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Monday, Jan 28, 2013
The film is a collaboration as much as it is a revelation, and in that, it pushes the edges of documentary and fiction, articulating both realities and fantasies, feelings and fears.

Skye, Garrison, and Kevin live in Canyon County, California. Here they observe adults, look for distractions, and find themselves. Skaters and rebels, smart kids and members of the Ignition Skate ministry, they’re romantics, too. They have a sense of a future that has little and also everything to do with their present, life in a small town where houses are flat and horizons limited. With the filmmakers of the documentary Only the Young, the kids both share and shape their experiences. The film, screening at the Doc Yard 28 January, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Jason Tippet, is a collaboration as much as it is a revelation, and in that, it pushes the edges of documentary and fiction, articulating both realities and fantasies, feelings and fears. Tracking the teenagers over a few months, the film is remarkably composed, full of poetic images of skate ramps and shadows framing the boys’ lithe, athletic crouches. In their bedrooms, where they build models of the ramps, they keep their boards close, balanced across their long white legs as they imagine what’s coming next. 


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Friday, Jan 18, 2013
The family's experiences overlap with the community's over the years, and the titular series of cameras serves as a useful metaphor for the time passing and the hopes dashed, as well as continuing efforts to resist Israeli incursions.

Two scenes introduce the doubled focus of Five Broken Cameras. First, the population of Bil’in’s collective efforts to resist a coming Israeli settlement, and second, the filmmaker Emad Burnat’s efforts to make sense of the resulting chaos. “I was born and lived all my life in Bil’in,” he says. He used to work alongside his father picking olives, but more and more, the land where the olive trees grow is being claimed by Israelis.  As his future changes before him, Emad also thinks about his past, his father and his four sons. The youngest is born in 2005, just as Emad begins recording events in earnest). The “land of my childhood and his birth,” Emad observes, will never be the same.


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Thursday, Jan 10, 2013
The movie asks what truth might be, how performance and deception structure daily life, how memories are made, and how identities change -- constantly.

“Why would you ever take in a stranger?” The question posed by FBI agent Nancy Fisher comes late in The Imposter. Bart Layton’s fascinating film, recently short-listed by the Academy Award for Best Documentary, traces the case of Frédéric Bourdin, one of the stranger strangers you might imagine. In 1997, the 23-year-old called the police in Linares, Spain, pretending to be a tourist who’d discovered a traumatized boy in a phone booth. When the police arrived, Bourdin pretended to be the boy; taken to the police station, he was left alone in an office where he found the name of a missing boy from San Antonio, Texas, Nicholas Barclay. He then pretended to be Nick, whose family, desperate to find him, took in.


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Monday, Dec 10, 2012
The Loving Story's archival images grant the documentary an unusual sort of intimacy, even as it recalls a remarkable historical event.

When Mildred and Richard Loving were married in 1958, they became criminals. She was black and he was white, and so their union violated Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924. On July 14 in 1958, they were arrested: “They came one night and they knocked a couple times,” remembers Mildred. “I heard ‘em, and before I could get up, you know, they just broke the door open and came on in. When we got up they were standing by the bed, with flashlights.” The sheriff asked who she was, and she answered: “I said, ‘I’m his wife, and the sheriff said, ‘Not here, you’re not.’”


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Friday, Dec 7, 2012
Tchoupitoulas posits time and space as internal experience, rethinking documentary parameters, embracing subjectivity and uncertainty.

William has dreams. He wants to moonwalk like Michael Jackson. He imagines playing in the NFL and also to win, “like, six Super Bowl rings, all six of ‘em on one finger.” And he means to spend as much time as he can, for now, with his older brothers, Kentrell and Bryan. At 11 years old, William is all about the future, whether picturing years ahead or quick minutes. His energy is pretty much relentless in Tchoupitoulas, open today in select theaters and expanding in coming weeks. That energy propels Bill and Turner Ross’ film, a portrait of New Orleans that is by turns poetic and poignant and rapturous. As the three brothers lead the camera crew through streets, over railroad tracks, and along the riverfront, they appear to be making their way into on long night, though the film was shot over some nine months.


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