Tag Archives: Documentary

Video

Fire, Flashbangs, Filmmaking: Inauguration 2017

Fellow filmmaker and friend Georg Koszulinski invited me to DC to help him shoot a documentary focusing on the  inauguration of Donald Trump. There were massive protests scheduled on inauguration day and the day following; they would include a coalition of the willing that would make George W. Bush jealous. We ran amok with DSLR cameras trying to capture the feeling of the space and the feeling of the people (protesters and Trump supporters alike). We wanted to find a way to make sense of the madness during this shocking plot twist in American history, as a reality TV star (which already sounds like I’m making this shit up) was sworn in as President of the United States of America. Continue reading

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Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop being a jerk

Backstage during Conan O’Brien’s “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour,” Jack McBrayer has just stopped by. Before he’s even through the door, Conan is launching into a cavalcade of country bumpkin jokes.  McBrayer’s Southern accent, familiar to fans of his character Kenneth Parcell on 30 Rock, turns out to be genuine, and O’Brien’s verbal jabs continue to slap his visitor like he just caught him screwing grandma on the kitchen table on Christmas day.  Of all the people we see passive-aggressively maligned by O’Brien’s sarcasm in the documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, McBrayer is the only one not on his paid staff and is therefore the only one who can properly express slack-jawed dismay that Conan O’Brien is a dick.

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The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: title fail

Morgan Spurlock’s debut documentary, Super Size Me, didn’t offer any revelatory information (eating McDonald’s everyday is bad for you?  Say it ain’t so!), but actually seeing the food’s physical effects on Spurlock in heavy doses made you question the merits of even the occasional Big Mac.  Spurlock’s latest venture, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,  again declares the obvious (product placement exists), but gives little motivation to ring the alarms. Continue reading

DVD Tuesday: Inside Job

When the envelope was opened last Sunday, one of my favorite films from last year, Exit Through the Gift Shop, lost to a documentary I had yet to see. Anticipating some of Banksy’s potential antics, I blamed the result on the Academy voting against the elusive artist instead of voting for any given film. Now that Inside Job has come out on DVD, I see that they were completely right. Exit Through the Gift Shop remains one of my favorite films of the year, but if ever a documentary deserved that Oscar, it’s this one: a film so relevant, so timely, and so perfectly executed that it has earned all of its recognition. Continue reading

Mini-Nazis Provide Therapy in “Marwencol”

Fictions play a foundational role in our society.  We encounter many of these fictions as images that feel bigger than we are, juggernauts projected onto the world we inhabit: social constructions of monetary value or race, or images on television considered synonymous with reality. In Marwencol we see the process from the other end as we follow a man who chooses and controls his fictions, projecting his real-life traumas onto a 1/6 scale world as alternative therapy. Continue reading

Howl: Poem, Trial, Documentary

It seems that 2010 was destined to be the year of the fake documentary. The film world was buzzing with questions regarding the validity of the big three, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Catfish, and I’m Still Here, but somehow Howl, which never purports to be as factual as the others, fell by the wayside. This film, about the obscenity trial for Allen Ginsberg’s titular landmark poem, achieves the impossible: it is a documentary of things past.  Continue reading

DVD Tuesday: Freakonomics not that mind-blowing

In 2005, economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dobner published a book that changed the way we think about everything from incentives and causality to sumo wrestling and abortion. Their research and case studies radically shifted the paradigm of contemporary thought, especially as it pertained to the constantly changing economy. Last year “six rogue filmmakers” tried to adapt this book into a documentary. Unfortunately the film doesn’t really do anything.  Continue reading