True Films

An Inconvenient Truth


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Much to my surprise, Al Gore makes a very compelling host for his short course on climate change. With simple graphics, clear evidence, and well-honed examples, he gives the speech of his life. And it works. His argument is aimed at an intelligent lay person, and I believe it succeeds in making a conservative, non-hysterical case for the reality of global climate change, and why it is important to us. He then suggests possible responses, which are less inarguable, but still pretty convincing. Almost everyone who has seen this film – even those who don’t agree with his conclusions — has been impressed with Gore’s presenting skills and engaging personality. It’s not the Al Gore we saw as Vice President on TV. Part of the difference may be due to Gore’s personal journey in this mission. Turns out he has been researching climate change since college, long before it was remotely fashionable, or even scientifically accepted. He weaves his history on the subject (including his high-profile loss in 2000) into his remarkable slide show. I’ve seen a lot of PowerPoint presentations in my life, and his use of this new medium (using Apple’s Keynote) is the coolest I’ve seen. It probably helps that he’s delivered this slide show thousands of times before. Here it is amplified, expanded, and made even slicker with this film recording. It is far less “political” and far more persuasive than I expected.

– KK

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An Inconvenient Truth
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
2006, 96 min.
$3, Amazon Instant Video rental

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted January 27, 2007 at 1:27 am | comments


Baseball


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Ken Burns’ masterful, comprehensive biography of baseball. It busts many of the myths of baseball’s origins and weaves its growth into the very genesis of the modern American lifestyle. As with any Burns production, you get the big picture illuminated with lovely tiny details. At 10 DVD discs, it’s way longer than 9 innings. Like some games, it can go on and on, and the later history of the Yankees is not as universally appreciated. But you don’t know baseball — or America — until you’ve seen this.

– KK

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Baseball
Directed by Ken Burns
1994, 1140 min.
$7 per episode, Amazon Instant Video

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Available from Amazon

Posted January 11, 2007 at 5:00 am | comments
| in category Sports


My Voyage to Italy


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Famous film director Martin Scorsese annotates clips from his favorite Italian films and discusses their influence on him and his art. You get a 3-hour crash course in Italian films, and an appreciation of older films in general. The professor in this case is brilliant. Every great artist should do this: outline and celebrate their influences. Two things this obviously well-made documentary did for me. Made me realize how important Italian filmmaking is, and made me want to see the many legendary ones I have not yet seen. But even if all you see are the excerpts and commentary by professor Scorsese in this film, you’ll have a new level of film understanding.

– KK

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My Voyage to Italy
By Martin Scorsese
1999, 123 min.
$30, DVD (used)

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted January 3, 2007 at 5:00 am | comments
in category Explaining