FILM: Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale
FILMMAKERS: David Shapiro & Laurie Gwen Shapiro
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
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!
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!
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.”
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.
DRINK: Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale
REVIEWER: Becky Beamer
There’s a feeling to winter. It’s a time when you want to be warmed by a fire while looking outside to a winter wonderland. I fell victim to these wintery feelings recently – at the shopping market.
I looked around the Harris Teeter beer selection and noticed that everyone was picking up Sierra Nevada’s WInter Ale : Celebration Ale. Check out the label. It’s a perfect sell for the seasonal winter ale.
I had high hopes that were quickly dashed. Don’t fall for the label. The beer is just average – nothing special.
Learn More about the Celebrational Ale.
2 out 5 Cheers
DOCUMENTARY: the English Surgeon
DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Smith
REVIEWER: becky beamer
It’s been a while but Katy and I reunited this week for a Documentary viewing. As promised in a previous post – I reviewed the English Surgeon in anticipation of the new film by Geoffery Smith.
Netflicks Summary: Get acquainted with the work of British brain surgeon Henry Marsh, who, since his haunting first visit to a Russian hospital in the early 1990s, has been devoted to founding a quality brain surgery clinic in the former Soviet Union. Marsh cobbles together secondhand tools and used equipment from hospitals in the U.K. to treat patients in need, such as Marian, a Ukrainian man for whom Marsh is his greatest hope.
The first thing that stands out is how “very BBC” the visuals and story telling style is for this film. This story was not assisted but a narrator which left the viewer a bit sleepy at a few points. We were just sitting – waiting – for the narrator to push the story ahead. I was a little disappointed by the tre conservative camerawork. And low and behold – it was sponsored by the BBC.
On the upside – the English Surgeon did have the most tactile face I’ve seen in quite a while. And the English Surgeon in combination with his Ukrainian counterpart were funny, insightful, and humanistic as characters. Thier interaction inspired laughter and conversation. I also have to admit I laughed OUT LOUD at least 3 points in the film. On the other hand – I fell asleep about 1 hour in and woke up 15 minutes later. At least I wasn’t the only one who took a cat nap during the same segment……. I think I can speak for Katy when I say that we both found the need to talk a bit about life, the health care system. and hard choices as the credits rolled.
It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst. Too bad it wasn’t just 1 hour I think it would have been a 4 out of 5…..
3 out of 5 Cheers
For those of you who do not know – I’ve been teaching a class this semester at Philadelphia University called “Digital Production and Post Production.” For their first editing project they each completed a found footage pieces for an “open call” for WGBH.
This “open call” is inspired by the Evolution programs airing on PBS and created by NOVA. It is a chance to share your vision with the world. Everyone is challenged to make a three-minute video that offers a compelling perspective on the living world.
They are all just fantastic. If you have a moment to watch and vote — give some feedback would be much appreciated.
Below are all of the direct links to their projects. You may have to sign up (it takes 2 minutes and is free) in order to vote.
Thanks Again and All the Best,
5 out 5 Cheers
PLEASE VOTE >>>
DRINK : Johnny Walker – Gold (* On the rocks )
REVIEWER: becky b
I love Johnny Walker.
Mostly, I drink Johnny Walker -Red with Ginger Ale. It’s a great drink. Just a little bit of Ginger Ale smooths out the whiskey while adding a sweet “twang” to the drink. Easy and complicated all at the same time. What more do you want? I was quite satisfied with this drink …..
Until this weekend.
Now – I must invest in some Johnny Walker – Gold. I’ll sip it with a few ice cubes weekly – to calm the chaos of the rest of my day. Nice and smooth – smokey – it could practically double as a perfume to attract the male persuasion.
5 out of 5 Cheers
Splurge for the Gold!
Katy and I enjoyed the opening day of the DC Shorts Film Festival last Friday. I am sure Katy will agree that the atmosphere was collaborative and creative. I urge anyone and everyone to mark their calendars for the Documentary Compilation of Shorts this Thur. Sept at 4:30pm. If you can’t make that time – the winners showcase will be later that night. (Tickets selling like Hotcakes!). Also, if you are on a budget or can take an hour for lunch they have several FREE shows for all to enjoy as well!
For more information: http://dcshorts.com/
5 out of 5 Cheers
Drink of the Week : The Becks
Reviewer: becky b
Imagine mixing the beautiful Vodka Sweet Tea with the refreshing Raspberry Lemonade – doesn’t that sound fantastic?
Indeed it does.
I tried over the weekend and it quickly got dubbed “The Becks”. It’s really not hard to make ….. 1 part vodka to 1 part ice tea, throw in some ice and Walllll-la!
Beware – before you know it – you’ll be loving the floor.
If you want to check out Vodka Sweet Tea try either :
4 out of 5 Cheers.