Great new local* documentary Next Year Jerusalem is now available to borrow from Fairfield Woods. Director’s statement from the film’s website,
Next Year Jerusalem is my third documentary feature and a continuation of my attempts to examine the decision to choose life in spite of death. This is a special project because my first documentary film, a short, was photographed at the Jewish Home for the Elderly (Fairfield, CT)* the nursing home featured in Next Year Jerusalem. That project (More Than Skin Deep, 2002) explored awareness of aging on the part of five nursing home residents, interviewed during their weekly beauty shop appointments.
I am fascinated with exploring the subtle distinctions between living and dying. Framed by the story of elderly people going on one last adventure, I found a vehicle to pose existential questions in subtle ways: at one moment a reflection on the vain struggle to capture experiences in a photograph, in another the frustrated refusal to accept mediocre hospital food. The stakes of living can be high in the final stages and I wanted to bear witness to the complicated dynamics of acceptance when life’s end is near.
Read the entire statement and explore the film’s website.
Check out the film in our catalog.
Art lovers and documentary fans take note. Tim’s Verneer just got released on DVD this week. From Rotten Tomatoes,
Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, (Video Toaster, LightWave, TriCaster) attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”) manage to paint so photo-realistically – 150 years before the invention of photography? The epic research project Jenison embarks on to test his theory is as extraordinary as what he discovers. Spanning a decade, Jenison’s adventure takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney and eventually to Buckingham Palace, to see the Queen’s Vermeer.
Find Tim’s Vermeer at both branches in our library catalog.
Brand-new documentary Fed Up gets released today on DVD. From the movie’s official site,
Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.
Find Fed Up in our library catalog.
Following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed documentary Manufactured Landscapes, filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal teams up once again with artist Edward Burtynsky as he explores the simplest idea in the film Watermark. From Burtynsky’s website,
Watermark is a feature documentary from multiple-award winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, marking their second collaboration after Manufactured Landscapes in 2006. The film brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use.
Find Watermark in our library catalog.
Discover their previous film, the stunning Manufactured Landscapes in our library catalog.
Check out Burtynsky’s book of photographs, Manufactured Landscapes in our library’s collection.
Do you wake up Friday morning to the sounds of StoryCorps on NPR? Do you find tears falling down your cheek onto the pillow before you start your day? Yup, we do too. Good news for fans of this outstanding American archival project. From NPR,
The first-ever animated special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Listening Is an Act of Love features six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project. Each story reflects StoryCorps founder Dave Isay’s fundamental belief: “We can learn so much about the people all around us — even about the people we already know — just by taking the time to have a conversation.” Framing these intimate conversations from across the country is an interview between Isay and his 9-year-old nephew, Benji. As always, the selections provoke both tears and laughter — and highlight the simple joy found in sitting together and asking life’s important questions. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.Produced in association with American Documentary | POV.
Read more about StoryCorps’ new DVD on NPR.
Discover StoryCorps’ website.
Find the StoryCorps’ DVD in our library catalog.
Picture of Light takes a film crew to the Sub Artic to capture the wonder of the Northern Lights. While combining glimpses of the characters who live in this remote environment and the crew’s both comic and absurd attempts to deal with extremes, the film reflects upon the paradoxes involved in trying to capture the natural wonder of the Northern Lights on celluloid. Aurora Borealis…the lights with no bodies, pouring colours from the sky…images provided by nature more special than any special effect.
Find Picture of Light in our library catalog.
Iconic documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) tackles a controversial subject once again in his latest film, The Unknown Known – Donald Rumsfeld, former United States Secretary of Defense who discusses his career in Washington D.C. from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to planning the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Find The Unknown Known in our library catalog.
Tragic news today. Oscar winning Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul died yesterday at the age of 36. The cause of death was suicide. Bendjelloul won Best Documentary for his film, Searching for Sugar Man in 2013. From Sony Pictures,
Searching for Sugar Man tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late ’60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.
Bendjelloul’s film won in a year packed with outstanding films including How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, 5 Broken Cameras and The Gatekeepers.
Check out the award-winning Searching for Sugar Man in our catalog.
Find library resources on suicide.
A quick scan of the library’s Express Non-fiction DVDs – our new documentaries reveals the following diverse subjects,
History (Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl)
Food/Drink (Crafting a Nation)
Politics/Human Rights (Pussy Riot)
Judicial System (West of Memphis)
Science (Last Days of Man)
Climate Change (Chasing Ice)
Cities (London: The Modern Babylon)
Civil Rights (Bridegroom)
Click on any title above in print to be taken to each film in our catalog.
Stop by today and see what’s on the shelf in our Express (New Release) section.
In case you thought the Oscars left a little to be desired – in other words, where were all the other amazing films that have been released in the past year – we thought it would be a good idea to list nominees for The Film Independent Spirit Awards and Boston’s Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film. If you’re hungry for something a little less slick and a little more gritty, check out some of the nominees from these two independent film awards organizations,
The Act of Killing
All is Lost
As I Lay Dying
Blue is the Warmest Color
Kill Your Darlings
Much Ado About Nothing
Short Term 12
The Spectacular Now
Stories We Tell
The Way Way Back