The Nature of Time
“I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory.” ― Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
One of the overriding themes throughout Kyoko Miyake’s film Brakeless (which premieres on Independent Lens on PBS tonight, October 27 at 10pm [check local listings] and was called a “beautiful, philosophical documentary” in the LA Times) is modern societal pressure around time, an obsession with punctuality and schedules.
Filmmaker Kyoko Miyake was born and raised in Japan, though she has lived in the UK for the last 12 years, in addition to a year-long stint in Paris. So she’s lived in multiple places where trains and public transportation are an integral part of daily life and culture. Her film Brakeless, which premieres this Monday, October 27, on Independent Lens on PBS [check local listings], looks at one very specific tragic accident in Japan — the 2005 Amagasaki railway crash — as a way to ignite a larger discussion on the value of (and obsession with) efficiency in our lives. The Guardian (UK) called the film “a beautifully made piece of television, combining forensic analysis with intensely moving personal testimonies.”
We have an exclusive update on the two twin girls featured in Twin Sisters (the film by Mona Friis Bertheussen premieres on PBS tonight, Monday, October 20, at 10 pm; check local listings), from someone who would know: the mother of one of the girls. Angela Hansen, who lives in Sacramento where she’s raising Mia, now aged 11, e-mailed us with some anecdotes about their lives more recently. After you watch the film, come back here to read more about what Mia and her Norwegian-based twin sister Alexandra have been up to since the filming stopped. [Read more about the film and their story in The New York Times.]
Making its American television premiere on Independent Lens on PBS this Monday, October 20 [check local listings], Twin Sisters tells the story of the remarkable journey of identical twins, adopted by families from opposite ends of the world who discover their daughters are sisters. The film won the prestigious Audience Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, and it’s not hard to see why: it really is an audience-pleaser. We connected with Norwegian filmmaker Mona Friis Bertheussen to learn about her own journey from Fresvik, Norway to Sacramento, California, and back in making Twin Sisters see the light of day. Bertheussen started her career by working for both NRK (Norwegian Public Broadcasting) and TV2 Norway, the biggest commercial TV channel in Norway, and also worked as a news reporter for the national news, before branching off into independent filmmaking. She is based in Oslo, Norway.
Cover your ears, it’s horn tooting time here! Last night at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony, Independent Lens films won three Emmy Awards, for Editing; Investigative Journalism, Long-Form; and Best Documentary. Independent Lens had been nominated for 10 News & Doc Emmys overall. [Read more on RealScreen.]
On the heels of receiving ten News and Documentary Emmy nominations, Independent Lens announced today that its new season will open with the critically-acclaimed documentary Bully. Directed by Sundance and Emmy Award-winner Lee Hirsch, the film brings human scale to this emotional issue, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how the most common form of violence experienced by young people in our nation has touched the lives of five kids and their families. Bully premieres on Monday, October 13, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.
This fall Independent Lens takes viewers around the globe to explore fascinating human stories, from a tale of twins growing up a world apart, to the role that Japanese cultural attitudes may have played in a devastating train crash, to what will happen in a remote Bhutanese village when television comes to town.
We are as saddened as everyone about the sudden death of actor and comedian extraordinaire Robin Williams. He was one of a kind, and will truly be missed. We were reminded of his participation in last season’s Playwright: From Page to Stage, as a performer in the New York production of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. We give you this video extra featuring Williams rehearsing for the part of, yes, a tiger and tiger’s ghost, a role that now takes on quite a bit of added poignancy.
More viewing and reading:
Watch some of Robin’s best stand-up comedy moments and more (via LAist).
Thoughts from Noel Murray of The Dissolve.