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Thompson on Hollywood

Hot Docs: Technological Revolution, 'Total Disruption,' Stolen Privacy

“Isn’t it ironic that I’m having all these technical problems when I’m supposed to be talking about technology?” director Ondi Timoner asked a very patient (for awhile) Hot Docs audience Monday. Well, yeah, but it’s hardly the only irony that’s been on display here in Toronto.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 29, 2013 2:20 PM
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Hot Docs Wrap: Canadian International Film Festival Celebrates 20th Anniversary, Winnows World's Best Docs

Like a lot of people, the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival (official name) is "trying to figure out who we are," according to program director Charlotte Cook: In other, trying to figure out where they’re going to go, now that the fest has hit its 20th year -- a convenient moment to reassess, if not necessarily change your whole MO. Which the festival certainly is not about to do.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 28, 2013 2:47 PM
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Tribeca Review: 'Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic' Leaves Out Insight

It is perplexing to understand how a documentary about someone as funny, alive, honest, edgy, and brilliant as Richard Pryor can fall so flat. Marina Zenovich’s documentary on the comedian, "Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic," premiering at Tribeca, testifies to the comedian's humor and brilliantly dark view of the world around him. But "Omit the Logic" doesn’t show the audience anything new or insightful about him.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • April 25, 2013 1:39 AM
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First Louisiana International Film Festival Opens With 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' and Star Merry Clayton

I thought I was the canary in the coal mine, attending the First Louisiana International Film Festival, a first for Baton Rouge and for me: I've never before attended a film festival's inaugural iteration. But it turned out to be a fabulous four days, with more movies, parties, and panel discussions than one girl could humanly attend. Not to mention crawfish.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 24, 2013 6:14 PM
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Tribeca: Breakout Director Sean Dunne Talks 'Oxyana' and a Portrait of a Town's Addiction

When people describe Oceana of ten years ago, they describe an idealistic small town--"kind of like the 50s," says one man interviewed in Sean Dunne's first feature documentary "Oxyana." People in the town of 1,400 used to keep doors unlocked and let children play freely in the streets. Now, people are afraid to walk alone in a residential neighborhood. Locked doors don't prevent break-ins from people "trying to feed addictions." People have nicknamed the town Oxyana, after oxycontin, the drug that has addicted hundreds and taken countless lives in the West Virginia town.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • April 23, 2013 2:56 AM
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Is Documentary the Most Exciting Kind of Filmmaking? AFI Docs Fest and Cinedigm's Docurama Launch, Watch Greenaway's 'Act of God' (VIDEO)

Last week New York Magazine published film critic David Edelstein's assessment of current documentary as the most interesting and dynamic genre of cinema. His piece points to the currently unspooling Tribeca Film Festival, which champions documentaries and selected "Mistaken for Strangers" -- a doc about indie rock band The National -- for its opening night. Meanwhile the American Film Institute announced its Opening Night and Centerpiece films for the upcoming AFI Docs festival (June 19-23 in Silver Springs, MD), and Cinedigm is launching Docurama, a seven-week theatrical film series on April 22 in 15 national markets.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 22, 2013 2:15 PM
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WATCH: Exclusive Trailer for Ray Mancini Doc 'The Good Son'

Here's an advance peek at the TV spot for festival circuit fave "The Good Son," a documentary about boxer Ray Mancini. The Snagfilms release featuring Mickey Rourke, Ed O'Neil, and Sugar Ray Leonard, among others, will be released theatrically this summer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 20, 2013 4:08 PM
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Tribeca Review: 'Raw Herring' Is Miraculous Exercise in Single-Shot Cinema

Any cinematographer worth his salt is probably already aware of “Raw Herring,” which may not sound appetizing to everyone (with onions? serve ‘em up …) but is a miraculous exercise in the art of the camera. It may also serve as a breath of fresh air to audiences fed up with the sterile artifice of so much CGI-driven cinema.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 19, 2013 1:29 PM
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Tribeca Review: Banker White's 'The Genius of Marian' a Starkly Intimate Portrait of His Mother's Battle with Alzheimer's

The Tribeca Film Festival hasn’t exactly been synonymous with documentaries, even if they opened with one the other night -- “Mistaken for Strangers,” Tom Berninger’s off-beat take on his brother’s band, The National. But a special place should be reserved for “The Genius of Marian,” which is about a relatively obscure woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, and a movie that might have been the height of exploitative filmmaking.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 18, 2013 7:30 PM
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Documentarian Ondi Timoner Hits Kickstarter for 'Total Disruption'

Playing the Kickstarter game is one of many skills today's filmmakers need in order to flourish. But that's only one of the things doc veteran Ondi Timoner wants her fellow filmmakers to learn: she's let the world know that Tuesday April 9 is the launch day for the Kickstarter campaign for "A Total Disruption."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 9, 2013 3:29 PM
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