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August 11, 2006

Friday Afternoon Film Notes

The 'heders have had some technical difficulties over the last few days, but hopefully things are returning to normal now. Last night's Deerhoof concert up in Chapel Hill was excellent, and I also liked Pleasant, the Chapel Hill-based band that opened for them. Pleasant's sound reminded me quite a bit of Pavement, with the vocalist's occasional use of falsetto recalling, for me at least, Ted Leo. But I really want to blog about some documentary news that crossed my radar this afternoon.

First, Deborah Scranton's The War Tapes (IMDB) will be coming to Fayetteville in the next few days. I'm slated to catch a special screening on Monday, but apparently, the film will officially open on Friday. To make The War Tapes, Scranton sought volunteers from Charlie Company, 3rd of the 172nd Mountain Infantry, with 21 soldiers filming at least some material and five soldiers filming for an entire year. The final film features three of these soldiers, with Scranton directing by IM and email and eventually editing the footage into the film in collaboration with the soldiers themselves. When the soldiers returned stateside, Scranton also filmed over 200 hours of interview footage with them. I'll be very interested to see the reception of the film here in F'ville, given the city's relationship to Fort Bragg and Pope AFB and, of course, I have been looking forward to seeing the doc for some time. A number of bloggers, including Black Five and Joi Ito have already written about the film, so I'm looking forward to contributing to that conversation.

Now a few notes thanks to Green Cine Daily, starting with Kirby Dick's petition to the MPAA requesting that it overhaul it's secretive (and often arbitrary) ratings system. The petition is related to Dick's documentary about ratings board practices, This Film is Not Yet Rated (blog).

Also intriguing: the documentary Anytown, USA, which, like Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, takes a much-needed look at how we go about electing people to office. And finally, there's Helvetica a feature-length documentary about typography and graphic design. As the website points out these questions intersect with issues in media studies and urban studies.

Update: Entry edited to correct and clarify information about the making of The War Tapes.

Posted by chuck at August 11, 2006 4:40 PM

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