US vs John Lennon

Editorial Review – Amazon.com

In retrospect, it seems absurd that the United States government felt so threatened by the presence of John Lennon that they tried to have him deported. But that’s what happened, as chronicled in directors David Leaf and John Scheinfeld’s The U.S. vs. John Lennon. The film starts slowly, with a familiar look at the former Beatle’s troubled childhood, his outspokenness as one of the Fabs (“We’re more popular now than Jesus Christ,” etc.), and his eventual hookup with Yoko Ono, paralleled by the growth of political protest in ’60s America, particularly against the Vietnam War. John and Yoko went on to stage their own peaceful demonstrations, like the Canadian “bed-ins,” but these were largely harmless media stunts. It was when the Lennons moved to New York in the early ’70s and took a more active role in the anti-war movement, making friends with radicals like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale, that the government got interested–and paranoid–and men like President Richard Nixon, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, and right-wing Sen. Strom Thurmond began actively looking for ways to silence him (it was Thurmond who came up with the deportation idea). That’s also when the film picks up. An array of talking heads weighs in, ranging from Ono and others sympathetic to Lennon’s plight (Walter Cronkite, Sen. George McGovern, even Geraldo Rivera) to those on the other side, including Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy. Though The U.S. vs. John Lennon is hardly impartial, it’s safe to say that although Lennon was more an idealist than an activist, he was an influential celebrity whom Nixon viewed as a potential nuisance in an election year. And even once Nixon had won the ’72 presidential race, the Immigration and Naturalization Service refused to drop its case. Why? “Anybody who sings about love, and harmony, and life, is dangerous to somebody who sings about death,” says author Gore Vidal. “Lennon… was a born enemy of the U.S. He was everything they hated.” For music fans, Lennon’s solo recordings provide the soundtrack. The DVD also contains considerable additional documentary footage. –Sam Graham

The Secret Life of Lance Letscher

“The Secret Life of Lance Letscher” is a deeply personal and psychological portrait of internationally known, and Austin based, collage artist Lance Letscher. Told through memories of trauma and triumph, the film provides a doorway into Letscher’s profound insights on creativity, the subconscious, work ethic and spirituality. Through his intricate artistic process, we witness the artist’s unwavering determination to stay in the moment—free of mind, thought and preconception. Featuring detailed images of more than a hundred of his collages, sculptures, and installations, viewers are offered a visual feast while gaining intimate access into Letscher’s methodical techniques and brilliant mind.

www.lanceletscherdoc.com

Life In A Day

What happens when you send a request out to the world to chronicle, via video, a single day on Earth? You get 80,000 submissions and 4,500 hours of footage from 192 countries. Producer Ridley Scott and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald took this raw material — all shot on July 24, 2010 — and created Life in a Day, a groundbreaking, feature-length documentary that portrays this kaleidoscope of images we call life. National Geographic is bringing it to theaters starting July 24, 2011. Prepare to be amazed.

Ray Johnson • How to Draw a Bunny

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“Make room for Ray Johnson whose place in history has been only vaguely defined. Johnson’s beguiling, challenging art has an exquisite clarity and emotional intensity that makes it much more than simply a remarkable mirror of its time, although it is that, too.”
–Roberta Smith, The New York Times (1995)

Ray Johnson (1927-1995) was a seminal Pop Art figure in the 1950s, an early conceptualist, and a pioneer of mail art. His preferred medium was collage, that quintessentially twentieth-century art form that reflects the increased (as the century wore on) collision of disparate visual and verbal information that bombards modern man. Integrating texts and images drawn from a multiplicity of sources — from mass media to telephone conversations — Johnson’s innovativeness spread beyond the confines of the purely visual. He staged what Suzi Gablik described in Pop Art Redefined as perhaps the “first informal happening” and moved into mail art, artist books, graphic design, and sculpture, working in all modes simultaneously. Johnson not only operated in what Rauschenberg famously called “the gap between art and life,” but he also erased the distinction between them. His entire being – a reflection of his obsessively creative mind – was actually one continuous “work of art.” His works reflect his encyclopedic erudition, his promiscuous range of interests, and an uncanny proto-Google ability to discover connections between a myriad of images, facts and people.

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Born in Detroit, Michigan on October 16, 1927, Johnson grew up in a working class neighborhood and attended an occupational high school where he enrolled in an advertising art program. He studied at the Detroit Art Institute and spent a summer in a drawing program at Ox-Bow School in Saugatuck, Michigan, an affiliate of the Art Institute of Chicago. Leaving Detroit in the summer of 1945, he matriculated at the progressive Black Mountain College, where he spent the next three years with the exception of the spring of 1946. He studied painting with former Bauhaus faculty Josef Albers and Lyonel Feininger, as well as Robert Motherwell. By the summer of 1948, Johnson had befriended summer visiting lecturers John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, and Richard Lippold and fellow student Ruth Asawa. He participated in “The Ruse of Medusa,” the culmination of Cage’s Satie Festival (characterized by scholar Martin Duberman as “a watershed event in the history of ‘mixed-media’”) with Cage, Cunningham, Fuller, the de Koonings, and Ruth Asawa, among others.

In early 1949, Johnson moved to New York City and became an active participant in the downtown art scene. Alongside the American Abstract Artists group, Johnson painted geometric abstractions heavily influenced by the imagery of his former professor, Josef Albers. Johnson later destroyed most of this work, having turned to collage.

By 1954, Johnson was making irregularly shaped “moticos,” his name for small-scale collages upon which he pasted images from popular culture such as Elvis Presley, James Dean, Shirley Temple, and department store models. Johnson’s 1950s moticos anticipated Warhol’s 1960s Pop imagery. However, his attitude towards fame remained the antithesis of Warhol’s. He continually dodged it and was dubbed “the most famous unknown artist” by Grace Glueck in a 1965 New York Times article in which she discussed his deliberate elusiveness. Johnson carried boxes of moticos around New York, sharing them with strangers on sidewalks, in cafes, and even in Grand Central Station. He solicited and even occasionally recorded the public’s response to his intricate creations. After a number of performance-like installations of these works in 1954-55, Johnson claimed to have burned a plethora of them in Cy Twombly’s fireplace, a gesture that John Baldessari later replicated in his “Cremation.”

From the early 1960s onwards, Johnson would reuse his “moticos,” cutting them up to create tiny compositions that he glued onto small blocks of layered cardboard. He would then ink, paint, and sand these “tiles” or “tesserae,” using them in his extremely complex collages whose underlying structural emphasis on repetition and variations of semi-geometric forms relate to the eccentric minimalism of fellow artists Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse. These collages reveal his profound understanding of cubism and his intent to explore it in different forms. Johnson incorporated meaningful texts into his work beginning in the 1950s – letters or fragments of words, names of celebrities, literary figures, and art-world denizens, both historical and current. He pointed his viewers towards marvelous connections between them and a world of metamorphosing glyphs that became part of Johnsons’s ever-expanding lexicon of text and forms. An artistic alchemist, Johnson could turn the detritus of ordinary life into proverbial art “gold.” In his typically self-deprecating way, Johnson would say that he did not make Pop Art, he made “Chop Art”.

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Untitled (Joseph Circle, 1979-80-90
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In 1958, Johnson was already recognized as part of the nascent Pop generation. In a review of a Jasper Johns’ exhibition, a critic for ARTnews stated: “Johns’ first one-man show (…) places him with such better-known colleagues as Rauschenberg, Twombly, Kaprow and Ray Johnson.” Around 1959, Johnson met Billy Linich (later known as Billy Name) at New York’s Serendipity, and in 1963 Johnson introduced him to Warhol. Billy Name became a key figure at Warhol’s Factory, responsible for covering the Factory walls with silver, which resulted from Johnson bringing Warhol to Name’s similarly silver-covered apartment.

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Johnson was one of the first conceptualists, an heir to Marcel Duchamp whom he may have met in 1961. Johnson shared his enthusiasm for the elder Frenchman’s work with many of his contemporaries. In Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés, Michael Taylor notes, “The public display of Johnson’s work helped to situate him as a crucial figure in the post-World War II dissemination of Duchamp’s art and ideas, alongside cultural luminaries such as John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Jasper Johns.” Johnson was one of the key artists to incorporate exhortations to the observer to participate actively in the work of art itself. His interest in codes, poetics, and semiotic systems looked back to Duchamp, while anticipating the enlarging contemporary conceptual practices, and the development of appropriation in particular, during the early second half of the 20th century.

Throughout the early stage of his career and spanning its duration, Johnson sought out the random and the ephemeral, incorporating chance operations into his artistic practice with “mail art.” He gradually built up an informal, hybrid network of friends, acquaintances, and strangers with whom he exchanged ideas and artworks by means of the postal system. By 1958, he began to write, “Please send to…” on his mailings, thereby creating even more sub-networks among the hundreds of correspondents in his greater mail art organization. By 1962, when it was named the “New York Correspondance [sic] School,” his virtual “school” of correspondents had become a network for a web of communication by mail that eventually spread across the nation and around the globe.

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Johnson was an early instigator of performance art, actively participating in events by James Waring and Susan Kaufman, among others, and staging his own starting in 1957 that included “Funeral Music for Elvis Presley” and “Lecture on Modern Music.” Johnson’s compositions were performed at The Living Theatre and during events such as the Fluxus “Yam Festival” of 1963. From 1961 on, Johnson periodically staged events he called “Nothings,” described to his friend William S. Wilson as “an attitude as opposed to a happening,” which would parallel the “Happenings” of Allan Kaprow and later Fluxus events. The first of these, “Nothing by Ray Johnson,” was part of a weekly series of events in July 1961 at AG Gallery, a venue in New York operated by George Maciunas and Almus Salcius. Ed Plunkett later recalled entering an empty room: ” . . . Visitors began to enter the premises. Most of them looked quite dismayed that nothing was going on . . . Well, finally Ray arrived . . . and he brought with him a large corrugated cardboard box of wooden spools. Soon after arriving Ray emptied this box of spools down the staircase … with these … one had to step cautiously to avoid slipping … I was delighted with this gesture.” Johnson’s second Nothing took place at Maidman Playhouse, New York, in 1962. Furthermore, the carefully orchestrated circumstances of his suicide on Friday the 13th, 1995 have prompted the suggestion that the process of his drowning was his “final performance.”

On April 1, 1968, the first of the meeting of the New York Correspondance School was held at the Society of Friends Meeting House on Rutherford Place in New York City. Johnson called two more meetings in the following weeks, including the Seating-Meeting at New York’s Finch College, about which John Gruen reported: “It was . . . attended by many artists and ‘members’ . . . all of whom sat around wondering when the meeting would start. It never did . . . people wrote things on bits of paper, on a blackboard, or simply talked. It was all strangely meaningless — and strangely meaningful.” Until his death, Johnson continued to mail out an extraordinary quantity of material, including elements of chopped-up collages; drawings with instructions (“please add to and return…”); found objects; snakeskins; plastic forks; and annotated newspaper clippings, to name only a few. To Johnson, “art” rejected physical limitations, the restraints of time, or a single identifiable goal. In this capacity, Johnson privileged inclusivity, deeming anyone and everyone with whom he interacted suitable for creative exchange.

Richard Feigen was an early champion of his work, holding one-man exhibitions in New York and Chicago from 1966-72, including I Shot an Arrow into the Air It Fell to Earth in the Ear of an Artist Living in Flushing, New York Tit Show (1970) and Dollar Bills (1970). From 1968-1974, Johnson produced an ambitious body of work, received critical attention on the pages of Artforum, and was featured in several major exhibitions. In 1970, The Whitney Museum of American Art organized Ray Johnson: New York Correspondance School, which served as a major form of cultural validation for Johnson’s practice. Additionally, Johnson had several solo shows at Willard Gallery (New York) as well as Famous People’s Mother’s Potato Mashers (1973) at Galleria Schwarz (Milan) and Ray Johnson’s History of the Betty Parsons Gallery (1973) at the Betty Parsons Gallery (New York), and participated in the group exhibition Post Card Show (1971-72) at the Angela Flowers Gallery (London).

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Untitled (Mae West, Rum and Potato), 4.21.91, 4.16.94
collage on cardboard panel, 9 by 9 inches

On June 3, 1968, the day Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol, Johnson was mugged at knifepoint in lower Manhattan. Two days later, the world was shocked by the assassination of Bobby Kennedy at the hands of Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles. These traumatic events prompted Johnson’s abrupt departure to Glen Cove, Long Island, to house he described as a “small white farmhouse with a Joseph Cornell attic.” He then relocated to nearby Locust Valley, where he lived in ever-greater reclusiveness. As his contemporaries became famous, Johnson gradually but purposefully closed off his private life and dwelling, but still maintained connections via his mail art, the telephone, and various activities in the Locust Valley community. Johnson, referring to himself as a “mysterious and secret organization,” eventually achieved legendary status as a “pure,” completely un-commercial artist. His underground reputation bubbled beneath the surface into the 1980s, despite his physical absence from the scene. Johnson’s presence continued to be felt by those who admired him including Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, and a close circle of friends, admirers, and collectors. Only a handful of people were ever allowed into his house and around 1978, he ceased to exhibit or sell his work commercially. In contrast to his physical seclusion, Johnson’s pre-digital network of correspondents increased exponentially. Johnson feverishly developed richer and more complex collages, which Whitney Museum curator, Donna de Salvo, described as “extending the compositional network beyond the parameters of an individual work and into the wider world.”

On April 5, 1973, Johnson declared the “death” of the “New York Correspondance School” in an unpublished letter to the Obituary Department of The New York Times but continued to practice mail art under this and other rubrics.

In 1976, Johnson began his Silhouette project, which involved creating over 200 profiles of friends’, artists’ or famous peoples’ faces, which he would often use as the basis for collages. Subjects included “a who’s who of the New York arts and letters scene”: Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Paloma Picasso, James Rosenquist, Richard Feigen, Frances Beatty, William S. Burroughs, Nam June Paik, David Hockney, Peter Hujar, and Roy Lichtenstein, among others.

On January 13, 1995, Johnson was seen dressed in black diving off a bridge in Sag Harbor, Long Island and backstroking out to sea. Many aspects of his death involved the number “13”: the date, his age, 67 (6+7=13), as well as the room number of a motel he had checked into earlier that day, 247 (2+4+7=13). There was much speculation amongst critics, scholars, admirers, and law-enforcement officials about a “last performance” aspect of Johnson’s drowning. After his death, hundreds of collages were found carefully arranged in his Long Island home. A retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1999), which traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts as well as solo and group shows in the US and abroad, including Paris, London, Oslo, Budapest, and Barcelona, began the process of re-introducing Johnson’s work to a broader audience. Johnson is considered one of the major artistic innovators of the second-half of the 20th century within the critical community but his work remains underexposed and underappreciated by the general public.

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Following Johnson’s suicide, filmmakers Andrew Moore and John Walter, with the support and oversight of Frances Beatty, Vice-President of Richard L. Feigen & Co. and director of the Ray Johnson Estate, spent six years probing the mysteries of Johnson’s life and art. Their collaboration yielded the award-winning documentary, How To Draw a Bunny, released in 2003. How To Draw a Bunny examines Johnson’s life, art, his ambivalent attitude towards fame, and finally his mysterious death. The film includes interviews with artists Chuck Close, James Rosenquist, Billy Name, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and the founder of The Living Theatre, Judith Malina, among many others. A decade after his death, the network of mail artists continues to grow, numbering in the thousands of general correspondents. Although Johnson’s death left many questions, his life’s work is evidence of a powerful and original sensibility unique in the history of Modern Art.

Richard L. Feigen & Co. represents the Ray Johnson Estate.

http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com

Regarding Susan Sontag

REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The documentary explores Sontag’s life through evocative experimental images, archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, read by actress Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books and her first experience in a gay bar; from her marriage in adolescence to her last lover, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, illness, and terrorism still resonate today. More than any other thinker of her day, Sontag was watched, viewed, photographed and stared at. She was gazed at, and she looked back, very carefully, particularly at language and metaphor and at photography and what she called “the ecology of images.” REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG gives viewers the chance to watch Sontag while she examines the world. REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG has been made in partnership with HBO Documentary Films.

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Susan Sontag was born in New York City on January 16, 1933, grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and attended high school in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from the College of the University of Chicago and did graduate work in philosophy, literature, and theology at Harvard University and Saint Anne’s College, Oxford.

Her books, all published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, include four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover, and In America; a collection of short stories, I, etcetera; several plays, including Alice in Bed and Lady from the Sea; and nine works of nonfiction, starting with Against Interpretation and including On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, Where the Stress Falls, Regarding the Pain of Others, and At the Same Time. In 1982, FSG published A Susan Sontag Reader.

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Ms. Sontag wrote and directed four feature-length films: Duet for Cannibals (1969) and Brother Carl (1971), both in Sweden; Promised Lands (1974), made in Israel during the war of October 1973; and Unguided Tour (1983), from her short story of the same name, made in Italy. Her play Alice in Bed has had productions in the United States, Mexico, Germany, and Holland. Another play, Lady from the Sea, has been produced in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Korea.

Ms. Sontag also directed plays in the United States and Europe, including a staging of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in the summer of 1993 in besieged Sarajevo, where she spent much of the time between early 1993 and 1996 and was made an honorary citizen of the city.

A human rights activist for more than two decades, Ms. Sontag served from 1987 to 1989 as president of the American Center of PEN, the international writers’ organization dedicated to freedom of expression and the advancement of literature, from which platform she led a number of campaigns on behalf of persecuted and imprisoned writers.

Her stories and essays appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary publications all over the world, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Art in America, Antaeus, Parnassus, The Threepenny Review, The Nation, and Granta. Her books have been translated into thirty-two languages.

Susan Sontag Relaxing on a Sofa --- Image by © Christopher Felver/CORBIS

Susan Sontag Relaxing on a Sofa — Image by © Christopher Felver/CORBIS

Among Ms. Sontag’s many honors are the 2003 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the 2003 Prince of Asturias Prize, the 2001 Jerusalem Prize, the National Book Award for In America (2000), and the National Book Critics Circle Award for On Photography (1978). In 1992 she received the Malaparte Prize in Italy, and in 1999 she was named a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government (she had been named an Officier in the same order in 1984). Between 1990 and 1995 she was a MacArthur Fellow.

Ms. Sontag died in New York City on December 28, 2004.

http://www.susansontag.com

Grey Gardens

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This film explores the daily lives of two aging, eccentric relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Edie Bouvier Beale and her mother, Edith, are the sole inhabitants of a Long Island estate. During the course of the documentary, they discuss their habits, desires and former loves with filmmakers Albert and David Maysles. The women reveal themselves to be misfits with outsized, engaging personalities. Much of the conversation is centered on their pasts, as mother and daughter now rarely leave home.

Release date: February 19, 1976 (USA)
Directors: Muffie Meyer, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde

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http://greygardensonline.com

Picasso & Braque Go to the Movies

Produced by Martin Scorsese and Robert Greenhut and directed by Arne Glimcher, PICASSO AND BRAQUE GO TO THE MOVIES is a cinematic tour through the effects of the technological revolution, specifically the invention of aviation, the creation of cinema and their interdependent influence on artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. With narration by Scorsese and interviews with art scholars and artists including Chuck Close, Julian Schnabel and Eric Fischl, the film looks at the collision between film and art at the turn of the 20th Century and helps us to realize cinema’s continuing influence on the art of our time.

We Live in public

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The film, We Live in Public, details the experiences of “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of,”Josh Harris. The pioneer Internet dot.com millionaire founded Pseudo.com, the first internet streaming TV network during the infamous technology boom of the late ’90s. After achieving prominence amongst the Silicon Valley USA set, Harris became interested in controversial the human behavior experiments which tested the impact of media on society and technology to answer the question, what is personal identity. Ondi Timoner created a project initiation document to share major business-related moments of Harris’s life for more than a decade, setting the tone for her best documentaries ever on virtual worlds online and its supposed control of human lives.

Among Josh Harris’s experiments touched on in the film is the creative art projects of Orwell “Quiet: We Live in Public.” This Orwellian, Big Brother, totalitarian government concept developed in the late ’90s which placed more than 100 artists in a human terrarium under New York City, with webcam capture software and a laser microphone following every move the artists made. The pièce de résistance consisted of Japanese capsule hotels that was outfitted with live video cameras in every pod, and screens that allowed each occupant to monitor the other pods installed in the basement by artist Jeff Gompertz.

The film’s website describes how, “With Quiet: We Live in Public, Harris proved how, in the affiliate future of standard life online, we will willingly trade our privacy for the connection and peer recognition we all deeply desire. Through his experiments, including another six-month stint living under 24-hour home security camera systems online which led him to experience nervous breakdown symptoms. Josh Harris displayed the demonstration effect of the price we will all pay for living in public.”

“He climbs into the TV set and he becomes the rat in his own experiment at this point, and the results don’t turn out very well for him,” says Timoner of the six month period Harris broadcast his work experience abroad in one his lofts in NYC live online. “He really takes the only relationship that he’s ever had that was close and intimate and beaches it on 30 motion-controlled home security camera systems and 66 invasive microphones. I mean his girlfriend who signed on to it thinking it would be fun and cool, and that they were living a fast and crazy TV by Internet life, she ended up leaving him. She just couldn’t be intimate in public. And I think that’s one of the important lessons in life; the Internet, as wonderful as it is, is not an intimate medium. It’s just not. If you want to keep something intimate and if you want to keep something sacred, you probably shouldn’t post it.”

http://weliveinpublic.blog.indiepixfilms.com

Citizenfour

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CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name “CITIZENFOUR,” in January 2013. He reached out to her because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, stopped at airports numerous times, and had refused to be intimidated. When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film.

CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media storm raging outside, forced to make quick decisions that will impact their lives and all of those around them.

CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.

https://citizenfourfilm.com

Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power

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An entire country watched transfixed as a poised, beautiful African-American woman in a blue dress sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. That October day in 1991 Anita Hill, a bookish law professor from Oklahoma, was thrust onto the world stage and instantly became a celebrated, hated, venerated, and divisive figure.

Anita Hill’s graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still today. She has become an American icon, empowering millions of women and men around the world to stand up for equality and justice.

Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, ANITA reveals the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power. Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, the film is both a celebration of Anita Hill’s legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side that fateful day 22 years ago. Anita Hill courageously speaks openly and intimately for the first time about her experiences that led her to testify before the Senate and the obstacles she faced in simply telling the truth. She also candidly discusses what happened to her life and work in the 22 years since.

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http://anitahill-film.com

diana vreeland: the eye has to travel

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Diana Vreeland is even more vital and relevant today than at the time of her death in 1989. While her reputation in the fashion world is well known, the actual breadth of her career and extent of her reach is immeasurable. The true gold standard of fashion and style credibility, Mrs. Vreeland is responsible for launching many iconic careers, establishing countless trends that have stood the test of time, and bringing an unprecedented and incontrovertible perspective to the fashion world that has scarcely been seen since.

Created and overseen by her estate, DianaVreeland.com is dedicated to her work and career, presenting her accomplishments and influence — and revealing just how and why she achieved such notoriety and distinction. Moreover, the site will delve into her rich personal history illuminating the woman behind the legend. Here fashion enthusiasts, bloggers and web cruisers the world over will find exclusive memos, photographs, images, videos and stories about or by the woman herself. Beyond just celebrating history, DianaVreeland.com is a source for contemporary and timeless fashion and style inspiration.

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The launch of DianaVreeland.com coincides with the debut of Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s two groundbreaking new projects: the large-format book and feature-length documentary entitled Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, which commemorate her iconic life.

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Twiggy in red and white striped jersey

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http://legacy.dianavreeland.com

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

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The documentary is directed by Brett Morgen who began work on it in 2007 when Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, approached him with the idea. It is the first documentary about Kurt Cobain to be made with the cooperation of his family. Morgen and his team were given access to the entirety of Cobain’s personal and family archives. The documentary includes footage from various Nirvana performances and unheard songs, as well as unreleased home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, journals, demos, and songbooks. Morgen used the interviews in the film Lenny as a model for the interviews in the film. The film’s title, Montage of Heck, takes its name from a musical collage that was created by Cobain with a 4-track cassette recorder in about 1988, of which there are two versions; one is about thirty-six minutes long and the other about eight minutes long. Several of the film’s scenes were animated by Stefan Nadelman and Hisko Hulsing. Jeff Danna wrote an original score for the film. The film was co-produced by HBO Documentary Films and Universal Pictures International Entertainment Content Group. Cobain and Courtney Love’s only daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was a co-executive producer on the film.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Cobain:_Montage_of_Heck
http://cobainmontageofheck.tumblr.com

Life in a Day

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After thousands of people around the world joined together to record banal and remarkable everyday events on July 24, 2010, director Kevin MacDonald led a team of editors to condense more than 4,500 hours of video into this picture of life on Earth.

Connected

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Description: Have you ever faked a restroom trip to check your email? Slept with your laptop? Or become so overwhelmed that you just unplugged from it all? In this funny, eye-opening and inspiring film, director Tiffany Shlain takes audiences on an exhilarating rollercoaster ride to discover what it means to be connected in the 21st century. From founding the Webby Awards to being a passionate advocate for the National Day of Unplugging, Shlain s love/hate relationship with technology serves as the springboard for a thrilling exploration of modern life…and our interconnected future. A personal film with universal relevance, CONNECTED explores how, after centuries of declaring our independence, it may be time for us to declare our interdependence instead.

Teenage Paparazzo

Shot by actor/filmmaker Adrian Grenier (Vince in HBO’s Entourage), this 95-minute feature documentary is an exploration of the tenuous relationship between celebrities and the people who make a living selling their images. After a chance encounter with a 13-year-old paparazzo, Austin Visschedyk, Grenier takes a step back to think about the celebrity- obsessed culture that has produced the boy. Adrian starts hanging out with the young photographer, learning the tricks of the trade, as well as what made the precocious teen want to spend his free time running around looking for celebrities and trying to get that “perfect shot.”

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Based on a true story, Rabbit-Proof Fence moves with dignified grace from its joyful opening scenes to a conclusion that’s moving beyond words. The title refers to a 1,500-mile fence separating outback desert from the farmlands of Western Australia. It is here, in 1931, that three aboriginal girls are separated from their mothers and transported to a distant training school, where they are prepared for assimilation into white society by a racist government policy. Gracie, Daisy, and Molly belong to Australia’s “stolen generations,” and this riveting film (based on the book by Molly’s daughter, Doris Pilkington Garimara) follows their escape and tenacious journey homeward, while a stubborn policy enforcer (Kenneth Branagh) demands their recapture. Director Phillip Noyce chronicles their ordeal with gentle compassion, guiding his untrained, aboriginal child actors with a keen eye for meaningful expressions. Their performances evoke powerful emotions (subtly enhanced by Peter Gabriel’s excellent score), illuminating a shameful chapter of Australian history while conveying our universal need for a true and proper home. –Jeff Shannon

The End of Suburbia

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This provocative documentary, a regular on the film-festival circuit, examines the history of suburban life and the wisdom of this distinctly American way of life. A post-World War II concept, suburbia attracted droves of people, giving rise to sprawl and all that comes with it — good and bad. How has the environment been affected by this lifestyle, and is it sustainable? Canadian director Gregory Greene dares to ask all the tough questions.

Born Rich

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Description:
An Inside Look at the Lives of the Heirs to The World’s Greatest Family Fortunes

Jamie Johnson, 20-year-old heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire, turns in a remarkable documentary about the lives of the children of the wealthiest families in the world. This 2003 Sundance Film Festival Selection and Emmy-nominated documentary shows Johnson turning the camera on himself and 10 of his friends. Born Rich candidly reveals the great privileges and the excess baggage that go along with their high net worth. For the first time ever in a feature documentary, hear Trumps, Bloombergs and Vanderbilts discuss the one subject everybody knows is taboo—money, and lots of it.

Herb & Dorothy

Chronicling the story of unlikely art collectors Herb Vogel and Dorothy Vogel, filmmaker Megumi Sasaki demonstrates that it’s not necessary to be wealthy in order to build a significant collection in this fascinating documentary. A postal clerk and a librarian, the Vogels share a passion for art, which they pursued over decades, becoming two of the most important collectors of minimalist and conceptual art with more than 4,000 pieces.

Surfwise: The Amazing True Odyssey of the Paskowitz Family

Doug Pray’s documentary delves into the often inspiring, sometimes shocking life of 85-year-old Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, a renowned surfer, surf camp owner, doctor and sex guru who, together with his wife, brought up nine children. Paskowitz raised his family in a camper on the beach, home-schooling them and requiring them to follow a strict lifestyle regimen. Now, his grown children speak out about how their unique upbringing affected them.

Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel

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Featuring photos taken by paparazzi and others who happened on the scene, this documentary examines the tragic 1997 car accident in which Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died, and tells the story of the photographers who were arrested. Produced by the U.K.’s Channel 4, the program reveals a never-before-scene photographic record of the events that transpired in the hour following the crash in Paris’s Pont de l’Alma tunnel. Director: Janice Sutherland, Stuart Tanner (Netflix Description)

A Flea Market Documentary

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The American flea market is the star of this quirky documentary from filmmaker Rick Sebak, who journeys across the country to various noteworthy markets and interviews fellow bargain hunters along the way. The stops include Seattle’s Fremont Market, vintage clothing shops in New York City, Texas’s First Monday Trade Days and the staggering Highway 127 Sale, which stretches across four states for a record-breaking 450 miles. (Netflix Description)

Future of Food

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Description
There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America, a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat. This documentary explores the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade. It also examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multi-national corporations seek to control the world’s food system. “One of 2005’s must-see documentaries” -San Francisco Chronicle.

Our Daily Bread

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Product Description
Welcome to the world of industrial food production and high-tech farming. To the rhythm of conveyor belts and immense machines, the film looks without commenting in the places where food is produced: monumental spaces, surreal landscapes and bizarre sounds a cool, industrial environment which leaves little space for individualism. People, animals, crops and machines play a supporting role in the logistics of this system which provides our society s standard of living. OUR DAILY BREAD is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn’t always easy to digest and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas.

About the Director
Nikolaus Geyrhalter is an Austrian filmmaker born in Vienna in 1972. He has directed seven films since 1994, OUR DAILY BREAD (2005) is his fifth film. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Joris Ivens Jury Award at Amsterdam International Documentary Festival and his work has been selected at the renowned Venice and Cannes film festivals among others.

Flow: For the Love of Water

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From both local and global perspectives, this documentary examines the harsh realities behind the mounting water crisis. Learn how politics, pollution and human rights are intertwined in this important issue that affects every being on Earth. With water drying up around the world and the future of human lives at stake, the film urges a call to arms before more of our most precious natural resource evaporates. Director: Irena Salina (Netflix Description)

Sicko

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SiCKO is more like a controlled howl of protest than a documentary. Toning down the rhetoric of past efforts–no CEOs, congressmen, or celebrities were accosted in the making of this film–Michael Moore’s latest provocation is just as heartfelt, if not more heartbreaking. As he clarifies from the outset, his subject isn’t the 45 million Americans without insurance, but those whose coverage has failed to meet their needs. He starts by speaking with patients who’ve been denied life-saving procedures, like chemotherapy, for the most spurious of reasons. Then he travels to Canada, England, and France to see if socialized medicine is as inefficient as U.S. politicians like to claim–especially those who receive funding from pharmaceutical companies. Moore finds quality care available to all, regardless as to income. He concludes with a stunt that made headlines when he assembles a group of 9/11 rescue workers suffering from a variety of afflictions. When Moore is informed that detainees at Guantánamo Bay–technically American soil–qualify for universal coverage, he and his companions travel to Cuba to get in on that action. It’s a typically grandstanding move on Moore’s part. And it proves remarkably effective when these altruistic individuals, who’ve either been denied treatment or forced to pay outrageous costs for their medication, experience a dramatically different system. Nine years in the making, SiCKO makes a persuasive case that it’s time for America to catch up with the rest of the world. –Kathleen C. Fennessy (Amazon.com)

Sicko Blog

In Debt We Trust

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Editorial Reviews
Product Description/ Amazon.com
Just a few decades ago, owing more money than you had in your bank account was the exception, not the rule. Yet, in the last 10 years, consumer debt has doubled and, for the first time, Americans are spending more than they’re saving — or making. This April, award-winning former ABC News and CNN producer Danny Schechter investigates America’s mounting debt crisis in his latest hard-hitting expose, IN DEBT WE TRUST.

While many Americans are “maxing out” on credit cards, there is a much deeper story: power is shifting into fewer hands…with frightening consequences. IN DEBT WE TRUST reveals a hitherto unknown cabal of credit card companies, lobbyists, media conglomerates and the Bush administration itself, which has colluded to deregulate the lending industry, ensuring that a culture of credit dependency can flourish. In the film, Schechter exposes the mechanisms and machinations behind the hidden financial and political complex that allows even the lowest wage earners to indebt themselves so heavily that house repossessions have become commonplace. One expert in the film goes so far as to dub this “21st-century serfdom.”

Inspired by scholar Robert Manning – one of the films’ key advisers’ – and his seminal book “Credit Card Nation”, IN DEBT WE TRUST showcases his insights about the impact of debt on young people and our society. It also suggests the kinds of practical efforts needed to empower the public with information to avoid the traps of debt dependency.

The whole world depends on the economic stability of the United States. Yet, as its national and consumer debt escalates, our interconnected global economy is at incredible risk. IN DEBT WE TRUST, as timely and relevant as a film can be, delivers an urgent warning that can’t be ignored.