Since its founding in 1984, the aptly-named Oddball Films has constituted one of the stranger spaces in the cinema world. An archive as interested in orphan home video, Italian psychedelic cartoons from the 60s, and instructional bumpers about hygiene intended for American classrooms as any neorealist classic or lost masterpiece, it was the brainchild of Stephen Parr, who passed away on October 24th.
Romeo Is Bleeding
Watching She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, director Mary Dore’s perfectly agreeable and accomplished 2014 documentary about the birth of the modern women’s movement in the U.S., it’s hard not to feel there’s something staid about the proceedings.
This is less the fault of the film itself than a reflection of how exciting the landscape of documentary film has become in recent years.
Documentary truth, falsehood, and the spaces between in Nanook of the North
Part of an ongoing effort to watch each of the films in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies series. The introduction and full list can be found here.
What is a documentary? What are its aims, ambitions, and responsibilities – to its subjects, to its audience?
Jason Zeldes’ directorial debut Romeo Is Bleeding is one of the year’s best and most powerful films.
The film deftly tells multiple stories. The story of poet Donté Clark, the story of kids countering violence with art, the story of Richmond, California.
Back in May of this year, I caught Romeo Is Bleeding at the SF International Film Fest. At the time, it was not only my favorite documentary of the year, but my favorite film of any genre I’ve seen in a theater in 2015.
It’s only May, but the top contender for documentary of the year has already arrived. Jason Zeldes’ portrait of Richmond, CA and the struggles of its youth in an incredibly dangerous environment is a staggeringly emotional and moving film. It provides narrative context for its subjects, and is both visually interesting and accomplished, but it also has the good sense to let these kids speak for themselves.