DOC NYC is now officially the biggest documentary festival in the United States and that gives a bit more credence to the feeling that documentary film is playing a larger and more prominent role in our collectively morphing and imploding media landscape.
Agnieszka Holland is a curious director. She works on both sides of the Atlantic, in both cinema and television. Although her style has remained consistently accessible, often genre-inflected, her career demonstrates a commitment to the difficult moments of European history.
Those who still think of documentary films primarily as infotainment, vessels of variously banal or galling factoids that might once have lived on public television when such a thing existed, would do well to look to Doclisboa, a festival that seeks to challenge rather than reinforce cinematic non-fictions formal and thematic boundaries.
Filmmaker Ulrich Seidl has confronted viewers for decades with disturbing and often frighteningly realistic portraits of those who are marginalized, abused, or plain excluded from mainstream Western, and more specifically Austrian, society.
In one of the most lyrical sequences in the film, Pug, the young protagonist of Lotfy Nathans new documentary 12 OClock Boys, explains the genesis of the films title:They call them 12 OClock Boys because they drive the bike straight back, like the hands on the clock.