Film

The True Life Fund Names 'Bully' It's 2012 Documentary of Choice

Bully takes a hard-hitting look at this issue by talking to current victims, as well as the families of victims who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying.

The True/False Film Festival will see it’s ninth year of operation this year when it showcases new films in its Columbus, Missouri home base between March 1st and 4th. The Festival, which features a wide range of films, many of which are fresh off tours at other Festivals like Sundance, Toronto and Berlin, has become recognized in recent years as a center for good film, good music and good fun.

One aspect that truly sets the True/False Film Festival apart from others like it, however, is The True Life Fund. Reaching its sixth year of highlighting documentary filmmakers and their pursuits, The True Life Fund selects a documentary of particular note, and channels fundraising efforts in the film’s direction. According to Truefalse.org, The True Life Fund was established in order “to demonstrate that documentaries can create change by offering tangible assistance to the real-life subjects of a new non-fiction film”. Each year, the Fund, which aims to raise money through donations from True/False festival-goers and the local community, partners with an organization that promises to match its donation amount. This year, The Bertha Foundation has pledged to match up to $15,000 in donations.

The documentary selected as the recipient of the True Life Fund this year is Bully, formerly known as The Bully Project. The film is directed and produced by Lee Hirsch, and addresses the persistent problem of bullying within the American school system by documenting real-life cases. Bully takes a hard-hitting look at this issue by talking to current victims, as well as the families of victims who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying. The money from the True Life Fund will go to three of the featured victims in the documentary: Alex, Kelby and Ja’Meya, as well as two families of deceased victims. The donations serve to honor and thank the participants and families for their involvement, and willingness to share stories so close to their hearts.

Check out the moving trailer for Bully below, and click here to visit the True Life Fund website.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

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