Documentary

By Heather Johnson
December 27, 2005 - 1:19 AM PST

"This isn't just for bird lovers," we emphasize in our "50 Best Documentaries" list. To those who haven't seen The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, it's a little difficult to explain our enthusiasm for a film that's also about how our lives can take radical, unexpected turns. Heather Johnson talks with director Judy Irving and the other subject of the film, Mark Bittner.

Page 12/27/2005 - 1:00am

By Sara Schieron
November 7, 2005 - 11:34 AM PST

There's nothing about Brother Minister: The Assassination of Malcolm X that hasn't sparked controversy. It names names. It's the subject of lawsuits over its ownership and its content. And its maker, Jack Baxter, recently disabled by a suicide bomb attack in Israel, still refuses to follow easier, safer paths. Sara Schieron talks to him.

Page 11/07/2005 - 1:00am

By Jonathan Marlow
October 11, 2005 - 7:46 AM PDT

If the Symbionese Liberation Army hadn't kidnapped the daughter of a media magnate in 1974, would anyone ever have heard of them? Jonathan Marlow talks with Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Robert Stone about his latest, Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst.

Page 10/11/2005 - 12:00am

By Jonathan Marlow
October 7, 2005 - 5:59 AM PDT

"One of the last great samurai who unyieldingly fights for ideals and convictions," Ingmar Bergman once said of Swedish documentary filmmaker Stefan Jarl. As his most recent film, The Girl From Auschwitz, screens at the Mill Valley Film Festival, Jonathan Marlow talks to him about his early work, global politics and working with Lukas Moodysson.

Page 10/07/2005 - 12:00am

By Jonathan Marlow

John Pierson, a major mover and shaker at the dawn of the American independent film movement of the mid-80s to mid-90s, author of Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes and host of the IFC series, Split Screen, got it in his head to take his family to Fiji, run a theater there and show movies for free. Jonathan Marlow talks to John, Janet, Georgia and Wyatt Pierson about their adventure and the film that captures their story, Reel Paradise.

Page 09/02/2005 - 12:00am

By Jonathan Marlow

In these days of penguins and politics, it's easy to forget that documentaries were once an extreme rarity in theaters. With Hoop Dreams, Steve James helped prove audiences would turn out for a great story, regardless of genre. Jonathan Marlow talks with James about how his latest, Reel Paradise, is unlike any film he's worked on before.

Page 09/02/2005 - 12:00am

By David D'Arcy

"The first time I ever held a camera with the intent of doing some real damage was on Daybreak Express." That was 1953. Bob Dylan eventually saw the five-minute short and agreed to have D.A. Pennebaker follow him around on his groundbreaking tour 12 years later. The result was Don't Look Back and the rest is film history. David D'Arcy talks to Pennebaker about his work and the future of documentaries in an age when nearly everyone has "a camera in their pocket."

Page 08/19/2005 - 12:00am

By Craig Phillips

A new film aims to school the world about the power of the seminal punk band The Minutemen, whose creative force was at its very peak when brought to a tragic halt. We Jam Econo is a sorely overdue eulogy of sorts; Craig Phillips spoke with co-director Tim Irwin by phone about the making of the film and the power of the music.

Page 07/22/2005 - 12:00am

By Sean Axmaker

Nearly twenty years ago, Sherman's March became one of the most unusual art-house hits in movie history. Now Bright Leaves, just out on DVD, is winning accolades and new audiences for documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee. Sean Axmaker talks to him about his mentors and his uniquely engaging form of first-person narrative.

Page 07/04/2005 - 12:00am

By Francine Taylor

Kirby Dick's Twist of Faith, nominated for an Academy Award, has sparked urgent discussion of the devastating effects on people's lives of sexual abuse by the clergy. Francine Taylor listens to the victims and those seeking to help them.

Twist of Faith is now out on DVD.

Page 06/30/2005 - 12:00am

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