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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Festival de Cannes Update: Additions to Selection Line-up

As expected, there are some film additions to the 71st Cannes Film Festival line-ups. Familiar names Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Lars von Trier will be in Cannes after all. Danish diretor von Trier returns after being banned for his inappropriate comments during a press conference for Melancholia in 2011 – though he will not be […]

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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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Vote: The Greatest Performances of Al Pacino

Al Pacino

So it’s Al Pacino’s birthday next week. We were going to through him a surprise party, but the last time we did that for him he pulled a tantrum when we wouldn’t say hello to his little friend. I told him he was out of order, he then told me I was out of order, […]

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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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71st Festival de Cannes Film Line-up

As the 71st Cannes Film Festival quickly approaches, the French Riviera is alive with the sound of movies. That is, if you can hear it above the Oohs and Aahs from the proclaimed lack of female directors, the ill-timed Netflix fiasco, early screenings and red carpet selfie halt. The official selection for the 2018 festival […]

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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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Filmotomy Podcast Episode 23:

The Red Pill

Welcome to episode 23. In this episode, Bee hosts Rob, Jonathan, and Al as we discuss the results of her Twitter poll questions about films of 1999, and then we delve into the documentary The Red Pill from 2016, directed by Cassie Jaye (@Cassie_Jaye) which chronicles her journey into the mysterious and polarizing Men’s Rights […]

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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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I Am Jack’s Broken Heart: Fight Club Review

Fight Club is an absolute insane movie to try to explain and it’s impact on popular culture at this point is complete. Based off the 1996 book by writer Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club follows a singular narrator played by Edward Norton through corporate life and the drone of existence in modern America. Unable to sleep, […]

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Tim Roth Directs The War Zone With Brutal Truth

*** SOME SPOILERS *** In the opening scenes of the 1999 bare-bones British drama The War Zone, some effort is made to establish what might well be a realistic, relatively well-rounded family. There’s a whiff of familiarity that Dad is walking around the house without a shirt on. That  heavily pregnant Mum’s waters break on […]

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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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The Force is Strong with This One (Really!) – In Defense of The Phantom Menace

Star Wars

1999 is remembered for many things in film: the passing of one of cinema’s legendary storytellers in Stanley Kubrick. The ascension of Paul Thomas Anderson via his multi-layered drama Magnolia. Two sibling writer-directors flipping the script on what science fiction (and to a larger extent, film in general) could be with The Matrix. It was also the […]

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Pokemon: The Cash Grab (Or How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too!)

Pokemon

Ah, the late Nineties: A hell of a time to be around and young. Bill Clinton was in the midst of impeachment hearing about lying under oath about an extramarital affair with a secretary. The anxiety of an entire generation leading up to a new millennium. The New York Yankees and Michael Jordan dominating the […]

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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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Short Film Review: Not(e) for a Dreamer

Whilst watching Not(e) for a Dreamer I was reminded of a certain quote, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “ Youth comes but once in a lifetime.” Indeed being young is something we only experience once, an in the grand scale of things it is only a fleeting passing moment that is over all too quick, just like summer. This […]

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True Crime is for People Who Care About Clint Eastwood, Oakland, or the Death Penalty – No One Else

By Andy Kamenetzky and Daniel Smith-Rowsey In True Crime, Clint Eastwood plays Steve Everett, a recently recovering alcoholic, a cuckolder and womanizer, and a nearly washed-up reporter working for the Oakland Tribune. Amy, one of Steve’s fellow reporters, after a night drinking with Steve, dies in a car crash, and the next morning Steve is […]

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