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Tag: documentary

Film Reviews

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

Friday, November 27th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Has any book ever had a better title than The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat? When Oliver Sacks’s collection of neurological case studies was published in 1985 it became a surprise bestseller and turned its author into a celebrity. It was a dramatic turnaround for a doctor whose literary ambitions had been […]

Film Reviews

David Byrne’s American Utopia

Friday, November 20th, 2020 Film Reviews,

In the liner notes to his 2018 album, American Utopia, David Byrne reflects on the title. “Is this meant ironically? It is a joke? Do I mean this seriously? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political?” These questions, which echo the lists of questions in wellknown songs such […]

Film Reviews

American Dharma

Friday, November 13th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Steve Bannon is not stupid, he can even be charming, but he is not the kind of guy you’d like to see loitering-with-intent in the corridors of power. In American Dharma, Errol Morris brings us an extended interview with the man Time magazine called “the Great Manipulator”, interspersed with excerpts from Bannon’s favourite films. Morris, generally […]

Film Reviews

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

Friday, September 25th, 2020 Film Reviews,

If we were asked to nominate the world’s most admired human being, David Attenborough would be near the top of everyone’s list. At the age of 94, Attenborough is a secular saint of the natural world, a figure of immense moral authority. It’s almost inconceivable that anyone could be dismissive of this revered documentarian. Even […]

Film Reviews

Hillary

Friday, September 11th, 2020 Film Reviews,

In his classic study, In Defence of Politics, Bernard Crick argued the case for a messy but flexible political discourse underpinned by ethical beliefs. The art of politics maintains both social order and personal freedom, standing guard against those ideologues who seek to pervert the process. One can only wonder what Crick, who died in […]

Film Reviews

Echo in the Canyon

Friday, August 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

It may seem a big call to suggest that one day historians will mention Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s alongside Vienna fin-de-siècle, and the Paris of the 1930s, but Graham Nash has no doubts. It’s even more startling to bracket Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys with Mozart, but Tom Petty manages this feat […]

Film Reviews

The Booksellers

Thursday, July 9th, 2020 Film Reviews,

As a general rule I’ve an aversion to reviews in which the critic begins by talking about him or herself. You know the routine: “Speaking as an young, Asian, gay, white-water rafter I feel uniquely qualified to talk about this movie…” But in this instance I’m compelled to begin with a confession: “My name is […]

Film Reviews

Honeyland

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Honeyland is a deceptively sweet title for a documentary about a lonely life spent in a harsh, barren landscape. The place is the Republic of North Macedonia, known simply as “Macedonia” until last year when the name was changed to resolve a long-running dispute with the Greeks. The newly minted Republic is a land-locked country […]

Film Reviews

For Sama

Thursday, May 21st, 2020 Film Reviews,

“We never thought the world would let this happen,” says Waad Al-Kateab, early into For Sama, a documentary she has co-directed with Edward Watts. Working as an independent journalist, Waad recorded the progress of the Syrian civil war in the city of Aleppo as the euphoria of rebellion gave way to mounting despair. The film […]

Film Reviews

Machine

Thursday, December 12th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Artificial Intelligence will have a momentous influence on the future of humankind. It has the potential to transform every aspect of our lives – a power that brings with it a whole raft of moral dilemmas and crucial choices. At its most caricatural form no discussion of A.I. gets very far before someone mentions the […]