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Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2007

Subversive behavior is encouraged, girl-watching is indulged, Hunter S. Thompson gets some respect, and the pig-out at the wrap-up Awards Barbeque begins.

What do you get when you send an English teacher, a cultural historian, and a documentary filmmaker down South to report on 82 documentary films in four days? A conglomeration of pedantry, antiquarianism, and sanctimony, at worst.  At best, a choice sense of what’s going on in the documentary world according to Full Frame, the premiere Documentary Film Festival in the United States.

We’ll give you our best.  This is the trio’s third year covering Full Frame, and the festival’s 10th year of providing a space for screening and discussing thought-provoking, or just provoking, documentaries. They come because the food is as free as it is tasty, the atmosphere is unpretentious, and, as you’ll soon learn, the films are not just good, they’re good for you, too.

Incidentally, Gunther has known both of her co-writers for over 20 years, though the men have only gotten to know each other of late. She is recently in love with one of them, while the other has been her best friend for quite some time. (Cast your vote on which is which and win a free pen and pencil kit.)

Who knows?  After a taste of the festival provided in these three installments, maybe you’ll feel compelled to come down to Durham, North Carolina, next April.

Movies Reviewed in this PopMatters’ Special Feature

 Castells, dir. Gereon Wetzel
 The Monastery, dir. Pernille Rose Gronkjaer
 War/Dance, dir. Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine
 The Devil Came on Horseback, dir. Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern
 Meeting Resistance, dir. Molly Bingham & Steve Connors
 The Rape of Europa, dir. Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen & Nicole Newnham
 Manda Bala, dir. Jason Kohn
 La Vie Commence Demain, dir. Nicole Vedres
 Charleen & Backyard, dir. Ross McElwee
 Field of Stone, dir. Shambhavi Kaul
 Tootie’s Last Suit, dir. Lisa Katzman
 Cul De Sac: A Suburban War Story, dir. Garrett Scott
 Gonzo: The Life and Death of Hunter S. Thompson, dir. Alex Gibney


Writer Bios: Jyllian Gunther is a documentary film maker and an Emmy award-winning television writer and producer. Kevin Greer is a writer and co-founder and English Department Chair of the Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School. Isaac Miller is a cultural/intellectual historian with a Ph.D. from Berkeley. He has taught at Stanford University, Oberlin College, and the University of Melbourne, and is currently a free-lance writer. Greer and Gunther covered Full Frame last year for Gunther is currently directing a film about Greer’s school.

Thursday, May 10 2007

Full Frame 3: The Bad, the Ugly, the Cute and the Delicious

Subversive behavior is encouraged, girl-watching is indulged, Hunter S. Thompson gets some respect, and the pig-out at the wrap-up Awards Barbeque begins.

Thursday, May 3 2007

Full Frame 2: People Look Better in Pictures

Ross McElwee and Walter Mosley, among other swoon-inducing talents, hang with our trio (or rather, the trio hangs with them) for a while. You just never know who you'll meet at Full Frame...

Thursday, April 26 2007

Full Frame 1: Enlightenment Sought in Darkened Theatres

Our trio hunkers down comfortably in climate-controlled theatres to view the beautiful (and not so beautiful, and seldom as comfortable) chaos of the outside world through the gaze of the modern documentarian. And Michael Moore, nice fellow that he is, shares his slurpy.

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