Do you know what Requiem for a Dream (2000) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) have in common? It’s ok if you struggle to work this out. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Requiem is an exploration of addiction that stares, unblinking,… Read More ›
Documentary “The Neutral Ground” balances truth and humor on a razor’s edge. [Nashville Film Festival]
In 2015, the New Orleans City Council passed a proposal by then-mayor Mitch Landrieu to remove five monuments around the city dedicated to Confederate soldiers. It took several years for these five to be removed due to legal action attempting… Read More ›
“a-ha: The Movie” makes it clear that it’s no better to be safe than sorry. [Nashville Film Festival]
Music is absolutely a paradox when it comes to its tether to time. It’s at once a product of when it was made, but it can feel entirely free of that period, being discovered or rediscovered over and over again…. Read More ›
Music is the tether in short doc “Babylon: Ghetto, Renaissance, and Modern Oblivion,” linking two cultures across time and location.
Before Guttenberg changed how we share stories with the birth of the printing press in 1450, it was the oral tradition which kept the past in the memories of our present. Even well after the emergence of printed word, the… Read More ›
There are certain landmark achievements in human history, whether physically or intellectually or a combination of the two, that only come along once every century or so, representing the pinnacle of human potential. The documentary Kipchoge: The Last Milestone, directed… Read More ›
Fistful of Features shines a spotlight on The Criterion Collection’s restoration of “Original Cast Album: ‘Company’.”
Welcome to Fistful of Features, a celebration of film preservation through physical media and the discussion of cinematic treasures to maintain their relevance in the cultural lexicon. Today we’ll be discussing a failed television documentary pilot that was recently revived… Read More ›
UFO researchers Seth Breedlove and Shannon LeGro take their investigations to West Virginia in “On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky.”
When we talk about strange and mysterious subjects that we’re nowhere close to understanding, like unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, it’s more useful to pose open-ended questions than to try and pinpoint definite answers. Asking… Read More ›
“Hail to the Deadites” is the imperfectly perfect documentary for the imperfectly perfect “Evil Dead” series fan.
Inspiration can strike just about anywhere. Maybe it’s in the silence of doing nothing; the mind unobstructed by screens, music, or other noise becomes able to roam freely through the possibilities. Other times, inspiration comes from a question you ask… Read More ›
Documentary “No Ordinary Man” explores the life of musician Billy Tipton, simultaneously shedding light on the past and offering a beacon for the future.
American jazz musician Billy Tipton started his career playing as part of a big band setup that played radio stations and in clubs. He worked his way up, touring the country, playing as part of an ensemble, as the bandleader,… Read More ›
Documentarian Julien Faraut successfully preserves the incredible story of the 1964 Japanese volleyball team, even if the presentation lacks the energy the true story deserves. [North Bend Film Festival]
Storytelling is all about execution. You can have the most fascinating, compelling, edge-of-your-seat concept, but, if the execution flounders, nothing else matters. Take the story about the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo which saw the introduction of volleyball as an… Read More ›
Adventurous, heartrending, and undeniably raw, “CODE NAME: Nagasaki” offers a reimagined documentary told through the language of cinema. [North Bend Film Festival]
When it comes to self-discovery, there is no one right path, no universal means for those who walk this earth to become comfortable with themselves. This is the struggle, the burden we all share, whether we’ll admit it or not…. Read More ›
Without stooping to sensationalism, Dawn Porter’s “Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer” offers hope amid horror.
In 2020, documentarian Dawn Porter explored two very different political figures via her films John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Way I See It. The first followed Congressman and activist John Lewis, who passed away in 2020, while the second… Read More ›
It all begins with a story. A young man (Will Cassayd-Smith) is sharing a smoke with his Russian neighbor, Roman, who unexpectedly asks if Will could watch a package for him for about two weeks while he leaves town. The… Read More ›
Director James Kicklighter’s “The Sound of Identity” is the rare documentary which delicately shifts the audience away from the expected.
First performed in October 1787, Wolfgang Mozart’s Il dissoluto punito; ossia, il Don Giovanni (The Libertine Punished; or, Don Giovanni) has since been performed countless times around the globe. Like other pieces of art, it’s been recreated and recontextualized to… Read More ›
As a Jewish kid from Roanoke, Virginia, my music influences were around what was played on the radio; what played on music channels VH1, MTV, and BET; or what was played by my family across their eclectic tastes ranging from… Read More ›
What Drives Us is a doc that explores the passion behind touring musicians and some of the vehicles that got them there. From big names like Ringo Starr, U2, AC/DC to under the radar bands like Radkey and Starcrawler, this… Read More ›
Documentaries that manage to introduce a new audience to something niche and relatively uncommon (while retaining entertainment value and artistic excellence) instantly earn my admiration. From director Jeremy Workman and executive producer Kelly Marie Tran, Lily Topples the World shows… Read More ›
Director Mary Wharton’s documentary “Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free” is good for the heart and soul. [SXSW Film Festival]
From director Mary Wharton, the documentary Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free feels like a secret glimpse into a lost part of history. Considering that we are less than three decades removed from the time period of this film’s focus,… Read More ›
SXSW 2021 has come and gone, offering accredited press a dizzying array of opportunities in which to indulge. While the Elements of Madness coverage team wrote a hearty portion of reviews, there were far more films worth seeing than we… Read More ›
The Exorcist is the horror film that really showed a genre picture could transcend industry perception, going on to win two Academy Awards for Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound and earn eight nominations in other categories, including Best Picture and… Read More ›