(2011)/The Seventh Fire
(2015/all Film Movement DVDs)/The
Silence Of Mark Rothko
From Cover Up To Catastrophe
(2016/Cinema Libre DVD)
C+/C+/C/C+/C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+/D/C/D/B Documentaries:
some new documentaries on the arts and sciences you definitely need
to know about...
(2014) is the first look in a while at the life and work of the
famous painter, following a very famous film and its sequel that we
covered at these links...
Hockney: A Bigger Picture
here we are five years later, Hockney work is as valued artistically
and financially as ever, so we get some overlap with the previous
releases. It is as good as the 1974 film, but maybe not as
well-rounded as the 2009 release. Still, Mr. Hockney is still (even
as of this posting) alive and producing works pretty much every day,
which is amazing and his artwork (especially the use of color)
continues to make it as compelling as ever; especially as we get more
and more generic, boring HD images literally every day. A survivor
and painter, he's never sold out and the work remains personal.
get some biography (including so many of his friends lost to AIDS
when it first arrived among other sad turns for him) and we do also
get enough updates here to justify this being produced. If you are
interested in his work and have never seen any of these programs, get
all three and watch them in chronological order back to back.
feature-length audio commentary track by the director is the only
(2011) took a long time for the director to make, which is a
culmination of years of research and editing together film and video
footage of four generations of his family, whom are Jewish and
becomes a very personal work. However, the release text says he had
over 200 hours to go through, so why is this running only 74 minutes?
Did the living relatives reject way too much of the footage? Was
some of it way too personal? DID some just not survive well enough
to be featured?
is odd and so with that hype and the lack of length, I was
disappointed. Still, this is not badly done for what we get and is
definitely worth a look for what is here. However, I'd be curious of
the backstory of how this was made and that in itself could have
expanded this nicely.
are no extras.
Pettibone Riccobono's The Seventh Fire (2015) is a really good
documentary about crime and youth in Native American communities and
focuses on a gang leader named Rob Brown and the how violence and
drug use has infiltrated his community (his fault in part, but he is
hardly the only reason why) also involves jail, run-ins with the
police, competition with other gang members and an increasingly bad
criminal record that only expands the hopelessness and decreases his
chances to escape it all.
Malick and Natalie Portman are among the co-producers of this
powerful production, but at 76 minutes, his needed to be longer,
there needed to be more analysis and though no one release is going
to do justice to this subject (and this one does), much more needs to
be shown and said. Still, painful and it reminded me of some
interesting aspects of Michael Cimino's underrated The
(1996, his last film, reviewed elsewhere on this site). Definitely
worth a look.
Scenes, and two short films (Killer
are the extras.
Silence Of Mark Rothko
(2014) takes us overseas and has us look at another true painter like
Hockney, painting giant canvases that speak for themselves without
pretense, narration, dumbing-down or spoon-feeding the content to an
audience. Mr. Rothko is inspired by art of the past and we see his
art, that art, his life and his world throughout this too-short 52
minutes, meaning I was a bit disappointed and yet again, thought this
one too should be longer.
has issued this on DVD with no extras, but I would like to see more
about Rothko. Still, this is a good place to start.
might think the most censored documentary of the last few years might
be political or political extreme, but I have rarely see the outright
censorship and attacks on such a work more than on Andrew Wakefield's
From Cover Up To Catastrophe
(2016), considered more dangerous than a Michael Moore work. The
film asks why there has been a sudden jump in children developing
autism, if it is linked to vaccinations and if so, how. In its
extremely intelligent, involving and engrossing 91 minutes, it is
extremely thorough not to be a work of Agit-prop, takes its time to
talk to its audience all the time, never condescends and lays out any
possibilities or arguments with crystal clarity.
film beings with various name people, from politicians to performers
to press people, speaking very over-generally that vaccines do not
cause autism. That is a valid enough statement, yet also a big
overgeneralization. They say and do this as if there is zero room
for discussion or debate, which is highly suspect and dangerous in a
free society, especially in the United States, the greatest country
ever. So why is this happening? Is something being covered up?
film should speak for itself, but it tries to logically show that at
certain too-young ages and in certain unwise combinations
(specifically three vaccines in one instead of separately as they
used to be given) and with a mercury-based preservative (!!!), too
many children are becoming sick and permanently damaged and perhaps,
the U.S. Government's Centers for Disease Control in conjunction with
the vaccine manufacturers are more interested in mega-profits than
the health of children. Like it or not, it makes a great argument
that something is going on and it is not empty conspiracy or a
political scheme. But the biggest proof comes from all the
too-similar stories and the many families interviewed telling of the
horrors that have been visited upon them.
are told otherwise and that they are somehow 100% wrong (the best
story is an African American woman who has a SWAT team called on her
because she feared the one drug was killing her daughter, so her
daughter was hospitalized and forced to take that and three more
(!!!) damaging drugs and has never recovered) and racism is even
playing a role in all this reminding me too uncomfortably of the
leaded water nightmare in Flint, Michigan.
these are not new stories or revelations. If the makers here are so
wrong, why can't any of the so-called scholars, medical experts or
other persons we are supposed to trust arguing logically and calmly
with real evidence that they are wrong? Certainly the way this was
censored shows they are on to something. Temple Grandin's story is
not rare by any means and was even interviewed in Too
Sane For This World,
a documentary on the epidemic we reviewed at this link:
is also the very disturbing Who
Killed Alex Spourdalakis?,
which shows the worst of this situation which 'experts' are NOT
helping with and worse, which we reviewed at this link...
is an undeniable crisis and whomever is responsible better start
taking responsibility for it now before it becomes a nightmare with a
point of no return. VAXXED
is therefore not the first work to deal with this subject, but its
hit a nerve and we need to know the truth no matter what.
program (which the makers later said a bunch of critics bashed as
awful WITHOUT EVER SEEING IT, proving once again how bad film critics
(read quote whores and worse) have become, pushovers, liars,
cinematic illiterates and phonies who are more interested in hearing
themselves talk than giving a mature, adult, honest review of
anything. They are an embarrassment to the film business and
especially to real journalism and this film is one of the lowest
points since Cimino's Heaven's
in this respect. How lame!!!
strongly commend Cinema Libre for being bold enough to pick this up
and believe it really ought to be a very, very strong frontrunner for
the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Whatever the answers are,
they need to be asked and that it has faced this much unreal and odd
opposition tells us something is very wrong here.
include Extended Interviews, vital Deleted Scenes, Trailers and three
excellent extended pieces in Best of Filmmakers Q&A, Andrew
Wakefield deals with Allegations
Them Off At The Pass.
these are all recent HD productions, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78
X 1 image on all five releases are about even, using analog videotape
and low def digital video in some cases, so you get flaws that run
from slight to gleaming including video noise, video banding, cross
color, staircasing and a little digititis depending on the source,
is a little more inconsistent and problematic with the existing
footage simply being rougher though no less interesting than the
titles feature lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but Hockney,
offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 versions that sound better, yet the
films (with some mono audio and location audio flaws) are on par with
each other, so no standouts here.