Marshall Curry

Point-and-Shoot

The ghost of Ernest Hemingway hovers over Marshall Curry‘s new documentary, a profile of amateur filmmaker and revolutionary Matthew VanDyke. Or, rather, the novelist’s name is perhaps the best way to isolate and identify what is going on beneath this formally simple but thematically intricate film. Point and Shoot is a 21st century incarnation of some very old ideas, fervently held conceptions of what it is to be a man and an American on the world stage. The word “profile” isn’t particularly sufficient as a description, either. This is not simply a document, it is an entire life. In 2006, VanDyke left Baltimore. He took his motorcycle, his video camera and his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on a trip to Morocco and did not come back for three years. It was to be a “crash course in manhood.” He crisscrossed North Africa, went across into the Near East and eventually rode all the way to Afghanistan. After that he served as an embedded journalist in Iraq, where he encountered modern warfare for the first time. His last significant stop was Qaddafi’s Libya, then officially not an option for American tourists. He snuck in illegally, made a number of close friends, and felt at home. When he finally returned to the United States he was exhausted, if fulfilled. READ MORE AT NONFICS

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Does a man who burned down a couple of buildings to try to stop the destruction of the earth really deserve a prison sentence of life plus 335 years? Even though he took great pains to see that no one was in the buildings and no one would be hurt should he still be labeled a terrorist? If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front doesn’t really answer these questions, but no matter what you believe, this movie will pull you kicking and screaming out of your comfort zone and force you to consider the other side of the story. Marshall Curry (Street Fight, Racing Dreams) and Sam Cullman’s documentary follows former ELF member Daniel McGowan as he awaits trial for arson and other crimes he committed in the name of saving the planet. The movie uses Daniel’s story as a jumping off point to explore the Earth Liberation Front and how and why it became such a radical organization.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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