NZFF Days 2 and 3

Days 2 and 3: ‘Page One: Inside The New York Times’, ‘The Man From Nowhere’, ‘Stori Tumbuna: Ancestor’s Tales’, ‘Something Ventured’, and ‘The Black Power Mixtape: 1969-75’

Reviews from the New Zealand International Film Festival, 2011, Wellington

Saturday 30 June.

Page One: Inside The New York Times

Interesting doco on the world’s most prominent newspaper, the decline in advertising revenue coupled with the increase in blogging. How does the paper stay afloat? One of the best documentary subjects is David Carr – his interview with Vibe Magazine was fantastic. I’d recommend it to those interested in journalism (especially you, Shannon), blogging, the relationship between the two. 4 out of 5.

The Man From Nowhere

Aka THE BEST FILM OF THE FESTIVAL SO FAR!!! Brilliant! I loved it! I want it in my collection! The perfect amount of violence and technique and twists. There’s this one shot where the lead character jumps out a window, and the camera follows him. COOL! And the lead actor looks like a young Keanu Reeves. I. Loved. It.

Korean action film about a loner who is befriended by a stripper junkie’s daughter. Said daughter and mother are kidnapped after a drug deal goes wrong. Loner goes after them. Straight actioner, I wonder whether it would have been in the festival if it was in English (probably not, but I might not have seen it otherwise). I’m giving it 5 out of 5. It was going to be 5.5 out of 5, but the music was a leetle cheesy at times.

Amendment: see Andy’s post on this movie for a better explanation.

Sunday 31 July

Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors Tales

I know Paul Wolffram, the filmmaker. It was a good ethnomusical/anthropological film. I’d recommend it to ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, those interested in Papua New Guinea and Pacific Culture, and those interested in insects. (Seriously, Paul, I’m just saying there were a lot of close-ups of insects.) 3.8 out of 5.

Something Ventured

Doco on Venture Capitalism: the men who put money into early companies that exploded –  Silicon Valley, Apple, etc. One woman. Some good graphics, a couple of good laughs, some interesting stories: what more do you need in a good all-round doco. I’m sure it would have been better had I been more interested in the subject. I’d recommend it to people interested in making money. Really good soundtrack composed by Laura Karpman (by the way, follow that link. Awesome graphics on her website. Cool!) 3.5 out of 5.

The Black Power Mixtape: 1969-1975

Footage by Swedish filmmakers shooting in the US during 1969-75 was recently found and turned into this documentary. I’d recommend it to those interested in Civil Rights (or any Rights Movement), US or Black History, and foreign (or Socialist) interpretations from the outside. Comparisons can be made to today (Vietnam War vs. Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq). Definitely interesting. 4 out of 5.

The Beops – The Gravy documentary

The Beops – a band from the future. A fantastic marketing idea.

Speaking of John Psathas, the bf shared this on FB and I thought I’d share it with you.

It’s a documentary on a concept band called The Beops. A wonderful way to sell a band. Link to the clip on Vimeo here.

John Psathas documentary tonight

John Psathas doco on tonight. TV1, 10.15pm

Hi all,

Tonight (Sunday 23 January), at 10.15pm, TV One is screening a documentary called Sound and Fury, taking the viewer on a journey into the life and music of contemporary New Zealand composer John Psathas and his work in 2010.

John Psathas

Continue reading “John Psathas documentary tonight”

List of documentary films

At the documentary seminar I did with Leanne Pooley a couple of weeks ago, Leanne provided us with a list of documentaries that we should see. Here’s the list. How many have you seen?

At the documentary seminar I did with Leanne Pooley a couple of weeks ago, Leanne provided us with a list of documentaries that we should see. Of the list of 28, I had seen 1. Since then, I’ve seen 4.

Here’s the list. How many have you seen?

Continue reading “List of documentary films”

Documentary Seminar

Day 1 of the directing documentary workshop with Leeanne Pooley.

I was on a workshop today on directing documentaries, with Leeanne Pooley. It’s a two-day seminar at the Film Archive, presented in association with the Screen Director’s Guild of NZ, the NZFC, and the NZ Film Archive. I suppose also with Leeanne’s production company, Spacific Films. We got given a free copy of Take, the Screen Director’s Guild magazine, with a SDGNZ sign-up sheet. [But, I’m not a full-time student, so I don’t think I can take advantage of the student rate. Oh well, I probably won’t sign up yet then.]

Before the workshop, we were sent a DVD copy of Leeanne’s documentary on NZ male ballerina (ballerino?) Douglas Wright, called Haunting Douglas. The film has an amazing opening scene, btw. Douglas dancing naked with a candle. We were also asked to watch Pooley’s acclaimed documentary on the Topp Twins, Untouchable Girls. I watched it last night – again, a really good doco.

The first thing Leeane asked was whether we had googled her. Uh… no. She pointed out you should always google the person giving a seminar before you sign up or pay any money, to make sure that they know what they’re talking about. Lesson learnt – I’m googling now, in preparation for tomorrow.

For my Honours study next year, I was considering doing a documentary film. Within the first hour of the seminar, I realised that my possible topics need a massive amount of work before I shoot anything!

So far the seminar is going really well. Leeane knows her stuff. She’s given us a huge workbook of notes (so we don’t have to take our own), and a list of docos that we should see. Out of the list of 28 films, I had seen a grand total of 1 (The Corporation). So I went to Civic Video and got a few of them out. I just watched The Kid Stays In The Picture. (Fantastic. Really great). I’m considering watching Capturing The Friedmans, but I’m really tired. If it’s around 90 minutes, I’m gonna watch it tonight. If not, I’m saving it for later, along with The Fog Of War.

And, I finally remembered to take my business cards to a film event. I’ve swapped cards with some people in the workshop. Two thumbs up for me.