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Category: documentary

Film Review: Walk With Me

Reviewed by Rachael Kaines

The introspective and sedate documentary Walk With Me, from directors Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh, works as a soothing balm to a hectic mind, much like the mindfulness practice that the Zen Buddhist pioneer Thich Nhát Hanh introduced to the west. Thich Nhát Hanh was forced to leave Vietnam in the sixties when his efforts towards peace were not appreciated. Now 91, Walk With Me shows the spiritual leader and the Buddhist retreat that he built in south-west France.

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Film Review: Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

Joan Didion, the subject of this moving documentary now available on Netflix, is one of America’s greatest living writers. Her unsentimental, yet lyric vision surfaced in the essay “On Respect”, when she was a young sub-editor at American Vogue in the early 60s. Her voice was shaped by a child-hood spent in her birthplace, Sacramento, California, with its ethos of small c-conservatism, a West conquered by heroic pioneers and a distrust of self-pity. Yet Didion also took that bedrock of values and made a fascinating political shift – from the kind of eccentric Barry Goldwater supporter who would take down JD Salinger and Kerouac for The National Review to blossoming into the one of the Republican Party’s fiercest critics in legendary think pieces for The New York Review of Books. By the mid-70s, she became arguably the only woman who could justly claim, along with Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, Terry Southern and others – that she invented a new kind of journalism.

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Film Review: 78/52

One of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history receives a thorough examination and analysis in Alexandre O. Philippe’s intriguing yet overlong documentary 78/52. The film’s title refers to the 78 camera set-ups and 52 cuts which Alfred Hitchcock used to capture the infamous shower scene in Psycho. Assigning a full 7-days of a 30-day schedule to filming the short sequence, Janet Leigh’s brutal murder in the shower at Bates Motel is renowned as one of the most bold, shocking and influential scenes dedicated to film. 78/52 extensively explores every aspect of the sequence from its context, construction, and impact.

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LFF 2017: My Generation

My Generation is Michael Caine’s personal take on the swinging sixties; the decade that brought fame and success for many working-class upstarts in the world of film, music, fashion and the visual arts. As one of the film’s producers, Caine works with documentarian David Batty and screenwriters Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement to weave a portrait of a decade for which the term “unreliable narrator” seems to have been invented.

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Sheffield Documentary Festival: Are We Scared Of The Word “Documentary?”

(Twitter: @maysamoncao) For a filmmaker, documentary filmmaking is probably the hardest medium. Try uttering the word “documentary” to an investor and he will probably shut all doors…

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