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Docu-Weeks Round-Up

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 14, 2009 at 1:49AM

There happen to be a surfeit of good docs going the rounds right now, which will be available through various media, theatrical, online and if you need to check where to find something, you can look things up on SpeedCine or SnagFilms. Currently playing there is Zombie Girl: The Movie, directed by 12-year-old Emily Hagins:
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Thompson on Hollywood

There happen to be a surfeit of good docs going the rounds right now, which will be available through various media, theatrical, online and if you need to check where to find something, you can look things up on SpeedCine or SnagFilms. Currently playing there is Zombie Girl: The Movie, directed by 12-year-old Emily Hagins:

With Docu-Weeks under way in L.A. and N.Y. through August 20, keep an eye out for a couple of strong titles, including Kimjongilia, a topical portrait of the North Korean leader, and Garbage Dreams, about the recycling caste system in India Egypt.

Aron Gaudet’s The Way We Get By is a surprisingly moving account of a group of lonely older people who stay connected with the world by welcoming returning Iraq War soldiers at the Bangor, Maine airport. These troop greeters are dealing with aging and isolation in their own way. It opens in L.A. August 14.

Also at Docu-Weeks is Soundtrack for a Revolution, for which executive producer Danny Glover hosted a screening in L.A. The concept is to put some of today’s musicians, from Wyclef Jean to John Legend, in a recording studio performing some of the great protest songs that accompanied the 60s Civil Rights movement. I preferred hearing anthems like “We Shall Overcome” in their original context. I thought I knew this material--harrowing feats of the men and women, black and white, who faced real danger by participating in the early Civil Rights protests in the deep South-- better than I did.

One terrific audience pleaser at SXSW was Trimpin, a straightforward bio-portrait--with extraordinary sound--of the Austrian-born musician/artist now based in Seattle. It's a must-see for anyone who loves music and culture. The Kronos Quartet collaborates with Trimpin in a memorable performance.

Still on the fest circuit is the SXSW Jury prize winner 45365 directed by Bill Ross, who returned with his brother Turner to their home town Sidney, Ohio (that’s the zip code) to follow some folks around with multiple cameras. They set out to capture the town they loved growing up, and caught a sense of an America that may not be with us much longer. 7th Art Releasing will distribute the movie. Here's the trailer:


This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, SXSW, Documentaries


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.