We’ve now come to the end of our journey through Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film, following cinema’s early beginnings to the advent of the digital age. But before we ring down the curtain, we have a few more stops on our tour of cinema history.
As digital effects began to strip the “realness” from mainstream filmmaking, the use of digital cameras gave a new freedom to documentary filmmakers. Perhaps the most successful of these is director Michael Moore, whose documentaries took a different approach by placing Moore himself at their center. Moore’s films Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 especially feature his distinctly liberal point of view. In contrast are the films of French documentarian Nicolas Philibert, who strove to remain as unobtrusive as possible, chronicling events without commentary. Philibert’s documentaries bring unseen worlds to life, with Louvre City showing the behind the scenes life of a museum, while La Maison De La Radio chronicles 24 hours in the life of Radio France. Continue reading “The Story of Film Part 15: Cinema Today an Tomorrow”
Hello, my name is Isaac. I have worked for the Seattle Public Library for about a year now and I have come to appreciate a lot of what the Library has to offer. I have been recently helping the Library with the ADA anniversary movie project and I would have to say there is a lot I learned about working on the project. A good amount of it is looking up movies for the ADA event and shaving the movie list by narrowing down the number of movies. Growing up with autistic Asperger’s, I have always loved to read despite the challenges. I would never have imagined though that one day I would be working for the Library in downtown Seattle; what a joy and privilege.
Two non-stereotypical individuals with autism fall in love in this wonderful yet unusual movie. The girl in the movie has been through a deep life that we do not usually associate with special needs people.
Gifted is about a gentleman who adopts his niece after her mother passes away. When the niece is found to have high knowledge and her controlling grandmother tries to take advantage of it, the main character must try to make things right.
Even though Pride events and in-person festivities are cancelled this year, it is still possible to celebrate LGBTQ resilience from the comfort of your home – and the Library can help with that! Aside from going out to protests and engaging with written content by queer authors, there are also lots of video resources available to you with your library card. Your barcode and PIN number will give you access to lots of documentaries, movies, and other online video content through platforms such as Kanopy. Here are three great queer history documentaries of varying lengths to get you started:
After Stonewall. A 90-minute documentary from filmmakers Dan Hunt, Janet Baus, and John Scagliotti, After Stonewall details the LGBTQ rights movement beginning in the early 1970s until the end of the 20th century. It is the sequel to Before Stonewall, which focuses on the fight for LGBTQ rights prior to the movement’s watershed moment with the riots of 1969. After is particularly poignant in its treatment of the ordeals that LGBTQ people went through during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and how this political crisis impacted the type of activism that the movement turned towards at the end of the century. Continue reading “Documentaries for Pride”
Documentaries gives us a peek into the window of someone else’s reality, and in these very unusual times, a glimpse into a place where the real world is not upended and devastated by a global panic sounds quite comforting. While during “normal” times, one might escape through fantasy, sci-fi, or a very engrossing drama, during the era of COVID-19, why not try the documentary?
Documentary film first began as the creation of brief, informational videos and has evolved over time to become more observational, expository, and entertaining. One of the most significant early documentaries is Nanook of the North , a 1922 chronicle of an Inuit man and his family in Northern Canada. Often hailed as a significant cultural achievement, Nanook is an excellent example for critically thinking about the art of documentary filmmaking. Who is controlling the narrative, and how has the filmmaker influenced the audience’s response to what they’re seeing on screen? Continue reading “Escapism Through the Documentary”
An artist’s life can be as compelling as the work they produce. A documentary, at best, strives to render a portrait of the artist as honestly as possible. This, of course, is as close as any of us will get to being in the same room with a person whose life and work draws us in. What will you find that you do not, already, know? Will this new view enhance the experience of the art or detract from it?