Robert Gordon had heard of the fabled 1968 live debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley that ABC staged during the political conventions of that year in order to grab some much-needed ratings.
Sandra Bagaria was not raised to be a victim, and so when her online with a woman blogger named Amina half a world away took an emotionally wrenching turn, the last thing she wanted to do was walk away.
Asif Kapadia hadn’t been a particular fan of Amy Winehouse when she was alive. He was, of course, aware of her, both the tabloid coverage and the assurance from friends he trusted that she had one of the best voices ever to be recorded. When he took on the project of making a documentary about… Read More »
When I spoke with renowned filmmaker Rob Reiner (A FEW GOOD MEN, THIS IS SPINAL TAP, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY) on June 20. 2014, it was the morning after his film, THE CASE AGAINST 8 had kicked off the 38th annual Frameline Festival in San Francisco. The film, which Reiner co-produced with his wife, Michelle,… Read More »
I AM BIG BIRD is a gentle, sensitive film about a gentle, sensitive man. The man is Caroll Spinney, known to perhaps a billion people as his alter ego, Big Bird, on Sesame Street, but revealed here as the creative force as both a master puppeteer and as an actor willing to bury himself, literally,… Read More »
Nick Broomfield makes documentaries that seek the truth and report it without fear or favor to anyone. There is no better example of what he does, and why it makes for such compelling cinema, than TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER, which takes on the reasons why a 25-year killing spree by the eponymous serial killer… Read More »
Alex Gibney has proven himself an able and engaging documentarian, bringing to light with films such as TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM, and most recently THE ARMSTRONG LIE, the hubris, self-deception, and other foibles of human nature that allow people to commit crimes without ever quite admitting to… Read More »
For Jose Antonio Vargas, watching footage from DOCUMENTED: A FILM BY AN UNDOCUMENTED AMERICAN with the sound off was a revelation. This undocumented, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist had always prided himself on his toughness, the toughness that allowed him to navigate a high-profile career despite his immigration status, or lack thereof. What he saw was a… Read More »
I had a thing for pelicans even before I saw Judy Irving’s poetic film, PELICAN DREAMS, about her own obsession with these beautiful birds. Her last film, THE WILD PARROTS OF TELEGRAPH HILL, brought us into the world of those beautiful birds who reclaimed their wildness in the heart of San Francisco. With PELICAN DREAMS,… Read More »
I was only half joking when I told particle physicist Dr. David Kaplan that listening to him had raised my IQ at least five points. He had just explained in garrulous fashion, and in terms that were both clear and compelling, how the observer effect couldn’t have applied to the search for the Higgs particle… Read More »