With the heavyhearted departure of Rahul Chadha, whose been handling the Monday Memo here at Stranger Than Fiction for several years now, a large pair of soundly tuned shoes was in need of filling. So, with the blessing of Rahul, Thom and Raphaela, I will be attempting to serve as his dutiful replacement, shepherding this weekly roundup I’ve personally found quite useful and enlightening for the foreseeable future. Let me introduce myself: My name is Jordan M. Smith – the M. being necessary so I don’t get lost amongst the other millions of Smiths floating through cyberspace. You may know me from my film and festival coverage over at IONCINEMA.com where I’ve served as a staff writer for a few years now, or from my running commentary on life and cinema on Twitter. Most recently, I’ve been creating content and curating films for the recently launched Influence Film Club. I’m hoping with my experiences tracking the film festival circuit and watching upwards of 400 films a year, I could be of some use here at Stranger Than Fiction. So, without further ado, this week’s Monday Memo:
Among the big stories in the documentary world, nothing topped the disbursement of the 8th Annual Cinema Eye Honors, where CITIZENFOUR took home four of the major awards, including Outstanding Achievements in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking, Direction, Editing and Production. Sarah Salovaara reported on the event for Filmmaker Magazine, as did Steve Pond for The Wrap, Nigel M. Smith at Indiewire, Adam Benzine for Realscreen, and Basil Tsiokos at his What (Not) Not To Doc blog. Before the honors were awarded, the filmmakers were taken on a surprise tour of New York City by none-other-than Timothy “Speed” Levitch, the legendary double-decker tour guide and star of “The Cruise,” on which Steve Dollar of the Wall Street Journal bore witness. Meanwhile, over at Indiewire, director Marshall Curry took the time to reflect on not only the tour, of which he happily took part in, but the Cinema Eye Honors themselves.
Next Monday the 19th, at the IFC Center, Stranger than Fiction will be hosting a screening of director Brad Bernstein’s FAR OUT ISN’T FAR ENOUGH: THE TOMI UNGERER STORY. Taking advantage of the fact that Tomi Ungerer himself will be in town for a retrospective of his work at the The Drawing Center in SoHo, both Brad Bernstein and Tomi Ungerer will be in attendance for a post screening Q&A. In light of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, this should prove to be a timely and moving event.