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Doc & a Drink

Watch a documentary & grab a beer.

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Doc and a Drink has been going through many changes.  Most notably, my partner in crime has decided to leave the D&D team.  I took a sabbatical from the blog.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue but, I am going to push forward.  I apologize for the break in coverage.

We now have a new look and a new style.  The post will have more pictures, more links,  and less verbage.

I just went to SIlver Docs today and I’ll be posting my review soon!

Cheers & Beers,

Becky

 

 

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Doc & a Drink is going to the “Our City Film Festival”.  Our first stop is the opening night party tomorrow (Saturday). It’s open to the public — Join us!

It’s at RFD’s (810 7th St, NW) and everyone knows RFD’s has an excellent beer selection.  Katy and I will be interviewing some of the local documentary filmmakers.  It’s going to be a blast.  It’s only 12.00 and all the money from the festival goes back into the organization.  Buy your tickets online – they will sell out! See you there (8-11pm).

**** Celebrate the opening of the film festival with filmmakers and VIPs.

Enjoy beer specials, great raffle give-aways, and performances by

Grammy nominee, Arts and Humanities Council of Washington grantee

and subject of past OCFF film, Blue Line

Then – this Sunday – is the main event.  The films are all about D.C. The festival is only on Sunday, at The Goethe Institute (812 7th St, NW).  For ticket information and a full schedule check the website:  http://www.yachad-dc.org/Home.shtml

AND – just added — is the closing event with the D.C Cupcake Girls…

Georgetown Cupcakes’ Sophie and Katherine will be special guests,

screening TLC’s Second Season of DC Cupcakes,Our City

hosting a Q&A, and cupcake decorating contest at the finale.

ONLY 10.00 to attend.  Buy tickets here.

 

5 out of 5 Cheers.

-becky beamer

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FILM: Tarnation  (2003)

FILMMAKER: Jonathon Caouette

This film was recommended by my friend – Craig G.  We got into a discussion about the most F*ed up movies/documentaries that we’ve seen . I think the conversation started with “Happiness” but, it definitely ended with the documentary “Tarnation”.He said “you have to see tarnation”.

General Plot:  Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette’s documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother — a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more — culled from 19 years of his life.

Yes, the story was sad.  But, I focused on the good things about the film.  I got to experience – first hand – how a person’s parents shape them as a child and continue to permeate their life as adult – even if they are nuts. The most impressive thing was the amount of video gathered from the main character’s childhood.  I was impressed by the density of footage, audio recordings, and photographs collected for the film.  He showed all of his family’s faults.  I am sure that wasn’t easy but, hopefully –it was therapeutic.

The film was all about the filmmaker.  This was the films advantage and main disadvantage.  I can’t imagine the director doing another film.  This one was so indulgent.  It was the type of indulgent usually reserved for well-known narrative directors like Quentin  Tarantino.

I do also really like the film’s tag line.  “Your Greatest Creation is the Life you Lead.”

Cheers and Beers — becky beamer

4 out of 5 Cheers.

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Last weekend I was on Grease overload – the soundtrack, the movie, a pizza night sleepover party with more singing.  The teenage angst rolled into this weekend with the documentary selection…..

FILM: American Teen (2008)

DIRECTOR & WRITER:Nanette Burstein

REVIEWER: Becky Beamer

The documentary was exactly what I remember of highschool rolled into all of my favorite movies from the same time.

I don’t mean to give anything away but yes there was the faithful school announcements (Grease), followed by the introduction of the stereotypical characters (breakfast club), and their peer pressured ways (Pretty in PInk).  It’s an easy to watch documentary.  I liked it.  I don’t think it was exceptional or revolutionary but, dependable and liable in all its clichéd glory.

Don’t be thrown off by the animation appearing randomly about an hour into the film.  I think it smoothes itself into a purposeful normalcy – like the super dork – in the end.

If you were worried there wouldn’t be a final basketball dual (Teen Wolf), Prom NIght (Pretty in PInk) or Graduation Speech (Say Anything) – don’t worry they are all in there too.

Rock on!

I feel the need to end this posting with a cheer – from none other than Shaker Heights High School’s Field Hockey Team to another rival Field Hocky Team.

U

L

G

Y

You ain’t got no alibi – you ulgy – Aye – Aye – You Ugly- (clap clap clap) GOOOOOOO Raiders!

4 out of 5 Cheers — b.b.

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The D.C area’s best documentary Film Festival and arguably one of the most anticipated events of the year invades Silver Spring next week.

Everyone should take advantage of the access to the hippest – hottest and hard to find docs.  Check out the long – the short and the conferences.

And, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, Doc & a Drink will be giving the weekly play by play as official bloggers of the festival.

Bookmark these blogs for the inside scoop:

http://silverdocs.wordpress.com/

http://www.docandadrink.com/

Inside Scoop of the Week: Many of the evening shows are selling out. Buy your tickets today online!

Highlighted Doc of the Week: MEN WHO SWIM

I’m really looking forward to a doc that features Men Synchronize Swimming.  To learn more check out my blog for SilverDocs.

Cheers and Beers — becky

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FILM:  Living Downstream

FILMMAKER: Chanda Chevannes

REVIEWER: Becky Beamer

Based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., Living Downstream is an eloquent and cinematic feature-length documentary.  This poetic and character-driven film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links.

I am so glad that I took the time to attend D.C’s Environmental Film Festival’s Bonus Day on April 25th.   I saw a film that was very special.  My glowing review starts with the first scene –  The opening scene visuals are thoughtful and the narration is extremely well written.  The open also happens to be part of the trailer so I don’t feel like disclosing the narration (below) will be any kind of spoiler …

There was once a village overlooking a river.
The people who lived there were very kind.
These residents, according to parable, began noticing increasing numbers of drowning people caught in the river’s swift current. And so they went to work devising ever more elaborate technologies to resuscitate them.

So preoccupied were these heroic villagers with rescue and treatment that they never thought to look upstream to see who was pushing the victims in.
This film is a walk up that river.  The river of human cancer.

Finally, Doc&aDrink has experienced an intelligent Host-Main Character.  The documentary was filled with beautifully – well composed landscapes and solid science.  Simplicity & Style of the visuals just works.  The B Roll was clean and deliberate.  My favorite scene was the beluga whales.  The scene included beluga dissection in the name of science.  It was raw and interesting.  I’ve never seen anything like it – effective.

For all those who were wondering – the screening was free  and the location was wonderful.  Please keep an eye out for the festival next year.

It was well attended and the audience included Senator John Kerry.

Final Thought :  STAY TUNED FOR KATY’S INTERVIEW WITH THE FILMMAKER!

5 out of 5 Cheers.

-b.b

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FILM: Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale

FILMMAKERS: David Shapiro &  Laurie Gwen Shapiro

REVIEWER: Becky Beamer

 documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drink

In 1955, while a Fulbright scholar, a Manhattan painter named Tobias Schneebaum spent seven months in the Amazon basin with the Harakambut. When he returned to the US, he could no longer paint. What happened? Nearly 45 years later, filmmakers want Tobias, now 78 and suffering from Parkinson’s, to return to Peru & New Guinea.

This documentary is an adventure.  It will whisk you away to far away lands and answer cannibalistic curiosity.  Tobias’ story is exciting and nostalgic.  It’s infused with primitive culture and extremes but it’s just plain humanity that shines through.

Tobias is a wonderful painter, explorer, and anthropologist.  My heart was touched when Tobias re-unites with his ex-Lover who he thought had passed. I appreciated Tobias’ interview candor.   He speaks from an acceptance of dying and with an open mind .  Tobias had the opportunity to explore many cultures before they were severely influenced by Western Culture.  I envy that.

Through out the documentary – Tobias expresses a mental battle regarding returning to the jungle in Peru where he witness and participated in murder and cannibalism.  In fact – I was so distracted by the story – I hardly noticed the constant soft focus and poor framing.  I just wasn’t impressed with the camerawork from any angle.  I guess that just goes to show that the most important thing is putting the story to tape and not fretting over “what you are shooting on”.

I really enjoyed the journey – being exposed to traditions passed down through generations.  The tribes display their dancing, sculpting, their sexuality and language.  I like that this documentary will keep some of these traditions “alive”.

AND Don’t worry – you won’t fall asleep for this adventure.  But, you may think about death, watching National Geographic, and taking a holiday to a far away land.

Verdict?

4 out of 5 Cheers

— b.b.

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Now is your chance to catch up on all the Oscar Nominated Documentaries for FREE!  Did I mention the shows are free?  The National Archives is going to show 82nd Academy Award Nominated Films from March 3-7, 2010.

Highlight ? THE SHORTS: Documentary Short Subject Nominees, Sunday, March 7, noon

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Music by Prudence
Rabbit à la Berlin

Total Running Time: 199 minutes (with a brief intermission).

Details: Seating for all screenings will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations will be accepted. Free tickets will be distributed at the National Archives Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue beginning 60 minutes prior to the start time. You must be present to receive a ticket. Theater doors will open 30 minutes prior to start time. The saving of seats is strictly prohibited.

The William G. McGowan Theater is located in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Metro accessible on Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. The public should use the Special Event entrance on Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. To verify the date and times of the programs, call the National Archives Public Programs Line at: (202) 357-5000.


For more information:  http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2010/nr10-58.html

5 out of 5 Cheers!

Becky

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Doc and a Drink was present at the 2010 Realscreen Summit in Dec Feb. 1-3rd.  I have proof!  We made it onto some APM promotional material…….. (4th photo down)

Cheers and Beers!

bb

 documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drink

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FILM: Food Inc.

DIRECTOR: Robert Kenner

REVIEWER: B. Beamer

 documentary becky beamer Doc and a Drink

SUMMARY :  “In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.”

More Movie …..

My reaction to this documentary was similar to how many are affected by a placebo.  It hit “home”  right away and then fell away from my thoughts just as fast as it had entered.  Immediately following the film viewing,  I made a personal pact to buy from local farmers and visit a local farmer’s market.  But,  I was quick to find myself eating at McDonald’s during a road trip over the holidays and I still  haven’t bought anything from a local farmer – yet.  My excuse for now is the winter months.

On the other hand – I did buy organic milk this morning.  Maybe the movie did make me think twice about what I’m putting in my body and who I am supporting with my purchase.  Over all – I found this movie extremely easy to watch.  It was just well done – creative, interesting and fast paced.  I didn’t fall asleep once.  I also didn’t find it “preachy” which could have easily been an issue for this type of program.

This film is currently available “on demand” from Netflicks.

4 out of 5 Cheers.

bb

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