100 Must See Documentary Films – File Ten

“When I left university I was working for a documentary film company for six or seven years to the great relief of my father whose greatest waking fear was that I would become an actor.” – – – Sam Neill Koyaanisqatsi (1982) Godfrey Reggio The unbalanced life forms in so many words the sub-title and translation […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Nine

“It’s a funny thing with documentary films – you want them to feel as entertaining and as gripping as a fictional film. With a fictional film you want it to feel as realistic as a documentary film.” – – – Jonathan Demme Dior and I (2015) Frédéric Tcheng A large chunk of audiences had already made […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Eight

“There is so much investment in it of people’s labor time that it will never make money. But there are other documentaries that you might make that are sort of on assignment for television that turn around in three to six months. Then the margin can be much be better for you because you’re not […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Seven

“I’ve been encouraging documentary filmmakers to use more and more humor, and they’re loath to do that because they think if it’s a documentary it has to be deadly serious – it has to be like medicine that you’re supposed to take. And I think it’s what keeps the mass audience from going to documentaries.” […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Six

“When you’re shooting a feature that costs $200,000 a day with a crew of 250, you don’t want accidents; you want to know exactly what’s going to happen. But with a documentary, you don’t, so you have to be sensitive to accidents because that is where the gold is.” – – – Sydney Pollack She’s […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Five

“I try to learn from both, from features and documentaries. In both cases you have to find a way to make the camera as discreet as possible, and flexible enough to be able to capture the moment when it happens. I know from documentary how to not have a preconceived idea of what the scene […]

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Cinema’s Mozart: Remembering Milos Forman

“Humour was not important just for me, humour was important for this nation for centuries, to survive.” Today the world woke to some tragic news, the great Czech film director, screenwriter, actor, and professor, Milos Forman had passed away at the age of 86. The Oscar winner came to the United States in  the late […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Four

“I like the idea of the documentary as a portrait. There’s not a chronological beginning, middle, and end structure. You build something in the editing room that’s shaped by getting to know the person and digging deeper, unpeeling the layers of them as you get to know them.” – – – Spike Jonze Side by […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Three

“You kind of form a bond with your subjects, in a way. You’re in it together. To a degree that people don’t realize, documentary films – or at least the kind of documentary films I’m interested in – are a collaborative undertaking with the subjects.” – – – Steve James Nuit et brouillard / Night […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Two

“If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.” – – – Salman Rushdie After Spring (2016) Ellen Martinez, […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File One

“My hat’s off to documentary filmmakers. I don’t know if I’m ever going back to it. You’re treated like a second-class citizen at most film festivals. You take the bus while everybody else is flown first-class. If you’re a feature film director, you’re put in a five-star hotel, and if you’re a documentary director, you […]

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East is East, A Room for Romeo Brass Make For Perfect 1999 Movie Double Bill

“But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth.” – Rudyard Kipling Perusing through the vast rang of movies from 1999 is in itself an enduring, compelling journey. Getting to revisit some fine films from the end of the century. A time for the movie world to change in many ways, as […]

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Life Interrupted: The Journey to get The Virgin Suicides from Page to Screen

“I never thought I would be a film-maker. It wasn’t something I ever planned. I had so many interests but I just couldn’t find one medium that really clicked for me. Then I made a short film, Lick the Star in 1998, and it brought together all the things I loved.” Sofia Coppola, The Guardian It seems […]

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Finding Neo: How Your Children Can Understand The Matrix

Writing a piece on The Matrix for our Rewind: 1999 in Film series was trickier than I first imagined. And not because I had nothing to say. Far from it. In the end after watching the movie twice, and digging deep into the behind the scenes footage, I was still kind of blown away by […]

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An Essenial Soundtrack for the Cinema of 1999

As part of the “Rewind: 1999 in Film” series at Filmotomy I pulled together a 10 minute video of some of the finest film scores (though there are some lyrical moments) from the last year of the century. I considered for far too long on whether to include an abundance of songs, and it was […]

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Look Closer: The Decay of the American Dream in American Beauty

“My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood; this is my street; this is my life. I am 42 years old; in less than a year I will be dead. Of course I don’t know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already.” What a movie! American Beauty truly was the best […]

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Heath Ledger: The Double Breakthrough Actor of 1999

Some time before the turbulent, passionate romance story Dan shared with Candy, filmed in his native Australia, Heath Ledger had already made the big time in mainstream cinema. The 2006 story of love and other drugs with Abbie Cornish, was a return to roots for Ledger – and an impressive one at that. Infact, both […]

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Mount Rose American Teen Princess – Drop Dead Gorgeous Review

One of the more under the radar films of the notable year that was 1999 is the mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous. Starring a varied and talented cast, we find ourselves in a small town in Minnesota called Mount Rose. A camera crew has arrived to cover 1995’s American Teen Princess beauty pageant and interview it’s contestants […]

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The Woman of your Nightmares: Is Audition about Misogyny or is about Misandry?

“A truly shocking horror film about obsession gone evil, “Audition” is made even more disturbing by its haunting beauty.” Ken Eisner, Variety Miike Takashi is a director who doesn’t shy away from showing us the ugly aspect to life, and he certainly knows what audiences are traumatized by, but his 1999 film Audition is perhaps his most shocking […]

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A Game Of Inches – Any Given Sunday Review

“Remember Kev, on Any Given Sunday, anything can happen.” Oliver Stone has made a career out of controversial films that either criticize or outright damn the very institutions society holds up to the highest standard. He went after the military in Platoon, the President in Nixon, The United States government in JFK. The 90’s saw […]

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