Friday, March 18, 2011

Theatrical Releases

Every Friday we update you all with the week's theatrical documentary releases. Now, this is not a perfect process as our beloved genre prefers the rolling/limited release schedule instead of a big nationwide or international-wide release. So apologies if a film isn't out in your area or if you are a filmmaker and we missed the boat on announcing your documentary's big day (if that is the case, please let us know and we'll correct the mistake).Now, with that introduction out of the way, here's this weekend's releases with their current rating on the amazing website

Bill Cunningham New York
- (rating - 92%) - "We all get dressed for Bill," says Vogue editrix Anna Wintour. The "Bill" in question is New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns "On the Street" and "Evening Hours." Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller-who all appear in the film), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham's enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. In turn, Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace. (

Nostalgia for the Light - (rating - 100%) - Director Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile, The Pinochet Case) travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The Atacama is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and the remains of political prisoners, from the 1973 military coup. So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families' histories. (

Thursday, March 17, 2011

South by Southwest spotlights great documentaries

Yesterday we shed light on a few of the many documentaries airing at the South By Southwest film festival the past several days. Well today, is taking a more general look at the awesome documentaries unveiled at this year's event. And while we hate to tell you to head to another site, we must say, the article is a good one (especially if you love documentaries).

Head on over to to read why the SXSW film festival is proving our beloved documentary genre is hitting its stride.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

South by Southwest Films

So most people know 'South by Southwest' as one of the great American music festivals in the country (especially if you are a fan of more independent artists). But you may not know SXSW also has a pretty expansive film festival as well.

Now again, the number of films (especially documentaries) screening are almost too numerous to discuss here, however, to wet your appetite we'll list the 8 selections chosen for the Documentary Feature Competition. Each of the following films are a world premier (they were also chosen out of a field of over 800 submissions!).

Definitely head to the SWSW website to learn more about these films and countless others.

Better This World
Directors: Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega
Two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas cross a line that radically changes their lives. The result: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high stakes entrapment defense hinging on a controversial FBI informant. (World Premiere)

The City Dark
Director: Ian Cheney
The film chronicles the disappearance of darkness, following astronomers, cancer researchers, ecologists and philosophers in a quest to understand what is lost in the glare of city lights. (World Premiere)

Director: Tristan Patterson
Killer Films presents the transmissions of a lost kid, falling in love, in the suburbs of Fullerton, California. Featuring skateboarding, the usual drugs, and stray glimpses of unusual beauty. (World Premiere)

Directors: Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein
A documentary about the art and sport of fighting: a microcosm of life, a physical manifestation of that other brutal contest called the American Dream. (World Premiere)

Kumaré (U.S.A/India)
Director: Vikram Gandhi
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. (World Premiere)

Directors: Don Argott & Demian Fenton
The film follows middle-aged rocker Bobby Liebling, lead singer of the cult hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he leaves his parents' basement in search of the life he never lived. (World Premiere)

A Matter of Taste
Director: Sally Rowe
Considered a rising star of haute cuisine, Paul Liebrandt found his career stalled in New York’s austere environment post 9/11. Paul struggles over the next decade as he tries to make his way back to the top. (World Premiere)

Where Soldiers Come From
Director: Heather Courtney
From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, the film follows the four-year journey of childhood friends and their town, forever changed by a faraway war. (World Premiere)