True/False Wrap-Up

The True/False Film Festival rules.  Flat out.  It combines one of my favorite pastimes (watching documentary films) within the confines of one of my favorite places on Planet Earth (Columbia Mo).  Obviously, I’m more than a little biased here.  But don’t take my word for it, even Roger Ebert is givin’ shout-outs!

Not that they need it, what makes the festival great is that there is NOT a juried prize, so people can just relax, be themselves, and enjoy the wide variety of docs without worrying about some sort of silly popularity contest.  I cannot recommend it enough…..

I did see some great docs (in between eating at all my favorite places) and here’s just a few of my highlights:

The Ambassador

 Mads Brugger (a white dutch man) becomes a Liberian diplomat (in the Congo).  Basically seeing what he can get away with (illegal contracts, secret taping, diamond smuggling), this documentary was both hilarious and terrifying.  As revealing as it was amoral.

Marina Abromovic: The Artist is Present

This really floored me.  I have to admit, my relationship with performance art is sketchy at best, but this was so revealing.  Marina Abromovic’s latest piece was to sit across from a museum visitor, everyday for 7 hours for 3 months!  I will admit, I didn’t understand at first; now I do.  Very powerful stuff within the confines of these frames…….

 Vivan Las Antipodas

Antipodes are a fascinating concept, they are basically the opposite spot of earth from where you are.  It was great to hear the director, Victor Kossakovsky, describe how the idea of the movie came from watching someone fishing and imagining where the other end of the line would come out.  I guess you could technically call this a nature film, but without all the silly Discovery-channel-dramatic hyperbole.  The film focusses on four different locales and the locals that exist there.  My favorite is the Russian sheepherder who has named all his sheep.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Again, another artist I knew something about, but was glad to have the full picture fleshed out.  If you think social media is just for pictures of your kids, and unbearable status updates, you need to see this to be reminded how its power can be harnessed.  Documenting both his artistic work and his very real struggle with being a Chinese dissident, Ai is truly deserving of the importance he is afforded.

Comic-con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope

Morgan Spurlock’s very loving documentary about nerdtopia.  This will be HUGE, mark my words.  The film very wisely follows 4 different protagonists (illustrator, cos-player, comic store owner, and young nerd in love), so there’s a distinct codification of geekness that I think will appeal to this particular audience.  They just need a variant edition………

Again, these were only 5 of the 40 films, you can check out full lineup here.  Fantastic event, do check it out some year……

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2 Responses to True/False Wrap-Up

  1. Don Quichote says: explains why THE AMBASSADOR is not a documentary nor a mockumentary but a “f*ckumentary”

    The Ambassador is subversive and incendiary f*ckumentary film in which, according to maker Brugger, the honorary consul unveils himself as an unscrupulous forger/briber and while doing so, purposely damages the interest of individuals and governments for his own glory to sell his product. Read my blog at To Foya: You can read my blog at . The film is made with public money from the Danish Filminstitute and produced with a budget of €1 million by Lars Von Trier (Zentropa), a controversial Danish film-director who admitted to journalists at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 to being a Nazi, understanding Hitler. Organizers were not amused and declared him a persona no grata to the same festival. Under influence of Von Trier’s ideology, Danish journalist Brugger purposefully took several steps beyond the rules, both written and unwritten. It smells like a documentary film based on fascistic roots. Take a look at a photo in Politiken
    and see how Brugger presents himself as a neo Nazi on horseback. That maybe explains why he insults Africa and ridicules the TWA pygmy people. With misplaced intellectual superiority he confronts the TWA with a sick Hitler joke about champagne and force them to listen to whale sounds. Clearly an inspiration out of Von Trier’s wine cellar. Brugger used hidden cameras and false pretences to record and film confidential meetings and telephone conversations without informing his victims or asking them permission or approval by means of adversarial response. Then he edited a documentary film with a specific “Tunnel Vision” to transform a fantasy-fetish into reality to proof his mistrust under the slogan “The end justifies the means!”. He hides that he received his desired position and does not tell the viewers the lawyer returned his money.

  2. Pingback: True/False Wrap-Up | total echo

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