Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
An intriguing premise for a full-length feature, the idea behind Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait is simple. Back in April of 2005, Real Madrid--replete with Zinedine Zidane, arguably the world's finest footballer at the time--played Villareal in the Spanish league. At that game, seventeen cameras were all trained on Zidane. The film? At heart, it's 90 minutes of following the great man around a football field. Yet it's fascinating. Really. Save for the odd subtitled comment, and a not-entirely-comfortable...
Kasparov and The Machine
Garry Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess player who has ever lived. In 1997 he played a chess match against IBM's computer Deep Blue. Kasparov lost the match. This film shows the match and the events surrounding it from Kasparov's perspective. It delves into the psychological aspects of the game, paranoia surrounding it and suspicions that have arisen around IBM's true tactics. It consists of interviews with Kasparov, his manager, chess experts, and members of the IBM Deep Blue team, as well as original...
Touching the Void
To describe Touching the Void as a mountaineering documentary would be to do this breathtaking drama an injustice. By intercutting narration from the climbers themselves with a nail-biting reconstruction of their remarkable adventure in the Peruvian Andes, the film has the best of both genres: the authentic stamp of factual storytelling and the edge-of-the-seat tension of a dramatic movie. In 1985, two British mountaineers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, embarked on a daring--arguably reckless in the...
The Take
We heard rumors of a new kind of economy emerging in Argentina. With hundreds of factories closing, waves of workers were locking themselves inside and running the workplaces on their own, with no bosses. Where we come from, a closed factory is just an inevitable effect of a model, the end of a story. In Argentina today, it's just the beginning. In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start...
Fahrenheit 9/11
Directed by Michael Moore, whose aura of controversy only grew after his Oscar acceptance speech at the 2003 Academy Awards, Fahrenheit 9/11, like Moore’s Bowling For Columbine and Roger & Me, promises to expose the corporate wrongdoings and big-money scandals perpetrated by America’s financial elite. This movie, however, looks beyond the inner echelons of General Motors and Lockheed Martin in hopes of outing the evildoers in the White House, particularly in regards to the 43rd President of the United...
Posted in: Movies, Mystery, Science
What the Bleep Do We Know!?
This hard-to-describe movie, which combines talking-head documentary footage with a fictional narrative, attempts to explain quantum physics in terms most audiences can understand. The extent to which it succeeds will largely be the extent to which a viewer grasps the complex theories being addressed in those terms. Does matter exist? Does time flow in one direction? This documentary is a radical departure from convention. It demands a freedom of view and greatness of thought so far unknown, indeed, not even...
Posted in: Drugs, Lifestyle, Movies
Cocaine Cowboys
More of a real-life exploitation film than a bonafide documentary, Cocaine Cowboys is tailor-made for anyone who worships Brian De Palma's Scarface. It's no surprise that this slick, energetic film found a niche audience among crime-obsessed hip-hoppers; from a journalistic perspective it's an irresponsible mess, but director Billy Corben is obviously more interested in capturing the thrills and danger of the drug trade that transformed Miami, Florida during the Miami Vice era of the late 1970s and '80s. Corben...
Posted in: Crime, Law, Movies, Society
Off the Chain
Off the Chain is an unprecedented look into the underground world of dog fighting. Beginning with a history of the American Pit Bull Terrier, the film explores the evolution of the breed. Classic film and television footage show the popularity of what was once considered a noble and trustworthy family pet. Examine how this breed went from America's dog to public enemy number one. Travel to the back alleys and dark corners of the inner city to expose the truth behind the breed's new status in pop culture; an...
Posted in: Gangs, Movies
Ghosts of Cite Soleil
Billed as a Caribbean epic of family, love and violence, GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL takes us inside the lives of notorious gang leaders who dominate the Haitian slum of Cite Soleil. The reality of life today in Haiti unfolds before us as we get to know two brothers and their stories intimately. They are 2Pac and Bily, Haitian gang leaders who strive to make better choices in a world with no choices at all. Through unprecedented access, we see the brothers love and hatred for each other, their love triangle with Lele, a...