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Description: Built in 1913 as the fastest, smoothest path from one coast of the United States to the other, Lincoln Highway is the star of this Rick Sebak-hosted documentary. As Sebak travels the highway between Fresh York and San Francisco, he discovers much about America through conversations with historians, travelers, motel operators, restaurateurs and others in spots ranging from a Mexican restaurant in Rahway, N.J., to a cornfield near Scranton, Iowa.
Description: Filmmaker Sanjay Kak offers this compelling and intimate glimpse of the everyday tensions in Kashmir, where resistance to India's rule among daily Kashmiris is unrelenting and can flare into violence. Kak follows a boy to his son's gravesite and listens to a girl's acc of a neighbor killed by the Indian army, all vs a backdrop of stunning natural scenery to ask the question, Just what is the meaning of freedom?
Description: In 2002, Ju Anqi made a movie about a tour by the poet Shu through Xinjiang, the most western-lying, autonomous Uyghur province of China. All that we know about Shu is that he plays a poet who sends himself on a business trip - an absurd, satirical starting mission that sets the tone for the film. For a tons of reasons, it was not until 2013 that Ju started editing the rough, lyrical material that he had shot in what is actually a very restless Xinjiang: it's like an perfect wine that has had time to mature. Structured around 16 poems which he wrote on the road, Shu’s physically exhausting adventure takes him along unlimited rocky roads, passing shabby inns and through impressive landscapes from one prostitute to the next. In its documentary authenticity, Poet on a Business Trip is also an historic document that exudes an atmosphere of loss, providing an unsentimental yet melancholy glimpse of a country in transition and a mirror for the existential irreversibility of time. (c) iffr.com
Description: Firmly rooted in the recent scientific discoveries, this docudrama explores the theory that Europeans came to America much earlier than previously thought. Fresh archaeological informations and DNA research touch on an ice bridge that spanned the Atlantic. Follow the fascinating journeys of a Stone Age family as they travel from France and settle in America -- about 17,000 years before Columbus was even born.
Description: The Secrets of Life series (1934-50) may not conform to modern expectations of nature filmmaking, inclined as it is towards giving pretty fluffy monsters human names and characteristics. But it couldn't be accused of shielding kiddies from the harsher realities of the meal chain, as this exercise in ruthless Darwinism demonstrates to unintentionally hilarious effect. A more than usually eccentric narrator introduces us to the newborn bunny quartet of Donald, James, Charles and Clifford, but as the film's game gives away, "the boys" aren't all long for this globe as they face an assault course of hungry owls, predatory badgers, shotgun-happy gardeners and aerial bombardment (no hurt in a tiny anti-Nazi detour, this is 1942 after all). (from http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-once-we-were-four-1942/)
Description: These materials document a double jubilee of emperor Nikola Petrović 'Njegoš' - 50 years at the Montenegrin throne and his golden wedding with empress Milena, which are accompanied by proclaiming Nikola to be the king, and Montenegro to be the kingdom. Nikola tried to bring noble guests and give this happening as much publicity as possible.
Description: Larry Clark ("Kids", "Bully"), in keeping with the tradition of his previous short in the movie "Destricted" combining art and sex, JONATHAN (Jonathan Velasquez of "Paranoid Park", "Wassup Rockers" and "The Moving Men") says the storyline of a young boy of 14 recalling his first sexual experience and is seen soon at 21, with a woman of experience.
Description: In 1968, John Weiley shot 'Autopsy on a Dream' - a movie about the Sydney Opera House detailing its construction process and the politics of Jorn Utzon's dismissal. Weiley's movie was controversial; it was screened once and then he was said it had been destroyed. Forty five years soon a copy was discovered in the BBC vaults by an ABC producer looking for archive footage of the Opera House. Weiley was contacted and said about a movie that had no sound track. Weiley was overjoyed; for years he had kept the original sound. So began the painstaking process of restoring this record of a special moment in Australian culture to its former glory, finished with modernized voice-over from the original narrator, Bob Ellis. It is set in context by a 30 minute prologue entitled 'The Dream of Perfection'. Made by the same filmmaker, John Weiley, forty-five years on, 'Dream of Perfection' says the storyline of the 1968 movie - from commission to destruction, to surprise resurrection.
Description: Scream, Queen! examines the infamous homoerotic subtext and the unique zone the movie holds in the Nightmare franchise as well as the gay movie canon. Partly in thanks to evolving social mores, Nightmare on Elm Road 2 – which was considered controversial at the time of its release – is actually being looked back upon with a fresh appreciation and fondness by horror aficionados and fanatics of the series.
Description: John Mayer: Someday I'll Fly chronicles the musical evolution of one of the most influential solo artists of his generation. Featuring rare demos, interviews and live performances; it is said in it's entirety from Mayer's perspective. Centered mostly on his career and professional accomplishments, Someday I'll Fly strips away the typical gossip surrounding Mayer to deliever an intimate look at the life and career of a lauded musician. Produced and edited by Eastwood Allen
Description: German documentary for TV about the "Cinema Novo" movement (Brazilian Fresh Wave). Director Joaquim Pedro de Andrade focuses on six Cinema Novo filmmakers working in Rio in 1967.
Description: Behind Audrey Hepburn's dazzling image, Darcey Bussell unravels an epic tale of betrayal, courage, heartache and broken dreams. For as long as she can remember Darcey has been fascinated by Audrey Hepburn: style icon, star of Breakfast at Tiffany's, an Oscar champion at 24. Now, Darcey follows in Audrey's footsteps through Holland, London, Rome, Switzerland and Hollywood to search out more. She discovers Audrey started out as a dancer, risked her life in the fight and, although adored the globe over, was everytime looking for love.
Description: Eugeniusz Rudnik revolutionized the concept of melody itself with a pair of scissors and a magnetic tape. As part of the legendary Experimental Studio of Polish Radio, he revealed hidden value in rough and rejected sounds long before the rise of the DJs. In an era of electronic melody created in a workshop resembling a scientific lab, he composed melody to reach and to portray another human beings. “15 Corners of the World” is an attempt to hear the vision of his music.
Description: Two Aboriginal families live like their ancestors have for centuries in this anthropological documentary. The gathering of meal is the main focus as girls harvest grass seeds to create a primitive flour for bread. Grubs, lizards, and fruit are also on the menu, with the only contact with the modern globe being their trek to a government compound for much-needed drinking water.
Description: To commemorate the life and time of Australia's twenty-first prime minister, Gough Whitlam, SBS will pay tribute by airing his final ever TV interview. In this documentary, at 86 years of age, Gough shares his revelatory views on 50 years of public life in an in-depth conversation with John Faulkner. Looks at Whitlam's early parliamentary life and his role in the 1960s and the 1970s as Labor's Deputy Leader and then Leader, taking the ALP to power after a record 23 years of Liberal government.
Description: A 1979 documentary on Java and Bali, written and directed by Phillip Noyce. The end credits tell this movie was produced for QANTAS Airways, which suggests it was used as some sort of promotional piece for travel to these particular locations.
Description: 35 Cows and a Kalashnikov is a joyously made triptych about warrior-farmers, colourful dandies and voodoo wrestlers in Ethiopia, Brazzaville and Kinshasa. It paints a loving and careful portrait of African pride and beauty.
Description: In order to meet future care demands for elderly who are lonely and suffering from dementia, carebot Alice has been developed. Can a robot build a human relationship with someone and thus replace a person of flesh and blood? The three women, all getting on in years, who are visited by her in Alice Cares now become cute fond of the robot girl. Carebot Alice leaves the laboratory to visit Mrs. Remkes, Mrs. Schellekens-Blanke and Mrs. van Wittmarschen, every in their own house. The three girls are getting on in age and are therefore exceptionally suited for the services of Alice, who has been developed by SELEMCA. This is a research group which tries to discover, with the support of community nurses and family, how 'sociobot' Alice could talk and react to stem the results of loneliness on older women. The outcome of the experiment is surprising for all involved.
Description: Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s was one of the largest producers of movie in the world. In order to hold up with the demand, screenwriters and directors were copying scripts and remaking films from all over the world. This documentary visits the fastest working directors, the most practical cameramen and the most hardheaded actors to have a closer look into the country's tumultuous history of film making.
Description: Go on an journey in Grand Canyon Serenade. Using high-definition cameras mounted on a plane's nose and on a helicopter, aerial videographers capture rare views of the Grand Canyon. Play the views as you listen to a pretty classical melody soundtrack!
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Lord of Kong (or Billy vs. Steve, basically), is an perfect movie about a rivalry that tells a lot about tournament in our culture. The film portrays Billy, the Donkey Kong Champion, doing everything in his power to hold his record and to deny Steve Wiebe (wee-Bee) the game of globe record holder in Donkey Kong. Steve is an outsider in this culture where Billy is an icon, and at first there are folks within the video minigame community who do not wish him to succeed. It becomes type of a struggle between nice and evil, as the powers that be test to keep down those not in power. Suddenly, Steve is the guy you're rooting for, if only just to beat that smart-ass Billy. It is a adventure that takes you through the darker and seedier side of the video minigame revolution of the '80s. If it seems silly to be writing about such weighty problems of nice and evil when a film is about a video game, watch the movie: it really does the job of making you care about what happens to these odd, fascinating people.
I saw this at the Traverse Town Movie Festival and it was probably the greatest movie of the festival.This perfect movie has everything that a film fanatic loves to see: the classic character and villain story, action, suspense, drama, and comedy. Who would have thought all of this would come out of a documentary about Donkey Kong? The storyline follows Steve Wiebe, a family boy from Washington trying to beat the arcade juggernaut Billy Mitchell's globe record score on Donkey Kong. The movie is perfectly edited by introducing both characters, showing their history in the video minigame culture, and giving the viewers a sense of which person to root for. It's hysterical the method this easy storyline is made out to look like an action journey film. Steve is the underdog, the boy that has a large adventure ahead of him. But to overcome the challenges and test to claim the game of Donkey Kong master, he gotta face the enemy Billy Mitchell and his video minigame minions.This movie is one of the most fun times I've had in a theater in long time. The entire audience was involved, cheering on some characters, laughing at others, and applauding many times. It's so much fun to watch an underground culture and see folks you didn't know existed.My favourite part in the movie is probably when Steve has to present up in person and prove his ability. It's so hilarious, suspenseful, and inspiring.The Lord of Kong is a terrific film. It's a lot of fun, there's never a dull moment, and it really shows what a nice movie is supposed to be like.
If it weren't for the sincerity of it all- or maybe because of it- Lord of Kong should be conceived of as a mockumentary. But there's no joking with these guys, which sometimes makes it a lot of fun to watch the tournament between Billy Mitchell and Steve Weebie (right method to tell the name?), where sycophants and idiosyncrasies fly on the former's self-spun empire/network and on the latter just your average suburban housewife and children going somewhat begrudgingly along the ride. It's a saga though not just about them, but about the globe of gaming, of the mind-set that pervades everyone from lawyers to 'Roy Awesome' to tiny old ladies competing at Qubert, and the nature of tournament itself. Not since Rocky- and maybe even better in its exuberance and humility- has one seen a tale of the underdog and the lord played out in odds that could seem somewhat silly.But what's so nice is how first-time director Seth Gordon plunges the viewer into this world, and it's instantly recognizable to anyone over 18 and under, well, 55 to 100- anyone who's ever gone to enjoy one of the "old-school" arcade minigames like Donkey Kong or Pacman/Mrs. Pacman or even Pong. We see how the users have to not just go into the minigames haphazardly by luck; like football, there's game-plans and strategies, and like that sport there are also some obstacles that are apart of the nature of the design of the sport. There's a entire wonderful facet one takes for granted, for example, about the technology of the machines, which despite being eclipsed many times over by fresh systems can still be tampered with, as is the situation with Steve's first machine that reaches the top score, and then discredited because of a chip possibly (or not) being replaced or implanted in to give leverage at a non-gamer store.Yet the more slippery side-stepping for users is what's even more intriguing. Characterization can be a tricky thing for the documentary director to deal with, but in Lord of Kong it becomes something of a controversy left by the wayside as Billy surpasses Steve's score with a minigame he played recorded on videotape- while Steve set his score by an official Twin Galaxies referee (Walter Day, to be exact, who's a hero in and of himself)- with more than a several skips right were the score could register. Telling it skims the line of reality and mockumentary comes with the territory- after a while watching Mitchell is like watching someone who's improvising as he goes along, hiding behind his perfectionist guise as a world-class champ and purveyor of fine hot sauces with his fake-buxom wife and lackeys watching each transport Steve makes.Aside from it being compelling storytelling as one sees the transformation of Steve from failed baseball pitcher and drummer to a Donkey Kong (and Donkey Kong Junior) champ, making all-time high scores while his children cry about their terrible behinds, it's one of the greatest kinds of sport-genre details in years. Many times one sees this played out, and it's been parodied in the likes of Dodgeball ("Nobody makes me bleed my own blood" came to mind once or twice looking at Mitchell, and his smart but biased cronies are like classic helping characters), and the clichés and conventions receive the better of the narrative. This time there's no pressure to push it into what's expected: we genuinely care what happens in this war of the joystick, as Steve sheds genuine tears testing his ass off at all accounts of live happenings whilst Billy sulks away in his living room hearing the upgrades on his phone.As far as triumph-of-the-human-spirit stories go, Lord of Kong is hilarious entertainment, sometimes for all the strangest (Day's would-be musical career) and silliest reasons (what's so unique about the Guiness ebook of records, Steve's daughter asks), but engrossing as documentaries could get- one of the greatest of the year in fact.
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