In August 2012, stand-up comic Tig Notaro took the stage in a Los Angeles theatre and unloaded a year’s worth of misery – a debilitating illness, a breakup, the sudden death of her mother and a brand new diagnosis of breast cancer – in a devastating half-hour set. The performance went viral, and Notaro found herself suddenly rocketing to prominence in the comedy world at the lowest point in her life. Read the rest here.
Rodney Ascher follows Room 237 with another examination of the tricks our minds play on us – this time exploring the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, that state of consciousness in which the mind “wakes up” before the body. Read the rest here.
Best of Enemies
This account of the 10 incendiary debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal during the 1968 Republican and Democratic conventions recalls a time long gone. Read the rest here.
A Sinner in Mecca
In his follow-up to A Jihad For Love, Parvez Sharma makes himself the focus while fulfilling his Islamic duty by making a pilgrimage to Mecca. He takes a lot of risks while he’s at it: he’s a Sunni among millions of Shi’ites, he’s carrying a camera, and he’s a gay man. Read the rest here.
Tonje Hessen Schei’s documentary starts from the presumption that remotely piloted airborne vehicles are a bad idea – they turn actual combat into video games that remove any risk to the pilots and thus distance them from the consequences of their lethal actions. By the end of the picture, you’ll find it hard to disagree with that argument. Read the rest here.
The Wolfpack is the story of the six Angulo brothers, who – aided occasionally by their sister – spent a great deal of their adolescence in their New York City apartment making charmingly threadbare camcorder versions of their favourite features, including Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Read the rest here.
The life and career of Chicago chef Curtis Duffy is examined as he works to launch his first restaurant, Grace. Produced in association with the Chicago Tribune (co-director Kevin Pang is the paper’s dining reporter), this is an inordinately conventional documentary with its twinkling musical score and high-speed construction montages, it feels like every public television project you’ve watched over the last decade and a half. Read the rest here.
Foodies spends way more of its resources shooting gorgeous food than it does probing its subjects: five increasingly influential food bloggers.
Except for Andy Hayler, who visits all 109 Michelin three-star restaurants, they mine their privilege to gallivant all over the world eating and assessing, seemingly without any actual knowledge of food. Read the rest here.
A Woman Like Me
Alex Sichel, a filmmaker with a Buddhist bent, tries to find a way to accept her terminal breast cancer diagnosis in this intelligent, emotionally charged pic. Read the rest here.
Majestic cinematography can’t save Unbranded.
America has a wild horse problem, with over 50,000 mustangs waiting for adoption in holding pens. That’s the central issue of this documentary, though it mostly takes a back seat to what might be classed as redneck porn. Read the rest here.
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Compiled by Kate Robertson.
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