Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The first order of business today is to persuade y'all to tune in to PBS Sept. 1, 2009 at 10pm for the broadcast premiere of "Ella es el matador," a beautiful doc about female bullfighters in Spain. The recipient of the Tribeca Film Festival All Access Promise Award and supported by Latino Public Broadcasting, POV, and Women Make Films, the film was directed by first-time helmers Gemma Cubero del Barrio and Celeste Carrasco, who hail from Spain. The film had its World Premiere just last Friday at the Roxie in San Francisco, so this is a rare opportunity to see a doc hot-off-the-presses, sort of speak.

Here's Michael Tully's review on Hammer to Nail.

Next up is Lisandro Alonso's "Liverpool," which opens Wednesday, Sept. 2nd at the Anthology Film Archives in NY. Alonso's films are rarely shown stateside and reviews like this probably won't win him any fans outside of the Cannes' selection committee (all 4 of his films have been invited to screen at the fest, though never in the main competition). Nevertheless, "Liverpool" was voted “Best Film of 2008” by Cinema Scope and made the Indiwire list of best undistributed films of 2008.

Here's a second opinion from The Rumpus, who gave the film high marks and interviewed Alonso at the Rotterdam Film Festival back in February.

IFC is releasing Alex de los Santos' New Directors/New Films entry "Unmade Beds" on Friday, September 4th at the IFC Center in NY. The film has received great notices on its recent fest run (Variety calls de los Santos a filmmaker with "an assured voice") and reportedly builds upon the promise of the director's first outing, the celebrated "Glue." The story concerns Axl and Vera, two twentysomethings adrift in London who keep missing each other while one searches for his father and the other heals from a wounded heart. Much has also been written about the film's cool soundtrack. If you were underwhelmed by "(500) Days of Summer" (as I was), perhaps this is your ticket.

Read the Variety review; a mixed review on Indiewire; or an interview with Alex de los Santos at Filmmaker Magazine.

Finally, Joe Berlinger's "Crude" opens Wednesday, September 9th, also at the IFC (followed by a national rollout). The man behind some of the most seminal docs in history - "Brother's Keeper," "Paradise Lost," "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" - Berlinger now turns his attention to a landmark legal case involving Chevron and 30,000 indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon (plaintiffs), who claim the oil company systematically contaminated an area the size of Rhode Island for more than 3 decades. Check out the official website and watch out for my review later this week.