Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Lovely short documentary Arrotino: Living off a Knife's Edge -- Michele Muzio the knife grinder -- by Alan Helix on YouTube.

See also the photo and earlier story at my Rome and rhetoric of tourism blog. Thanks to Alan Helix for bringing his little film to my attention in a comment on the blog.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Supreme Court Debates Hillary Documentary

Today, the US Supreme Court discussed the controversial documentary, Hillary: The Movie. A short article about the case can be read here.

New Hard Times at New York Times

The New York Times has begun a new video series, inviting readers to submit short video interviews of friends and relatives who lived through the Great Depression.

The New Hard Times can be found here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


A. O. Scott, "Neo-Neo-Realism" New York Times Magazine, 22 March 2009.

The essay has links to trailers of films in the mode Scott describes as "clear-eyed movies for hard times."

Goodbye Solo
Half Nelson
Chop Shop
Wendy and Lucy
In Between Days (Movie Minutes)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is Anybody Listening?

Is Anybody Listening? A documentary by students at Village Academy High School in Pomona, California (downloaded from the News Hour). News Hour report here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Christine Vachon lecture at Penn State

Just received:

Christine Vachon, acclaimed independent film producer and co-founder of Killer Films, will be visiting the [Penn State] University Park campus to discuss the art and business of independent film.  Her lecture, “Making Movies That Matter,” is on Wednesday, April 1, at 7:30pm in the HUB Auditorium.  Ms.  Vachon’s lecture is free and open to the public.

Founded in 1995, Vachon’s company Killer Films has established itself at the forefront of American independent cinema, with a reputation for delivering challenging, thought-provoking and original movies from filmmakers with distinctive visions. The company has produced over 40 films, including the Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There (2007), Kim Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry (1999), for which Hilary Swank won the Best Actress Oscar, and John Cameron Mitchell’s gender-bending rock odyssey Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). Ms. Vachon is also the author of two books: A Killer Life: How an Independent Producer Survives Deals and Disasters in Hollywood and Beyond (2006); and Shooting to Kill: How an Independent Producer Blasts through the Barriers to Make Movies That Matter (1998). Both books were Los Angeles Times bestsellers.

Ms. Vachon’s lecture is sponsored by the Department of Film/Video and Media Studies, the Department of Telecommunications, and the LGBTA Student Resource Center.

For information about other Pride Week events:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fred Wiseman at SMU

Southern Methodist University is hosting a retrospective of Frederick Wiseman's films, and an appearance by Wiseman. Story is here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ken Burns Loses GM Financial Backing

There's a report in the Huffington Post this morning that a recent result of the economic crisis is that General Motors is ending its long-time sponsorship of Ken Burns's documentary work.