Reviews

The Transformation of Television

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Joost, Hulu and boxee – one thing is for sure, names like the American Broadcasting Company (aka ABC) are a thing of the past. Instead, the future of broadcasting is filled with silly-named companies that aim to overthrow your idea of television. I must disclose my bias – this past summer my husband and I… Read more »

The 10 Best Academic Programs for Documentary Filmmakers

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These days, it’s fairly easy to find an excellent place to learn how to make narrative films. Ten Best lists exist by the fistful, and a Google search of “learn filmmaking” returns more than 30,000 hits. But what about those students who want to learn how to make documentaries? Although many of the best programs… Read more »

Splatter du Jour

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Horror movies have always fascinated me. Norman Bates running across the staircase with a knife. Jack Nicholson screaming “Here’s Johnny!” through a hole he axed through the bathroom door. Reagan’s head turning around 360 degrees after she vomited on the priest. Damien’s maid hanging herself at his birthday party. These are the pivotal moments of… Read more »

Q&A – Larry Clark

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Larry Clark’s films are shocking. There’s Kids, about drug-using, AIDS-carrying, sexually active Manhattan teenagers; Bully, the true story of a group of teens who murder their tormentor; and Ken Park, which was so sexually explicit, it was never released in the U.S. These films are shocking because they capture a reality most people don’t want… Read more »

Guys on Girls on Film

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From time to time there is a banner year for female characters. A great fuss is made about how movie-land has changed, allowing women into a club that hadn’t previously given them more than a handful of meaty roles at a time. 2005 was not one of those years. Most of the movies that earned… Read more »

On The Scene

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In the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown at the Radisson Miyako Hotel, a roomful of filmmakers and community activists celebrated the 25th anniversary of a not-for-profit organization that funds, exhibits, and distributes Asian Pacific American film. The National Asian American Telecommunications Association or NAATA has much to celebrate: It has literally changed the face of… Read more »

Is documentary the new memoir?

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I am a sociologist who conducts historical research on race and social policy, so my work has something in common with a documentary filmmaker’s attempt to uncover some version of “the truth” (however defined). Maybe this is just my sociological training leaking out, but when I watch a documentary—especially a highly personal, idiosyncratic one—I want… Read more »

Kara Walker at REDCAT

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At the opening reception for Kara Walker’s multimedia project “Song of the South” at downtown LA’s REDCAT Gallery, the artist adopted the eerily detached voice of a little girl playing with her dolls. “Help us! Help us!” she cried while perched behind a semitransparent screen maneuvering little shadow puppets that had been overcome by a… Read more »

Thinking Outside the Can

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For years, digital cameras and post-production equipment have been changing the way films are budgeted, shot, and edited. But no matter how films are made today, theatergoers still watch them on 35 millimeter celluloid prints. Even when a film is shot on high-definition video, the distributor has to copy the master onto celluloid before sending… Read more »

On The Scene

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New York cinephiles will endure a great deal of discomfort to see great independent films: the noise of the F train at the Angelika, cramped seating at the Film Forum, the schlep to Brooklyn to see a Wong Kar Wei series at BAM Rose Cinemas. Even the latest potential deterrent—the union picket lines outside the… Read more »