A lively, cinematic page-turner of a documentary, CRYPTOPIA: BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAINS AND THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET, takes us on a rollicking journey through the history of Bitcoin: its detractors, its disciples, and its philosophers.
Alex Gibney makes a subtle, but salient, point in THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY. While recounting the curious story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, the billion-dollar company she founded, he draws the obvious comparison between Holmes and her idol, Thomas Edison, but he doesn’t stop there. Using the tropes of a suspense… Read More »
As the documentary THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS opens, Bobby Shafran, one of the eponymous strangers, notes that the story he’s about to tell is unbelievable. And it is. But the way that Tim Wardle’s dark meditation on good intentions gone very wrong unfolds, the story of how the three identical triplets separated at birth found each other at the age of 19, is the least of it.
One of my favorite cinema stories is about KING KONG and the trouble it ran into with the censors even in that pre-Code time of 1933. It wasn’t Fay Wray in her slinky satin negligee, it wasn’t dinosaurs tearing each other apart. No, the only censored bit of KING KONG was the sound of Kong… Read More »
It comes across as a gimmick, using clips and behind-the-scene footage of 2017’s THE PROMISE to tell the story of the Armenian Genocide, and of Turkey’s ongoing campaign of denial about it. Yet, Joe Berlinger’s moving and maddening documentary, INTENT TO DESTROY: DEATH, DENIAL, & DEPICTION, is anything but a gimmick. By cutting and those… Read More »
Robert H. Lieberman’s ANGKOR AWAKENS: A PORTRAIT OF CAMBODIA asks difficult questions and provides answers that are as illuminating as they are troubling. His portrait of Cambodia is refracted through the genocide that was inflicted on it by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, a genocide that reduced the number of doctors in in a once prosperous… Read More »
The word “safe” comes up over and over again in MIDSUMMER IN NEWTOWN, Lloyd Kramer’s elegiac yet emotionally gripping documentary about the aftereffects of the Sandy Hook Massacre on the survivors. As in, the sense of being safe has been taken from everyone involved forever. The question becomes how to deal with it. Kramer’s film… Read More »
On August 1, 1966, a sniper took aim from the observation deck of the tower on the University of Texas campus at Austin and reigned 90 minutes of chaos and terror on the people below. TOWER, a partly animated documentary by Keith Maitland, tells that story in real time from the perspective of the eyewitnesses… Read More »
Full disclosure. KAMPAI! FOR THE LOVE OF SAKE will make you want to seek out your nearest sake tasting. This, ahem, intoxicating documentary about the national drink of Japan, and the people who have made it their life’s work, is a paean to more than just rice wine. It is a consideration of tradition in… Read More »
The problem confronting any documentary about The Beatles is that of finding something new to say about them. Their music, their personalities, their history, their influences, their influence, the phenomenon of world fame on a scale never seen before or, putatively, since they hit the big time in 1962, it’s all been dissected. So THE… Read More »