Connect with us

Blog

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2010: Waste Land

Published

on

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2010: Waste Land

A subtle and enjoyable undercurrent at this year’s Full Frame was the genius at work; the festival included select looks at Jesse Bernstein, Glenn Gould, Spalding Gray, Jason Moran, Yoshiro Nakamatsu, Louis Sullivan, and, genius in a different shade, Jack Abramoff. No film in this class stood out more than Lucy Walker’s third feature-length documentary, Waste Land, the story of renowned Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s efforts to create a new series of portraits out of trash, giving value to items that have been separated from their worth. The film is a straight-ahead narrative examination of artistic process. At least, at first.

Learning that the Jardim Gramacho landfill, the world’s highest-volume waste management facility, takes up a northerly corner of Rio proves too enticing for the artist to ignore. He’s soon on site meeting some of the more than 3,000 residents of Rio’s favelas who pick recyclable materials day and night. The movie’s focus quietly shifts from Muniz to the half-dozen pickers he hires as models and extra hands in his studio. Projecting their portraits in massive scale on the floor, Muniz guides the pickers as they fill the dark spaces with dirt and garbage, resulting in a striking series of photographs capturing breathtaking emotional resilience and environmental concern.

This process story is only a surface feature on a documentary of stunning emotional depth, made all the more impressive by the massive scope of the Gramacho landscape and the very few words Waste Land uses to address the fundamental issues at the film’s core: the responsibility of the artist to his subjects, the responsibility of a wealthy countryman to the poorest in his native home, the positive effect a man of vision can have on those around him, and the potentially greater loss that occurs when their time together is over. One of the film’s most remarkable discoveries is the self-assuredness of the pickers in their work, identities, and strength in avoiding, among other things, Rio’s drug culture (their “appetite for life,” as Muniz puts it on screen). Yet this vigor falls away as the workers get a taste of a different reality, and Walker impressively manages and encapsulates the marked evolution of each picker’s ambition; perhaps unsurprisingly, not all of them make it out. The effect on Muniz seems closer to the emotion the film inspires from the audience. His deep love of the workers is palpable in the notably nerve-racking climax at a London auction house, as one of the photographs is sold to benefit a nascent pickers’ association.

Alternately gratifying and heart-wrenching, Waste Land showcases both a remarkable artistic spirit in Muniz and the versatility of the documentary form. Not many fiction films have taken on so many individual storylines with as much quality or impact. And an exceptional cinematic journey just gained another level of importance. It’s a decidedly intimidating look at the task ahead of Rio authorities who plan to polish Brazil’s image before the 2016 Olympic Games. Add Walker’s narrative to the many statements that the nation’s money can be better spent.

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival runs from April 8 to 11.

Advertisement
Comments

Blog

Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

Published

on

Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

Continue Reading

Blog

Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

Published

on

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

Continue Reading

Blog

Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

Published

on

Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Donate

Slant is reaching more readers than ever, but as online advertising continues to evolve, independently operated publications like ours have struggled to adapt. We're committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees—so if you like what we do, please consider becoming a Slant patron:

Patreon

You can also make a donation via PayPal.

Giveaways

Advertisement

Newsletter

Advertisement

Preview

Trending