Al Carbee was an old man who liked dolls.
In terms of understanding the very nature of our world, it’s hard to overestimate the significance of the Large Hadron Collider, and a new documentary makes a very convincing case.
Let’s look past the globules, barnacles, and goo. At its heart, Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament is a film about white, male America’s failure to comprehend urbanism.
Koyanisqaatsi, a debut collaboration between filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass, broke ground in so many ways in the 1980’s for exploring film as a poetic, rather than narrative or theatrical expression. Over ten years later, Reggio and Glass have come together to produce Visitors, another moving poem, at once visual and musical, without words or a clear narrative.
Between the bellows and the bed unfolds the universe of Cousin Jules. It is a small world, but polyvalent. He is Jules Guitteaux, a blacksmith in rural Burgundy, husband then widower, and — crucially — cousin of the late filmmaker Dominique Benicheti, whose 1973 documentary film Cousin Jules pays celluloid homage to his existence.
Once more into the rabbit hole breach, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology tails Slavoj Žižek on another meta-tour of the popular cultural sub-terrain.
Set sometime in the ’80s, mumblecore maven Andrew Bujalski’s fourth feature, Computer Chess, is an adventurous and peculiar period piece. Chronicling a tournament of computers competing in chess and the programmers who code them, the film endearingly evokes the nascent and heady era before smart phones, laptops, and the internet.
As an ever-increasing amount of street art documentaries appear online, along with pleas for Kickstarter donations to prospective films, I, a longtime street art enthusiast, find it near impossible and entirely overwhelming to try to watch all of these films. With the recent release of yet another street art documentary, Las Calles Hablan (2013), I took a look at four fascinating films documenting the global street art movement, with the hope of easing the decision-making process for wishy-washy observers like me.
The NSA surveillance scandal has, in a short term, made a lot of people feel depressed and/or worried about the state of governance in America. This is both good and bad for Jeremy Scahill’s new documentary, Dirty Wars, which is directed by Richard Rowley and is also the title of a simultaneously released book by Scahill. Good because it casts all of the revelations in the movie in a now easily believable light. Bad because most people don’t want to spend their Friday nights falling even deeper into depression, and that’s what the film will do. Currently playing in select theaters across the country, Dirty Wars will wring you of whatever wide-eyed, wholehearted faith you may have had left in President Obama.
Between the Gothic walls of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, with a choir intoning an ethereal soundtrack from all sides, Marco Brambilla’s “Creation (Megaplex)” revealed its vision of humanity from Big Bang to apocalypse in a swirling 3D film.
Michelangelo Frammartino’s “Alberi” at MoMA PS1, a video installation presented in cooperation with the Tribeca Film Festival, is equal parts landscape movie, culture documentary, and experimental film, and unfolds with the easy rhythm of everyday village life.
Last month, British actor Jim Sturgess sent a tweet to his 40,000 followers which read: “Yellowface? Blackface? Pinkface? Pinkberry? Blueberry? Strawberry? Bananas? Frozen Yogurt? All the toppings? … Lovely!” The message was Sturgess’s veiled response to recent criticism of his role in the upcoming science fiction epic Cloud Atlas. Sturgess, along with stars Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, and Hugh Grant plays not one but six different characters in the movie.