Tag Archives: Movie Review
FILM: Topp Twins – The Untouchable Girls
FILMMAKER: Leanne Pooley
REVIEWER: Becky Beamer
This documentary is true kiwiana. If you aren’t sure what that is – I guess you’ll have to watch. The documentary was shown prime time on NZ Channel 1. It’s a free channel here in New Zealand. Actually, this documentary has taken nearly $2 million at the NZ Box Office making it the Top Documentary Film ever released in New Zealand !
Summary: Leanne Pooley’s documentary – offers a revealing look into the lives of the world’s only yodeling lesbian twin country-and-western singers.
The documentary was shot and composed in a very traditional manner and thus a bit dry. But, it was watchable because the twins have a good story. They are unique and special. I found myself downloading a few of their songs from iTunes. If you notice them coming to a folk festival near you – most definitely check them out!
The official website and trailer for the movie: http://topptwins.com/tv-and-film/untouchable-girls
Twins Rule !
3 out of 5 Cheers
b.b (I may be a Twin)
FILM: Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale
REVIEWER: Becky Beamer
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.
4 out of 5 Cheers
The rousing and heartbreaking story of Seattle band The Gits, whose promising start was cut short by the tragic murder of spirited lead singer Mia Zapata.
I run into tons and tons of music documentaries. I usually run the other way as fast as possible but – this Doc was rated 4.5 stars on my Netflicks que.
After watching it – I know why the doc got a high rating – the only people who rated this film were friends and family of the artist.
Unfortunately, this documentary just came across as a glorified memorial. I was looking for a murder mystery and instead I was bored to death. I learned about The Gits history as a band for the first 75 minutes of the film. I was also disappointed by the surprising lack of quality archival video and photos of Mia throughout the film. The family and The Gits were involved in the doc – so what happened? I don’t know….
Is that too harsh? sorry. I mean no ill will towards anyone related to the band. I did enjoy The Gits music – so – go buy some Gits Singles on iTunes when you have a chance.
AND – If I haven’t scared you away – learn more on the movie’s website: http://www.thegitsmovie.com/
1 out of 5 Cheers.
FILM: Food Inc.
DIRECTOR: Robert Kenner
REVIEWER: B. Beamer
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.”
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.
4 out of 5 Cheers.