On the Queen and Her People – Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

By Ali Moosavi. She has been called The First Lady of Song and Queen of Jazz, titles which Ella Fitzgerald truly earned. In the documentary, Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things (2019), veteran British documentary filmmaker Leslie Woodhead charts Ella’s life from becoming a teenage orphan, running away from […]

Rocking (and Tripping) in the Desert: Stuart Swezey’s Desolation Center

By Thomas Puhr. Los Angeles probably isn’t the first city that comes to mind when one thinks of American punk rock, but Stuart Swezey’s Desolation Center (2018) successfully shines a light on one of the genre’s lesser-known cultural hubs. The titular organization, founded by Swezey himself, held a series of […]

DocuChronicles – Elsa Flores Almaraz on Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire

DocuChronicles is a blog dedicated to independent documentary cinema by filmmaker Marjorie Sturm. It includes a mix of reviews, interviews, and longer pieces.  By Marjorie Sturm. The 2019 documentary Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire portrays the dramatic life of an artist. Co-directors/artists Elsa Flores Almaraz (whose late husband is the subject) and […]

Silverdocs Film Festival, 18 – 24 June, 2012

By Gary M. Kramer and Michael Miller. Silverdocs, the all-documentary film festival held at the AFI Theatre in Silver Spring, MD, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. There were many memorable films on a wide variety of subjects from competitors vying for the coveted spot as the human specimen at […]

55th BFI London Film Festival 12-27 October, 2011

By Deborah Allison. One of the strengths of the BFI London Film Festival has always been its accessibility. Although press and industry passes are available, it is designed mainly to cater to the film-going public. This ideology is reflected in its varied but unpretentious programming, which features strands calculated to […]

Take One Action Film Festival (19 September–2 October 2011)

By Yun-hua Chen. The Scotland-based Take One Action Film Festival strikingly distinguishes itself from other film festivals in terms of its clear focus on “people and movies that are changing the world” and its strong emphasis on audience participation. Instead of film aesthetics, the festival foregrounds significant issues such as […]

Edinburgh Film Festival | 15-26 June, 2011

By Yun-hua Chen. This year’s EIFF feels very different in all aspects, not only led by the new producer Jimmy Mulligan but also affected by the general budget cut in the UK. It is thus an interesting occasion to observe how film festivals tackle restraining material resources. Instead of red […]

Silverdocs Film Festival, 20-26 June, 2011

By Gary M. Kramer. Silverdocs, at the AFI Silver Spring, MD, is the biggest American festival for non-fiction film. This year’s slate featured several observational documentaries, including El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (Wetzel, 2010) and El Velador (Almada, 2011). Here are some observations about a half dozen films featured at […]

Les Enfants terribles: An Interview with Françoise Marie

By Tim Palmer and Liza Palmer. The recent work of Françoise Marie explores a child-centered view of the world.  Setting up a series of improvised games, then filming the results with little or no intervention, her films show young children re-enacting, from their perspective, the actions of adults in their […]