Tag: Documentary

Curb Your Cynicism: Long Shot is the Rare Feel-Good True Crime Doc

Overview: A young man is charged with murder, while his attorney goes to unusual lengths to prove his innocence; Netflix; 2017; 40 minutes. A Guy Goes to a Ballgame: The keystone around which the documentary Long Shot is built is a sad one: the 2003 murder of a 16-year old girl in Los Angeles. It wasn’t long before police zeroed in on the then 24-year old Juan Catalan, a father of two with no significant record (certainly none suggesting he was capable of murder). There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, but plenty of the circumstantial kind;...

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The Confession Tapes Takes You Behind the Curtain

Overview: A seven-part documentary series examines cases involving alleged coerced confessions from all sides of the justice system. Netflix; 2017; Not Rated; varying runtimes. Behind Closed Doors: For many years, the police interrogation room was off limits to the public. You were unlikely to ever see footage of the process of questioning a suspect unless you were on a jury or in that precarious situation yourself. But something changed in recent years. Scratch that; many things changed. For one, a viewing audience has demanded greater authenticity in its entertainment. I’m sure I’m not alone in watching an old Law &...

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MIFF 2017: A Gray State is Three Documentaries in One

Over the next few weeks, our writer in Melbourne, Sean W. Fallon, will be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and reviewing some of his favourite movies from the festival. Overview: The fascinating life and tragic death of Libertarian filmmaker, David Crowley. A&E Indie Films; 2017; 90 minutes. Three Documentaries: Executive produced by Werner Herzog and directed by Erik Nelson, A Gray State is a mix of documentary sub-genres. It is a character study and the life story of central figure, David Crowley. It is a movie about making movies as we watch Crowley’s efforts to get his magnum opus...

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MIFF 2017: Spookers is a Peek Behind the Curtain

Over the next few weeks, our writer in Melbourne, Sean W. Fallon, will be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and reviewing some of his favourite movies from the festival. Overview: A look behind the scenes at the enormously popular haunted house attraction, Spookers. Madman Production Company; 2017; Rated-M; 90 mins New Zealand: It would seem that the popularity of last year’s Tickled has led to an interest in some of the more esoteric aspects of New Zealand culture. At Miff this year, two of the hot tickets were Pecking Order and Spookers, both documentaries that looked at interesting Kiwis...

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All the Queen’s Horses: A Huge Crime You Never Heard About

Overview: A city comptroller in small town Illinois perpetrated the largest case of municipal fraud—some $53 million; Kartemquin Films; 2017; NR; 71 minutes. Small Town: Dixon, Illinois (pop. 15,135) is quintessential small-town America. The town sits a bit more than an hour and a half west of Chicago and used to be most well-known as the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan (know those pictures of a young Reagan lifeguarding? That’s Dixon). At least until 2011, when a city employee noticed a strange discrepancy in some bank paperwork and stumbled headlong onto a co-worker’s $53 million secret. For more than 20...

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