Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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 Post subject: 2012 in Documentaries
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:58 am 
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ACT-UP POSTER BOY AND LONGTIME AIDS SURVIVER PETER STALEY IN ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE FROM HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE


BEST DOCUMENTARIES OF 2012
I love documentaries, and there are so many kinds and so many to choose from these days. The most important of 2012, I've decided - of the couple of dozen I can remember seeing - are HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE and THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, but maybe the topic of global warming examined in CHASING ICE is more important still, for the future. It's hard to pick and choose when so many documentaries deal with important subjects, are so well researched, and are made with such a combination of passion and restraint. There are other strong ones. THE GATEKEEPERS and THE LAW IN THESE PARTS are powerful, revealing studies of Israel. THE IMPOSTER is superbly done. SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is an amazing rediscovery of a lost rock star/singer-songwriter, so suspenseful. THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES is a shocker about American stupidity and materialism. Then there are smaller, more personal, often quite elegant films like STEP UP TO THE PLATE, about a great restaurant family in France (maybe perfect for a double bill with JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI); or Alan Berliner's unrelleased documentary about his famous scholar cousin Edwin Honig's Alzheimer's, FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOMVED, or Ross McElwee's delicate exploration of his relation with his difficult son and of his own not entirely responsible youth in France, PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY. The "Have Not Seen" list is of documentaries that from what I've heard are important or wonderful, in all the different categories. I'll have a Ten Best Documentaries list later. I've reviewed nearly all the ones in the first list and you can read my review by Googling "chris knipp" + name of film. Look for all these (if released) on DVD.

2012 DOCUMENTARIES LIST (alphabetical)
5 Broken Cameras (Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi)
Ai Wei Wei - Never Sorry (Alison Klayman)
The Ambassador (Mads Brugger)
Bill W. ( Dan Carracino, Kevin Hanlon)
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975, The (Göran Hugo Olsson 2010)
The Central Park Five / Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Chasing Ice (Jeff Orlowski)
Crazy Horse / Frederick Wiseman
Detropia (Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady)
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey (unreleased)
First Cousin Once Removed (Alan Berliner) (unreleased)
The Gatekeepers (Dror Moreh)
How to Survive a Plague / David France
The Imposter / Bari Layton
Informant / Jamie Melzer (unreleased)
The Invisible War (Kirby Dick)
The Law in These Parts (Alexandrowicz) (NYC)
Neil Young Journeys (Jonathan Demme)
Photograpic Memory / Ross McElwee
The Queen Of Versailles (Lauren Greenfield)
Searching for Sugar Man (Malik Benjelloul)
Something from Nothing: the Art of Rap (Ice-T, Andy Baybutt)
Step Up to the Plate (Entre les Bras, Paul Lacoste)
This Is Not a Film (Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb)
The Waiting Room (Peter Nicks)
Woody Allen: A Documentary (Robert B. Weide) (PBS "American Masters" series -TV)

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COOL POSTER FOR A VISUALLY COOL FILM

HAVE NOT SEEN
Beware of Mr Baker (Jay Bulger)
Bully (Lee Hirsch)
The House I Live in (Eugene Jarecki)
The Island President (John Shenk)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (David Gelb)
Marina Abromovic: the Artist is Present (Matthew Akers, Jeff Dupre)
Only the Young (Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims)
Room 237 (Rod Ascher)
West of Memphis (Amy Berg)

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©Chris Knipp. Blog: http://chrisknipp.blogspot.com/.


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