Art Threat: Our RIDM suggestions: urban development, rural Jesus, protest music, and more

RIDM always has way more films that look fantastic than any one person with other commitments can reasonably see in the space of ten days, which is a great problem to have. These are a few suggestions of things we’ve seen and loved. The Chinese Mayor The Chinese Mayor (2015, Hao Zhou) is a fairly ...

Art Threat: Maidan: one of the most honest depictions of popular protest ever filmed

Sergei Loznitsa’s latest film, Maidan, falls firmly in the tradition of documentaries that use the real to question the possibilities of cinema. Those expecting a more activist documentary like Jehane Noujaim’s The Square might come away dissatisfied with Maidan, but this shouldn’t stop filmgoers from experiencing what is ultimately one of the most honest depictions of popular protest ...

Art Threat: Ethnography 101: La cour de Babel and La marche à suivre

The only thing I hate more than bad puns is bad ethnography, and La cour de Babel walks a fine line on that. Following an integration class for new immigrants at a Parisian high school, the entire film is shot from the teacher’s perspective. While this is not apparent at first, since the camera angle ...

Art Threat: The Look of Silence: breathtaking in every sense

A lot of people didn’t like The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2012 film exposing the impunity the perpetrators of Indonesia’s 1965 genocide continue to benefit from. The biggest objection was that the film focused only on the killers, leaving out almost any treatment of victims or survivors. One critic even twisted Oppenheimer’s statement that ...

Art Threat: Hot Docs 2012 – The good, the bad, the incomprehensible

The 19th edition of North America’s largest documentary showcase and one of the world’s largest film festivals begins this week, running from April 26 to May 6 in Toronto. With Charlotte Cook replacing Sean Farnel as head programmer, new directions (less films, more focus is the official line), new initiatives (Hot Docs’s very own Kickstarter, ...