Tag Archives: frederick wiseman
A couple weeks ago I wrote about my films Shredder and Rehearsals going up on IndieFlix, and since then I’ve been exploring their library. ‘Library’ isn’t even a good enough word for it—it’s an absolute treasure trove of under the radar, wholly independent films that you’d never come across anywhere else. Not all of them are good, but there are absolute gems to be found, such as my favorite discovery so far, a 35-minute documentary called Bowling Blind.
The film is about a blind bowling league that bowls in the basement of a housing building for the blind in Manhattan. If you enjoy light, honest documentaries about colorful characters, you’ll definitely like it. It’s a very warm movie, suitable for any age.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the director, producer, and cameraman of the film, Marc Cantone:
Michael Moore, being repulsive. That was not intended as a dig at his physicality. He’d be repulsive even if he looked like Kat Dennings. Okay, maybe not then, but you get the point.
What is a documentary?
I know that may seem like kind of a ridiculous, pretentious question to ask, especially right off the bat of an essay or whatever, but I don’t mean it like that. I’m absolutely serious, and it’s an entirely valid question. What the fuck is one? I don’t think we really know. I mean, we know ‘em when we see ‘em I guess. Basically, they’re movies about real life. Nothing staged. Except interviews, of course. Interviews are, by their very nature, extremely staged and controlled and can very easily be manipulated by both the interviewer and the editor, but those get a pass, I guess. (As do dramatic reenactments, which can be very misleading, but are thought of as okay for some reason.) I think we can all agree though that documentaries definitely must not have a script that people are following. That’s for sure. Well—except of course in the case of a sort of monologue through-line or whatever. The documentarian gets a pass on having a script. Even if it’s way subjective. Man, this is getting contradictory. And confusing. And gross.
R.I.P. Robert Joseph Ebert. June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013
Today, John D’Amico was supposed to wax poetic about obscure zombie movies. That piece has been moved to next week. I don’t think anyone wants to read about zombie movies right now, or read about anything to do with movies, for that matter, unless it has to do with Roger Ebert. At least, I certainly don’t.
I expect that over the next few days, weeks, months, I will binge on everything Ebert. Episodes, books, interviews, etcetera. That’s the kind of death this is. A death where you are left speechless and searching, grasping for the artist’s soulful air as though it will wisp away into the ether if you don’t. But of course, it won’t. It will live on forever, and there is all the time in the world to experience and re-experience it. But the impulse is unavoidable.