My Filmviews

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Narco Cultura (2013)

Review Narco Cultura

Sometimes the best way to get attention for a specific issue is to show the cold hard facts. An Inconvenient Truth or The Act of Killing are good examples of that. Both documentaries made people think about a subject and cause either discussion or change. Narco Cultura also follows that path and decides to show the impact of the drugs trade and the effects of the battle between Mexican drug cartels on the small Mexican town of Juarez. It is located close to the border with the U.S. The police and other people in Juarez live a dangerous life and run the risk of being killed, but across the border the life of the drug dealers in celebrated and glorified in the form of songs, the narcocorridos. Continue reading

I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2009)

Review I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2009)

If I were to make a “The Many Faces of…” post about actor John Cazale it would be a very limited one as he only appeared in five movies before he died of lung cancer. Those five movie are all seen as classics though: The Godfather 1 and 2 (in which he plays the role of Fredo), The Conversation, The Deer Hunter and Dog Day Afternoon. This short documentary (which is only 39 minutes) looks back at his career and his memorable performances. Continue reading

Project Wild Thing (2013)

Review Project Wild Thing

Ask yourself this question: How much time do you spend in nature? If you live in the city chances are that your answer will be “not a lot”. Although I live close to a fairly large park I have to admit I don’t go there as much as I could. David Bond also asked himself this question, but not for him, but for his children. He saw that his children were spending more and more time indoors, looking at TV’s and the screens of phones and tablets. It is something I sometimes worry about as well with my children. When the youngest one asks to watch TV and gets a no, the next question will be if she can play on a tablet. I guess it is what she sees looking at the rest of the family and it is something I am very aware of. Luckily I know that if I suggest to do other things or even call her while she is watching TV she will want to do that, but it is something that a lot of parents will struggle with. Bond decided he wanted to do something about it and try to get his children and those around the UK interested in the outdoors more, naming himself the Marketing Director for Nature. The question is how you would be able to make nature appealing to children who get immediate pleasure from television and the internet? Continue reading

Soundtracker (2010)

Review Soundtracker

Music, sounds and sound effects are very important tools for a filmmaker. They are a big part in shaping the emotions of a viewer. Foley artists create the sounds with whatever props they can, but that is something which is not always possible or wanted. Gordon Hempton is a man who lives for sounds and has specialized in sounds of nature. It is a job which has earned him an Emmy, but which also has meant that other aspects in his life weren’t as succesfull. In this documentary director Nick Sherman follows him during one of his long trips, where Hempton searches for the perfect sounds. Continue reading

The Square (2013)

Review The Square

In the past years a lot has changed in various countries in the middle east. Revolutions took place, which in some countries turned into war. The revolution in Egypt has received a lot of media attention, with the Tahrir square becoming a symbol for it. People camped there to make a statement that a change was needed. Through the news it was possible to get an idea of what was going on, but as a viewer you still saw it from a distance. This documentary shows that revolution from a different perspective and follows some people who lived through it. Continue reading

Pandora’s Promise (2013)

Review Pandora's Promise

The environment has been a hot topic for the last few years, thanks to documentaries like An Ugly Truth which made clear that our planet is slowly changing because of our activities. Governments have agreed to reducing their emissions in order to slow down the process, but although the steps are taken the progress is slow. Companies do what they can to meet ISO norms, which includes being “green” (recycling, reducing the emissions by their car fleet to name a few examples). Despite all those efforts some question if all these steps will be enough to save humanity.

In the documentary Collapse, Michael Ruppert told that we are already too late and that alternative forms of energy are not a solution to the issue and that we will still have to rely on fossil fuels in order to execute greener plans. The way energy is created throughout the world is also a very damaging process as there is a lot of pollution because of it. Nuclear power could be a solution, because it generates less direct pollution with the only downside being radioactive waste and of course the dangers of anything happening to a nuclear plant. With the recent events in Fukushima still fresh in everyone’s memory it seems nuclear is not the way to go. But is that really the case? Pandora’s Promise is a documentary which actually tries to explain nuclear power plants and try to convince the viewer that the horror images everyone thinks of might be unnecessary. Continue reading