Category Archives: Film

Hi-Fi by Bante

I appreciate that at some point I should actually write something here, but for now here’s another video far more interesting than my musings anyhow.

It was made as a promo for the concerts at the Bellavista Social Pub but feeds right into my love of Jazz imagery.

via: Monsieur Bandit

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The Bechdel Test

I’m completely swiping this from Ingrid Kopp’s excellent blog From the Hip (highly recommend you subscribe to it, she kicks ass).

The Bechdel Test is based around the simple premise of  taking any film and asking 3 questions:

1. Does the film have two women with names in it?
2. Do these two women talk to each other?
3. Do they talk to each other about something other than a man?

Original source: Ted Hope

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Remembering Dennis Stock


Magnum Photographer Dennis Stock sadly died today.

Stock started his career as an apprentice to Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili and joined Magnum in 1951. Although best known for his intimate portraits of James Dean he was also a prolific Jazz photographer taking some of the most iconic Jazz portraits in history for his book Jazz Street. in 1968 he founded the production company Visual Objectives and shot several documentaries but returned to Magnum to serve as president of Magnum’s film and new media division in 1969 and 1970. Stock generated a book or an exhibition almost every year since the 1950s.


“Art is a well-articulated manifestation of an aspect of life. I have been privileged to view much of life through my cameras, making the journey an enlightened experience. My emphasis has mainly been on affirmative reactions to human behavior and a strong attraction to the beauty in nature.”


Get the whole story »

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Top 15 Documentaries of 2009

1. Antoine

(Laura Bari, Canada, 2009) – websitetrailer


As usual I couldn’t stick to convention and pick 10 or 20, but this is the list that just appeared when I began writing down the documentaries I’ve loved most this year. I know there are some big films missing but there are a few that I haven’t had a chance to see (Collapse, Objectified and Best Worst Movie being three in particular that I’m itching to get hold of.)

As with the decade list this isn’t in any order, I still can’t bring myself to do that. All of these films I absolutely adore and have championed to anyone who’ll listen. I really think it’s been a great year for documentary, there have been more feature docs than ever coming out of the UK, which is great as we tend to be broadcast oriented, and there have been a lot of great international co-productions that have really pushed some films that might not otherwise have been made. Also check out The Documentary Blog’s year end list here.

As with the decade list I’d love to know what you think I’m missing, I watched some great documentaries I might not have found off the back of all your suggestions so please feel free.

2. The Cove

(Louie Psihoyos, USA, 2009) – websitetrailer


3. Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo

(Bradley Beesley, 2009) – websitetrailer


4. Mugabe and the White African

(Lucy Bailey & Andrew Thompson, UK, 2009) – websitetrailer


5. Last Train Home

(Lixin Fan, Canada, 2009) – websitetrailer


6. Sergio

(Greg Barker, USA, 2009) – websitetrailer


7. The Red Chapel

(Mads Brügger, Denmark, 2009) – imdbtrailer


8. Anvil! The Story of Anvil

(Sacha Gervasi, USA, 2009) – websitetrailer


9. Dancing with the Devil

(Jon Blair, UK, 2009) – website


10. Winnebago Man

(Ben Steinbauer, USA, 2009) – websitetrailer


11. Kings of Pastry

(DA Pennebaker & Chris Hedegus, 2009) – website


12. I’m Not Dead Yet

(Elizabeth Stopford, UK, 2009) – imdb


13. Afghan Star

(Havana Marking, UK, 2009) – websitetrailer


14. Presumed Guilty

(Roberto Hernández & Geoffrey Smith, Mexico, 2009) – websitetrailer


15. RiP: A Remix Manifesto

(Brett Gaylor, Canada, 2009) – websitetrailer


Honourable Mentions:

21 Below
Shelter in Place
Burma VJ
The Time of Their Lives
Along Came Kinky
The Most Dangerous Man in America

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50 Documentaries of the Decade

Last week Paste declared their 25 Documentaries of the Decade. To be honest it was a bit of a disappointingly obvious list, in terms of safely including most of the biggest docs of the decade. Every film on their list is a great documentary but there were also a great amount of other films that possibly should have seen a mention.

I tried to limit to 25 but it’s just impossible. This isn’t necessarily in any order, I hate the idea of saying one is better than the other, especially when you’re talking 10 years of filmmaking and also the sheer spread of importance and subject matter, feel free to call me a wimp.

1. The Fog of War (Morris, 2003) – trailer
2. The Staircase (de Lestrade, 2004) – trailer
3. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (Lee, 2006)
4. Journeys with George (Pelosi, 2002)
5. Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (Stone, 2004) – trailer
6. Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story (Forbes, 2008) – trailer
7. Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006) – trailer
8. Dark Days (Singer, 2000) – trailer
9. Power of Nightmares (Curtis, 2004) – Part 1/3
10. Grizzly Man (Herzog, 2005) – trailer
11. Please Vote For Me (Chen, 2007) – trailer
12. 49 Up (Apted, 2005) – trailer
13. Etre et Avoir (Philibert, 2002) – trailer
14. Aileen: Life and Death of Serial Killer (Broomfield, 2003) – trailer
15. Sergio (Barker, 2009) – trailer
16. King of Kong (Gordon, 2007) – trailer
17. Capturing the Friedmans (Jarecki, 2003) – trailer
18. Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (Anker & Goodman, 2001)
19. Control Room (Noujaim, 2004) – trailer
20. Abel Raises Cain (Abel & Hockett, 2005) – trailer
21. Jesus Camp (Ewing & Grady, 2006) – trailer
22. The English Surgeon (Smith, 2007) – trailer
23. Iraq in Fragments (Longley, 2007) – trailer
24. Chicago 10 (Morgen, 2007) – trailer
25. Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (Berlinger & Sinsofsky, 2000) – Part 1
26. Prodigal Sons (Reed, 2008)
27. Al Franken: God Spoke (Hedegus & Doob, 2006) – trailer
28. Excellent Cadavers (Turco, 2005)
29. Taxi to the Dark Side (Gibney, 2007) – trailer
30. Stevie (James, 2002)
31. The Weather Underground (Green & Siegel, 2002) – trailer
32. Born into Brothels (Briski & Kauffman, 2004) – trailer
33. The Gleaners and I (Varda, 2000) – trailer
34. Kurt Cobain About a Son (Schnack, 2006) – trailer
35. Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (Gibney, 2008) – trailer
36. Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2001) – trailer
37. Avenge But One of My Two Eyes (Mograbi, 2005) – trailer
38. The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (Epperlein & Tucker, 2006) – trailer
39. Billy the Kid (Venditti, 2007) – trailer
40. Man on Wire (Marsh, 2009) – trailer
41. Death in Gaza (Miller, 2004) – Part 1
42. Robert Capa in Love and War (Makepeace, 2003) – trailer
43. Bus 174 (Padilha & Lacerda, 2002) – trailer
44. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (Feuerzeig, 2006) – trailer
45. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Justman, 2002) – trailer
46. Helvetica (Hustwit, 2007) – trailer
47. Beneath the Veil (Harrison, 2001) – clip
48. Cry Freetown (Samura, 2000) – trailer
49. Last Party 2000 (Chaiklin & Leitch, 2001) – trailer
50. The Bridge (Steel, 2006) – trailer

So, what have I missed?

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