- Doc Soup: Crossing Over to the Lighter Side
Shame on you, Jessica Yu, documentary director of such serious and elegant and moving and… important documentaries such as Breathing Lessons, about a writer slowly living and dying in an iron long, In the Realms of the Unreal (POV 2005), about twisted shut-in outsider artist Henry Darger, and Protagonist, linking the lives of four men […]
- Doc Soup: A Late-Summer Search for Docs
Like much of the media world, I’ve decided to check myself out for these latter weeks of August (so much so that I missed my Doc Soup deadline my apologies to my POV minders!), heading out of New York City to the restful mountains of Vermont. As I always do when I come up […]
- Run For — Not From — “The Hills”!
In honor of this week’s premiere of season four of MTV’s “The Hills,” I’d like to ruminate a bit on the end of the world. Not really, but you’ll get what I mean. The show, in case you’re over 25 and/or don’t subscribe to a magazine other than The Nation, is a reality (I use […]
- The 10 Most Lugubrious Documentaries of All Time
Because my previous doc list — the ten sexiest documentaries — garnered a good amount of interest (and a healthy dose of nastiness), I’ll return to the well for another top ten. Of course, I was tempted to call this my 10 Funniest Documentaries of All Time. But that just struck me as slightly inaccurate. […]
- Doc Soup: 'Johnny Cash', 40 Years Later
Every Monday, independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. This week, POV is airing 1969’s Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, a real time capsule of a documentary about the legendary country musician. I am particularly struck by how director Robert Elstrom […]
- Doc Soup: Major Marketing for 'American Teen'
Every Monday, independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. This past weekend, American Teen hit theaters. I’d put it up there with about five other docs (Standard Operating Procedure, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, Young@Heart, Man on Wire and Religulous) as […]
- Doc Soup: '9 Star Hotel': A Modern-Day 'Bicycle Thief'?
Independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. Today, he muses on the most recent POV film. As I watched 9 Star Hotel, I was overcome by this strange feeling of déjà vu. I was captivated by the slice-of-sad-life story about the young Palestinian men […]
- Doc Soup: What Does SnagFilms Mean for the Future of Documentary Distribution?
Last week, there was a big splash in the small pool that is the Internet documentary film community. A new site called Snagfilms was launched by former AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis, ex-AOL chief Steve Case and venture capitalist Miles Gilburne. Heavy hitters, indeed. The site allows people like you and me to watch docs […]
- Doc Soup: Questions on 'The Last Conquistador'
Independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. Today, he raises some questions that came to mind as he watched the most recent POV film. So, I’ll repeat what I said in my Monday post that I think The Last Conquistador is a really good […]
- Doc Soup: Docs as Art or Activism?
On Tuesday night, you’re going to get to see a very compelling doc called The Last Conquistador, about sculptor John Houser‘s building of the largest bronze equestrian statue in El Paso. The good people at POV gave me a DVD screener of the film, so I got to see it and I have a lot […]
- Doc Soup: Tipping a Hat to 'Full Battle Rattle' and Other War Docs
Ack! Not another doc about Iraq! Ah yes, this Wednesday we are being treated to Full Battle Rattle, another film related to that unfortunate war we’re waging, and I’m quite sure we doc fans are soon going to be treated to more newspaper stories declaring the film DOA at the BO, relegating its fate along […]
- Doc Soup: Following Up on the Buzz
OK, call this a follow-up or time to eat crow or what you want, but I wanted to write a bit about a post I filed three weeks ago, in which I decried the buzzing blogosphere around the near-carcass that is ThinkFilm. Perhaps I overstate now, but I only do so because my estimable colleague […]
- Doc Soup: What Docs Would You Like to See?
Am I wrong, or have most of us read something in the newspaper, or come up with an inspiration, and thought to ourselves, “Wow, that would make a great documentary!” In honor of the POV series that starts this week an incredibly diverse slate that covers everything from a performance artist in Belarus (Belarusian […]
- Doc Soup: Docs at Home
Last week, I did something I’d never done before. I sat on my couch and watched a documentary on television. Big whoop, you say? Well, as a POV blogger and a guy who’s always going on about how special and wonderful theatrical docs and doc film festivals are, I thought it was about time I […]
- Doc Soup: Looking Beyond the Buzzing Blogosphere
Have you been following the buzz over the last couple of weeks in the blogosphere about the state of ThinkFilm, one of the more recent doc champions (behind Spellbound, Murderball and Taxi to the Dark Side)? Like a three-martini buzz, it can be intoxicating, making it difficult to make sense of what’s what. There have […]
- Doc Soup: On Docs, Distribution and the Cinematic Experience
Last week, two docs from 2007, What Would Jesus Buy? and Darfur Now were released on DVD. They both disappointed at the box office. I think I know why. I don’t like to knock a doc when it’s down, but when I noticed that they were both hitting DVD shelves, I thought there’s something worth […]
- Doc Soup: Waltz with Bashir
In addition to the exciting tidbit that Michael Moore‘s next film will be a follow-up to Fahrenheit 9/11, the most enticing news from the Cannes Film Festival, which just concluded, is about an Israeli documentary called Waltz with Bashir. It’s a fully animated film by a former Israeli soldier, Ari Folman, who’s trying to reckon […]
- Doc Soup: 'Expelled', Take Two
I’ll put some of my cards on the table regarding Expelled, the conservative documentary that slams Darwinism and pushes for the Intelligent Design theory of how we all got to be such an evolved, intelligent (please note sarcasm) species. I wrote about it briefly last week, and have appreciated the ensuing dialogue. Now, it looks […]