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Thompson on Hollywood

Review: 'Narco Cultura' Depicts a Mexican Culture that Glorifies Murder, Decapitation and Crime

It’s hard to say what’s more disturbing -- long term, at any rate – about Shaul Schwarz’s excellent “Narco Cultura.” Is it the dead children, wailing mothers and bloody water running through the gutters of Juarez? Or the roomful of clueless idiots at Hollywood’s House of Blues, singing along to a Movimento Alterado chestbeater (“we’re bloodthirsty, crazy and we like to kill…”) about cutting people’s heads off? Those would be Mexican heads, by the way, not the ones partying along Sunset Boulevard.
  • By John Anderson
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  • November 17, 2013 4:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment

DOC NYC Review: 'Patrolman P' a Fascinating Justice Saga Made of Gray Areas

That it’s the dawn of “De Blasio Time” in New York City probably won’t be making the NYPD very happy. Neither will Ido Mizrahy’s “Patrolman P,” a film premiering at DOC NYC which will inevitably be pegged as a kind of anti-“Serpico” story of police corruption, and also happens to be a movie ripe for the grand old dramatic feature remake.
  • By John Anderson
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  • November 16, 2013 7:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Tabitha Jackson Comes to Sundance

The most famous festival devoted to American cinema will now have a Brit from television behind its documentary films. Tabitha Jackson, who was a commissioning editor at Channel 4 Television in London, has been named to replace the departed Cara Mertes as Director, Documentary Film Program. Thank goodness the doc world is such a font of fraternity and brotherhood. Shouldn’t be any sniping about this at all.
  • By John Anderson
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  • November 15, 2013 4:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Catapult Film Fund Awards Fall 2013 Grants to Seven New Documentaries

Seven documentary films have been selected as recipients of the Catapult Film Fund’s fall 2013 development grant. Since launching in 2010, over $700,000 has been awarded to 37 films via the Catapult program. 465 proposals were submitted this time around, doubling the number of spring 2013 proposals. Full list of recipients below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 15, 2013 1:34 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Crash Reel' Documentarian Lucy Walker Knows Where She's Going

Lucy Walker's moving and shocking verite doc "The Crash Reel" will play in the upcoming DOC NYC, running November 14 through 21. Our TOH! interview, below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2013 12:50 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Exclusive: Poster for Claude Lanzmann's New Documentary 'The Last of the Unjust' (CLIP)

Veteran documentarian Claude Lanzmann, now 87, is best known for directing the groundbreaking ten-hour documentary on the Holocaust, "Shoah." His new film, "The Last of the Unjust," returns to the dark chapter of the Nazis but via a different route. Revisiting footage from "Shoah," Lanzmann constructs a film centering on Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Thereseinstadt Jewish Council, who was forced to have daily negotiations with Nazi Adolf Eichmann (whose trial in Jerusalem was famously and highly controversially chronicled by philosopher Hannah Arendt).
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 8, 2013 12:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cinema Eye Honors Nominees for Nonfiction Awards

In the increasingly noisy and contentious documentary race--as beleaguered critics and Oscar doc branch members try to decide which of the overwhelming number of films they should see--every award group nomination makes it easier for them to decide.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2013 6:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes with Alex Gibney at His Jigsaw Productions

It’s not just productivity but prescient subject matter that marks Alex Gibney’s work as a director. His Lance Armstrong portrait “The Armstrong Lie” opens Friday; “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” was released in July. Last year, Gibney directed “Park Avenue: Money Power & the American Dream,” which created a stink when it was revealed that WNET offered to preview the film for one of its subjects – billionaire right-wing puppetmaster David Koch.
  • By John Anderson
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  • November 6, 2013 2:13 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Netflix's Sarandos Backs Off Day-and-Date Comments, Acquires Egyptian Revolution Doc 'The Square' to Premiere on Netflix in Early 2014 (TRAILER)

As Netflix acquires Jehane Noujaim’s lauded documentary “The Square,” on the Egyptian protest movement, to premiere exclusively on Netflix in early 2014, the company's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos is backing off his earlier day-and-date stance. Netflix's first doc acquisition in several years potentially pitches the company into the Oscar race, as "The Square" is a contender for a nomination in the documentary category.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 4, 2013 11:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sundance Doc 'Citizen Koch' Reappears, Tweaked and Funded

In ancient times, being a “citizen” is what differentiated one from being a slave. In Sundance doc "Citizen Koch," what Tia Lessin and Carl Deal see looming on the horizon is a world of one-percenter citizens, and the rest of us.
  • By John Anderson
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  • October 29, 2013 1:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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