A portrait of photographer Tim Hetherington’s work in war zones around the world.
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Amy Tan has established herself as one of America’s most respected literary voices. Born to Chinese immigrant parents, it would be decades before the author of The Joy Luck Club would fully understand the inherited trauma rooted in the legacies of women who survived the Chinese tradition of concubinage.
Once the thriving capital of Imperial China, the city of Datong now lies in near ruins. Not only is it the most polluted city in the country, it is also crippled by decrepit infrastructure and even shakier economic prospects. But Mayor Geng Tanbo plans to change all that, announcing a bold, new plan to return Datong to its former glory, the cultural haven it was some 1,600 years ago. Such declarations, however, come at a devastatingly high cost. Thousands of homes are to be bulldozed, and a half-million of its residents (30 percent of Datong’s total population) will be relocated under his watch. Whether he succeeds depends entirely on his ability to calm swarms of furious workers and an increasingly perturbed ruling elite. The Chinese Mayor captures, with remarkable access, a man and, by extension, a country leaping frantically into an increasingly unstable future.
Legendary documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (At Berkeley, National Gallery) explores the culture, politics and daily life of the Queens, NYC district of Jackson Heights, which lays claim to being the most diverse neighbourhood in the world.
In this documentary, Wendy Williams, the self-anointed Queen of all Media, sheds her private persona and speaks directly to the camera, discussing every inch of joy and humiliation she has experienced since childhood.
From Oscar and Emmy award winning filmmakers, Red Army highlights the Soviet Union’s legendary and enigmatic hockey training culture and world-dominating team through the eyes of the team’s Captain Slava Fetisov, following his shift from hockey star and celebrated national hero to political enemy. The film turns a unique lens on the social and cultural transformation of the Soviet Union leading up to the fall of Communism, mirroring the rise and fall of the Red Army team. A film by Gabe Polsky and Executive Producers Werner Herzog and Jerry Weintraub.
Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the “DP” (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to Do the Right Thing. Themes: the DP tells people where to look; changes in movies (the arrival of sound, color, and wide screens) required creative responses from DPs; and, these artisans constantly invent new equipment and try new things, with wonderful results. The narration takes us through the identifiable studio styles of the 30s, the emergence of noir, the New York look, and the impact of Europeans. Citizen Kane, The Conformist, and Gordon Willis get special attention.