Governments Lie (2016/First
Akerman By Chantal Akerman (1997/Icarus
DVD)/The Future Of
Work and Death (2016/First
Point (2015/First Run
(2017/Cinema Libre DVD)/Oncle
Bernard: A Counter-Lesson In Economics
C+/C+/B-/C+/C+/B/C+/C Sound: C+/C/B-/C/C+/B/C+/C Extras:
C-/B/D/C/D/C/D/D Documentaries: B/B/B/B/B/C+/B/C+
a solid new group of documentaries all of our readers ought to know
(2016) is produced by Oliver Stone and exposes the subtitle 'truth,
deception and the spirit of I.F. Stone' argues that since the great,
legendary reporter I.F. Stone was exposing government fraud, the kind
of lying and cover-ups by governments in the last 6 decades have
become increasingly complicated have become more blatant, outrageous,
awful, dangerous and are the original fake news. Thus this film not
only argues for the truth and the post-modern ways it is attacked,
but why hard journalism is more important than ever before,
especially in the cyber age.
one is worth going out of your way for.
include Extended Interviews.
(2013) deals with how after over 7 decades later, Japan has still
not officially stated regret, admittance of guilt and apology for how
the Imperialist/Fascist government kidnapped and forced women in all
the neighboring countries to be sex slaves for their troops, known as
'comfort woman' as we follow women from China, the Philippines and
South Korea looking for closure. Instead, they get insulted,
harassed and that includes some vulgar talk by certain Ultra-Right
Wing Japanese who apparently still think they should have won WWII,
et al. Part of this is obviously about that government not wanting
to pay financial compensation, but it also points to an ugly trend
there (displayed by the Fukushima crisis) of leanings that are
104 minutes, we see the truth, the pain and how little has actually
changed in all this time, how these female victims may have never
received the help they needed immediately and how the United Nations
has also failed them. Even worse, this is just the tip of the
iceberg of how bad such practices are worldwide, but that Japan was
so wrong in WWII and new generations are sociopathically not going to
admit that might also spell unexpected problems later. I give these
women credit for being brave enough to come forward to tell the
truth. There is a ton of evidence to prove they are not lying and I
hope they get some results soon, especially as some of them are
elderly and they won;t be around much longer. All the victims are at
least entitled to an official apology, but where's the world court
lawsuit backed by formidable interests?
include Bonus Clips.
Chantal Akerman does this autobiographical film, Chantal
Akerman by Chantal Ackerman
(1997) about her life and career that's a good introduction to her
work and an interesting look at the life of this diverse filmmaker.
into two parts, half of the film focuses on Akerman and her normal
everyday life and the other half are segments from her films
intertwined to make a new film. In other words, she shows both sides
of her creative and interesting lifestyle as part of the Cinema, Our
series (also known as Cineastes
de notres temps).
Excerpts from early films, her most popular film Jeanne Dielman and
even a look at her youthful years, with this film you as a viewer can
explore the life of a filmmaker that's aimed to teach and inspire
film students and cinephiles the world around.
film also features critics Emmanuel Burdeau, Jean Narboni and
filmmaker Luc Moullet.
in standard definition with a full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and a
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 French audio track with English subs, the
film looks and sounds fine for the DVD format unless you watch it on
a 4K display, in which the quality is compressed and choppy. Many
different formats were made amidst the library of her films and are
all presented nicely in this DVD edition. Total runtime for the film
is a little over an hour in length.
extras, but you can read more about her films and work elsewhere on
(2016) is a new documentary about one of the most underrated world
film movements of the last 70 years, a New Wave in Brazil that lasted
12 years (in three four-year segments) that was a national
breakthrough, a fight against authoritarianism in the country and
created one of the most underseen, intelligent discourses in world
cinema history. I can tell you that few of the films here, all
looking very interesting, have barely had U.S. releases at any time
and that time is long overdue.
92 minutes, we get interviews with all involved at the time (most of
whom were still alive when this was being made) plus archival
interviews and the clips are intriguing. The only problem is that
the films should have all been identified, but are not, so only a
scholar on the subject or big fan will know them. That does not help
education on the subject at all.
that such a cinema would rise up against so many odds in a country
with so many issues is incredible and at a time when Hollywood and
its films have become so stale that even the franchises are losing
money or barely breaking even worldwide, it is a breath of fresh air
to be reminded (sadly, too many need to be re-reminded) that films
should be about human beings, not happy meals and toy surprises.
This is a must-see for all serious film people.
include an excellent 16-page, illustrated booklet on the film that
explains the movement in more detail with a Randall Johnson/Robert
Starn essay that is very impressive.
Blacknell & Wayne Walsh's The
Future Of Work and Death (2016)
arrives when the ida of 'universal income' is being discussed in the
face of robots and artificial intelligence taking up so many jobs, it
might be needed to help people survive. This fine new documentary
touches upon that, but also goes back to the past about how work
become a good thing, honorable and even a tool of 'good conformity'
but also how science and the science that might make the robots and
AI possible may keep us alive longer or as part of other genetic or
manages to be very thorough for its short 89 minutes including
archival interviews with Issac Asimov, plus many of hi intellectual
and technological successors (people we need to hear more from soon)
asking us to rethink our existence, what our free time means now and
might mean later and all this even extends to how we find happiness
and the new forms that might take. I really liked this one and it is
another gem worth going out of your way for, especially since it is
about to become more relevant, especially as several points so well
discussed and covered here just become more and more prominent
are sadly no extras.
(2015) is an interesting award winning documentary a nuclear power
plan that is located just 35 miles from Times Square. With over 50
million people living in close proximity to the facility that has
been around for generations, its continued operation has the support
of the plant's operators and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, yet
has stoked a great deal of controversy in the surrounding community,
including a vocal anti-nuclear contingent concerned about an incident
that happened at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant (which was and still
is pretty disastrous) could happen in one of the biggest cities in
the United States.
by Ivy Meeropol, the film presents a balanced argument about the
issues surrounding nuclear energy and offers grim look at what can
happen with nuclear power in the not too distant future. The film
covers Government aspects and makes you realize how hot this topic is
right now, though you may not necessarily think of it as being an
imminent threat right away.
in standard definition on DVD with a widescreen, anamorphically
enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a nice sounding, lossy Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo track, the film looks fine on disc though is in a
compressed format and lacks some of the details that it would in
Features: Bonus and Deleted Scenes.
film aims at being a wakeup call about the nuclear energy topic and
succeeds in that regard, and has high production value but its topic
will interest a niche crowd.
Ange Poyet's Injecting
(2017) is part of a great cycle of environmental/health documentaries
showing that sudden increases in health issues and death (especially
since the 1980s) are not just all coincidences and came out of
nowhere, but are of irresponsibility by some companies who just want
to dirty the planet and do not care who they hurt or kill. Of
course, they'll say we are 'suckered' by a 'liberal talking point' or
'don't understand' what is going on, but the dead bodies and doctor
bills keep piling up and these odd naysayers never have answers of
that save 'there is no 'scientific evidence' ironically coming from
people who support idiots who suddenly 'do not believe in science'
until they can make millions of dollars from it.
time around it is the sad story about how too much excess aluminum
(or al-u-mini-um as the British might say) has been allowed in the
environment by companies handling it (Alcoa and Reynolds would be the
big companies in this case in the U.S. where applicable) and the the
story starts in the 1990s in France when a new painful muscular
disease called 'Macrophagic Myofascitis' turns up and after serious,
hardcore, solid research, scientists and doctors discover it is
linked to too much aluminum in the human body. Like the problem with
lead in non-individual vaccines we've discussed in covering past
documentaries on the subject (resulting in autism, et al), the
aluminum is in vaccines there and it turns out the kind of aluminum
used in the newer vaccines were NEVER TESTED PROPERLY so why and who
is covering this up? Is it really worth big profits at the cost of
all these human lives and insane pain the likes of which have never
been recorded in this way before, seen like this before?
certainly also points to insane lack of regulation in vaccine
production, which itself seems to coincide with the switch from glass
hypodermic needles to less-safe plastic ones and other demotions not
helping anyone. Needless to say this is only the beginning of
covering this angle, but its no wonder we get new disease outbreaks
of diseases thought cured. Parents and the public are being
blatantly lied to, so parents are damned if they do or damed if they
don't. Wonder if we'll get better rules, laws and leadership to ever
fix this latest man-made crisis? Hmmm.
are sadly no extras save trailers, but this one could use much more.
we have Richard Brouillette's Oncle
Bernard: A Counter-Lesson In Economics
(2015), which may seem a step backwards from the Future
DVD above, going wrong, how the ironically named Neo-Liberalism (not
a comeback of civil rights or common sense, but a new manifesto for
draining the earth of all of its wealth at any cost, no matter how
harmful or dirty the takers may be) very challenging for many.
However, hanging in there (or taking pauses when you need a break)
makes it worth it, even if some of the information is overlapping
with things you know.
if you do not agree with Maris on everything, that is not the point.
The idea is to get you to think honestly about the world around you
and he does a good job of this because he does know what he speaks
of. Worthy of Noam Chomsky on the same subjects, this one is
definitely worth a look.
are sadly no extras, but a follow-up and/or companion to the ideas
expressed would have been a plus.
to more tech playback details. With Akerman
already dealt with above, the remaining releases are anamorphically
enhanced 1.78 X 1 presentations, save Oncle,
which is one continuous shot of the interviewee in black & white
(seemingly shot on film (Kodak Tri-X?) with an Aaton camera here in
1.33 X 1 bookended in the 1.78 X 1 frame. As expected, any older
video (digital or analog, hard drive or videotape) produces flaws and
aged limits including video noise, video banding, dropouts, telecine
flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded color, staircasing and
tape damage where applicable. I thought they all looked about the
same to me, but Oncle
was a little weaker than it should have been.
for sound, Aluminum joins Akerman as the only lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 releases no the list, leaving the rest as lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (though Novo is almost more like
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) with Apology (some location
audio issues), Novo (age) and Oncle (weaker than
expected) the only under-performers here. It is all tolerable, but
be careful of high playback levels and volume switching.
James Lockhart (Akerman,