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"Evergreen: The Road to Legalization" fulfills the promise of its title. In an information-packed 86 minutes, this documentary charts Washington State's thorny path to what we now know was a successful campaign to legalize marijuana use. Of course, the legalization issue has figured in the news often, but producer/director Riley Morton analytically lays out its multifaceted complexity.

Published in Film Reviews

New Zealand producer/director Anthony Powell invested more than ten years making his documentary "Antarctica: A Year on Ice." His decade of labor captures the grandeur and the harshness of this amazing continent, larger than the United States. As fascinating, Powell profiles the psychological challenges facing the fewer than 700 people who winter at Scott Base, near McMurdo Station.

Published in Film Reviews

Whatever your political persuasion, the documentary "Citizen Koch" delivers an alarming description of democracy imperiled. Focused on the Wisconsin drama involving then Governor Scott Walker and movement for his recall, critical contributing elements include the Citizens United case and the U.S. Supreme Court, the Americans for Prosperity organization, Federal Elections Commissioners (past and present), and various Senators and Representatives.

Published in Film Reviews

Director/editor Joan Grossman chronicles the 1962 origins, development, and eventual demise of Drop City in her documentary of that title, treating the subject with a lively cinematic approach befitting the inventiveness of the people who developed the community called the first rural commune. Through informative, candid interviews in a quick 82 minutes, Drop City becomes an exhilarating location.

Published in Film Reviews

The documentary "Particle Fever" goes inside the world of theoretical and experimental physicists in their search for the Higgs boson. This particle, if found, would potentially change perspectives on scientific understanding of the universe. Enter the Large Hadron Collider and experiments to which over 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries contribute. "Particle Fever" follows six of them from 2007 to 2012.

Published in Film Reviews

Near the end of the documentary "Design Is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli," an expert observes that a good designer is the "intermediary between information and understanding," making the complex clear. As directors Roberto Guerra and Kathy Brew work through illustrative examples from the Vignellis' work, what that means becomes crystal clear.

Published in Film Reviews

Producers and directors Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger bring a welcome restraint to their documentary "Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Show." Anyone familiar with Downey's nationally syndicated show from early 1988 to July 1989 remembers the loud, confrontational, trash-talking host who blew smoke in guests' faces while screaming at them.

Published in Film Reviews

Director Molly Bernstein's "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay" accurately identifies what she delivers. Dominating this documentary from the first frame of his hands shuffling his beloved cards to his concluding performance of Shel Silverstein's wonderful poem "The Game in the Windowless Room," Ricky Jay keeps his mysteries to himself while generously praising mentors.

Published in Film Reviews

An extraordinary and chilling documentary, "The Act of Killing" chronicles exactly that in unprecedented ways. Several Indonesian men reenact, unabashedly, even proudly, ways they brutally tortured and murdered individuals in the 1965-66 purge primarily of communists, among other targeted groups such as local Chinese workers. Some killers now hold office, with no punishment for their heinous acts.

Published in Film Reviews

The title of “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” reveals one shopper’s longing for eternity, but the first talking head, Joan Rivers, in a brief moment of honesty, speaks for many when she says, “People who take fashion seriously are idiots.” “Scatter My Ashes” is one of those documentaries that must be criticized as a film, not a culture.

Published in Film Reviews
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Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

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Graham Pagano

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Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

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