True Films

Sicko


sicko

As usual Michael Moore parades a series of on-camera publicity stunts to make a larger point: universal health care in the US is possible, desirable, and even all-American. Health care insurance may seem like the least likely fun subject to have to sit through, but as usual Moore is so hugely entertaining, you won’t regret it. I have no idea if this film has changed anyone else’s mind, but it moved mine a bit. It doesn’t take much to blow holes in the current system. If you keep in mind that Moore makes agitprop films — films that are not meant to be evenhanded and balanced — then his jeremiads against the failures of this large health system make great watching. It is theater in the best sense of the word.

– KK

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Sicko
Michael Moore
2007, 123 min.
$3, Amazon Instant Video rental

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted December 18, 2007 at 9:42 am | comments
| in category Investigative


Man With the Movie Camera


manwithcamera

Think of this as a very early black and white version of the cinematic poem-films of Koyaanisquatsi and Baraka. Filmed in Russia in 1929 it records the hustle and bustle of ordinary life. In filmic style it foreshadows many of the techniques used in Koyaanisquatsi and Baraka — time lapse clips of city traffic pulsating organically, montages of people working, fighting, loving, living, and since this is Russia, a photographic celebration of machines at work. But unlike the later films, this one has a curious recursive dimension. The man with the movie camera (the filmmaker himself) appears throughout the film, busily making the film as one of life’s many activities, and the film ends with an enthusiastic theater audience watching this very film. At a distance of 90 years, I found the particulars of everyday life in Russia more interesting than the general ode to life. But both work. The silent film has been smartly and modernly scored from notes left by the filmmaker.

There are three versions for the sound track of this film on DVD. The original film was silent with a score suggested for live orchestral accompaniment. In the version I watched — the one offered by Netflix — Alloy Orchestra used those original musical notes to create a vigorous new score with appropriate sound effects. There are two other contemporary versions, including a score by Michael Nyman, available for sale. The film’s entry on Wikipedia can help you sort these out.

– KK

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Man With the Movie Camera
Dziga Vertov
1929, 68 min.
DVD (2002), $18

Available to watch for free at the Internet Archive

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted December 12, 2007 at 9:59 am | comments


Air Guitar Nation


AirGuitarNation

Serious fun! Follow contestants on their way to the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland. No actual guitars allowed. Features the first Americans to participate in this underrated “sport olympics”. Judges award points for “airness.” This documentary is a perfect one to play at a party. No one will leave. Over-the-top hilarity. You had to be there.

– KK

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Air Guitar Nation
Alexandra Lipsitz
2006, 81 min.
$3, Amazon Instant Video rental

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted December 6, 2007 at 2:11 pm | comments