Urbanized

Last night, at a special event in conjunction with the AFI FEST, the nominees for the 2013 Cinema Eye Honors were announced. And once again, the titles contending for the ten feature categories, all of which focus solely on nonfiction films (to make up for the Oscars’ minimal recognition), represent the year’s best in documentaries. As someone who professionally concentrates on docs elsewhere, I tend to feel kinda useless or redundant when Cinema Eye names its nominees, because now when someone asks me what’s great this year I can just point to their list of 31 features. Of course, some of these films are only up for specific honors, like those for original music score and graphic design, and may not be quite as necessary as the six up for the top award or the 10 nominated for the Audience Choice Prize (which sadly, for publicity-sake, lacks a Justin Bieber movie like last year). Also, I could name a bunch of exceptional docs that haven’t been recognized, such as This is Not a Film, The House I Live In, Under African Skies, Beware of Mr. Baker, Last Call at the Oasis, The Queen of Versailles, Girl Model (though its directors are up for Downeast) and The Invisible War. Still, I’m very excited that one of my top three nonfiction films of the year, The Imposter, is one of the most-nominated titles, while I’m even more ecstatic that the CEH could bring more attention to brilliant, lesser-known works like Only the […]

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Tomboy Movie

The beginning of each month is an exciting time wherein Netflix dumps a large number of new titles onto their streaming service. Comb through those titles as well as others added in the past couple of weeks, and a few great titles bubble to the surface. Let’s take a look at a documentary about urban design, a drama about adolescent sexual identity, an existential Western from the vaults, and a few more movies worth streaming this week.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD, and happy Valentine’s Day you sexy sons of bitches! In honor of the holiday I’ve themed this week’s pitches to the idea of love. As in if you love the environment you should buy a copy of the re-issued The Lorax.  Or if you love your adopted Asian daughter you should check out Woody Allen: A Documentary. You get the picture. Speaking of love, if you happen to be currently unattached (or maybe your better half is just out of town) FSR has partnered with an intriguing new dating service. How About We matches people by the date itself instead of shared personality traits or surface-level preferences. I know, it’s a weird thing for a movie site to do, but sometimes you just want to go watch The Vow with someone who won’t judge. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Take Shelter Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is a husband and father who fears he may be slowly falling victim to schizophrenia. The alternative is that a storm of end-times proportions is heading his family’s way, and he’s not sure which outcome is ideal. Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ film is a successful slowburn of a drama that rewards viewers who stay with Curtis throughout his troubles. The film explores the onset of possible mental illness as a parallel to the hardships of a down economy and daily stresses, and in addition to a powerhouse performance from […]

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It’s not that fonts aren’t interesting. They are. To some people. It’s that director/producer Gary Hustwit managed to make them downright fascinating in his documentary Helvetica. He continued that visual lust with Objectified – which explored manufactured things in a way that made assembly lines seem riveting. Even the assembly lines where literal riveting was taking place. Now, his love of objects grows bigger and more complex with Urbanized, a documentary about the design of whole cities and the flow of human beings though them. The trailer displays the same playful-yet-poignant tone of his other projects, and his resume speaks for itself. There’s no doubt that this will be another interesting entry into filmic exploration of the things that we live with (and in and around and on). Check it out for yourself:

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