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NCFCA at Full Frame (2016)

Submitted by on April 8, 2016 – 12:55 pm
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The NCFCA has several members at Full Frame, sending reports about the best documentaries at the fest. We’ll be updating this page this weekend as reports come in for particular films. 

By Sidney Lumet — Nancy Buirski profiles the legendary director.

By Sidney LumetAndrew Spitznas at Secular Cinephile

But seeing so many excerpts from his films great and lesser, I was newly impressed with Lumet’s sense of style.  His framing of characters within confined spaces, his employment of shadows and darkness, and his use of quotidian New York City backdrops all display a remarkable aesthetic.

Kenneth R. Morefield at 1More Film Blog

Having Lumet and Lumet alone be the commentator works only to the extent the director is a charismatic personality. And while he lived and full and fascinating life, there isn’t much variety in his delivery nor the film’s structure.

Starless Dreams — Mehrdad Oskouei films inside an Iranian prison.

Starless DreamsAndrew Spitznas at Secular Cinephile

Starless Dreams reveals a sad universality of the consequences of growing up in families ruptured by addiction and abuse. Just like girls and young women in North America, these prisoners have reacted with depression and self-destruction.

Kenneth R. Morefield at 1More Film Blog

Even when asked to imagine how they might have had a better life, they can only think in terms of patriarchal structures. “If society had just given my father a job…” one of the girls says. The idea that life could be better for her, directly, is literally unthinkable.

Kedi — Istanbul loves its cats! Ceyda Torun directs.

KediKenneth R. Morefield at 1More Film Blog

Reflections run the gamut from the New Agey (cats “give off good energy” and “absorb negative energy”) to the profoundly theological. “Cats,” one interviewee opines, ” know that people act as middlemen to God’s will.”


Cameraperson –Kirsten Johnson receives Full Frame Tribute.

camerapersonNeil Morris at INDYWeek

Is there deeper meaning to the film’s title? After all, you didn’t call it Cinematographer.

It acknowledges the relationship between cameras and people. Both words are included in the title. Certainly it has gender connotations—pretty much every day that I’m out with a camera, someone will accidentally call me “cameraman.” That seems to be the default name for the job. There’s also a sense of the working-class nature of the job [in the title], different from the term “cinematographer.”

Life, Animated — Roger Ross Williams Film Wins Audience Award

life animatedAndrew Spitznas at Secular Cinephile

Prior to Life, Animated, Roger Ross Williams was best known for directing God Loves Uganda, the horrifying documentary about American fundamentalist homophobia exported to African societies. With his latest work, Williams has created one of the best filmic representations of autism, second only in my estimation to Temple Grandin.

Presenting Princess Shaw — Ido Haar profiles Samantha Montgomery

Daniel Cook Johnson — Film Babble Blog

Weiner — Disgraced politician runs for mayor

weinerDaniel Johnson — Film Babble Blog

The guy brought it on himself obviously, but I did feel some sympathy for him in the film’s quieter moments. Particularly one towards the end when at an sad, awkward pause at Weiner’s posh apartment, Kriegman actually asks “Why have you let me film this?” Weiner just stares blankly back at the camera before it cuts. WEINER, which could just as well be subtitled “The Adventures of Carlos Danger,” has as much to say about ambition as it does delusion. It’s up to the viewer as to which one wins out.

Rebel Citizen — Pamela Yates profiles Haskell Wexler

OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY, 9Lewis Beale — News & Observer

The late Haskell Wexler was a world-famous cinematographer (“Coming Home,” “Days of Heaven”), but also a noted political documentary filmmaker. Pamela Yates’ film lets Wexler, who died this past December, describe in his own words his political films, which included works about the Weather Underground and activists on their way to the 1963 march on Washington.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World — Werner Herzog examines the Internet

lo and behold 1Andrew Spitznas — Secular Cinephile

The chapters of Lo and Behold are a typical Herzog mix of the oddball playful and the dead serious. We meet Carnegie Mellon computer scientists who are fabricating soccer playing robots, which the engineers soon expect will be able to outplay a World Cup champion team.


God Knows Where I Am — How did Linda Bishop end up dead in a deserted New Hampshire farmhouse?

God Knows Where I Am PosterKenneth R. Morefield — 1More Film Blog

There are a number of images here that are beautiful in their own right and whose beauty is only enhanced by the significance imbued in them because of their function in the narrative. An apple grove at night. A pond almost frozen over. A page with a short line of handwriting, the reduction of a once promising life to the last fragile, frozen threads of physical existence.

Audrie & Daisy — Netflix documentary highlights the pain of sexual assault

Audrie and DaisyJosh Wartel at 1More Film Blog

Throughout the film and as part of the ending, Cohen and Shenk through in montages of Instagram and Facebook photos of Audrie and Daisy. Yes, it is a commentary on the social media (and threats) the two girls experienced. But all the images, of them in bikinis, with different hair styles, cats and silly faces, carry a different meaning. They say: You are not your assault. As a tribute to two girls and not the crimes committed against them, Audrie & Daisy should leave a lasting impact on audiences.


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