“Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes,” a film by Sophie Huber, tosses you straight into a stylish mood poem. It’s medium-raucous to medium-mellow jazz with soft shots of “cool cats” opinionating on a range of topics – improvised jazz-chat. Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper, Norah Jones, Don Was, and more, these jazz musicians cross an interview-portal to play in dimensions of possibility beyond the dilemmas of yes or no. Consequently, they have a points of view more engaging than your Average Joe
The world celebrated when Myanmar’s military government transferred power to Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi after her landslide election in 2015. But how is political responsibility passed down in a country whose new democracy is founded on 50 years of dictatorship and entrenched ethnic discrimination? Karen Stokkendal Poulsen’s new film, On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship, shows the ways in which she has had to contend with an atmosphere of total distrust and collaborate with the same men who kept her under house arrest for a total of 15 years.
Most Woodstock documentaries have that mental plague of the sixties, of not remembering well. The original Woodstock (1970) directed by Michael Wadleigh was all about sensory experience — mind blowing split screens and a stream of consciousness narrative that barely reflected the chronology of the actual events. It has taken fifty years but Barak Goodman and his PBS American Experience team have artfully done justice to the real Woodstock, not some mythic fantasy in our collective imagination.
Television thrives on the neurotic lunacy of hoarders, but rarely do we experience the passion and purpose of a methodical collector, who really made a difference. Matt Wolf’s masterful documentary, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project takes us into the visionary psychic and cluttered physical worlds of a woman who turned her acquiring fury into a unique archive of contemporary history. Recorder had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2019.
Caregiving has become a second, or maybe third, occupation for many Americans. Aging parents, addicted children, depressed family and friends all cry out for some type of emotional assistance. Most news reports concentrate on the afflicted, but in Kent Jones’s first dramatic film, Diane, we feel the anxiety and private turmoil of the caregiver. Diane premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, where it won awards for Best Narrative Feature Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.
We’re currently in the middle of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, which commenced on Tuesday, May 8 and will run through Saturday, May 19, and this year has already seen some changes and controversies, such as the schedule shuffle by Festival Director Thierry Frémaux, and the last-minute Netflix pull-out. If you’re looking for good news, this year’s Cannes has also brought unusual attention to some talented, lesser-known directors. But If you want to understand what’s happening at Cannes, here are ten things you need to know — about the festival in general as well as what’s new in 2018.