Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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December 18, 2010 , , , , , , , , ,


Bhutto, is a two-hour documentary about the first woman to lead a Muslim nation – Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007). The film encapsulates the life of Benazir, her rise to power and her eventual assassination, in the context of Pakistan’s troubled history and its corrupt-scandal filled political environment. Benazir, herself was not immune to any of this.

Benazir Bhutto was born into a wealthy landowning family that became Pakistan’s dominant political dynasty. Often referred to as the “Kennedy’s of Pakistan,” the Bhuttos share a painful history of triumph and tragedy, played out on an international stage.


Talented, fascinating and troubled, Spalding Gray was a storyteller in many genres who left behind a distinctive legacy when he presumably committed suicide in 2004. Best known for his memoir monologues in which he delivered raw emotional narratives using a minimalist stage setting, Gray touched the literary community during his lifetime and shook it when his depression finally overcame him.

Following Gray’s death, his widow wished for a film to be made using footage of various monologues and performances as well as journal entries and other written work. As someone familiar with Gray, Soderbergh stepped in to take on the project, and the result was And Everything Is Going Fine. The title refers to the stream of consciousness quality of Gray’s work, and the documentary relies on his voice, image and commentary alone. This isn’t a talking heads kind of piece; it’s an intimate and affecting collage that allows Gray to posthumously speak for himself.


SHOAH – Re-released

On the occasion of the film’s 25th anniversary, Claude Lanzmann’s nine-and-a-half hour landmark documentary, is re-released in the US in December. Twelve years in the making, SHOAH is Claude Lanzmann’s monumental epic on the Holocaust featuring interviews with survivors, bystanders and perpetrators in 14 countries. The film production began in 1974 and it was edited from 350 hours of raw fotoage.


Wavy Gravy is an entertainer and activist. Beginning with Woodstock ’99, director Michelle Esrick spent 10 years documenting the life of Wavy Gravy Saint Misbehavin’ journeys from the hills of California to the Himalayan mountains to reveal the life of this one of a kind servant to humanity. The film blends Wavy’s own words with magical stories from an extraordinary array of fellow travelers both cultural and counter-cultural, revealing the man behind the clown’s grin and the fool’s clothing.


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