FREE SOLO – Review by Diane Carson

Free Solo is breathtaking and terrifying. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary Free Solo profiles Alex Honnold, the climber who admits often considering free climbing El Capitan, Earth’s most impressive, 3200-foot granite wall. But, as Alex repeatedly said to himself, “That’s just too scary.” Nevertheless, he knew he had to attempt it, insane as the idea is because there is zero margin for error.

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TEA WITH THE DAMES – Review by Martha K Baker

In the midst of movies that call for blood, curses, and mayhem, “em>Tea with the Dames offers those ingredients elegantly and eloquently from dames of the British realm who are also stars of stage and screen. At tea are Dame and Lady Joan Plowright, Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, and Dame Eileen Atkins.Tea with the Dames is literate, funny, poignant, a respite and a reminder. Utterly delicious, this tea with Champagne with the Dames.

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LOVE, GILDA — Review by Susan Granger

When she was filming fund-raising videos for Gilda’s Club charity, director Lisa D’Apolito decided to make this documentary about its founder, captivating comedienne Gilda Radner. Its title refers to the enormous archive of journal entries and letters – signed “Love, Gilda” – which chronicle the life of Gilda Susan Radner Born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised by a beloved nanny she called Dibby, Gilda constantly battled bulimia and depression after her father died when she was 14.

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TIFF18 Review: WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA – Loren King

Taken as a whole, the scope and breadth of the films represented in the documentary is likely to make one wonder, as I did, why aren’t Muratova, Zhelyazkova, Reiniger, Lois Weber and Barbara Loden as famous in the film canon as Scorsese, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes and on and on? We know why. Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema goes a long way toward correcting a glaring omission.

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FAHRENHEIT 11/9 – Review by Susan Granger

Documentarian Michael Moore has been called a muckraker, prankster and populist prophet for his political propaganda films (“Roger & Me,” “Bowling for Columbine,” “Where to Invade Next”), designed to elicit an emotional response. “Fahrenheit 11/9” references the date on which Donald Trump became 45th President of the United States.

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Margaret Mead Film Festival 2018 – Jennifer Merin reports

Celebrating its 42nd edition, the Margaret Mead Film Festival (October18-21) focuses on the theme “Resilience in Motion,” documenting stories that celebrate individuals who are breaking new ground or breaking free despite challenging circumstances and sparking provocative conversations about the most pressing social and political situations worldwide.

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JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Filmmaker Susan Lacy packs in as much information about Fonda as she can using archival footage, film and television clips, and talking-head interviews with her family, costars and friends and, of course, Jane Fonda herself. For those who are just discovering Fonda, this documentary will help them understand her place in history and perhaps help them on their journey of self-discovery.

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Copyright and Fair Use, Part Two: Historical View and Contemporary Application in Nonfiction Film — Diane Carson

That the U.S. Constitution authorizes copyright AND fair use surprises many, but it follows. In order to encourage new works of any type, creators must be allowed to quote and comment an existing work in order to discuss, analyze, debate, or praise. The concept of “transformative” use has emerged as a guiding principle in ruling on the use of copyrighted assets in documentaries.

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Fork Films Funds 16 Femme-Helmed and/or Produced Documentaries — Jennifer Merin reports

Abigail Disney’s Fork Films is dividng $625,000 in grants among 16 new documentaries that align with the company’s dedication to promoting peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice. All are directed and or produced by women. Selected from 500 applicants, the chosen films address topics ranging from refugee and immigration stories, to incarceration, civil rights, disability rights and media depictions of transgender people, as well as other timely topics. The unprecedented number of applications indicates growing demand for nonfiction storytelling in this turbulent time

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