Movie & Event Reviews
SOUTHERN CIRCUIT SERIES
South Arts sponsors a series of presentations at various locations throughout the Southern States. The Southern Circuit is an annual program involving several filmmakers including those who work in the documentary genre. One very notable movie was the documentary "Girl Model." I especially liked the intimate portraits of the two main characters and enjoyed watching their interactions with each other and in other situations. The documentary reveals at the end something that might be criminal activity if it occurred in the U.S.
MOVIES AT THE MORRIS
Selected Southern Circuit movies including "Girl Model" are presented nearby at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA. The museum has a modest film program. Their calendar includes Films on Friday each month and occasional special programs. One such program was Kendall Messick's photography and documentary video show entitled "The Projectionist." The photographs were a prelude to the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed both and recommend this quirky and sentimental documentary that also includes a three-dimensional travelling show. Click HERE to visit his web site.
Netflix Movie Reviews
By David Vine
Shooting Robert King
A very coherent look at the maturation of a kid with a camera in over his head. He was short on experience but long on guts and dumb luck. He stayed alive and progressed. Although I started my career as a photojournalist I never had an urge to cover conflict. 40 years later I now pursue documentary and cine verite work so I was very interested in this movie. I think it accurately portrays the real horror of war -- the death and destruction. Shooting Robert King also provides a very insightful, 15 year retrospective of King's career. I liked the way the story jumped back and forth through time. A little confusing but overall very effective. I would recommend this film highly, especially if you have a strong interest or possibly involvement in the craft of journalism. 2/12/13
Un Chien Andalou
Don't bother watching this unless you like violent experimental film. I seldom come to the conclusion that a film or video is without redeeming quality but seldom has arrived with this title. This black and white film made to look like a very early movie has hard to follow subtitles and really crummy cinematography masquerading as an "Art Film."12/17/12
This is more than entertainment. It was a warning, an early warning at that. "The Conversation" addresses the morals and ethics surrounding spying, specifically electronic eavesdropping. Prior to the revelation of Nixon's Watergate Tapes and the infamous 17 minute gap, we didn't pay too much attention to electronic eavesdropping. This movie was a wake-up call. Personally, I enjoyed it when I first saw it not to long after it was released but hey, I'm a techie, then and now. Many years later I can better appreciate the emotions felt by Harry whose business assignment, if successfully completed, might lead to the death of two people. It was, in my opinion, the first real look at electronic surveillance and its potential impact on people's lives. There have been many other movies on this general theme over the years, not the least of which are Nineteen Eighty Four, Enemy of the State and The Matrix. These later warnings of oppressive surveillance by "The Government" have informed us and stimulated debate on the issue. 12/5/12
Programming the Nation?
If there's a technology available to boost sales, mega corporations spending multi-billion dollar ad budgets will use that technology. No doubt in my mind. The USG uses OVERT techniques. Just watch the film and decide for yourself. This documentary is a masterful piece that makes a strong case, maybe even proves, that corporations, government and other organizations with lots at stake will use subliminal messaging to get what they want from everyone. If you didn't read my review of “The Conversation” please take a second look. 11/24/12
End of the Road
This is a very well executed documentary. It lays out the problem provides support for the assertion then presents A solution. Great interviews, photography, editing, sound, graphics etc. A professional production. The editorial content is clearly presented and, like most documentaries these days, provides basically one side of the argument. It it were a "news" piece theoretically it would equally present both sides or all aspects of the problem/solution. We don't get real news anymore so we're left to our own devices to evaluate and utilize the information presented.
I believe I have the credentials and experience to say that this documentary is not purely an infomercial. Certainly, the experts are in the field of gold trading but they are people like you and me however the facts are concluclusive. The best recommendation is to watch the movie, apply your own common sense evaluation, then decide what to do based on the information you have received. DV PS - Note I used a capital A in the first sentence where it might seem inappropriate.
Outside of the actual review I'd like to point out that owning gold is not the only step to take. The whole notion of self-reliance is critically important. Start dealing with local merchants, pay in cash, buy food directly from farmers at your local farmers market. Get to know your neighbors. Stockpile some food and water to get you through a month or two or three of hard times that can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. Thinks solar power and electric vehicles. I've driven a Prius going on six years. Buy a bicycle and ride it from time to time. Maintain your health and mental well being. There are lots of very practical things you can do to prepare for all types of hard times. 11/2/12
Page One: Inside the New York Times
This is a great documentary that artfully portrays the dilemma of print journalism in a very dramatic and entertaining way. It is a confusing time for them but it's pretty clear that the traditional newspaper publishing model will no longer work. The NYT is one of our country's flagship newspapers. I am a political conservative and I consider the NYT to, at times, clearly demonstrate it's liberal bias. None-the-less, they play a critical role in bringing forward critically important information that informed citizens need to have to be functional in our Constitutional Republic. Toward the end of the documentary it suddenly occurred to me in the form of a question... Who stands to gain from the demise of powerful journalism? At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theory nut, let me posit that "those at the top" would love to tell lies and manipulate at will without fear of exposure. If we had to live amid a cacophony of rumors, opinions and speculation, that is without powerful journalism, we would be vulnerable to deception and manipulation from the highest levels of industry, government, military and the judiciary. Let's hope we don't have to live in that world. I don't have an answer but let's hope there's one out there so there is someone, bolstered by a powerful organization, that can speak truth to power. In that regard, "Page One" is a very enlightening movie.5/28/12
Superb blending of in-depth portraiture, street scenes, stories, music and detail. I've thoroughly enjoyed and have become immersed in the work of Agnes Varda. As a former photojournalist I appreciate the Henri Cartier Bresson style. This film brings to mind images of his work. However, the static subjects sometimes shown in this moving picture provide a somewhat surreal view of life on her street. I think it reflects the timelessness of that environment and certainly the pace of life there. Some of my still photography now focuses on often-overlooked details in common settings so I felt a strong connection with this work. Varda has created a time capsule that captures a slice of urban life in 1975 Paris. I did not hesitate to give it five stars. 5/9/12
Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words
This is an inspiring movie and personally moved me. She was and through the writings she has left with us, is "the" spokesperson for individual freedom. This woman who would not have been heard in Communist Russia abandoned her homeland for America. Her words are of growing importance in today's American society that increasingly exerts influence and control over the sovereignty of the individual as set forth by our Founding Fathers. Watch the movies about her or those she helped to create and you will be treated to a magnificent learning experience.4/11/12
I agree that this movie is cerebral and perhaps understated. Agnes Varda is an outstanding artist and movie-maker. In Cinevardaphoto she juxtaposed three very different movies. She is an equally talented photographer and that may be the basis for this film. The first distinct element of the movie is about a collector of art Ydessa (Dr. Ydessa Hendeles, daughter of a Holocaust survivor) who seems to be extremely wealthy and very well connected. She has amassed an astounding collection on her own. In Cinevardaphoto we explore Yedessa's unprecedented collection of photos of people posing with a Teddy Bear somewhere in the photograph. While Ydessa is a unique part of the compilation of the three films I felt cheated by the lack of background about the woman. I wanted to know more and I and I found some of it via basic Internet research. Should it have been part of the movie?
The middle part of Cinevardaphoto is a reflective movie about Agnes Varda's reflections on the subject(s) of one of her own photographs. This piece also captures the reactions of people directly and indirectly related to the photo as well as some scenes of childrens reactions to the photo, taken many years before the making of this movie.
The third and final piece is a movie made from still photos of Cuba. It celebrates the Revolution and the daily life and art of Cubans. I find this element of the entire movie to be a bit unsettling. It moves into the realm of political statement (supporting and celebrating the Communists) which, in my mind, doesn't really belong in a movie like this. Overall, Agnes Varda has found a place on my list of documentarians who I will explore further. Cinevardaphoto (Cine - Varda - Photo) is unique and very much worth watching. 12/13/11
This is a noteworthy but quirky documentary. The format of the piece may overshadow the editorial content for some. There is a very quick and staccato pace in the form of typewriter sound effects and some related graphics that is a bit overwhelming at times. The subject is the father of a family in Brooklyn, NY who spends 11 months of the year primarily in Japan for most of his daughter's formative years. Members of his family resented his absence yet it seems almost justified by the father's role in Japan's formative post-WWII era. Alan Berliner, producer, director et al of "Intimate Stranger" must have enormous love and respect for his mother (Joseph Cassuto's daughter) to have undertaken this production. It is a very large collection of, interviews, narration of correspondence, still photographs, old film and other artifacts. This was a seemingly enormous task and it came together well. One comes away from watching this feeling that Joseph Cassuto was a special man but a man who may have been slightly flawed psychologically. It is informative, somewhat entertaining but a very good example of Berliner''s unique documentary style. 11/27/11