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TOP PICKS

SPECTRE: SANITY, MADNESS
& THE FAMILY

dir. Para One

“Both intimate and exposed to the sight of all, musical and visual, fiction and documentary, the film always seems lit by several suns, revealing the different facets of what is and always has been exposed to our eyes and to our senses. Spectre is not only a journey around the world, it is also a therapy: through music, its origin and its power. Through images too: those of childhood, encounters and nature.”

—Aurélie Oria-Badoc
(Programmer, Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bordeaux)

 

A TREE OF LIFE: THE PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING
dir. Trish Adlesic
2021 DOC NYC U.S. Competition

"A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting recounts the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history and the community that came together in its aftermath."

—Billy Porter (Actor, Pose)

 
NEW RELEASES
A DECENT HOME
dir. Sara Terry
2021 DOC NYC Fight the Power


A Decent Home, Sara Terry’s unflinchingly intimate and troubling documentary about the crisis that is roiling the nation, tells this ever-pervasive story on a refreshingly human scale.”
—Lauren Mechling, The Guardian
 
 
GALLANT INDIES
dir. Philippe Béziat

Gallant Indies is a stylish, intoxicating look at creative evolution, captured with a passion and soul that shines out in every moment.”
—James Hanton, Outtake Mag
 
 
LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BLACK AND BLUES
dir. Sacha Jenkins
2022 DOC NYC Short List: Features


“The film is a trove of Armstrong’s love of music and his labor. And because so many of those who lend their insights are now departed, it has the feel of a mausoleum worthy of a humble yet celebratory Saints Go Marching In second line."
—Lisa Kennedy, New York Times
 
 
TIKTOK, BOOM.
dir. Shalini Kantayya

“The doc addresses widespread ideas and experiences around the app, mostly with a helpful journalistic remove that avoids either scolding or gushing. As a primer, it's effective and absorbing.”
—Tasha Robinson, Polygon
 
BOOK PICK
 
IT'S NOT TV: THE SPECTACULAR RISE, REVOLUTION, AND FUTURE OF HBO
By Felix Gillette & John Koblin

"HBO changed how stories could be told on TV. The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Game of Thrones. The network’s meteoric rise heralded the second golden age of television with serialized shows that examined and reflected American anxieties, fears, and secret passions through complicated characters who were flawed and often unlikable. HBO’s own behind-the-scenes story is as complex, compelling, and innovative as the dramas the network created, driven by unorthodox executives who pushed the boundaries of what viewers understood as television at the turn of the century. Originally conceived by a small upstart group of entrepreneurs to bring Hollywood movies into living rooms across America, the scrappy network grew into one of the most influential and respected players in Hollywood. It’s Not TV is the deeply reported, definitive story of one of America’s most daring and popular cultural institutions, laying bare HBO’s growth, dominance, and vulnerability within the capricious media landscape over the past fifty years. 

Through the visionary executives, showrunners, and producers who shaped HBO, seasoned journalists Gillette and Koblin bring to life a dynamic cast of characters who drove the company’s creative innovation in astonishing ways—outmaneuvering copycat competitors, taming Hollywood studios, transforming 1980s comedians and athletes like Chris Rock and Mike Tyson into superstars, and in the late 1990s and 2000s elevating the commercial-free, serialized drama to a revered art form. But in the midst of all its success, HBO was also defined by misbehaving executives, internal power struggles, and a few crucial miscalculations. 

As data-driven models like Netflix have taken over streaming, HBO’s artful, instinctual, and humanistic approach to storytelling is in jeopardy. Taking readers into the boardrooms and behind the camera, It’s Not TV tells the surprising, fascinating story of HBO’s ascent, its groundbreaking influence on American business, technology, and popular culture, and its increasingly precarious position in the very market it created."

SHORT OF THE WEEK

SVONNI V. THE SWEDISH TAX AGENCY
Directed by Maria Fredriksson
 
"Indigenous Sami tradition versus Swedish bureaucracy — which one wins this dogfight?"
 
The articles linked to in Weekend Watch do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DOC NYC. They are provided as a round up of new releases in the documentary field.
Got a tip for Weekend Watch? Please contact editor Jordan M. Smith via
email here or on Twitter at @Rectangular_Eye.
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