documentary

Chuck Tryon's picture

My Perestroika [Full Frame 2010]

Robin Hessman’s My Perestroika (IMDB), which won the Center for Documentary Studies Award at this year’s Full Frame, offers an engaging, subtle meditation on the profound changes that many Russian citizens felt during the last stages of Communism and the jarring transition into a capitalist economy. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Even with all of the enthusiasm displayed during the 2008 presidential election, in which record numbers of voters turned out to cast a ballot, there remains a fundamental sense of cynicism about the ability to influence the political process.  Lobbyists on K Street seem to have far more power than individuals on Main Street, a feeling that was only reinforced when the Supreme Court recently ruled that the government may not restrict corporate spending in candidate elections. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

War Don Don [Full Frame 2010]

in focusing on the war crimes trial of Issa Sesay, one of the leaders of the Sierra Leone rebel forces, Rebecca Richman Cohen’s War Don Don asks a difficult and thought-provoking question: what role do war crimes trials serve? Do they offer the “justice” that citizens and survivors of the war want? Do they provide us with unambiguous answers about culpability or agency?  What happens when the enormous expense of the trials is measured against a country’s extreme poverty and need to rebuild after a brutal civil war. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

12th and Delaware [Full Frame 2010]

One of the more compelling documentaries examining the Bush-era evangelical culture was Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Jesus Camp.  The film obviously touched a nerve for me.  I wrote about it several times, and updated my main review multiple times, reflecting my own ambivalence about how the movie represented the politics of Christian fundamentalism. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

The Mirror [Full Frame 2010]

David Christensen’s The Mirror has a quiet charm, offering what The Columbia Missourian describes as a “modern fairy tale” about a small Italian village, Viganella, nestled deeply in the Alps.  In fact, the village is so deeply nestled, a nearby mountain blocks the sun for 83 days every winter.  Most of the people in the village seem to welcome this seclusion and the simplicity that life in this remote community provides. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Videocracy [Full Frame 2010]

Note: This is the first in a series of reviews of films that played at this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham. ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Wednesday Links

Just a few quick links while I procrastinate on grading some papers: ... read more »

ajuhasz's picture

Reality Hunger: Shields’ Formal Run Down

You could say I “read” David Shield’s Reality Hunger over the weekend, but as my first nod to the worthy successes (and ballsy failures) of his argument-through-form, I actually skimmed it in less than an hour. As is true of any good manifesto, he clocks or locks a feeling in the air, something already everywhere, familiar but not fully formed (although, of course, snippets from centuries of completely finished arguments about the representation of reality are the over-rife reality condition he considers, and uses, proving the thing and its opposite as he is most wont to do). ... read more »

Chuck Tryon's picture

Fast, Cheap, and Hypermobile: More Digital Distribution Notes

I’ve been spending the last few days recovering from and catching up after my trip out to California for SCMS, so I haven’t been able to follow some of the recent debates about new directions in film distribution as closely as I would have liked.  So consider this pot to be a quick recap and reflection on some of the conversations that are taking place.  These notes tend to ramble somewhat, and there isn’t really a thesis here, just an attempt to make sense of some of the ongoing discussions that have been taking place in recent weeks. ... read more »

ajuhasz's picture

Beaches of Agnes: Feminist Icons Show the Way

After using Agnes Varda’s One Sings and One Doesn’t as a pun, or place-holder, in a recent post, how fun that Netflix delivered her recent autobiography, The Beaches of Agnes, to my house the very next day. ... read more »