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Film

'The Ghost of Peter Sellers': When an Actor Destroys His Own Movie

Peter Medak's documentary about his ill-fated 1974 pirate comedy, The Ghost of Peter Sellers, is less bonkers tale of a production gone mad than therapeutic excursion into a traumatic memory.

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Film

'Slay the Dragon' Is a Road Map of the GOP's Methods for Dividing and Conquering American Democracy

If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.

Film

Daniel Krikke's 'Scared of Revolution' Brings Forth the Last Poet

Hip-hop, the most lasting and revolutionary contribution to popular music in the post-War period, does not exist without the Last Poets Umar Bin Hassan's work.

Film

For Valentine's Day, the End of Anti-Miscegenation Laws: 'The Loving Story'

The Loving Story's tale of this Supreme Court victory lays out both its legal and moral import, and then turns back to Richard and Mildred Loving in intimate, evocative images.

Film

'The 2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Documentary' Shows People Struggling for Security

Anxiety about institutions' ability to provide security is at the root of a strong crop of nonfiction short subjects, which range from South Korea to Sweden, the suburbs of California to the city of St. Louis, in The 2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Documentary.

Film

The Kids Are Not All Right: Jean-Gabriel Périot's 'A German Youth'

Jean-Gabriel Périot's documentary on the rise and fall of Germany's radical Red Army Faction (RAF), A German Youth, warns how each generation's sins can evoke violent trauma amongst its progeny.

Film

Alex Gibney's 'Citizen K': The UK and US Through the Post-Soviet Looking Glass

In Citizen K, director Alex Gibney refrains from judging his imperfect protagonist, exiled Russian oligarch business man and political philanthropist, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky.

Film

Hamptons International Film Festival 2019: 'On Broadway'

Oren Jacoby's richly illustrated documentary on the ups and downs of modern Broadway, On Broadway, is all celebrations and no questions. Whether that's a problem depends on your level of theater mania.

Film

'One Child Nation' Illuminates One Horror, Reveals Another

Starting as a personal look at the damages wrought by decades of China's one-child policy, One Child Nation exposes a deeper, baser level of national corruption.

Film

The Spitfire Rumble of the Rolling Stones: Director Oliver Murray on 'The Quiet One'

For director Oliver Murray, music exists in the air, but the emotional archives of former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman gives viewers a tactile experience of this band's story in The Quiet One.

Film

Cinema of Revelation: 'Minute Bodies' Peers into F. Percy Smith's Legacy

There's some mystery about the quietly conscientious artist and pioneer F. Percy Smith, and Minute Bodies can't penetrate it as easily as he revealed the hidden life of plants.

Film

Scorsese and Dylan: A Match Made in Fantasy

In Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story, a cinematic genius and a Nobel Prize-winning musical icon pair for a magical and purposefully deceptive look at rock 'n' roll life in the mid-'70s.

Film

When Experience Becomes Art: Director Ryan White on 'Ask Dr. Ruth'

Documentary director and producer Ryan White discusses the analogy of musical chairs and how it relates to the filmmaking process, including in his latest about America's famous sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Film

Perfection, Caffeinated: Director Rock Baijnauth on His Documentary, 'Baristas'

Director Rock Baijnauth talks with PopMatters about spending time with Barista Champions and their pursuit of coffee perfection for his latest documentary, Baristas.

Film

'In the Intense Now' and the Clash and Clangor of Conflict

João Moreira Salles's melancholic documentary, In the Intense Now (No Intenso Agora) stitches together amateur footage of the riots of 1968 to create a riveting rumination on the glee and disillusionment of idealism.

Film

'Hail Satan?' Is Devilishly Fun

Documentarian Penny Lane challenges you to leave behind your preconceptions and give the Devil his due in this irreverent, entertaining look at the Satanic Temple, Hail Satan?

Film

East Meets West in Cold War Vacations 'The Golden Head' and 'Flying Clipper'

Flicker Alley restores Cinerama travelogue spectacles The Golden Head and Flying Clipper.

Film

'Combat Obscura' Just Blows It All Up

In Combat Obscura, a jangled, jarring Afghan War documentary, a Marine Corps cameraman shows the flippant cynicism of combat in ways the military would rather we not think about.

Film

Urgent Art Through the Eyes of Young Men: 'See Know Evil'

Charlie Curran, the young director of the documentary See Know Evil, discusses the importance of telling the story of the equally young '90s fashion photographer phenomenon, Davide Sorrenti.

Film

'Social Animals' Focuses on the Highs and Lows of Instagram-Famous Teens

To say young people's identities are tied up in social media would be a failure to recognize that the digital is now intrinsically part of the real, as evidenced in the documentary, Social Animals.

Film

Racist Violence Is a Family Thing in 'Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?'

Travis Wilkerson's essay film, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? is stubbornly inward-looking, especially considering its subject matter of white on black violence in America.

Film

Ursula K. Le Guin: Old Soul, New Worlds

Arwen Curry's documentary, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, shows how, in Le Guin's writings, fantasy can be viewed as both a different way of seeing and understanding the past, and a new way of seeing the present -- and what the future could be.

Film

The Allure of 'Mountain': An Interview with Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti

Richard Tognetti reflects on synergising music and film with the cello-like voice of narrator Willem Dafoe in his work for Jennifer Peedom's gorgeous documentary, Mountain.

Film

Engaging Flow: On Ruttmann's 'Berlin, Symphony of a Great City'

One way to understand the form of Walther Ruttmann's Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, is to see it as producing states of flow that reinforce a flat ontology among humans, animals, machines, buildings, bodies of water, etc.

Film

'Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.' Is a Studied but Incomplete Portrait of the Artist and Activist

The new documentary by Steven Loveridge, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., is an imperfect homage to the talents of its star, albeit with brief moments of fascinating inquiry at its center.

Reviews

'Hillbilly' Reclaims Appalachia's Identity Against Lasting Insidious Stereotypes

Hillbilly provides a cogent analysis of the connection between the United States' cultural supremacy over its own Appalachian region, and the nation's resultant economic and political exploitation of it.

Film

'Anthropocene: The Human Epoch' Leaves Little to the Terrified Imagination

The third in this critical environmental series, Anthropocene represents a significant departure from Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark.

Music

A Long-Faded '80s Music Festival Makes a Return to the Spotlight

Unlike most rock festivals that came before it, the US Festival in 1982 was unique and at times groundbreaking.

Film

'On Her Shoulders': Awareness of Trauma Is Not Enough

In this interview with Director Alexandria Bombach centered on her recent documentary about Nadia Murad, On Her Shoulders, she reflects on how we process another's trauma, and how we might be moved beyond simply awareness.

Film

'Monrovia, Indiana' Merges Impressionistic Humanism with Political Critique

Breaking away from Election 2016 diatribes, Director Frederick Wiseman visually acknowledges Monrovia, Indiana as a tranquil working-class Eden, while still rendering a subtly powerful critique of small town America.

Film

Jeff Bridges on Emerging Ideas About Life

Reflecting on Susan Kucera's new science documentary, Living in the Future's Past, Bridges ponders new ways of thinking about who we are.

Film

'Hale County This Morning, This Evening', Is a Visually Poetic Critique of American Ideology

RaMell Ross's melange of visuals capture the elucidative intersections between religion and poverty; between life as seen from a child's eyes, and as from those of a young adult; between the present and a horrific history still breathing through America.

Film

Why Does Anyone Turn to a Michael Moore Film?

From Bowling for Columbine to the recent Fahrenheit 11/9, one wonders, what is being validated in Michael Moore films?

Film

From All Angles: Megumi Sasaki on 'A Whale of a Tale'

The Cove enraged many an animal activist in 2009, but Megumi Sasaki offers an unbiased look at the controversy of whaling and dolphin hunting in the Japanese town of Taiji.

Film

War, Racism, and Other Social Spasms in the Newly-Restored 'Strange Victory'

This important post-war film documents its convulsive recent past, ties it into a contemporary scene that we often forget was almost as convulsive and finally, unwittingly, links itself to still roiling convulsions of the film's distant future.

Film

Joni Mitchell at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970

Murray Lerner's documentary of this historic event shows Joni Mitchell braving a restless and angry audience at Britain's answer to Woodstock.

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