Tag Archives: documentary

Goodbye Chantal Akerman (1950-2015)

Chantal Akerman, one of the most aesthetically fascinating and innovative filmmakers who ever lived, was reported dead today. This is a huge loss for the world cinematic community. Other websites and newspapers have already published numerous articles on Akerman’s life, broad overviews of her work, appreciations. I presume they will continue to do so throughout […]

Domestic Violence 2 (2002)

Frederick Wiseman is one of America‚Äôs foremost documentarians, and, perhaps, the most important proponent of the cinema verite movement. He has made 36 films, and is one of the few filmmakers (less than ten) who has received a MacArthur Genius Grant. His often lengthy documentaries sport simple, matter of fact titles like High School, Canal […]

Olympia (1938)

(This review originally ran in the textbook Documentary Film: Contexts and Criticism, ed. Carl Rollyson.) Leni Riefenstahl was in many ways the perfect filmmaker to represent the Nazi regime; her work signifies both the astonishing grandeur and formal perfection of their outward displays, and the heartless technocratic beliefs that lay underneath these sleek surfaces. This […]

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (1987)

(Spoiler warning for people concerned with such things. If you’re just looking for a recommendation, I recommend this film with no reservations. Go watch it.) The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On by Kazuo Hara is my favorite documentary ever made. The film follows a mentally troubled Japanese WWII vet named Kenzo Okuzaki. Before the film […]