festival articles

“Coppers” Review and Interview with Director Alan Zweig

“Coppers” Review and Interview with Director Alan Zweig

Toronto filmmaker Alan Zweig’s latest documentary, Coppers, is a disturbing, sad and very moving look at the long term effects of working as a police officer. It recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I was able to speak with the director about the film. “I drove a cab for 18 years and I hated cops,” Zweig told me over the phone while doing press at TIFF. “I always saw them as bullies. But when I met Gary I saw a tough guy who had been through a lot.”

“Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes” Documentary Review

“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

Freedom Films: “A Night at Switch n’ Play” “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes” and “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation”

It’s Gay Pride month, and we’re coming up to July 4th and Independence Day, so HelenHighly discusses three new documentaries whose hearts beat the drums of freedom, passion and change, and how in each film, art is the catalyst that brings those concepts to life. Helen Highly Recommends “A Night at Switch n’ Play,” “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes,” and “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation.”

17 Blocks, documentary

“17 Blocks” Documentary Review

“17 Blocks,” a documentary by Davy Rothbart, was included in my initial Tribeca Film Festival 2019 pick-list because of the compelling and devastating use of a home-video archive. The film was created due to a chance meeting, in 1999, of two kids at a Washington D.C. public basketball court and director-producer Davy Rothbart. Fifteen-year-old Smurf Sanford and his nine-year-old brother Emmanuel lived in the neighborhood, which is only 17 blocks from the White House but is a dangerous and decrepit part of the city that outsiders typically go to great lengths to avoid. When Emmanuel expressed interest in becoming a filmmaker, Rothbart lent him a video camera.

Christo Film: “Walking on Water” Review, Directed by Andrey Paounov

Walking on Water, directed by Andrey Paounov, is a new documentary about the latest exhibit / production by Christo, the renowned installation artist who transforms environments into experiential artwork, on an epic scale. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, was acquired by Kino Lorber and is getting a theatrical run in the U.S. this spring (beginning this weekend at Film Forum in NYC). Helen Highly Recommends you see it – in a theater, ideally, on as large a screen as possible.

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