Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2015: ’Live From New York!’ and ‘The Queen of Silence’

Live From New York! (DIR. Bao Nguyen) By: Trevor Jeffery How do you describe a forty-year “New York institution” in 90 minutes?  Live From New York! explores both the mythos and the cultural significance of the longest running sketch comedy series, Saturday Night Live (SNL). The documentary covers a lot of ground: the rise (and fall and rise);  behind the scenes;  cultural impact;  and the ongoing issues with race and gender dynamics.  While each topic…


Ballet 422

By: Gesilayefa Azorbo Ballet 422, the much-anticipated new film from Jody Lee Lipes (NY Export: Opus Jazz), opens with a couple of facts.  91 – the number of full-time dancers at the prestigious New York City Ballet.  1948 – the year the ballet company was formed. The film then opens with a shot of these elite dancers walking down a darkened hallway to a mirrored practice studio.  Then, shots of them stretching, warming up, wrapping their…


Getting to the Nutcracker

By: Addison Wylie For those looking for a seasonal flick, Getting to the Nutcracker may hit the spot. Serene Meshel-Dillman’s documentary about the conception of The Nutcracker at Los Angeles’ Marat Daukayev School of Ballet is a eloquent film.  If you’re a theatre enthusiast and are already humming Tchaikovsky, Getting to the Nutcracker will have you grinning throughout its entirety. Dillman documents each phase as best as possible leading up to the big show (which…


Battle of the Year

By: Addison Wylie Come on in, guys!  I want to address the entire crew before you go out and try to win Battle of the Year. I know we’ve all been through rough patches during this rocky ride – including me.  When I was first approached to witness the best B-Boys to compete in this renowned dance tournament, I didn’t think it’d be possible.  But, filmmaker Benson Lee and choreographer Dave Scott, with the help…


NY Export: Opus Jazz

By: Addison Wylie I’m all for art taking different forms.  Art doesn’t necessarily always have to contain deeper meanings.  In the case of NY Export: Opus Jazz, having the intentions of emulating a classier time of musical cinema in a modern world is perfectly fine. However, when the featured silenced dancers show this much talent and capability as they do in NY Export: Opus Jazz, it’s hard not to expect something more than “just dancing”…