Ryan White’s The Case Against 8, while very good, was a straightforward example of the documentary genre’s expectations – the film explained a controversial issue, gave a platform to those opposing it, and gave viewers an uplifting feeling about an encouraging future. White’s latest doc Ask Dr. Ruth, while also very good, is different. It presents facts in a way that’s much more personable.
This Is North Preston is a spinning top. One moment, you’ll have your mind made up about what the documentary is presenting only to have your opinion changed a few more times. I was so gobsmacked by the end that I was almost inclined to rewatch the film to see if my opinion would change again – I dare you to find a more riveting documentary than this.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were a married couple who were well-known for creating massive works by altering the environment around them, often by wrapping a giant structure in plastic or introducing new foreign elements into an established setting. Their works were equally celebrated and ridiculed by the artistic elites and society at large. When Jeanne-Claude passed away from a brain aneurysm, Christo’s attempt to honour her came as a realization of a work they had planned…
Biohacking receives the Super Size Me treatment in Ann Shin’s trippy documentary Smart Drugs.
Assholes: A Theory (DIR. John Walker) After being inspired by Aaron James’ book Assholes: A Theory, documentarian/cinematographer John Walker set out to make a movie of the same name that would explore the lifestyle of the supremely arrogant. The results are fairly satisfying, more or less, but it’s hard to make a case that the film is focused.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted to watch an upbeat documentary about satanists. But, here we are: I have watched such a movie and, here I am, suggesting you do the same.
For Sama (DIR. Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts) For Sama is one of the heaviest documentaries I’ve ever seen – a true battle about staying hopeful in hopeless circumstances.
Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable is a slow burn. Directed by Sasha Waters Freyer, the documentary focuses on photography legend Garry Winograd whose unique approach to street photography captured the spirit of American life in the 1960s in New York and later, through the 1970s and 1980s, in Texas and California. As the film emphasizes, Winogrand’s method could be considered ahead of his time in that he shot using analogue technology without regard for…
The Brink should be a more controversial movie than it is. For a little over 90 minutes, audiences closely observe Steve Bannon, former chairman of right-wing news outlet Breitbart News and former chief strategist for President Donald Trump. Isn’t it insane for Bannon, a highly criticized public figure, to volunteer himself to be the subject of a documentary?
Finding Hygge explores the Danish concept of hygge, which a quick Google search tells me has to do with comfort, wellness, and happiness. I was forced to Google, because at no point in this ninety-minute long documentary is the concept distilled or defined in a coherent manner.