Saving Man’s (and Woman’s) Best Friends: Jesse Alk’s Pariah Dog

By Elias Savada. Pariah Dog highlights Alk’s ability as an extremely gifted, poetic, and even counter-culture filmmaker who has fashioned a labor of love for his debut feature.” A hazy dusk is arriving in Kolkata in West Bengal, India (the most far eastern part of the country, on the border […]

Few Wounds Examined: Ramona S. Diaz’s A Thousand Cuts

A Thousand Cuts doesn’t grapple with such global issues as much as it name checks them.” By Thomas Puhr. A sobering reminder that 21st-century demagoguery is not limited to the West, Ramona S. Diaz’s A Thousand Cuts (2020) focuses on two diametrically-opposed figures: Rodrigo Duterte, current President of the Philippines, […]

Learning to Tell a Story: Scorsese Shorts (Criterion Collection)

By John Duncan Talbird. In 1974, soon after the splash of Mean Streets (1973), his first major directorial success, Martin Scorsese made a documentary about his parents, Italianamerican. Aside from still photos of the family and archival footage of Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood during the early 20th century, the film […]

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 […]