After an extensive festival run that garnered a unanimous flood of exultant praise, Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE LOOK OF SILENCE is just finally reaching domestic theaters. The New York Times ran a trio of stories on the film this week – a review by A.O. Scott in which he compares Oppenheimer’s work to Claude Lanzmann’s monumental holocaust doc, SHOAH, a piece by Cara Buckley in which she reports on the uncertain futures of the Indonesians who helped in the production of the film, and an interview by Adam Shatz in which Oppenheimer, reflecting on ever going back to Indonesia states, “I could probably get into Indonesia without incident. I’m just not sure I would get out alive again.”
Our own Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen selected the film as WNYC’s Documentary of the Week, while, at indieWIRE, Anthony Kaufman wrote a piece that questioned whether or not The LOOK OF SILENCE has already claimed the title of Best Documentary of the Year. Adding critical depth to the conversations surrounding Oppenheimer’s latest, Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey, LA Times’ Janet Kinosian, and Movie Mezzanine’s Jake Cole each wrote lengthy reflections on the film. Eric Hynes also composed some astute thoughts on the film at Reverse Shot, as did Tony Pipolo at Artforum and Dana Stevens for Slate. Writing at Doc Soup, Tom Roston recommended some things to watch before seeing Oppenheimer’s new film, while Joshua Brunsting reviewed the film for Criterion Cast and Glenn Kenny did the same for RogerEbert.com. Oppenheimer himself has been on the press tour, speaking with everyone under the sun including indieWIRE’s Ryan Lattanzio, The L Magazine’s Elise Nakhnikian, Jamie Maleszka for Nonfics, and even me, for IONCINEMA. Rounding out the film’s coverage, Sight & Sound published a piece by Robert Greene comparing the politically motivated filmmaking techniques of Joshua Oppenheimer and Adam Curtis.
WHITE EARTH from director J. Christian Jensen was among the short documentaries to make the Oscar short list this year.
This week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced the shortlist for films nominated as best short documentary for 2014. At Nonfics.com, Christopher Campbell had coverage of the announcement, as did Adam Benzine of Realscreen. Manori Ravindran of Realscreen rounded up the trailers for the shortlist, while Gregg Kilday of The Hollywood Reporter also covered the news.
Laura Poitras’ new film CITIZENFOUR opened in limited release this past weekend. At Indiewire, Eric Kohn interviewed Poitras in two parts: part one, part two. At the Dissolve, David Ehrlich also interviewed Poitras, as did Andrew O’Hehir of Salon. Anne Thompson of the Indiewire blog Thompson on Hollywood also interviewed Poitras. At Indiewire, Anthony Kaufman wrote on the legal challenges faced by Poitras and other filmmakers in completing their films.
THE WHITENESS PROJECT director Whitney Dow was interviewed on “CBS This Morning” this week. Jess Joho of Killscreen also spoke with Dow for a piece at the magazine. And Jess Linington of i-Docs reviewed the project for the site.
This week Stranger Than Fiction is hosting a screening of MOON OVER BROADWAY from directors Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, a backstage look at the Broadway production of “Moon Over Buffalo.” The screening is on Tuesday, October 28 at 8 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan. Following the screening, Hegedus and Pennebaker will be in attendance for a Q&A session. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.
This week the DOC NYC festival announced its lineup.
This week the DOC NYC festival announced its lineup. At Indiewire, both Shipra Gupta and Anne Thompson had coverage of the announcement, as did Kevin Ritchie of Realscreen. Writing for The Wrap, Steve Pond highlighted the new Amy Berg doc set to premiere at the festival, while festival director of programming Basil Tsiokos shared details on the lineup at his blog, What (Not) to Doc.
The new Laura Poitras film, CITIZENFOUR, continued to draw attention from the press. Abby Aguirre interviewed Poitras for Vogue Magazine, while Sara Rafsky penned a piece on Poitras’ filmmaking process for the Columbia Journalism Review. At the New York Times, Michael Cieply had a piece on the potential political complications brought on by the film. And Fred Kaplan of Slate wrote a critique of the film’s approach to the use of classified documents.
This week Stranger Than Fiction hosts a screening of the film DEPECHE MODE 101 by filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker on Tuesday, October 21 at 8:30 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan. The film chronicles the last leg of Depeche Mode’s 1989 tour. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.
The new film from Laura Poitras, CITIZENFOUR, had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival.
This week CITIZENFOUR, the new film from director Laura Poitras on the events surrounding the NSA leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden, premiered at the New York Film Festival. Steven Zeitchik reported on the premiere for the Los Angeles Times, as did Emily Buder of Indiewire. At The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Feinberg posited the idea that the film had leapt to the top of the doc Oscar race. Ronnie Scheib of Variety reviewed the film, as did Eric Kohn of Indiewire. Also, George Packer released a profile of Poitras for the New Yorker. Finally, Adam Benzine of Realscreen reported that a new doc on Snowden, titled SNOWDEN’S GREAT ESCAPE, was in the works.
The film THE OVERNIGHTERS from director Jesse Moss premiered in theaters this week. At Nonfics.com, Katie Walsh interviewed Moss about how he handled some of the surprises thrown at him during production. Writing for the A.V. Club, A.A. Dowd gave the film an A- review, while Noel Murray of The Rolling Stone explored how the film came to be. And at the New York Times, Eric Hynes wrote on the intimate approach employed by Moss in making the film.
This week Stranger Than Fiction continues its tribute to Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker with a screening of COMPANY: ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM, a rarely screened film that documents the recording session of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company.” It will be accompanied by the short LAMBERT & CO. The films screen this Tuesday, October 14 at the IFC Center in Manhattan at the special time of 8:30pm. Following the screening D.A. Pennebaker will be in attendance for a Q&A. For more information or to purchase tickets, please go here.
The film ATTACKING THE DEVIL from directors Jacqui Morris and David Morris took home the jury prize from this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest.
This year the Sheffield Doc/Fest Special Jury Award went to ATTACKING THE DEVIL: HAROLD EVANS AND THE LAST NAZI WAR CRIME from directors Jacqui Morris and David Morris. Writing for Indiewire, Casey Cipriani had coverage of all of the awards, as did Manori Ravindran at Realscreen. Christopher Campbell of Nonfics.com broke up his coverage of the festival into five parts, which you can find here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5. Filmmaker Laura Poitras also issued a statement after accepting the festival’s Inspiration Award in absentia. At Realscreen, Adam Benzine spoke with THE OVERNIGHTERS director Jesse Moss. Writing for Indiewire, Paula Bernstein broke down a potential formula for winning an Oscar for best doc.
The folks at Televisual wrote a post laying out some of the themes they found in the the Sheffield Doc/Fest commissioning panels. Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Stephen Dalton reviewed THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON from director Mark Craig. At the DocGeeks blog, Ben Unwin reviewed REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG from director Nancy Kates. Adam Benzine of Realscreen also spoke with Alex Gibney regarding his film FINDING FELA. Paula Bernstein of Indiewire covered a master class at the festival from director Joe Berlinger. Bernstein also wrote a piece on the increasing difficulty of making a living as a documentary filmmaker.
Writing for Leveled Magazine, Jamie Maleszka previewed the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. At Nonfics.com, Daniel Walber made a list of the five best films screening at the fest. And Basil Tsiokos provided an overview at his What (Not) to Doc blog.
This week Stranger Than Fiction is hosting a screening of ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED from director Marina Zenovich on Tuesday June 17 at 8 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan. The film investigates the sexual assault case that embroiled the filmmaker decades ago. Following the screening film critic Scott Foundas will be in attendance for a Q&A. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.