Entries Tagged as 'Documentary'

‘Africa Unite’ (2008)

This film is a strange confab of celebrity travel souvenir and retrospective of the Rastafarian movement on the occasion of Bob Marley’s 60th birthday.

Much of the surviving Marley clan is featured here — Ziggy, Rita, Cedelia, Damian and Julian — there’s music and interviews. And more interviews — interviews with lots of people who just happened to show up for Bob’s birthday celebration down in Ethiopia. There’s Danny Glover, Angelique Kidjo, Lauren Hill and others but the participants here seem to be fighting over Marley’s legacy as much as celebrating it.

But the title of the film is ‘Africa Unite’ and NOT ‘A Posthumous Celebration of Bob Marley’s 60th Birthday’. [Read more →]

‘Out of Balance’ (2007)

Out of Balance ‘ is a concise, thoughtful condensation of the Climate Change issue that makes creative, if not authoritative use of interviews and stock footage to make the case for Global Warming and the damage than man has done to the Earth’s climate. Tom Jackson has managed to package the science, politics and business concerns related to climate change into a coherent and persuasive film that’s fully accessible to a general audience. [Read more →]

‘The Party’s Over’ (2001)

'The Party’s Over’ (2001) It’s sort of painful to revisit the 2000 elections in 2007 – since that time we’ve had our entire reality realigned by 9/11 and seen the prosperity of the Clinton Era flushed down the toilet into tax relief for the wealthiest 2% of us and seen the construction of a $592 million embassy for the permanent occupation of Iraq. Meanwhile, Public Schools remain broken and 45 million citizens remain uninsured.

Six years after 9/11, Osama Bin Laden has been all but forgotten, New Orleans has drowned, people are talking about building a wall on the Mexican border and China owns all of our manufacturing jobs. [Read more →]

Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ (2007)

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In theaters June 29, 2007.

June 19: Now available via Google Video .

“Connections” (1978)

James Burke creator of ˜Connections™ In 1978, British Science Historian James Burke created a series of documentary programs for the BBC called ‘Connections ‘.

In the first episode, “ The Trigger Effect ” he examines the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 , which took down the electrical grid of the entire Eastern seaboard, from Maine to Philadelphia. Though I’m sure that the event girded us against future disasters of that sort, a mandatory viewing of the program might have made the Bush Administration better prepared for 9-11, Katrina and put us in a position to deal with the inevitability of Peak Oil. Throughout the series, Burke does the unusual thing of connecting Mankind, Nature and Technology.

Ah, the ’70′s, an age when ‘objectivity’ was a stronger certitude… today, so many of our decisions are mediated by opinion polls and Faith-based nonsense. I encourage everyone to investigate this series. It is available from the usual sources for and arm or a leg, or you can just fire-up Google Video where much of the series is available for free.

Episode #1 – The Trigger Effect

‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ (2005)

‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ (2005) You’re Gonna Miss Me ‘ is a 2005 biopic on musician Roger ‘Roky’ Erickson (b. 1947) ,the former front-man of the groundbreaking, late ’60′s psychedelic band, The 13th Floor Elevators (1965-69). However, the way in which the filmmakers depict him, one would assume that Erikson’s creative life is behind him, which both untrue and unfortunate.

Documentarian Keven McAllester does a satisfying enough job of tracking Erikson’s youth and early music career, before arresting his musical inquiry to dive into a disquisition on the singer’s mental illness and the 17 years he floated in and out of Texas’ Mental Health Care system and the care of friends and family.

Apparently, Erikson discovered LSD in the early ’70′s and it triggered some nascent schizophrenia that Erikson had been walking around with his entire life. At this point – the 20 or 30 minute mark – the film becomes a bit too much like Terry Zwigoff’s ‘ Crumb ‘ (1994) and the filmmakers take too much of an interest in Erikson’s schizophrenia, twenty years of institutionalization and his eccentric family, specifically his Mother Evelyn and his brother, Sumner. And this is where the documentary seems to go wrong. [Read more →]