This week on Fandor: stretching canvases, blowing whistles, walking the labyrinth (twice), and more!
Do you love art? Do you love movies about art? Then we have some really great news for you! This week, we added not one, not two, not three, but FOUR art-centric documentaries, including in-depth profiles of the renowned contemporary painters Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joan Mitchell, and Chuck Close. While all three of these artists had very different painting styles (and lifestyles), all were revolutionary in their own way, and to hear them speak about their work alongside their peers, curators, and loved ones is a real treat for any kind of art lover. Fandor’s creative director, Michael Read, just happens to be one of those art lovers, and he’s put together a very impressive movie list of our finest fine art documentaries. So watch these geniuses daub, splatter, shoot, develop, draw, sculpt, and otherwise do…what artists do.
In other Planet Fandor news, you may have noticed that we have a whole set of “high holidays” that we observe in addition to all of the regular calendar celebrations: film festivals! And right now, we’re smack in the middle of one of our favorites, TIFF. While Europe is stocked with more high-profile fests than most “Cannes” handle (we’ll never get sick of that dump pun, sorry not sorry), in North America it’s really all about Sundance, Telluride, and TIFF when it comes to predicting the next big thing to hit theaters. Celeb-studded and overflowing with talent both behind and in front of the camera, it’s fair to say that it’s going down in Toronto right now. Over on Keyframe, we have eyes on the ground (and in the theaters) committed to delivering you the of-the-moment coverage you need. For a look back at some of the best recent films that started out premiering at this Canadian showcase, check out this great video essay:
FYI, you can stream Ida and The Deep Blue Sea (which is currently available only in the United States) right now on Fandor, along with over 500 other incredible movies that have screened at TIFF, going back all the way to the festival’s 1976 inception.
And finally, with the release of Oliver Stone’s Snowden this week, and the latest news about Julian Assange offering to serve prison time in exchange for Chelsea Manning’s release and pardon, we’ve been thinking a lot about whistleblowers. Over the years, informants and rabble-rousers have found their place on the big screen:
So we thought we’d add a few more to the pile. Here are some stranger-than-fiction accounts of real people speaking truth to power, and the things they could not, would not keep quiet about:
Tax Me if You Can tells the story of a bank employee who kept the receipts, so to speak, when he quit his job. When he sold documents taken from his place of work to various Western governments, he exposed the vast and fascinating world of tax sheltering. Yes, the rich get richer. He can tell you how they pull it off.
The After Party (currently only available in the United States) wraps up a trilogy on American politics with a stunning investigation into domestic surveillance precipitated by a mass arrest at a 2004 protest in New York city at the site of Ground Zero. Have things gotten better or worse for privacy and freedom in the twelve years since? That’s kind of a rhetorical question, actually.
We’ll leave you for the week with a lovely bit of synchronicity found on Keyframe recently: two articles on two amazing films with one a-”maze”-ing thing in common!! First, there’s a look back at Labyrinth, directed by Jim Henson, which celebrates its thirtieth (gulp!) birthday this year, and then we revisit Pan’s Labyrinth, that gut-wrenching anti-fascist fable directed by Guillermo del Toro. Prepare to feel a whole lot of feels, and we’ll be back next week with more great new and movies to share. Happy reading, happy watching, and happy four decades of TIFF!