THAT SUMMER
2018, Sundance Selects, 80 min, Sweden/USA/Denmark, Dir: Göran Hugo Olsson

This fascinating new documentary finally restores footage of Big Edie and Little Edie Beale of GREY GARDENS that was thought lost for decades. In 1972, artist Peter Beard initiated a film project with Lee Radziwill (Jackie Onassis’ sister) about her relatives, the Beales, for which they hired filmmakers David and Albert Maysles to help out. Though this project never did see the light of day, the Maysles returned of their own accord to the same material to make their now-legendary film. The footage in THAT SUMMER focuses on Big and Little Edie before the clean-up that rendered Grey Gardens more livable, as they interact with Radziwill and reflect upon their past. It also focuses on Beard and his family of friends, including Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and Truman Capote, who formed an enormously influential and vibrant creative community in Montauk, Long Island (NY) in the 1970s. “You've never seen the mother-daughter duo quite as they're revealed in THAT SUMMER. Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson, whose masterful touch with found footage made THE BLACK POWER MIX TAPE 1967–1975 a potent historical chronicle, again delves into the vaults with engrossing results.” - Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter.


THE ACT OF KILLING
2012, Drafthouse Films, 115 min, Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous

There are an unusual number of “anonymous” credits in this striking new documentary, and for good reason – made in Indonesia, the film profiles death-squad leaders who are hailed as heroes decades after an anti-communist purge raged through the country and cost more than a million people their lives. As the killers re-enact their crimes for the cameras, channeling gangster poses of movies past, what emerges is a surreal portrait of impunity in a land resigned to corruption and denial.

“It's a mind-bending film, devastating and disorienting, that disturbs us in ways we're not used to being disturbed, raising questions about the nature of documentary, the persistence of evil, and the intertwined ways movies function in our culture and in our minds.”
– Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade… unprecedented in the history of cinema.”
– Werner Herzog

“Like all great documentaries, The Act of Killing demands another way of looking at reality. It starts as a dreamscape, an attempt to allow the perpetrators to reenact what they did, and then something truly amazing happens. The dream dissolves into nightmare and then into bitter reality. An amazing and impressive film.”
– Errol Morris

“If we are to transform Indonesia into the democracy it claims to be, citizens must recognize the terror and repression on which our contemporary history has been built. No film, or any other work of art for that matter, has done this more effectively than The Act of Killing. [It] is essential viewing for us all.”
– National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia

“An absolute and unique masterpiece.”
– Dusan Makavejev

“Every now and then a non-­‐fiction film comes along that is unlike anything else I have seen: Buñuel’s LAND WITHOUT BREAD, Werner Herzog’s FATA MORGANA, Hara’s THE EMPEROR’S NAKED ARMY MARCHES ON. Well, it’s happened again. Here, Joshua Oppenheimer invites unrepentant Indonesian death-­‐squad leaders to make fiction films reenacting their violent histories. Their cinematic dreams dissolve into nightmares and then into bitter reality. Like all great documentary, THE ACT OF KILLING demands another way of looking at reality. It is like a hall of mirrors––the so-­‐called mise-­‐en-­‐abyme––where real people become characters in a movie and then jump back into reality again. And it asks the central question: what is real? Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in a Paris Review interview, wrote about reading Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” for he first time, “I didn’t know you were allowed to do that.” I have the same feeling with this extraordinary film.”
– Errol Morris

“THE ACT OF KILLING invents a new form of cinematic surrealism.”
– Werner Herzog


Syndicate content