A big hit at Sundance this year, “Catfish” is a documentary film that is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
The film centers around Nev Schulman, a young photographer living in Manhattan. Nev receives a painting of one of his photos by a young girl living in Wisconsin. The documentary delves into the relationships he develops between this young girl and her entire family, including her older sister whom Nev begins to date.
The film explores the way in which social media and technology have changed the rules of our friendships and our romantic relationships.
It’s difficult to discuss the complexities of the film without spoiling it. However, the film’s narrative is incredibly gripping. The film is funny, depressing and nothing short of fascinating. Don’t ask me how or when I saw this incredible documentary, just know that I did and that you need to see it for yourself when it’s released this September.
John Fauer’s documentary “Cinematographer Style” is a serious case of ‘inside baseball.’ The film features interviews with 110 members of the American and British Cinematographer’s Societies. These established directors of photography discuss a wide array of topics including how they got their start, their philosophies when approaching a new film and stories concerning their impressive bodies of work.
Working legends such as László Kovács, Wally Pfister and Roger Deakins are some of the many interviewed. Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro comes across as a sheer beast of lighting and photography. The man might be the art of cinematography personified.
As someone trying to grow as a photographer and visual storyteller, I relished the opportunity to listen to what masters of the craft had to say. Cinephiles who want to gain greater insight about the role of a director of photography in films, or aspiring filmmakers looking to learn more this aspect of the process will find a lot to love in “Cinematographer Style.” The rest of the world might be a little bored.
A film that is as much an exploration of the extreme climate and diverse wildlife in Antarctica as it is an examination of the unique personalities that choose to live there. Herzog’s footage is mesmerizing, poetic and sometimes tragic. I will never forget that lone penguin running for the mountains towards certain doom.
Shot in 3D, Herzog’s meditative documentary on 30,000 year old cave paintings is full of musings on art, humanity and nature. Since he is an unusual filmmaker in any traditional sense, Herzog himself is often as a big of an element in the film as the paintings. That’s always fine by me.
One of the most striking moments in the film is when Herzog discovers that two paintings, though appearing side by side and drawn with a similar visual aesthetic, are actually separated by a couple thousand years. Today, an artist can’t have a song out for a couple days without a cover or a remix being released.
One’s enjoyment of this film is directly correlated to one’s love of this band. I’ve loved the Foo Fighters since I was around 10-years-old, so I found this documentary on their 16 year career to be an amazingly interesting view. I learned that as much as I love Dave Grohl, I would never want to be in a band with him.
Louis Malle’s documentary on the lives of farmers in Glencoe, Minnesota, contains many intimate portraits and captures the feel of small town American life in the late 70s and mid 80s. There’s an honesty to the people shown here and the filmmaker neither exploits or mocks them. Malle just seems happy to have existed with them for a small moment in time.