‘My Life I Don’t Want’ Tells Story through Girls’ Eyes

My favorite film from last month’s Speechless Film Festival is My Life I Don’t Want, created by Nyan Kyal Say. The appeal of My Life I Don’t Want lies in its simplicity in story and style, though that simplicity also belies much complexity about girls’ experiences in Myanmar and elsewhere. My Life I Don’t Want… Read More ‘My Life I Don’t Want’ Tells Story through Girls’ Eyes

The Stories Documentary Archives Tell

While watching old documentaries provides an interesting look into nonfiction film history, sometimes the coolest discoveries lurk in dusty cardboard filing boxes. This summer I enjoyed the opportunity to delve into Kartemquin Films‘ archives. Kartemquin has been busy making documentaries for more than 50 years, and with three new titles so far in 2016 alone,… Read More The Stories Documentary Archives Tell

Exhibit Highlights 50 years of Kartemquin Films History

“Kartemquin Films: Democracy through Documentary, 1966-2016” is a retrospective highlighting 50 years of Kartemquin history. The exhibit is available at Expo 72, 72 E. Randolph St., Chicago. I had the chance to check it out when I visited the windy city a couple weeks ago. Centered around themes of craft, community, and change, the curated… Read More Exhibit Highlights 50 years of Kartemquin Films History

Constructing Conversations about Race in ‘Trick Bag’

Kartemquin Films’ Trick Bag: A Black and White Film tackles a tough subject: race issues in 1970s Chicago. Their 1974 short film shows a series of interviews among people across Chicago during the early 1970s. These people, mostly youth, gather at parks, on street corners, and in people’s homes. Race issues dominate these interviews, though… Read More Constructing Conversations about Race in ‘Trick Bag’

Dressing Up the Computer’s Story for an iPad App

iPad apps make for an interesting way to explore interactive documentary, and The Computer Wore Heels offers an engaging story about women’s contributions during World War II. This story provides another take on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic image from when women worked in factories throughout the war. Written by LeAnn Erickson, The Computer Wore… Read More Dressing Up the Computer’s Story for an iPad App

Four More Reasons Why Critics Favor Docs

Steve Greene, an assistant editor with IndieWire’s CriticWire, posted an interesting column on July 2 that asked, Do critics favor documentaries? He posed four possible reasons why, including their connection to reality, critics championing them, and the effect of festivals. His fourth reason is my favorite: “They’re just better.” Though not grounded in data like… Read More Four More Reasons Why Critics Favor Docs

Revisiting the Documentaries of Agnès Varda

I spent some time recently rewatching two Agnès Varda documentary DVDs available through Netflix — The Gleaners and I (2000) and Cinévardaphoto (2004). For Varda, art, people, and life all intersect, blur, separate, and reconnect in both mundane and very surprising ways. Art becomes a focal point, if not a starting point, for all her… Read More Revisiting the Documentaries of Agnès Varda

With New Documentary Requirements, Oscar Is Just Being Oscar

New rules from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences governing documentary submissions for Oscar consideration have inspired extensive commentary this week. The proposed changes affect those submitting their works for consideration and those voting on them within the Academy. For those submitting, they must have had their titles reviewed in either The New… Read More With New Documentary Requirements, Oscar Is Just Being Oscar