Category: Documentary

June 23, 2022 / Documentary

A BBC documentary portrait of Peter Sellers, filmed over a period of nine months in 1969 during the filming of his latest film The Magic Christian. Director Tony Palmer interviews Sellers and friends and associates about the actor’s career and life. At age 44, with 38 films already behind him, including Dr. Strangelove and two “Pink Panther” films, Sellers was then at the crest of his career. But his personal life, which included two bad marriages (and two more to come), a near-fatal 1964 heart attack, and increasingly disturbing personality disorders, was in tatters. His distrust of everyone, including Palmer, is evident here on-camera several times.

June 23, 2022 / Biography

An insightful illumination of author Paul Bowles’ original and lesser-known career as an avant-garde composer, Owsley Brown’s Night Waltz is an elegant and soulful document of discovery. Interviewed in Morocco during the last months of his life, Bowles journeys back to his early years as a contemporary and occasional collaborator of other such iconic figures as Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Orson Welles. Bowles’ uncut compositions–performed by the Eos Orchestra–are punctuated with stunning visual essays by filmmakers Nathaniel Dorsky and Rudy Burckhardt. Long after retiring from his more well-known profession, Bowles kept music as a vital part of his life, tapping out fresh rhythms on his Tangier table tops until the end of his days.

June 22, 2022 / Documentary

Dying is a personal, profound and poignant memoir of three people and how they faced their deaths. When it was first broadcast fourty-six years ago it was universally acclaimed. The film focuses on three people with terminal cancer. Filmed over a two year period, the film shows how each human being lives and dies as an individual, with deep personal needs and attitudes. It will sensitize health care professionals and counselors to the human factors that mitigate the anguish of both the patients and those who care for them.

June 13, 2022 / Documentary

Ultimately stunning in its revelations, Lutz Dammbeck’s The Net explores the incredibly complex backstory of Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber. This exquisitely crafted inquiry into the rationale of this mythic figure situates him within a late 20th Century web of technology—a system that he grew to oppose. A marvelously subversive approach to the history of the Internet, this insightful documentary combines speculative travelogue and investigative journalism to trace contrasting countercultural responses to the cybernetic revolution.

June 3, 2022 / Documentary

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder died of a drug overdose on June 10, 1982, before his last film, Querelle was edited. This documentary is both about the filming of Querelle — a sailor of that name whose love life left nothing to be desired — and about director Fassbinder’s working techniques and philosophy. While actors and workers comment on the filming of Querelle, a 14-minute interview with Fassbinder taped eight hours before he died was supposed to convey the first element, his own beliefs and working methods. Fassbinder’s mother had the interview pulled by court order, leaving the Wizard of Babylon without the benefit of the wizard’s own chemistry.

May 25, 2022 / Documentary

In this extraordinary six-part series, film historian and critic Noel Burch uses clips of rare archival silent film treasures to take us on a riveting journey of discovery. How did silent film reach such incredible heights in a mere 30 years? Why did film in the United States so quickly become such a popular art form?

May 17, 2022 / Documentary
May 15, 2022 / Documentary

Lena Horne’s famous song “Now!”, which was banned in the U.S. in the 1960s, was an angry call for struggle against racism. This film uses Horne’s song as the vehicle for a montage of film and photographic images from the U.S. civil rights movement. These images of racial struggle and oppression in the United States convey the heroism and pathos of the black protagonists of the Civil Rights movement, and the brutality of white police and Klansmen and the system they represent. Santiago Alvarez responds to the song’s escalating rhythm by moving between images to evoke the violence with which American society was being torn apart by white supremacy, and the intensity of the African-American struggle to right these injustices.