349 posts categorized "Documentary"

January 17, 2023

WILDCAT

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

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ColeSmithey.comMore Direct Cinema than documentary, "Wildcat" takes an invisible approach to capturing its unfolding narrative.

Melissa Lesh and co-director Trevor Beck Frost spent several years working in the Peruvian rainforest with American wildlife rehabilitation specialist Samantha Zwicker and British Afghanistan war veteran Harry Turner.

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Samantha and Harry have what it takes to handle living in the middle of the jungle. They make for a badass team. Naturally, carnal romance enters their entwined lives.

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Both Samantha and Harry do battle with personal demons, his from war experiences, hers from growing up with an abusive alcoholic father.

Harry struggles with depression.

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Samantha is more of a trooper. She doesn't wallow in the past.

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Raising a lost ocelot cub for the 18 months it takes for the fierce creature to be released into the wild, allows for a similar trajectory for our complex leading characters, Samantha and Harry.

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This is the first time such a rescue and release has ever been attempted.

No rule book for this shit.

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Suffice it to say "Wildcat" is a deeply personal film that makes a transparent comparison between the jungles of Peru, and the jungle of society that we all traverse.

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Challenging, thought-provoking, and suspenseful, "Wildcat" is a lot of movie.

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Hearts will be broken.

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Hearts will be healed.

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Long live the wildcat.

Rated R. 106 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

December 27, 2022

IS THAT BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU ?!?

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comThorough as it is lean, Elvis Mitchell's telling of Black American Cinema is an essential documentary.

Straight up cinematic text book.

Mitchell's pitch-perfect narration takes the viewer on a heartfelt journey of Black film that volleys between personal interviews with Black Cinema artists, and neatly subtle editorializing.

You have to read between Mitchell's lines, and if you do, you'll find more treasure there.

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This ex-film critic for the New York Times, knows his stuff inside out.

Elvis Mitchell's kind vocal delivery is silky smooth, a delight to hear.

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It's great that this amazing film is released on Netflix, because it means that so many audiences have access to it.

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You might want to keep a notepad handy to jot down a list of Black films you want to track down when this one's over.

Superbly written and edited, "Is That Black Enough For You ?!?" is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

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Thanks to its cool funk heavy soundtrack, you can feel the funk long after the movie ends.

Cheers baby, cheers.

Rated R. 135 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

October 18, 2022

PERSONALITY CRISIS: ONE NIGHT ONLY — NYFF 2022

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

 

Screen Shot 2022-10-15 at 5.19.58 PMDavid Johansen's swan song (70th birthday) performance of tunes from his rich musical history serves as the centerpiece for this loving documentary.

Co-directed by Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi, the film seamlessly draws from Johansen's two performances at the storied uptown Café Carlyle in January of 2020, before Covid pulled the plug on the World.

Johansen's tight-knit four piece "Boys in the Band Band" plays every note for keeps.

Taste baby, you've got taste.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 4.07.16 PM

Johansen's flawless phrasing is worth the price of admission alone.

This bad cat is a singer's singer.

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Especially entertaining is Johansen's Gene Krupa-inspired drummer stealing scenes like a cat daddy on the prowl. Wild hair flying with plenty of school boy mugging. 

Between songs, Johansen tells hilarious tales out of school, about such pivotable life experiences as befriending director Milos Foreman at the Chelsea Hotel while angling for a role in Foreman's then upcoming film musical "Hair."

Screen Shot 2022-10-15 at 1.52.19 PM

Blondie's Debbie Harry soaks up the limelight from her place in the audience.

The overall effect is enthralling, if bittersweet.

Screen Shot 2022-10-15 at 1.51.26 PM

Classic and rare footage of The New York Dolls veer into clips of Johansen's solo career, that gave way to his lounge lizard alter ego Buster Poindexter — think "Hot Hot Hot," or better yet, "Frenchette."

"I been to France, so let's just dance."

You'd be hard pressed to find a musician with more personal integrity than David Johansen. 

Screen Shot 2022-12-22 at 7.45.13 PM
You can't help but feel some sorrow at the prospect of losing the last New York Doll standing.

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"Personality Crisis: One Night Only" is indeed, as Johansen put it at the New York Film Festival post screening Q&A, "a beautiful object."

Ovations are in order. 

Not Rated. 127 mins.

5 StarsBMOD COLE2

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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