Tag Archives: Documentary

Life, Animated (2016) Movie Review

At the age of three, Owen Suskind “disappears.” He changes: awake all night, speaking in gibberish, a loss of motor function, an inability to understand what people are saying. Diagnosed with autism, Owen’s life changes forever.

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But a love for animated movies, particularly those of the Disney Corporation, allows Owen an outlet from which he can Continue reading Life, Animated (2016) Movie Review

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13th (2016) Movie Review

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolished slavery, effectively guaranteeing every American citizen be free. That is to say, every citizen who is not a criminal.

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Ava DuVernay’s historical documentary makes pertinent use of this word. With every mention of the word out of interviewees’ mouths, the term “CRIMINAL” flashes on the screen. And with each instance, Continue reading 13th (2016) Movie Review

Tickled (2016) Movie Review

Journalist Davier Farrier has made a career out of seeking out the obscure fringes of society. So, when Farrier stumbles upon the world of Competitive Endurance Tickling, of course he decides to find out more.

Little does Farrier know that the strange “sport” is something that participants do not want surfaced and broadcast to the public. An innocent documentary about tickling as sport thus morphs into a very different, less silly monster involving homophobic threats and lawsuits.

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Tickled is nothing that one would expect. Unique as its subject matter is, it is impossible to Continue reading Tickled (2016) Movie Review

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016) Movie Review

“Lo,” the first message ever sent across the internet. “Lo” as in “Log” without the g, as the computer sending the message crashed before the message could be completed. This is the beautiful irony of the internet that director Werner Herzog tries to capture in his new documentary Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. The inception of the world wide web was at one point a “revolution” that was about to irrevocably change the course of the modern world, and it is at another point an inception that is as archaic-sounding as a recovered fossil.

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Video games that map molecules, cars that drive themselves, online class rosters that academically blow Stanford students out of the water. The internet is a mesmerizing world of possibilities that we all take for granted every day. The problem with this premise is that Continue reading Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016) Movie Review

Weiner (2016) Movie Review

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was a fiery Democrat in the house, pushing back against Republican legislation with gusto. Of course, this is likely not what you remember him for. Instead, he is often remembered for certain lewd photographs that caused a media frenzy and his resignation. Weiner follows the former politician during his 2013 run for mayor of New York City, a bid marked by his fervent and exhausting attempt to shed the demons of his past.

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The novelty of Weiner is its Continue reading Weiner (2016) Movie Review

The Man Who Saved Ben-Hur (2016) Movie Review

You won’t find many credits for John Alarimo Jr. on IMDb. But the man was entrenched in the Hollywood system for years. He ate lunch with Gore Vidal, sat on set with Frank Sinatra and Vincent Price, acted alongside Mae West, danced with Stella Adler. Most notably, he acted as a (uncredited) second assistant director on the iconic epic Ben-Hur.

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In The Man Who Saved Ben-Hur, Alarimo’s cousin Joe Forte, now a filmmaker himself, interviews Alarimo about his time in Hollywood. Surprisingly, this interview does not begin with stories of California, but with stories of Continue reading The Man Who Saved Ben-Hur (2016) Movie Review

Holy Hell (2016) Movie Review

A film studies student such as myself often views for analysis only those documentary films that are radical, experimental, or genre defining. This neglects the more commonplace documentary of speculation, event dissection, or character study.

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Holy Hell, in film studies rhetoric, could be considered a “synthetic documentary” not in that it is fabricated, but in that it, from scene one, incorporates Continue reading Holy Hell (2016) Movie Review