This week saw the loss of Robert Drew, widely credited as one of the major creative forces behind the creation of the American Cinema Verite movement. At the New York Times, Bruce Weber penned an obituary of Drew; the Times also published an obit from the Associated Press. A statement from Drew’s family was released on the the International Documentary Association (IDA) website. Drew was also remembered by Richard Brody of the New Yorker, while Adam Benzine of Realscreen penned his own obit. At Fandor, a 2003 interview of Drew conducted by John Marlow was republished, while Filmmaker Magazine’s Vadim Rizov wrote about him. Film First shared some advice from Drew that was included in the book “Tell Me Something.” A 2001 piece from Drew about storytelling published by Nieman Reports also made the social media rounds.
Filmmaker Harun Farocki also passed away this week, with Alexander Forbes of Artnet marking the news. David Hudson of Fandor also remembered Farocki, while Margalit Fox wrote an obit at the New York Times.
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its doc lineup this week. At Indiewire, Anne Thompson provided a quick overview of the festival. Sarah Salovaraa of Indiewire fame was also able to provide a roundup of new additions to the festival.
This week the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound Magazine released a list of the 50 best docs of all time, a litany based on a survey of filmmakers and critics. The BBC wrote a piece noting that Dziga Vertov’s MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA had topped the list. Film critic and historian Mark Cousins also made a short film for the magazine examining the idea of the documentary canon.
In distro news, Adam Benzine of Realscreen reported that Netflix had acquired rights for VIRUNGA, a film by Orlando von Einsiedel. At the New York Times, Emily Steele reported on Netflix’s continued acquisitions of documentaries such as VIRUNGA.
The journalism school at Berkeley reported that filmmaker Orlando Bagwell would become its director.
Writing for Indiewire, documentary director Robert Greene called for a more thoughtful strain of doc criticism.
This week Jordan M. Smith of Ion Cinema turned out an impressive amount of writing releasing interviews with directors Jessica Oreck (THE VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA); Jesse Moss (THE OVERNIGHTERS); Robert Greene and subject Brandy Burre (ACTRESS), Maxim Pozdorovkin and Tony Gerber (THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT); Andrew Rossi (IVORY TOWER); and Petra Costa (ELENA). To top it all off Smith also released a list of his favorite docs of 2014 thus far.
In a guest post at the Truly Free Film blog, David K. Greenwald wrote on the cultivation of the personal brand by filmmakers.
At Bedford + Bowery, Kirsten O’Regan wrote about the LIVING LOS SURES project from UnionDocs.
Washington, D.C. doc nonprofit Docs in Progress coupled with the Our City Film Festival to curate a special, one-time weekend-long festival in the nation’s capital.
Over at The Dissolve, Scott Tobias reviewed the film RICH HILL.
In its latest podcast, the Tribeca Film Institute’s Jason Guerrasio spoke with writer Tom Roston about summer docs.
Writing for the New York Times, Mike Hale wrote on FALLEN CITY, a film from Qi Zhao that examined the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China.
At the Los Angeles Times, Steven Zeitchik wrote on the reaction that film MAIDAN about the recent revolution in Ukraine had elicited in the country.
In a piece for Studio Daily, director Alex Gibney spoke with Steve Erickson on his documentary influences, among other subjects. Gibney also served as the guest of Adam Schartoff in a recent episode of his Filmwax Radio podcast.
Finally, Tom Roston wrote a piece for the POV blog about a recent doc seminar series held at Hampshire College.