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Cinema Studies


Cinema Studies



VIVIAN OSTROVSKY - PLUNGE

16 films by Vivian Ostrovsky made between 1982 and 2014.

"An intimate - yet humorous - act of cultural resistance, the cinema of Vivian Ostrovsky is a gesture, implying the filmmaker's entire body - as she travels around the world, carrying the gear, framing with a camera-eye. She digs in archival footage for an immense repertory of cinematic gestures performed by others - and playfully edits them with her own Super-8 shots. Multi-culturalism and polyglotism are woven into this poetics of displacement." - Berenice Reynaud


2 DVDs (With Subtitles Subtitles) / 2019 / 215 minutes

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AROUND INDIA WITH A MOVIE CAMERA

By Sandhyu Suri

Award-winning filmmaker Sandhya Suri (I for India) skillfully weaves together archival footage - including hand colored sequences - with a new score by composer Soumik Datta to create an emotionally resonant story about life across India from 1899 to 1947.

Drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive, Around India features some of the earliest surviving film from India as well as gorgeous travelogues, intimate home movies and newsreels from British, French and Indian filmmakers. Taking in Maharajas and Viceroys, fakirs and farmhands and personalities such as Sabu and Gandhi, the film explores not only the people and places of over 70 years ago, but asks us to engage with broader themes of a shared history, shifting perspectives in the lead up to Indian independence and the ghosts of the past.


DVD (Color, Black and White, Closed Captioned) / 2018 / 72 minutes

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CENSORED

Directed by Sari Braithwaite
By Chloe Brugale

Deep in the vaults of the Australian National Archives lie thousands upon thousands of celluloid scraps: scenes that were cut by government censors from films imported into the country between the years of 1958-1971. Peppered through this collection are banned scenes from some of the most influential directors in history, including Godard, Polanski, Bergman, Varda and Fellini. But censorship extended to hundreds of forgotten films - from avant-garde and documentary films to Hollywood B-movies.

When Sari Braithwaite gained unprecedented access to this mysterious collection, she though she could create a work to liberate this censored archive, to honour these displaced frames, and condemn censorship. But, after years of bearing witness to these fragments of film, this archive became challenging and unnerving. It felt almost impossible to celebrate or reconcile.

[CENSORED] is a work stitched entirely from these never-before-seen artefacts of censorship: it is the story of how one filmmaker confronted an archive to reckon with film, censorship, and the power of the gaze.

Featuring an acclaimed soundtrack by Munro Melano and the End, [CENSORED] is an entertaining and provacative polemic, challenging audiences with questions that defy easy answers. Just as the censor and the filmmaker are amde complicit, so is the audience, who bear witness to this ambitious work.


DVD (Color, Black and White, Closed Captioned) / 2018 / 66 minutes

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MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY

By Cordelia Dvorak

MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY is a fascinating portrait of the persevering French filmmaker, writer, and Holocaust survivor Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018).

Marceline was only 15 when both she and her father, a Polish Jew from Lodz, were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She survived but her father didn't, and Marceline had to find radical and unconventional ways to heal after the tragedies of the war. In 1961, she appeared in Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's landmark film Chronicle of a Summer, which gave birth to the term cinema verite. Later she married the legendary Dutch documentary director Joris Ivens, traveled with him to Vietnam, and co-directed films such as 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968) and How Yukong Moved the Mountains (1976).

Filmed as she was nearing 90 years old and living in Paris, MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY spans the broad arc of her life from Holocaust survivor to political activist to combatively critical filmmaker. Looking back on the momentous events she experienced and filmed such as the Algerian and Vietnam Wars and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, MARCELINE is a thought-provoking chronicle of a remarkable witness of the 20th century.


DVD (French, Color, Closed Captioned) / 2018 / 58 minutes

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OBSERVER, THE

Directed by Rita Andreetti
By Rita Andreetti, Matteo Bosi

In August 2014, the 11th Beijing Independant Film Festival was shut down after repeated threats from local authorities. The government wouldn't tolerate the screening of some 'sensitive' works, particularly a historical documentary called "Spark". The news shook filmmakers and public opinion alike and filmmaker Rita Andreetti couldn't help but begin on a search for the man whose work had pushed the government to the edge of tolerance.

The Observer is the portrait of the extraordinary and undetected work of Chinese dissedent artist, Hu Jie. Despite making huge contributions to historical research by uncovering essential testimonies from China's past, his body of work hasn't been recognized the way it deserves.

Carefully ducking away from the spotlight, he has managed to make more than 30 documentaries throughout his career. The content of his work is vital to understanding Chinese society and the preservation of the memory of its past; he is the first artist to dare talk about the Great Famine, the labor camps (Lao Gai) and the Cultural Revolution in an uncompromised way. For that, he is commonly considered the first historical documentary maker of China, despite his blacklisted status.

Rita Andreetti, director and young Italian film critic, allows viewers to discover Hu Jie's humanity and social commitment as she searches herself for Chinese identity. Inspired by the tenacity and the inner strength of Hu Jie himself, the documentary shows how his prolific activity has recently turned into a more intimate pictorial production. Although under increasing pressure, Hu Jie continues today, with different means, to tirelessly fight for the truth.


DVD (Mandarin with English Subtitles, Color) / 2017 / 78 minutes

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GIRL FROM GOD'S COUNTRY: THE HISTORY OF WOMEN IN FILM AND OTHER WAR STORIES

By Karen Day

GIRL FROM GOD'S COUNTRY is the untold story of the first female independent filmmaker and action-adventure heroine, Nell Shipman (1892-1970), who left Hollywood to make her films in Idaho. An unadulterated, undiscovered adventure tale of a pioneering woman who rewrote the rules of filmmaking, and, in so doing, paved the way for independent voices-especially prominent female voices in today's film industry. Her storylines of self-reliant women overcoming physical challenges in the wilderness and often, rescuing the male lead, shattered the predictable cinematic formulas of large studio productions. Featuring rare archival footage by early pioneers, including minority filmmakers, Zora Neale Hurston and Miriam Wong, the first Chinese-American filmmaker in 1914 and present day interviews with Geena Davis and the Director of Women in Film, GIRL FROM GOD'S COUNTRY discuss how gender-inequities that Shipman and her counterparts faced perpetuate in today's film industry. Emblematic of an entire lost generation of female producers and directors in silent film, Nell Shipman's legacy has remained a buried treasure in film history for nearly 100 years.


DVD (Color) / 2016 / 66 minutes

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MARIE LOSIER - HELLO HAPPINESS!

10 short films by Marie Losier.

French-born New York filmmaker Marie Losier learned the 16mm Bolex camera from George and Mike Kuchar and made a series of "Dream Portraits" of New York filmmakers, theatre, music and performance artists.

Marie Losier is the most effervescent and psychologically accurate portrait artist working in film today. Her films wriggle with the energy and sweetness of a broken barrel full o' sugar worms!!! No one makes pictures like Marie, Edith Sitwell's inner Tinkerbell!!! - Guy Maddin

Marie Losier's movies are as sweet and sassy as her name and well worth a gander or goose by all off beat cineastes. So beat off to a different drum and marvel at the wad of wonders that only a French woman could generate. Take a trip down a sprocketed spiral of celluloid strips into a glory hole of impressive dimensions. What pops through will surely enlarge with persistent, ocular manipulation. - George Kuchar

SELECTED SHORTS IN 16 MM:
L'Oiseau de la Nuit 20', 2016
Bim, Bam, Boom, las Luchas Morenas! 13', 2014
Alan Vega, Just a Million Dreams 16', 2014
Byun, Objet Trouve 7', 2012
Slap the Gondola! 15', 2010
Manuelle Labour 10', 2007
Eat My Make-up! 6', 2005
Electrocute Your Stars 8', 2004
Bird Bath and Beyond 13', 2003
The Ontological Cowboy 16', 2005


DVD (With French Subtitles) / 2016 / 124 minutes

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MINUTE BODIES: THE INTIMATE WORLD OF F. PERCY SMITH

By Stuart A. Staples
Music by tindersticks

This meditative, immersive film by tindersticks' Stuart A. Staples is a tribute to the astonishing work and achievements of naturalist, inventor and pioneering British filmmaker F. Percy Smith (1880-1945).

Based in a studio in north London in the early years of the 20th century, Percy Smith developed the use of time-lapse, animation and micro-photographic techniques to capture nature's secrets in action. He worked in a number of public roles, including the Royal Navy and British Instructional Films, Smith was prolific and driven, often directing several films simultaneously, apparently on a mission to explore and capture nature's hidden terrains.

Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith is an interpretative work that combines Smith's original film footage - preserved within the BFI National Archive - with a new contemporary score by tindersticks with Thomas Belhom and Christine Ott. It creates a hypnotic, alien yet familiar dreamscape that connects us to the sense of wonder Smith must have felt as he peered through his own lenses and saw these micro-worlds for the first time.


DVD (Black and White) / 2016 / 55 minutes

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GOLDEN GATE GIRLS

By S. Louisa Wei

In GOLDEN GATE GIRLS author and professor S. Louisa Wei tells the story of filmmaker Esther Eng, the first woman to direct Chinese-language film in the US, and the most prominent woman director in Hong Kong in the 1930's. A San Francisco native and open lesbian, her contribution to film history is sadly overlooked - her 11 feature films mostly lost. After the retirement of director Dorothy Arzner in 1943 and before Ida Lupino began directing in 1949, Eng was the only woman directing feature length films in the US.

Wei's documentary paints a fascinating picture of how Eng's career in filmmaking broke through gender and racial boundaries in Hollywood and Hong Kong, at a time when opportunities for Chinese women in the industry were few and far between. With a captivating archive of newly discovered images and interviews with those who knew her, Wei uncovers a rich chapter of film history that challenges both gender hierarchies and national narratives. Essential viewing for Cinema Studies and Asian American Studies.


DVD (Chinese, Color) / 2014 / 90 minutes

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THANHOUSER STUDIO AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CINEMA

The Thanhouser Company was a trail-blazing studio based in New Rochelle, New York. From 1910 to 1917 it released over 1,000 films that were seen by audiences around the globe.

This 53-minute documentary reconstructs the relatively unknown story of the studio and its founders, technicians, and stars as they entered the nascent motion picture industry to compete with Thomas Edison and the companies aligned with his Motion Pictures Patents Corporation (MPPC).

Ned Thanhouser, grandson of studio founders Edwin and Gertrude Thanhouser, narrates this compelling tale, recounting a saga of bold entrepreneurship, financial successes, cinematic innovations, tragic events, the launching of Hollywood careers, and the transition of the movie industry from the East Coast to the West and Hollywood.


DVD / 2014 / 53 minutes

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BILL MORRISON: COLLECTED WORKS (1996 - 2013)

16 films by Bill Morrison

This five-disc set comprises 16 works by filmmaker and multimedia artist Bill Morrison, called "one of the most adventurous American filmmakers" by Variety. Morrison's work is characterized by his sensitive approach to found, often decaying film footage, and his close collaboration with contemporary conmposers, including Vijay Iyer, Johann Johannsson and Bill Frisell. Among other shorts and features, this set includes his acclaimed DECASIA (2002), "the most widely acclaimed American avant-garde film of the fin-de-siecle." (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice).

DISC 1: Blu-Ray (75 minutes)
Decasia 67 minutes, 2002
Light is Calling 8 minutes, 2004

DISC 2: DVD (107 minutes)
City Walk 6 minutes, 1999
Porch 8 minutes, 2005
Highwater Trilogy 31 minutes, 2006
Who by Water 18 minutes, 2007
Just Ancient Loops 26 minutes, 2012
Re-Awakenings 18 minutes, 2013

DISC 3: DVD (107 minutes)
The Mesmerist 16 minutes, 2003
Ghost Trip 23 minutes, 2000
Spark of Being 68 minutes, 2010

DISC 4: DVD (86 minutes)
The Miner's Hymns 52 minutes, 2011
Release 13 minutes, 2010
Outerborough 9 minutes, 2005
The Film of Her 12 minutes, 1996

DISC 5: DVD (80 minutes)
The Great Flood 80 minutes, 2013


5 DVDs (Color, Black & White) / 2013 / 455 minutes

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BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD

Director: Rob Kuhns

In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed "Night of the Living Dead," a low budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and spawned a zombie industry worth billions of dollars that continues to this day.

Birth of the Living Dead shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers - policemen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner - to shoot a revolutionary guerrilla style film that went on to become a cinematic landmark, offering a profound insight into how our society worked in a singular time in American history.


DVD / 2013 / 76 minutes

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ROBERT TODD - INTERIOR LANDSCAPE

6 short films by the Robert Todd.

Having made over 60 films over the past two decades, Robert Todd has a mastery of 16mm filmmaking that eschews categorization. As effective with the clarity and efficiency of the documentary form as he is with the mysterious shapes and shadows of the lyrical mode, Todd records the world with a sympathetic eye. Feathers and fields, stones and skin are rendered with sculptural accuracy, emerging from darkness into light, from focus to blur, refreshing and refining our own sense of vision. From prisons to playgrounds, streetscapes to landscapes, interiors to underbrush, there seems to be no place or object that resists transformation through the deft manipulations of Robert Todd's lens. - LIFT, Toronto

EVERGREEN 15', 2005, 16mm, color
INTERPLAY 6', 2006, 16mm, color
HABITAT 9', 2012m 16mm, color
UNDERGROWTH 11', 2011, 16mm, color
WITHIN 8', 2012, 16mm, color
THRESHOLD 13', 2013, 16mm, color


DVD / 2013 / 63 minutes

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TO CHRIS MARKER, AN UNSENT LETTER

By Emiko Omori

TO CHRIS MARKER, AN UNSENT LETTER is a cinematic love letter to Chris Marker, the notoriously private filmmaker and artist--director of LA JETeE, SANS SOLEIL, LE JOLI MAI and many other films, and self-described "best known author of unknown works".

Directed by Emmy-award winning cinematographer and filmmaker Emiko Omori, whose credits include Marker's THE OWL'S LEGACY, the film is a contemplative essay whose form is inspired by Marker's signature style.

Alongside Omori's thoughts and recollections of the filmmaker, and her examinations of some of his key works, the film incorporates interviews with Marker associates and admirers including film critic David Thomson, film programmers Tom Luddy and Peter Scarlet, filmmakers Marina Goldovskaya and Michael H. Shamberg, 12 MOKNEYS screenwriters Janet and David Peoples, computer scientist Dirk Kuhlmann, and many others.

Their warm reflections join Omori's to examine the legacy of a filmmaker as beloved as he was enigmatic.


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2013 / 78 minutes

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TO TELL THE TRUTH: THE STRATEGY OF TRUTH

By David Van Taylor

THE STRATEGY OF TRUTH: DOCUMENTARY GOES TO WAR (1933-1945)

Government propaganda is often said to reflect a society's dominant values. But it can also reveal what officials feel they need to convince a skeptical public of. In the first major war to unfold on celluloid, documentarians around the globe were enlisted to make some tough sells.

How would you convince Germans, for example, that "the Jewish problem" requires a "Final Solution"? Or bring class-bound Britons together as equal partners to endure and combat an unprecedented Blitz? And what would galvanize traditional isolationist Americans to go defend a patch of land thousands of miles from home?

In Germany, Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will not only promoted the Nazi ideals but was also posed to become a landmark of propaganda filmmaking. In England, as film historian Brian Winston explains, an argument erupted between the new English documentary newsreel and traditional documentarians.

Last into the war, the US launched perhaps the biggest and most sophisticated campaign. A mix of seasoned documentarians and Hollywood heavy-hitters, such as Frank Capra, discovered how to use Nazi propaganda against itself, in an effort that became known as the "Strategy of Truth."

But even when the cause is just, it can be a tall order making the truth fulfill the mission. On one particularly thorny assignment-a film designed to reconcile African-Americans to strict military segregation-the collision of strategy and truth yielded some surprising and momentous results.


DVD (Color / Black & White, Closed Captioned) / 2012 / 56 minutes

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TO TELL THE TRUTH: WORKING FOR CHANGE

By Calvin Skaggs

WORKING FOR CHANGE: DOCUMENTING HARD TIMES (1929-1941)

To expose the worst effects of the Great Depression, documentarians developed a new form, the social documentary. The left-leaning Film and Photo League sounded the alarm on economic conditions, at a time when mainstream media were still insisting prosperity was just around the corner. Police night-stick blows often added shakiness to their footage as they captured evictions, breadlines, and mass protests.

After FDR's election, Pare Lorentz convinced the New Deal administration to pay for a film about the Dust Bowl. Working-and arguing-with veterans of the Film and Photo League, he crafted the classic Plow That Broke the Plains. Lorentz's films had it both ways, parlaying a strong (and government-funded) social critique into a box-office hit.

English pioneer John Grierson likewise found backing from the government, and produced enduring and original portraits of the working class. In keeping with his Tory sponsor's agenda, though, these films all showed a well-oiled, highly-functional social machine-fulfilling Grierson's aim as a Social Democrat to unite British society.

Back in the US, documentarians formed Frontier Films, the first independent, non-profit film production company in the U.S. Their mission was to investigate some of the major American labor struggles of the 1930s-until Pearl Harbor changed everyone's focus.


DVD (Color / Black & White, Closed Captioned) / 2012 / 56 minutes

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ANNA MAY WONG: IN HER OWN WORDS

By Yunah Hong

Anna May Wong knew she wanted to be a movie star from the time she was a young girl - and by 17 she became one. A third generation Chinese American, she went on to make dozens of films in Hollywood and Europe . She was one of the few actors to successfully transition from silent to sound cinema, co-starring with Marlene Dietrich, Anthony Quinn and Douglas Fairbanks along the way. She was glamorous, talented and cosmopolitan - yet she spent most of her career typecast either as a painted doll or a scheming dragon lady. For years, older generations of Chinese Americans frowned upon the types of roles she played, today a younger generation of Asian Americans sees her as a pioneering artist, who succeeded in a hostile environment that hasn't altogether changed. Yunah Hong's engrossing documentary is an entertaining and imaginative survey of Wong's career, exploring the impact Wong had on images of Asian American women in Hollywood, both then and now. Excerpts from Wong's films, archival photographs and interviews enhance this richly detailed picture of a woman and her times.


DVD (Color) / 2011 / 56 minutes

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GOLDEN SLUMBERS

By Davy Chou

Between the early 1960s and 1975, Cambodia was home to a vibrant film industry that produced more than 400 features. When the Khmer Rouge seized control of the country, they halted production, demolishing the industry along most of the rest of the country's cultural life. Cinemas were closed, prints destroyed, and the filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters who were not able to flee the country were slaughtered.

Davy Chou's GOLDEN SLUMBERS resurrects this cinema's heyday. Though very few of the films from this period have remained intact, Chou uses the soundtracks, advertisements, posters and lobby cards to recreate his subjects' shared memories of a golden era.

The film contains interviews with the era's surviving artists, including directors Ly Bun Yim, Ly You Sreang, and Yvon Hem, and actor Dy Saveth. Two dedicated cinephiles-one of whom says he can remember the faces of film stars better than those of his brothers and sisters-recall plotlines and trade film trivia. Chou also takes us inside Phnom Penh's shuttered movie palaces, now transformed into karaoke bars, restaurants, and squats.

These reminiscences and recreations testify that while the most of the films of this era have vanished, their memory endures for an entire generation of Cambodians, leaving a complex legacy for today's youth to inherit.


DVD (Color, Black & White ) / 2011 / 96 minutes

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WALKING DEAD GIRLS, THE

An intriguing rarity for those seeking to study and understand a sub-genre of horror filmmaking, The Walking Dead Girls! is a behind the scenes look into zombie culture in the United States and the obsession with sexy female zombies. What is it about zombie bimbos, or "zimbies", that are starting to gain the world's interest? Why are zombies now in mainstream culture and seen in advertising from JCPenney to Sears?

With interviews with zombie master maker George Romero, cult filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman, scream queen Linnea Quigley and cult movie star Bruce Campbell.

Includes a rare look into the making of a zombie pinup calendar and behind the scenes of "Stripperland", The Walking Dead Girls! is a look into the zombie phenomenon created by Romero that is 40 years in the making.


DVD / 2011 / 90 minutes

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BUHAROV BROTHERS, THE - SLOW MIRROR

3 short films from the inimitable Igor and Ivan Buharov.

The anarchic, fractured and extremely surreal films by Ivan and Igor Buharov (Korne?l Szila?gyi and Na?ndor Hevesi) might seem like a perfect fit for this "outsider" paradigm. Darkly playful hallucinations that share the aura of having been discovered in a granny's attic like a book of now troubling childhood drawings, they reveal in precise terms a world perhaps subconsciously suspected but hitherto indescribable. They have in common an improvised quality and a sense of the homemade. This not only stems from their beautifully rough-hewn visual textures but often from the people, objects and spaces that appear before the camera. The casts are composed of extraordinary ordinary people rather than film star types: lived-in faces bringing their own stories to the films. The props, which sometimes conspicuously reappear in different films, can likewise seem to have a real-world existence of their own carried over into the picture. This helps lend the films the weird intimacy of children's games, in which familiar people and places are made alien and the weirdly alien becomes immanent to the everyday. The feverish and disorienting experience of watching a Buharov film was probably best described in the 2008 Offscreen Film Festival catalogue as "getting lost in someone else's dream". - Maximilian Le Cain


DVD (Hungarian, With English, French Subtitles) / 2009 / 108 minutes

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CAPTURING REALITY: THE ART OF DOCUMENTARY

Director: Pepita Ferrari

From cinema-verite pioneers Albert Maysles and Joan Churchill to maverick moviemakers like Errol Morris, Werner Herzog and Nick Broomfield, the world's best documentarians reflect upon the unique power of their genre in this comprehensive and eye-opening two-disc box set.

Featuring interviews with 38 directors and 163 film clips from classics such as Grey Gardens and The Thin Blue Line, as well as recent work like Darwin's Nightmare and Touching the Void, Capturing Reality explores the complex creative process that goes into making non-fiction films. Deftly charting the documentarian's journey, it poses the question: can film capture reality?


DVD-R / 2009 / 98 minutes

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FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM

Directed by Boston Phoenix critic, Gerald Peary

For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism is the first documentary to dramatize the rich saga of American movie reviewing.

For the Love of Movies offers an insider's view of the critics' profession, with commentary from America's best-regarded reviewers, Roger Ebert (The Chicago Sun-Times), A.O. Scott (The New York Times), Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly), and Kenneth Turan (The Los Angeles Times). We also hear from young, articulate, Internet voices, including Harry

Knowles (ainitcoolnews.com) and Karina Longworth (spout.com). Their stories are entertaining, humorous, and personal. Those who hear them may gain new respect for the film critic profession, knowing the faces and voices, and also the history.

From the raw beginnings of criticism before The Birth of a Nation to the incendiary Pauline Kael-Andrew Sarris debates of the 1960s and 70s to the battle today between youthful on-liners and the print establishment, this documentary illuminates the role that film criticism has played in the evolution of American film.


DVD / 2009 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 80 minutes

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TALES FROM THE SCRIPT

Director: Peter Hanson

Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), John Carpenter (Halloween), Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), and dozens of other Hollywood screenwriters share penetrating insights and hilarious anecdotes in Tales from the Script, the most comprehensive documentary ever made about screenwriting. By analyzing their triumphs and recalling their failures, the participants explain how successful writers develop the skills necessary for toughing out careers in one of the world's most competitive industries. They also reveal the untold stories behind some of the greatest screenplays ever written, describing their adventures with luminaries including Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Stanley Kubrick, Joel Silver, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg. The film was produced in tandem with the book of the same name published by IT Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers available in stores January 26, 2010.


DVD / 2009 / 105 minutes

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SNUFF: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT KILLING ON CAMERA (SPECIAL EDITION)

The Ultimate Cinema Taboo.

Explore the disturbing, pervasive urban legend of the "snuff" film, an alleged film where someone is purposely murdered on camera. This compelling, educational documentary features interviews with film professionals, FBI profilers and academics who all help examine the myths and evidence of snuff films, and its relationship to cult horror films, serial killers and pornography in our culture.


DVD / 2008 / 76 minutes

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WHO IS HENRY JAGLOM?

Director: Henry-Alex Rubin & Jeremy Workman

Genius? Fraud? Egomaniac? Maverick?

Hailed by some as a cinematic genius, a feminist voice and a true maverick of American cinema, dismissed by others as a voyeuristic, egomaniacal fraud and the "world's worst director," Henry Jaglom obsessively confuses and abuses the line between life and art.

Featuring scores of interviews (with notables including Orson Welles, Dennis Hopper, Milos Forman and Peter Bogdanovich) and behind-the-scenes footage, this hilarious documentary about the director of such films as Hollywood Dreams, Festival in Cannes, Eating and Babyfever has grown into an underground cult hit.

With: Orson Welles, Candice Bergen, Dennis Hopper, Karen Black, Milos Forman, Louis Malle, Andrea Marcovicci, Martha Plimpton, Sally Kellerman, Peter Bogdanovich, Bob Rafelson, and John Landis.


DVD / 2007 / 84 minutes

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ELECTRIC SHADOWS

Director: Xiao Jiang

From one of China's newest cinematic voices comes a charming tale set into motion by a disastrous encounter: delivery man Dabing crashes his bike into the mysterious Ling Ling. From her hospital bed, Ling Ling asks Dabing to go to her home and feed her fish; while there, Dabing discovers an astonishing diary. In its pages he reads stories of a little girl's passion for the movies, which re-ignites his own longing for the days when the cinema enchanted China's masses, and audiences breathed and dreamed as one.


DVD (Mandarin with English Subtitles) / 2004 / 95 minutes

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SUFFRAGETTES IN THE SILENT CINEMA

By Kay Sloan

In the days before movies could talk, silent films spoke clearly of sexual politics, and in Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema, historian and writer Kay Sloan has assembled rare and wonderful footage that opens a historic window onto how women's suffrage was represented in early American cinema.

Taking advantage of the powerful new medium, early filmmakers on both sides of the contentious issue of suffrage used film to create powerful propaganda and images about women. Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema contains clips from many films from the era, including: A Lively Affair (1912); A Busy Day (1914), which stars a young Charlie Chaplin in drag portraying a suffragist; and the pro-suffragist film, What 80 Million Women Want (1913), which includes an eloquent speech from president of the Women's Political Union, Harriet Stanton Blatch.

Silent films may have passed into history, and their representations of feminists abandoning babies or stealing bicycles to attend suffragette meetings may now seem outrageous, but the struggle for gender equality and the issues surrounding representations of women in the media remain as fascinating, engaging, and relevant as ever.


DVD (Color, Black and White) / 2003 / 35 minutes

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LIGHT KEEPS ME COMPANY

Director: Carl-Gustaf Nykvist

Twice an Oscar Winner and considered one of the foremost cinematographers in the history of film, Sven Nykvist is best known for his work with Ingmar Bergman, with whom he created some of the most important films of modern cinema.

Despite a tumultuous personal life that included the tragic suicide of his oldest son and a sweeping love affair with Mia Farrow, Nykvist continued to collaborate on projects with filmmakers such as Woody Allen, Louis Malle, Andrei Tarkovsky, Roman Polanski and many others. In 1998 he was diagnosed with Aphasia, an affliction that would end his career.

Lovingly directed by his son Carl-Gustaf, Light Keeps Me Company includes film clips, rare home movies, family photographs, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with some of the legends who've worked with him, including Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Liv Ullman, Susan Sarandon, and many others.


DVD / 2000 / 76 minutes

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LAVENDER LIMELIGHT: LESBIANS IN FILM

Director: Marc Mauceri

From Go Fish to Paris is Burning to The Watermelon Woman, Lavender Limelight: Lesbians in Film goes behind the scenes to reveal America's most successful lesbian directors. These talented movie-makers enlighten and entertain as they explore their sexual identity, growing up gay, inspirations and techniques, Hollywood vs. Indie, and of course, love and sex, on screen and off. The conversations are intimate, the topics unlimited, and the clips from their work enthralling.

Featuring: Cheryl Dunye, Rose Troche, Jennie Livingston, Monika Treut, Maria Maggenti, Su Friedrich & Heather MacDonald


DVD / 1997 / 57 minutes

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SINS OF THE FLESHAPOIDS

3 films by Mike Kuchar.

Along with Anger's Scorpio Rising and Warhol's Chelsea Girls, Mike Kuchar's Sins of the Fleshapoids remains one of the most influential films of the '60s American Underground. Mike and his brother George (who co-wrote Fleshapoids), were the godfathers of bargain basement cinema, pioneering a hilariously campy, lurid style between Ed Wood exploitation and Douglas Sirk melodrama.

Set a million years in the future, after "The Great War" has scourged the planet, mankind has forsaken science for self-indulgence in all the carnal pleasures afforded by art, food, and lust. Work is left to a race of enslaved androids. One rebellious male robot (Bob Cowan) tires of pampering his lazy masters, and joins the humans in sin. The future never seemed so ridiculous...

As a bonus, we present two classic featurettes from the Kuchar catalog. The Secret of Wendel Samson stars Pop artist Red Grooms in a dark, surreal psychodrama of sexual desire and the entanglements of intimacy. The Craven Sluck tells a torrid tale of adultery and flying saucers.


DVD (With French Subtitles) / 1966 / 97 minutes

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