Movie Journal
J. Hoberman on movies and movie-related things

MOVIE JOURNAL: J. Hoberman on movies and movie-related things

Archive for the ‘Documentary’ Category

Time is the Essence in “Cousin Jules”

A documentary classic that slipped through the cracks, the late Dominique Benicheti’s 1973 Locarno prize winner “Cousin Jules” gets its belated US theatrical premiere
 at Film Forum in a new 2K digital restoration.

Read the full article here.

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“Narco Cultura”: Day of the Dead 4 Ever

Musicians brandishing bazookas on stage, cops masked like El Santo, a posh Sinaloa necropolis in which the tombs have bullet proof glass, mutilated corpses in the streets of Ciudad Juárez: Mexican photographer Shaul Schwarz’s “Narco Cultura” is the most scarific doc I’ve seen since “The Act of Killing.”

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On Screen, Around the Quad: “At Berkeley”

Frederick Wiseman, now well into his 80s, returned to school a few years ago, “At Berkeley.” For the better part of the Fall 2009 semester (and perhaps into 2010), America’s preeminent documentary filmmaker audited America’s preeminent public university, distilling 250 hours of footage into a four-hour mosaic.

Read the full article here.

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“Golden Slumbers”: Ghost of Cinema Past

An exotic and elegant meta movie, “Golden Slumbers” shores the fragments of a ruined cinema—namely the 400 or so films made in Cambodia between 1960, when an indigenous movie industry was inspired by king and sometime filmmaker Norodom Sihanouk, and 1975, when that industry was destroyed in the Khmer Rouge bloodbath that murdered over a million people.

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New Doc Shows Bauhaus on the Beach

Cape Cod, where I spend as much time as I can, can not only boast fantastic beaches, world famous oysters, and the wild east that is Provincetown, but a number of Bauhaus-inspired dune-dwellings—some by celebrated architects, many of them abandoned and falling apart.

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Le joli septembre: Marker’s classic returns

One of the most influential movies that you have likely never seen Chris Marker’s 1963 documentary “Le Joli Mai” has been reedited (by Marker in 2009), restored, and re-released—this week at Film Forum in New York, thereafter in Los Angeles and, before the year’s end, on DVD.

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Lincoln Center Occupies Itself (on Film)

“Cinema of Resistance,” the dense, varied and timely series organized by Dennis Lim and co-programmed with filmmaker John Gianvito for the Film Society of Lincoln Center (as the opposite of light, summer fare) concludes August 29 with a program, titled “Occupy Wall Street and Beyond” that puts the events at Zuccotti Park two years ago and even the symbolic role of the West Side culture complex in a wider historical context.

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Civil Rights in America: You Are There

Counting down to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington (something which, if boyhood memory serves, was televised live, at least in New York) and the Martin Luther King speech which rivals the Gettysburg Address as the most famous in U.S. history, BAMcinématek has an amazing, impressively researched series opening tomorrow, August 13, and continuing through August 28.

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“When Comedy Went to School” Flunks

Less hot tamale than cold latke, Ron Frank and Mevlet Akkaya’s documentary “When Comedy Went to School” turns the surefire subject of Borscht Belt comedy into a plodding exercise in nostalgia.

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“Blackfish”: Upton Sinclair Would Be Proud

I wasn’t among the 50 film critics who received an e-mail from SeaWorld’s publicists attacking Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s nature doc cum exposé “Blackfish” as “shamefully dishonest, deliberately misleading and scientifically inaccurate.” But I have to confess that reading a newspaper account of the aquatic magic kingdom’s PR blitz made me awfully curious to see the movie.

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