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The 2nd Annual iCMFF: Documentaries

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The 2nd Annual iCMFF: Documentaries


Post by outdoorcats » November 2nd, 2018, 1:00 am

Welcome to the 2018 iCheckMovies Film Festival!

Festival Dates: Nov. 1-27

Please rate the films the films you've seen on a scale from 1-10 to help contribute to this year's Audience Award.

This is the thread where all users can rate and discuss the films in this year's Documentary section:

Beware the Slenderman dir. Irene Taylor Brodsky. 2016, 114 min. :imdb::ICM:
This frightening true-crime doc from HBO dives into the story of two preteen girls who tried to kill their friend to appease a fictional horror internet meme.

(T)ERROR dir. Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe. 2015, 84 min. :imdb::ICM:
In what might make an interesting companion piece with Citizenfour, two filmmakers work with a FBI informant to film his undercover sting operation without the FBI's knowledge, revealing the incompetence and illegality of the FBI's counter-terrorist operations in the process.

Listen to Me Marlon dir. Stevan Riley. 2015, 103 min. :imdb::ICM:
In this Emmy-nominated doc, hundreds of hours of audio recorded by Marlon Brando is painstakingly edited and assembled to tell a unique version of his life story.

Requiem for the American Dream dir. Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott. 2015, 73 min. :imdb::ICM:
Consisting of a series of interviews with renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky filmed over four years, Requiem is stated to be Chomsky's "final long-form interviews" as he explains in painstaking detail how wealth and power have become increasingly concentrated to a small set of people throughout the world.

The Nightmare dir. Rodney Ascher. 2015, 91 min. :imdb::ICM:
Room 237 director Ascher returns with a documentary about the phenomenon known as sleep paralysis, utilizing interviews with those who have experienced it to create something scarier than most horror films.

Under the Sun dir. Vitaliy Manskiy. 2015, 106 min. :imdb::ICM:
When Manskiy and several other filmmakers were granted access to North Korea to make a documentary about the totalitarian state, they were given scripted scenes and actors and told exactly what and how to film, but secretly kept the camera rolling between takes and hid the resulting footage to make a film about manufacturing "reality" that is alternately ironic and devastating.

[a LION eats GOD. Gunshots ring out. MATT turns around]
MATT: That's the guy I was telling you about.

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Post by joachimt » November 2nd, 2018, 12:18 pm

Listen to Marlon 8/10

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Post by maxwelldeux » November 12th, 2018, 12:08 am

Beware the Slenderman: 8/10Show
I was excited to see this one pop up for the festival here. I was really excited to dig into this as I remember the case from the news. And at teh time it was in the news, I remember thinking "what the hell is wrong with these kids and their parents that they'd end up killing their friend?" And I think the documentary did a pretty good job at answering those questions. Beyond that, I thought the tension was built pretty well throughout this film, and the tension was not built to the crime itself. I got into this quite a bit more than I expected I would.
Requiem for the American Dream: 7/10Show
This would make a great double-feature with HyperNormalisation from the Main Slate. I liked how this one went through the history of quite a few important aspects of the USA and how the systems endemic to our culture are meant to protect the rich and powerful. Good information throughout here, but it ultimately didn't do much beyond providing some good information.
The Nightmare: 8/10Show
The editor of this doc needs to have their hand shaken pretty damn hard. As a subject, I'm not particularly interested in sleep paralysis. I'm glad I learned a bit more about it, but if that was it, I'd have rated this doc a lot lower. The interest in this, to me, is that it was cut together like a horror film - this actually brought up more fear and thrills for me than most horror films I've watched. Really a fun watch.
(T)ERROR: 7/10Show
This documentary follows an FBI terrorism informant working to connect with a suspected terrorist. I found that there was a surprising amount of tension built in this - it was edited together well so that you didn't know what was going to happen, and there were multiple plots with tension to build. Ultimately, I found the doc informative about the idiotic policing practices of the FBI, but not a lot for me to latch onto.
Under the Sun: 7/10Show
This was just short of being a favorite of mine. The propaganda in this film is quite effective, including some beautifully framed shots and amazing dance and choreographed sequences. And I think the filmmakers did a good job at "overshooting" and cutting in numerous takes to help convey how everything was staged. Ultimately, I just wanted a bit more context and explanation. I'm not too familiar with North Korea, so seeing a film like this with some context was good, but I wanted to get more out of this and have a better sense of what life was actually like.
Listen to Me Marlon: = 9/10Show
To be honest, I had been putting off this documentary because it was the one I was expecting to like the least. I'm not really a fan of biographical docs in general, and I'm not a huge fan of Brando in particular. But hot diggity damn this was good. Using a lot of archival footage and recordings, this is Brando talks about Brando without being overly sappy or fawning like all too many retrospectives. I think this is my favorite of the batch.

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