Documentary

Cinematic Lessons From a Cold War Era

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw revisits the reissued 1995 doc, "Red Hollywood."


One of a million stills in "Red Hollywood" a documentary of the too-little seen films that fell sway to the Red Scare.

Kurt Brokaw matches Thom Andersen and Noël Burch’s tour de force of clips in their 1995 documentary Red Hollywood with a likewise ambitious recap of those clips. Film students take note, thanks to McCarthy, you haven't seen everything yet, but this doc will help you get there...

Red Hollywood
(Thom Andersen, Noël Burch. 1995. USA. 119 min.)

Finding the "Mystery Woman" of Street Photography

Sarah Coleman talks with co-directors John Maloof and Charlie Siskel about bringing the hidden story of street photographer Vivian Maier to life.


"Finding Vivian Maier" uncovers street photos that could've been lost to history.

Imagine an artistic discovery you simply can't keep to yourself. The images are that penetrating. For John Maloof, Vivian Maier's street photography demanded to be seen. Two books and one documentary later, the world can trace Maloof's path toward Finding Vivian Maier.

Vivian Maier never wanted to be famous. Working as a nanny in 1950s Chicago, Maier always locked her bedroom door and insisted her employers never enter her space. Though she didn't hesitate to stick a camera into other people's faces, she disliked giving people her name and referred to herself as "the mystery woman." If not for a series of lucky accidents, Maier would have stayed unknown.

Back to the Past: Keva Rosenfeld’s 1987 Documentary "All American High" Finds a New Audience

Michele Meek talks with director Keva Rosenfeld about his decision to re-master his 1987 original.


Is this how we remember high school? Photo courtesy of Keva Rosenfeld.

Is our nostalgia for the 80s replacing our nostalgia for the 50s? Michele Meek suggests so, using a resurgence of interest in Keva Rosenfeld's 1987 documentary, All American High, as her primary example. It screens March 9th and 12th at SXSW.

The 1980s are the new 1950s. We have entered an era where big hair, landlines, and nightly news feel as remote and charming as poodle skirts and soda shops did in Back to the Future.

Now Playing (Again): "Fort McMoney"

LJ Kessels returns to the virtual world of Canadian oil fields as a player of "Fort McMoney."


Fort McMoney: Where Film Meets Video Game.

Fort McMurrey's oil production represents 20 percent of Canada's GDP says the trailer to the interactive reality doc, Fort McMoney. As a result, everything there is larger than life. The real-time game, divided in episodes, is back on and anyone can dip their toe in the oil through February 16th.

David Dufresne’s interactive documentary game is back for a second round.

Sundance 2014: Sorrow and Beauty in Doc Shorts Program II

Senior producer Maddy Kadish reviews the three short docs in Program II.


"I Think This is the Closest..." used inanimate objects in innovative ways.

The Independent's senior producer, Maddy Kadish, reviews three short documentaries from Sundance 2014: I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked, Notes on Blindness, and Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.

Park City, UTAH -- At Sundance 2014, the three shorts in Documentary Shorts Program II used different devices to exhibit sorrow and beauty. All three films show the humanity, flaws, and hope that lives in all of us. These types of films are the reason that I come to Sundance.

Sundance 2014: The Independent’s Top 10 Moments for Women


Billie's mom decides to transition to male in "52 Tuesdays."

From creepy to awesome, women made their mark on and off screen at Sundance 2014. The moments were many but we've opted to share 10 of our favorites with you. Enjoy!

Park City, UTAH -- Sundance inspires—it is full of creative and passionate people. This year the amount of outstanding and exciting work by female filmmakers brought a distinctly different tone to the festival, certainly more representational, and even more cutting edge than in past years.

New York Jewish Film Festival 2014 - Critic's Choices

Kurt Brokaw picks his top choices from the 23rd New York Jewish Film Festival.


In "Ida," a Polish nun discovers that she's Jewish.

Of his NYJFF critic's picks, Kurt Brokaw writes that Ida "was the most closely watched film of this fest even before it opened," and The Jewish Cardinal "is a film any NYJFF devotee will find worthy of the closest attention." He's also added Regina and GentleDog to his list. The fest runs January 8-23, 2014.

How inspiring that The Film Society of Lincoln Center has partnered with The Jewish Museum for more than two decades in presenting world, US, and New York premieres of films from around the globe.

IDFA 2013: The Endless Frontier of Interactive Reality

Reporting from IDFA, LJ Kessels lifts the lid on the near infinite storytelling possibilities when makers go fully interactive.


In the future of storytelling, who is the cat and who is the mouse?

Though still indefinable, the world of interactive documentary is slowly being shaped into existence. LJ Kessels offers the latest according to leaders in the field at IDFA's Interactive Reality Conference.

The Interactive Reality Conference on November 24th was organized by IDFA Doclab’s Caspar Sonnen and Veerle Devreese of The Flemish Culture House (de Brakke Grond) and hosted by Ove Rishoj Jensen.

TFI Transmedia Case Study: "Hollow"

Maddy Kadish takes a close look at the recently launched interactive doc, "Hollow."


From Elaine McMillion's tumblr, while making "Hollow."

As six newly funded TFI transmedia projects go under construction, Maddy Kadish looks at how 2012 grantee, Elaine McMillion, integrated community voice and storytelling in her just-launched interactive doc, Hollow.

The film industry, like the rest of the media world, is trending towards digital, mobile, and online. Change is coming in the form of interactive storytelling and transmedia and Tribeca Film Institute wants in.

An Affair of the Rock Doc

Two women filmmakers take on the rockumentary genre and unwavering Rick Springfield fans.


(L to R): Melanie Lentz-Janney, Rick Springfield, Sylvia Caminer. Photo courtesy Yellow Rick Road Productions.

Rick Springfield superfans Sylvia Caminer and Melanie Lentz-Janney teamed up to make a rock doc about the star and the audience that has never left his side. A thousand fans wanted to appear in An Affair of the Heart but only seven made the cut.

Directed and produced by filmmaker Sylvia Caminer, the rockumentary An Affair of the Heart revolves around Australian-born Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Rick Springfield and his devoted fans. Over the last year it appeared in theaters and at festivals such as IDFA, Sidewalk Film Festival, and HotDocs.

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