He strikes some as unnecessarily in-your-face, angry and confrontational, but Jimmy Lee Lindsey, Jr. might also be described as more direct, more primal and more honest than we usually encounter. Archival rock performance footage, comments by friends and candid footage with Jimmy Lee illustrate the complexity of the person known as Jay Reatard.
Promoted on NPR by co-writer Ira Glass, Sleepwalk with Me sports the same somewhat quirky sense of humor about slightly offbeat, appealing characters as Glass's This American Life. In the film's case, the central individual is another of the co-writers, Mike Birbiglia who plays Matt Pandamiglio, a parallel universe version of himself.
Robot & Frank could easily have been a sappy or melodramatic indulgence. Instead, director Jake Schreier's premiere film is a delightful, character-driven story of an aging, increasingly forgetful father of two, living alone in a lovely, woodsy area. His career-centered son Hunter and free-spirited daughter Madison worry increasingly about him. Enter Robot, courtesy of Hunter.
Mythologized or demonized, mustangs embody a reality different from many illusory representations. Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus' documentary Wild Horse, Wild Ride details one fascinating chapter for several mustangs as individual trainers, professionals and amateurs, take responsibility for one of the horses rounded up on public land. All individuals have 100 days to tame their mustang.
Intriguing from its unusual opening to its satisfying conclusion, Nobody Else But You begins with a tantalizing, voiceover conversation. A woman imagines she’s in her mother’s womb. We’ll soon learn she’s Candice talking with her psychologist in a brief exchange that plays as the film’s credits appear over a black screen.
Veteran Canadian director David Cronenberg has regularly offered strange cinematic visions, a combination of science fiction with psychological and philosophical inquiry. They include: Scanners, Videodrome, Crash, eXistenZ, and Spider. His latest, Cosmopolis, will add to his reputation for exploring the warped and weird but won’t make my list of filmic entertainment.
For over two decades the Human Rights Watch Film Festival has featured fiction and nonfiction works that expose historical and contemporary transgressions in all their manifestations. On Tuesdays throughout the month of September Webster University will show four such films of personal and public stories, government and media practices that offend human rights.