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In this bonus episode, we invite back our former cohost Summre Garber to talk about the documentary slate at the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival, where she is co-captain of the documentary-features program. Then we all discuss, in depth, the following three films: Code Name: Nagasaki, Everyone Wants to Be the Next Weismann and Holy Frit. This episode …
 
In this bonus episode, cohosts Bart and Chris revisit their favorite documentaries of 2020, and then invite, each in turn, six guest hosts from the past year to chat about their own favorites. Those guests, in alphabetical order, are: Hannah Buchdahl, Sandie Angulo Chen, Leslie Combemale, Roxana Hadadi, Lisa Sanchelo and Debra Zimmerman. Chris and …
 
We wrap up Season 10 with returning guest host Anuradha Rana (Associate Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, DePaul University) as we review Daniel Lombroso's White Noise, a profile of some of the current leading figures among the alt-right. This leads to a discussion of the dangers of turning one's lens on problematic ideologues, given how the cam…
 
We have our second new guest host of the season join us this week: Inkoo Kang, formerly of Slate and now of The Hollywood Reporter. Together, we review the new Showtime documentary Citizen Bio, which profiles the late Aaron Traywick and his (not so) merry band of biohackers at Ascendance Biomedical, and pair that with an interview that Bart and Chr…
 
This week, as the conclusion to the 2020 election season looms, and everyone anxiously awaits the results, we examine the grotesque incompetence, selfishness and venality of Donald Trump and others in his administration, as evidenced by their response to the coronavirus pandemic, through the lens of Alex Gibney's latest documentary, Totally Under C…
 
The internet and its many connected sites and apps is a fraught place, filled with algorithms that manipulate the user beyond what she or he comes close to realizing. Both films we discuss this week, The Social Dilemma and Feels Good Man, look at the more sinister aspects of online culture. Returning guest host Jennifer Proctor joins us a for a rev…
 
Our nation's 39th president, Jimmy Carter, is on the documentary docket this week as we review Mary Wharton's Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President, joined by returning guest host Sedika Mojadidi. That film looks at Carter's love of music and how it helped shape both his insurgent 1976 campaign and his time in the White House, revealing the compassio…
 
We are back! We start Season 10 with two documentaries about the animal kingdom: Bird Island and Space Dogs. With returning guest host Leslie Combemale (owner of ArtInsights Gallery), we review the former, and then Bart and Chris interview Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter, the directors of the latter. Given the political season and the upcoming episode…
 
In this special bonus episode, the last before we begin our momentous Season 10 … can you believe it? … Bart and Chris revisit some favorite moments from past shows, including: all the previous clip-montage intros; excerpts from our interviews with filmmakers Chelsea Hernandez, Stanley Nelson and Morgan Neville; an excerpt from Bart's interview wit…
 
In this bonus episode, Bart and Chris interview filmmaker Laurens Grant, first briefly reviewing two of her documentaries, the 2016 Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement and the brand-new Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, before launching into an in-depth examination of her career. Both a director and a producer, Grant has a lot to s…
 
In this final episode of our 9th season, film critic Hannah Buchdahl (of chickflix.net) joins us to review the upcoming documentary on the many battles fought on our behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union in the age of Donald Trump, The Fight. Then, Bart and Chris interview Ramona Diaz about her (also upcoming) A Thousand Cuts, which profiles…
 
Money makes the world go round, does it not? Let the capital flow, so its profits may trickle down in a wellspring of bounty for all … except that the greater the flow, the faster it trickles up, away from the masses and into the hands of a rarefied, entitled elite that never seems to stop wanting more. In this week’s episode, Women Make Movies’ Ex…
 
This week, we briefly step away from our problems at home (while never forgetting or minimizing them) to celebrate the culinary traditions of our neighbors to the south. Guest host Sandie Angulo Chen (of Common Sense Media) joins us as we review Elizabeth Carroll’s Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy, which profiles the titular nonagenarian, British-born …
 
Our nation is burning, and the fire has deep roots in our past. The police violence against communities and people of color is nothing new, emerging from the legacy of slavery that taints our history. In this week’s episode, with guest host Lisa Sanchelo (of the podcast I Love That Movie!), we review Becoming, the recent documentary about Michelle …
 
In this week’s episode, we discuss cults (or not) and the science of climate change, de-extinction, space exploration and more, all in a brief 50 minutes, as we review Spaceship Earth and interview directors David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg about their We Are As Gods. Joining us as guest host this time is film critic and fellow podcaster Jessica B…
 
Welcome back! We kick off Season 9 with two documentaries about famous film people, starting with a group review of the biopic Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind and then cutting to an interview with French director Gregory Monro about Kubrick by Kubrick, which would have premiered at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, had it happened. Joining us as gu…
 
In this bonus episode, Bart and Chris review the new nine-part Netflix documentary series The Innocence Files and then interview Sarah Dowland, director of the final episode. The series is divided into three sections – ““The Evidence,” “The Witness” and “The Prosecution” – each of which is comprised of three episodes, some of which are linked narra…
 
In this bonus episode, Bart and Chris chat with Melanie Addington, Executive Director, Oxford Film Festival (which was supposed to run March 18-22); Leslie Raymond, Executive Director, Ann Arbor Film Festival (running online March 24-29); and Lela Meadow-Conner, Executive Director, Film Festival Alliance. Together, we discuss the current state of f…
 
Documentarian and educator Elizabeth Coffman joins Bart and Chris to review Andrew Goldberg’s powerful examination of the resurgent scourge of antisemitism across the globe, the just released Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations. Bart then interviews Allen and Cynthia Mondell, directors of the 2008 documentary The Monster Among Us, which profiled …
 
Joining Bart and Chris as guest host for a robust discussion of the three-part 2018 BBC documentary series They've Gotta Have Us, just recently released on Netflix, is film critic Roxana Hadadi. We discuss that program’s approach to the history of African American and Black British actors and directors in Hollywood. Then, Bart interviews director J…
 
How high above soar the stars, enchanting us with their blazing glory! Or perhaps we only project such power onto them, and they are merely ordinary beings, elevated by our own desires. In today’s episode, guest host Leslie Combemale (the Cinema Siren, herself) joins us as we review the new Taylor Swift biopic Miss Americana, which just premiered a…
 
Well, the 2020 Academy Awards may have come and gone, but that’s no reason to stop watching the nominated films, even the ones that did not win. In this week’s episode, returning guest host Patricia Aufderheide joins Bart and Chris to discuss all 5 of the Oscar-nominated short documentaries, after which Chris interviews co-directors Waad al-Kateab …
 
Democracy is under worldwide threat, from dictators, would-be dictators and those followers who seek power at the expense of liberty. In this week’s episode, we discuss two recent documentaries about this very trend. First, with guest host Mirella Martinelli – a Brazilian filmmaker living in Florida – we review Petra Costa’s Oscar-nominated The Edg…
 
Welcome to Season 8! In this episode, we invite back our old friend and cohost Summre Garber to talk about the documentary slate at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival, where she is co-captain of the documentary-features program. We learn what she is up to now and hear about her favorites at this year’s fest. In addition, Bart and Chris interview the …
 
In this bonus episode, cohosts Bart Weiss and Chris Reed talk with Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), discussing his career and thoughts on the art of filmmaking. In addition, we consider two different approaches to the same topic, comparing Neville’s 2018 nonfiction Won’t You Be My Neighbor? to Marielle Heller’s 201…
 
In this bonus episode, cohosts Bart and Chris revisit their favorite documentaries of 2019, and then invite, each in turn, all the podcast’s Season 7 guest hosts to chat about their favorites. Those guests, in order of appearance, are: Sedika Mojadidi, Betsy McLane, Anuradha Rana, Jennifer Proctor, Sonali Gulati and Patricia Aufderheide. Given how …
 
For our final episode of Season 7, we invite Patricia Aufderheide, of American University, back on the show (she was Bart’s interview subject, discussing her role in developing the modern rules of Fair Use, on our August 28 bonus episode). The theme this time is the role of journalism in today’s world (and how we got here), as we review the new doc…
 
As our seventh season enters its final third, Bart and Chris join guest host Sonali Gulati, a filmmaker and faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, for a review of Jacqueline Olive’s searing look back at America’s violent history of lynching, Always in Season. Then, Bart interviews Elizabeth Coffman, co-director of Flannery, a documenta…
 
This week, we welcome guest host Jennifer Proctor, filmmaker and Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at University of Michigan-Dearborn, for a robust discussion of the new documentary#FemalePleasure and its examination of female agency in the modern world. Following that group review, we play Chris’s interview with director Pia Hel…
 
Joining us this week is documentarian Anuradha Rana – Associate Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, DePaul University – as we discuss Alexandre O. Philippe’s Memory: The Origins of Alien and interview director Alyssa Bolsey and cinematographer Camilo Lara of Beyond the Bolex. Both films deal, albeit in very different ways, with behind-the-scenes l…
 
For this second episode of our current season we try something new with a look back at an important film from the past, Barbara Kopple’s 1976 Harlan County U.S.A., which won the 1977 Best Documentary Oscar. Why this trip down docu-memory lane? Two reasons: 1) our guest host this week is actually a guest historian, Betsy McLane, who not only knows j…
 
We are back for a new season, and this time with a series of guest hosts – a new one each episode – to accompany Bart and Chris on their journey through documentary cinema. Our guest for this episode is filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi, whose Facing the DragonI mentioned on our April 17 bonus episode. We review Danish director Mads Brügger’s Cold Case Ham…
 
In this bonus episode, Bart interviews Patricia Aufderheide, of American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact, about how she first developed the guidelines for “fair use,” those rules whereby documentary filmmakers place footage from other sources in their films without fear of lawsuits. It’s one of the most important developments in the n…
 
Release date – 7/24/19 Bonus Episode – “The Great Hack” This bonus episode features a review of the new Netflix documentary The Great Hack – which opens today on the site – and an interview with its directors, Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim, from this year’s AFI DOCS film festival. The film discusses both the 2016 Brexit and 2016 U.S. presidential e…
 
There are no shortage of documentaries on various aspects of film history and we discuss a few of them plus we have a group review of BE NATURAL and Chris interviews Midge Costin of MAKING WAVES. Group Review Documentary: BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY BLACHE (2018) / USA (Director / Producer: Pamela B. Green) Now playing at select theat…
 
This episode is dedicated to 2019 AFI DOCS featuring an interview with Festival Director Michael Lumpkin, group discussion of three features playing this year and an interview with Chris and Linda Goldstein Knowlton of WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS. Group Review of Three films at 2019 AFI Docs: Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project / 2019 (Director: Ma…
 
This week we look at documentaries about photography, polaroid film and ways of seeing as we review INSTANT DREAMS and Chris interviews Rodney Evans, the director of VISION PORTRAITS. Group Review Documentary: INSTANT DREAMS (2018) / USA (Director: Willem Baptist / Producer: Pieter van Huystee) Now playing in select theaters nationally and internat…
 
Politics is the theme this week as we discuss election and political documentaries, review KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE, and Bart interviews David Modigliani of RUNNING WITH BETO. Group Review Documentary: KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE (2019) / USA (Director: Rachel Lears / Producers: Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick, Sarah Olson) Now playing on Netflix Film Featured i…
 
This week we look at documentaries about immigration (and specifically about migrant workers) as we review BISBEE ‘17 and have an interview with Chelsea Hernandez of BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM. Group Review Documentary: BISBEE ‘17 (2018) / USA (Director: Robert Greene / Producers: Douglas Tirola, Bennett Elliott, Susan Bedusa) Now playing on iTune…
 
Many documentaries use archival footage in different ways, sometimes the entire film is archival and other times it is interwoven with new footage, or altered or animated to create a completely new and different work. This week we chat a bit about all of these variations and review the recent archival masterpiece, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD and Chris …
 
This bonus episode features an interview with the great Stanley Nelson, a prolific director telling complex and socially relevant stories in an expert and entertaining way. The episode drops the day before Nelson’s latest film, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, plays at the Maryland Film Festival, in co-host Chris Reed’s hometown of Baltimore. Stanle…
 
In what is now a tradition for bonus episodes, we look at an online collective of short documentaries, this time with Field of Vision. Founded by Laura Poitras, AJ Schnak and Charlotte Cook, the site showcases insightful films from insider perspectives on various areas of the world, with a focus on political and social inequalities. https://fieldof…
 
For SXSW we discuss two of the films playing this year, RAISE HELL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MOLLY IVINS and PAHOKEE, and Bart & Chris interview the filmmakers from Austin Texas. SXSW Films Covered: Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins / 2019 (Director:Janice Engel) Pahokee / 2019 (Directors: Patrick Bresnan & Ivete Lucas) Other Documentaries…
 
Portrayals of Southern culture in documentary is the topic this week as we look at HILLBILLY and Chris interviews Morrisa Maltz, the director of INGRID. Group Review Documentary: HILLBILLY (2018) / USA (Directors / Producers: Ashley York, Sally Rubin) Now playing on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu & Amazon Film Featured in Interview Portion: INGRID (201…
 
Audience fascination with films about the ultra-wealthy in a time of great economic disparity is the topic this week as we discuss THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING and Chris interviews the director of GENERATION WEALTH. Group Review Documentary: THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING (2018) / USA (Director: Nathaniel Kahn / Producers: Carla Solomon, Debi Wisch, Jennifer S…
 
This week we talk Oscars with a brief discussion of the documentary feature nominees and a more intensive review of each nominated short as well as kvetching generally about the complicated relationship between documentary films and Oscar. Also, we interview Robert Bahar, co-director of The Silence of Others. Oscar Shorts Reviewed: Black Sheep / 20…
 
Youth culture (and specifically docs dealing with subjects “on wheels”) is the topic this week as we look at UNITED SKATES about roller skating in African American communities across the U.S. and MINDING THE GAP about three skateboarding friends growing up in the rust belt. Note: This interview with Bing Liu was recorded before the Oscar nomination…
 
Chris and Summre interview four filmmakers from snowy Park City in this special Sundance & Slamdance on location episode. Filmmakers Interviewed: Penny Lane (Director), HAIL SATAN? Heidi Yewman (Director) & Will Little (Subject), BEHIND THE BULLET Jonathan Sutak (Director), DONS OF DISCO Alex Holmes (Director), MAIDEN Hammer to Nail Links by Christ…
 
We discuss the four films we will be covering in Park City this year with filmmaker interviews and get hyped for our upcoming travels to the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. Sundance Films Reviewed: Hail Satan? / 2019 (Director: Penny Lane) Maiden / 2018 (Director: Alex Holmes) Slamdance Films Reviewed: Behind the Bullet / 2019 (Director: Hei…
 
Well, it’s that time of year where everyone loves to assemble top ten lists of all sorts. In this Bonus Episode, we each discuss our top ten documentaries of this year and the general trends we are seeing in 2018 doc films. Bart’s Top 10 List: 209 Rue Saint Maur / 2018 (Director: Ruth Zylberman) 306 Hollywood / 2018 (Directors: Elan Bogarin & Jonat…
 
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