Archive for November, 2013

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The Punk Singer

November 29, 2013

directed by Sini Anderson, 2013

Photo of LE TIGRE

Back in the 1990s, Kathleen Hanna was known for appearing onstage with a Catholic school-girl skirt and the word “slut” painted on her stomach. Though she still takes to the stage to this day, she’s no longer equipped with the same bulging neck veins, aggression and attitude associated with her past performances. The musician is the topic of director Sini Anderson’s debut documentary The Punk Singer, which chronicles Hanna’s beginnings as a pivotal voice in the punk scene of the early-’90s and her key role as singer, icon and women’s-rights activist. Now 45 and facing a life-threatening illness, she bares all in an illuminating film which celebrates and reflects upon the roots of a revolution.

Read full review at In Review Online

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At Berkeley

November 7, 2013

directed by Frederick Wiseman, 2013

Berkeley

Legendary 83-year-old filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has made a career of putting contemporary institutions under his ever-inquisitive microscope. This is once again the case with his latest documentary, At Berkeley, which documents a semester inside one of America’s most prestigious universities: University of California, Berkeley. Clocking in as one of his longest films at 244 minutes, Wiseman’s latest is, at its core, a sprawling and detailed examination of an institution dealing with fiscal issues in the fall of 2010, a troubled period brought on by a decrease in California’s investment in the university.

Wiseman’s static, probing camera doubles as a window into economic and sociological issues that impact the students (and might even hit close to home for some viewers as well). While diverse in its presentation, the film is fundamentally driven by the notion of exploring a higher-education institution not only looking to maintain academic excellence, but instilling a course of action and thought in its students that aims to combat current economic difficulties. In conjunction with the film’s many classroom scenes, Wiseman shows us members of the university’s upper administration grappling with lowered budgets and the loss of unique staff members. We also observe students on scholarship feeling financial pressure to balance their workload with the threat of living under a less-than-desirable financial base, as debt piles up for these students without the promise of a stable career after graduation.

Read full review at In Review Online

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My Month in Films: October ’13

November 1, 2013

magic magic

Best first time viewings
1. White Reindeer (Clark, ’13)
2. A Perfect Getaway (Twohy, ’09)
3. Wolf Creek (Mclean, ’05)
4. Magic Magic (Silva, ’13)
5. Night Moves (Penn, ’75)
6. Captain Phillips (Greengrass, ’13)
7. The Counselor (Scott, ’13)

Worth mentioning
Computer Chess (Bujalski, ’13)
Escape Plan (Hafstrom, ’13)

Worst
Hamilton (Porterfield, ’06)
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Tremaine, ’13)
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (Lowery, ’13)
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (Levine, ’06)
The Internship (Levy, ’13)
Blue Caprice (Moors, ’13)
The Way, Way Back (Faxon/Rash, ’13)