanity. The Bridge fulfills this requirement in a way that is sensitive to the delicate nature of the subject. However, it is not a film for children.

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THE CIVIL WAR - A Film by Ken Burns

Posted by on Jun 14, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

THE CIVIL WAR - A Film by Ken Burns

The documentary, The Civil War is eleven hours long and first ran as a series on PBS in 1990 and again in April of 2011. Counting both sides in the conflict six hundred thousand Americans were killed in the Civil War. In this compilation style documentary, old photographs, documents and other source materials are seen as a letter from a soldier to his wife or family is read by a voice over narrator. Sound effects like cannons being fired are heard as photographs of the day, taken of battles are shown. Burns does not simply show an old photograph he brings it to life with camera movement on the photo, authentic sound effects, music and voice over when necessary. Interviews with Shelby Foote, Civil War historian and others add insight and perspective to documentary.

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THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON

Posted by on May 14, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON

"I believe in God and I certainly believe in the devil. There's certainly a devil and he knows my name.” – Daniel Johnston Sundance Film Festival Winner, The Devil and Daniel Johnston begins with a scene of Daniel Johnston performing at the time the documentary was made. It then flashes back to interviews with his parents, Mabel and Bill, illustrated by archival photographs and home video of Daniel growing up in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Daniel is a precocious child who is artistic and full of life. He is a musician, draws and makes videos. But his mother speculates that he somehow lost his confidence in junior high school and that is when he started to have problems. There is a definite conflict between Daniel and his Church of Christ, fundamentalist parents. Daniel tape records his Mother berating him, accusing him creating “Satanic” drawings seeking attention by drawing.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOCUMENTARY AND PROPAGANDA

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOCUMENTARY AND PROPAGANDA

Currently there seems to be confusion in the media about what is a documentary and what is propaganda. When I hear a broadcaster on NPR or pundit on TV news call an obvious propaganda film like “Obama’s America 2016” a documentary it makes me think of the propaganda films the Nazi Party in Germany put out against the Jews. Those played in theaters too! Far right wing groups with a political agenda who want to attack the president of the Untied States to benefit the current Republican candidate Willard Romney financed this propaganda film. A quick look at the preview for “Obama’s America 2016” on You Tube makes it obvious that the film is propaganda. I guess anyone who watches Fox Fake News on cable TV is into propaganda and may enjoy paying to see more of it.

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THE FAMILY OF MAN

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in Documentary Film Reviews, News | 4 comments

THE FAMILY OF MAN

A DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBIT AND BOOK It must be a wonderful experience to walk though this exhibit of photographs documenting “The Family of Man,” and to linger and examine each picture depicting so much human life and activity. No narration and/or interviews are needed, each photograph speaks for itself and then joins the overall collection of pictures creating a myriad of impressions. This show is a testament to the fact that documentary actuality and explorations come in all forms, not just on film or video. The title of the exhibit was inspired by the expression “family of man” found in a speech by Abraham Lincoln.

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THE INVISIBLE WAR -Academy Award Nominee 2013

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

THE INVISIBLE WAR -Academy Award Nominee 2013

The Invisible War – Winner Audience Award Sundance Film Festival – Academy Award Nominee 2013 - Written & Directed by Kirby Dick – 2012 – 97 Minutes The Invisible War is not an easy story to watch. Certainly not meant for children, but should be seen by any young woman considering enlisting in the military. This investigative documentary takes you to the shadowy world that haunts women in the US Military who have been sexually assaulted by fellow servicemen. Women who have no recourse beyond the military establishment that appears to be ready to turn a blind eye to those most grievous crimes of rape and assault. As the opening credits of The Invisible War roll by an introduction tracing the history of women in the military unfolds. Initially women were recruited into the “Women’s Army Corps,” where they could work in non-combat areas. Archival footage of recruitment films seen in “The Big Picture” and in commercials up to the present let you see a very chauvinistic attitude toward women in the early days to more recent recruiting of women as equal members of the service. However until just recently women were still not considered eligible for combat roles.

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The Queen of Versailles

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

The Queen of Versailles

The Queen of Versailles Winner – Best Director, Sundance Film Festival Jackie and David Siegel live in their 27,000 sq. foot mansion in Orlando, Florida area with their 8 children, dogs and household staff. A short distance away they are building a 90,000 square foot dream palace modeled after Versailles Palace in France and the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. Director Lauren Greenfield, both a photographer and documentary filmmaker, opens The Queen of Versailles by introducing us to Jackie, David and their family in a series of portraits that begin a story of what happens when you have a billion dollars and then loose most of it. The documentary covers a two-year riches to rags scenario that generally treats the Jackie and David with respect and allows them to narrate their own story.

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THE SQUARE

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

THE SQUARE

This 2014 Oscar nominated documentary brings the viewer on to the street and into Tahrir Square with the protesters. The film stays with one particular group of mainly young urban men and women who were there in Tahrir Square from the beginning. It's a story that you did not see on television because it is shot from the inside looking out. The Square is dramatic and moving as the protesters in Tahrir Square celebrate after Mubarak steps down. But the celebrating is short lived for this group of protesters and others, because they feel that nothing has changed, and that nothing will until there is a totally new constitution and regime elected. Soon they are back in the square, being terrorized by the military. "The Square" helps to bring more understanding about the Egyptian Revolution to the world.

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THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD – Review by James R (Jim) Martin

Posted by on Aug 6, 2016 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD –  Review by James R (Jim) Martin

The Tibetan Book Of The Dead has a mysterious, even ominous sound to it conjuring up thoughts of mystical contact with dead spirits in some sort of secret way. The Canadian Film Board, two-part documentary film, The Tibetan Book Of The Dead – A Way Of Life – The Great Liberation, narrated by Leonard Cohen explores the actuality behind the mythical title. The Dali Lama makes a brief appearance in the film to help explain the connection to Buddhist thought. The realities of death cannot be disputed or avoided. The Tibetan Book Of The Dead is an ancient archive of guidance and strength. It remains a source of wisdom and teaching beginning with the spiritual cultures of the Himalayas. This documentary is an authentic,

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Touch the Sound – A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

Touch the Sound – A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie

"Silence is the loudest, heaviest sound to experience"_ - Evylyn Glennie. Touch the Sound is a thought provoking journey though both an audio and visual landscape. Close your eyes and still experience the documentary since the audio also tells the story. Picture and sound are married together in away that is complimentary and thought provoking. This is a must see and hear documentary for anyone interested in the world of sound. It is also beautifully shot and edited. This documentary should be seen by anyone who uses sound in their work, films or is a musician. It is something every filmmaker should see because sound is an equal partner in cinematic storytelling. While Touch the Sound does have an exploratory and improvisational feel it comes together as a story; a journey into the world of sound seen through work of amazingly talented musicians like Evelyn Glennie, Fred Frith and others. The film also, and perhaps more importantly, introduces the listener and viewer to concepts about how humans perceive their environment through sounds they often don’t pay much conscious attention to, but that contribute to their lives.

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Twenty Feet From Stardom – 2014 Oscar Best Feature Documentary

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 4 comments

Twenty Feet From Stardom – 2014 Oscar Best Feature Documentary

In the opening segment of "20 Feet From Stardom," Bruce Springsteen says, “it’s a pretty long walk from background singer to lead… a walk to the front is difficult.” 20 Feet From Stardom, is an awesome documentary film that celebrates special people who make beautiful music. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 Academy Awards, 20 Feet From Stardom is a story you will enjoy from beginning to end. Directed by Morgan Neville this documentary introduces the women ( and one man too) whose voices will be recognized immediately even if you don’t know their names. But this is not just an introduction and some interviews reminiscing about the good old days. "20 Feet From Stardom" presents wonderful performance after performance where background vocalists create the depth and feel of the song. At the same time the history and evolution of the vocalist and their art unfolds. A must see for anyone who loves contemporary music.

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UNDEFEATED – CHARACTER WILL BE REVEALED

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

UNDEFEATED – CHARACTER WILL BE REVEALED

Coach Bill Courtney, the Manassas, Tennessee High School football team, individual players and the blighted urban environment of North Memphis, Tennessee are all part of a story that goes beyond sports cliches and urban social issues. UNDEFEATED, 2011 Oscar winner for Best Feature Documentary, is a story about a what happens when one man's passion ignites a chain of events that changes everything it touches. This documentary looks at life, relationships, character, stereotypes, high school sports and the will to win more than a football game victory.

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. THOMAS B KIN CHONG a/k/a Tommy Chong

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews, REVIEWS | 0 comments

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. THOMAS B KIN CHONG a/k/a Tommy Chong

United States of America v. Thomas B Kin Chong – a/k/a Tommy Chong is a unique, actuality based documentary, directed by Josh Gilbert. Different because it successfully combines a strong political message with humor, emotion and entertainment. The story begins with Tommy Chong apparently being interviewed at Taft, a federal minimum-security prison in California, where he is serving a nine month sentence for owning a company that sold bongs on the internet.

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URBANIZED

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in Director, Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

URBANIZED

URBANIZED, directed by Gary Hustwit ( also directed HELVETICA and OBJECTIFIED) is an exiting look at the design of cities, the art of urban design and a glimpse at what is predicted for the future of cities in different parts of the world. Huge cities are predicted in the future. URBANIZED begins with a montage of urban landscapes, the magic of cities across the planet. Cities grow where commerce is natural. Some cities, like many in Europe, have been designed in a specific way. Many American cities evolved without a plan and now face certain types of problems. The documentary takes you to urban environments across the globe exploring issues facing urban design and urban life. The evolution and design of many cities has not always made them livable spaces for human beings. The film looks into both the design and social realities of urban life.

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VIRUNGA

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

VIRUNGA

VIRUNGA POSTERNominated for an Oscar in the Best Feature Length Documentary category 2015, Virunga, a Netflix movie, is a story that takes the viewer into the chaos of the war-torn Eastern Congo and Virunga National Park in the Congo, where dedicated Park Rangers struggle to protect the last of the Mountain Gorillas and preserve the park and its residents.

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Vivian Maier Street Photographer, The Vivian Maier Mystery, Finding Vivian Maier and A Photographer Found -- Review by Jim Martin

Posted by on Nov 15, 2015 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

Vivian Maier Street Photographer, The Vivian Maier Mystery, Finding Vivian Maier and A Photographer Found -- Review by Jim Martin

Vivian Maier was born on February 1, 1926 in New York City. Around the age of 25 or 26 she started taking photographs, about 100,000 or more pictures by the time she died on April 21, 2009, ninety-nine percent of which she never showed anyone. She worked as a Nanny and/or Housekeeper most of her life using her spare time to photograph in New York City, Chicago, a village in France, and on an eight-month world tour accompanied by her trusted twin-lens Rolliflex camera hanging from her neck. Her work was discovered two years before she died but she was unaware of it. It included documentary style photography, 8mm film and audio recordings.

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WAL * MART - THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE

Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

WAL * MART - THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE

WAL * MART – the high cost of low price is a well crafted advocacy documentary released in 2005 that may be a reoccurring nightmare for Wal-Mart every time it is screened at a community gathering fighting against a new store proposed to be built or shown to Wal-Mart “associates” looking for better working conditions. The documentary looks at a number of issues. Including the impact on local stores when a Wal-Mart is built in the town or surrounding area; state and local subsidies in the millions given to Wal-Mart when the build in a community; Wal-Mart treatment of it’s workers (associates), who, in the final analysis are paid less than minimum wage and who pay high premiums for such meager health benefits that they must register for Medicaid and are encouraged to do so by Wal-Mart; Wal-Mart practices in 3rd world countries where they manufacture products sold in their stores; the local communities that fight to stop Wal-Mart from building stores in their communities and the crime that goes on in Wal-Mart parking lots.

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WASTE LAND

Posted by on Mar 20, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews, News | 4 comments

WASTE LAND

"Waste Land" begins with Vic Muniz, a well-known artist, living in Brooklyn, New York, who decides to return to Brazil his birthplace, to do an art project that has social relevance. Art that will somehow help the people involved. Muniz’s work mainly combines photography with other media. He has gained recognition worldwide. He decides to go to Rio de Janeiro to photograph “Catadores” who make their living picking recyclable materials out of the huge garbage dump/landfill known as Jardim Gramacho located on the outskirts of Rio. Muniz plans to take photographs of a number people, blow the pictures up, project them as templates and have the individuals participate in painting themselves with the recyclable materials or “garbage” as it’s called in the publicity. Muniz then re-photographs these “portraits.” His plan is to exhibit this work and sell prints with the proceeds going to the “Catadores.” "Waste Land," directed by Lucy Walker is an honest documentary that attempts an exploration of the shadows of perceived reality, in the hope of finding some glimmer of truth. This is an excellent documentary that deals with many issues on many levels.

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WAITING FOR SUPERMAN

Posted by on Mar 9, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

WAITING FOR SUPERMAN

Waiting For Superman is an advocacy documentary that explores issues facing Public Education in the United Sates. The film appears to be making a case for charter schools to replace the traditional public school systems especially in low income areas. Charter schools take public money, but are run privately. Charter schools compete with public schools and are independent of the local school board. The point-of-view of the film and its sponsors appears to be that public schools have failed nationwide and that the only solution is privatization with public money. A charter school may also take private donations. Some charter schools are independently created by parents and teachers in a neighborhood, others are chains run by corporations.

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WHERE TO INVADE NEXT — PREPARE TO BE LIBERATED — Review by Jim Martin

Posted by on Feb 14, 2016 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT — PREPARE TO BE LIBERATED — Review by Jim Martin

Where To Invade Next is a not to subtle reminder of what the middle and working class people of the United States have been deprived of while many European countries and others have moved ahead with health care, education, equal rights for women, workers rights, drug abuse, prison reform, and family planning. In addition how other countries have dealt with major past problems in their cultures so that they can move on and not repeat the same mistakes.

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WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. JAMES J. BULGER

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. JAMES J. BULGER

James J “Whitey” Bulger is a pathological killer who was king of the Boston mob for about 30 years. He was captured a few years ago after disappearing for 16 years, just before being indicted for numerous crimes. Allegedly tipped off by someone in the FBI he eluded capture. This documentary centers on his recent trial, witnesses, victims, archival material and interviews with both Whitey’s defense attorneys and the prosecution. In many ways it is a historical documentary about a part of Boston’s History, many people might like to forget. Interesting exploration of the circumstances around Bulger's reign and connection with FBI in Boston.

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WHO IS HARRY NILSSON? (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)

Posted by on Feb 20, 2011 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

WHO IS HARRY NILSSON?  (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)

John Lennon was a fan and friend of American singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Harry’s voice and the songs he wrote are familiar but his name is not one that comes to mind as easily as the Beatles, or other famous musicians or groups. The Beatles said, “Harry Nilsson was their favorite group.” This 2010 documentary profile, written and directed by John Scheinfeld, is not a video version of Harry Nilsson’s greatest hits or 116 minutes of interviews. It sincerely attempts to capture the essence of the man through his work and through the voices of his family, friends and voice over interviews with Harry himself. In this age of digital reproduction “Who Is Harry Nilsson?” is the LP, analog original point-of-view version, that captures the essence of a dream that Harry Nilsson found himself living.

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WHY WE FIGHT

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

WHY WE FIGHT

Why We Fight, directed by Eugene Jariecki, was made in 2005, but it opens with President Dwight D Eisenhower giving his farewell address to the nation in 1961. In his speech, this conservative, ex Army General, the supreme allied commander, Europe in WWII, warns against an ever expanding military-industrial complex, which he perceived as a danger to the democracy. "The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic process," he said.

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WINGED MIGRATION

Posted by on Jul 27, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

WINGED MIGRATION

WINGED MIGRATION is a stunningly beautiful film that brings you closer to nature and migrating birds than you have ever been, but it’s much more than showing birds in migration. It is a beautiful film that takes you into the sky with the birds as they fly thousands of miles twice each year migrating back and forth across the planet. The cinematography is great not only in capturing the flight of the birds but also in recording the natural colors of the environments in all kinds of weather and conditions. Interestingly this documentary captures not only the flight of the birds and natural environments, it also captures the birds in relation to humans, human environments and other species on the planet.

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WOMEN AND SPIRITUALITY - THE GODDESS TRILOGY

Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

WOMEN AND SPIRITUALITY - THE GODDESS TRILOGY

WOMEN AND SPIRITUALITY THE GODDESS TRILOGY is a three-hour, three part series, made between 1987 and 1992 sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada. Part One – GODDESS REMEMBERED looks at prehistory and evidence that goes back about 35,000 years beginning with stone age Cro-magnon culture where carved Goddess sculpture and cave paintings of 37,000 years ago are found in France. The notion of a mother earth creation story along with the nurturing role of women in peaceful hunter gather groups is established.

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WORDPLAY - FIFTY MILLION AMERICANS DO IT EVERY WEEK

Posted by on Jun 9, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

WORDPLAY - FIFTY MILLION AMERICANS DO IT EVERY WEEK

Fifty Million Americans do Cross Word Puzzles every week on a regular basis. Wordplay, directed by Patrick Creadon explores this phenomenon. There are interviews with avid crossword puzzle fans including President Clinton, Jon Stewart, Bob Dole, Mike Mussina, Ken Burns and others. But the main focus of the documentary is on Will Shortz who is the crossword puzzle editor at The New York Times; known to millions as NPR's "Puzzle Master," and the World Crossword Puzzle Championship.

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WORLD OF WARCRAFT: LOOKING FOR GROUP

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Documentary, Documentary Film Reviews | 1 comment

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: LOOKING FOR GROUP

Premiered at BlizzCon in Los Angeles, the documentary, The World of Warcraft: Looking for Group is now being shown on You Tube courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment. It can also be seen on Hulu. The film looks at the ten-year history of World of War Craft (WoW) exploring the development, evolution and worldwide popularity of the game. If you’re a fan of WoW, or just want to know why this game has been so successful, this documentary will both inform and entertain.

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Your Inner Fish

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries | 0 comments

Your Inner Fish

Your Inner Fish is a well made television style documentary, three episode series: Episode 1 – Your Inner Fish, Episode 2 – Your Inner Reptile and Episode 3 - Your Inner Monkey. All three episodes are entertaining, informative, and offer a trip through time going back to the time when prehistoric fish swam in the oceans and animal life on dry land apparently didn’t exist. The story delves into areas of research that have changed what was thought to be true up until now. This documentary series is one from which everyone can learn. The documentary presents facts and offers evidence to support the ideas explored. In addition to Neil Shubin a number of well know specialists in related area are interviewed or our followed as they do their work of scientifically exploring the origins of the human primate. Paleontology, anatomy, biology and other disciplines are relevant, important contributors to understanding human evolution.

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ZEITGEIST THE MOVIE

Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in Documentary Film Reviews | 0 comments

ZEITGEIST THE MOVIE

ZEITGEIST is a film that has a definite point-of-view which is presented in a sort of on going rant against the alleged world establishment. It is basically divided in to three acts that lead to some interesting conclusions in the final act. The first part examines the similarity of Christianity to many other earlier religions. Jesus is compared to the Egyptian God Horas, who the film claims has an identical story of birth; Horas and Jesus both conceived by a woman without a man. In the case of Horas the Goddess is Isis. The entire notion of Christianity is tied into the astrological Zodiac and the 12 signs. Horas and Jesus, the film shows, were both Sun Gods which puts them in line with many other religions and myths. In some instances the information,presented as hard facts, makes a convincing argument. Christian scholars might argue that the mythical elements were applied after the fact to make Christianity more palatable to pagans. However, the film goes back to prehistory to establish its premise.

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