Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nuclear Nation

Director: Atushi Funahashi 
Run Time: 96 min. 
Call Number:TK1365.J3 N835 2014 

"Though mentioned only once, Hiroshima and Nagasaki loom large over Nuclear Nation, an assured and sobering documentary that charts the situation in Futaba, Japan, shortly after the 2011 meltdown at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. . . . Employing straightforward, music-free aesthetics that express the grim realities of his story, director Funahashi captures both grief and outrage in equal measure, all of it tinged with the displaced and desolate citizens' regret over having predicated their fates on the very energy-source technology that cost them so much during WWII." 
                                                                     —Nick Schager, Village Voice

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Director: Michel Gondry 
Run Time: 89 min. 
Call Number: P85.C47 I8 2014

"On paper, Chomsky and Gondry seem like an eternal mismatch, but these two very smart people share an odd but genuine chemistry, as the director quizzes the philosopher-cognitive scientist on almost every topic under the sun, with the notable exception of politics (odd, perhaps, considering Chomsky's well-documented criticism of the U.S. government). . . . One of the best scenes is when Gondry asks Chomsky, out of the blue, what makes him happy. The linguist appears to be caught off guard and is briefly (very briefly) at a loss for words - a moment that humanizes this intellectual giant." 
David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Food Chain$

Director: Sanjay Rawal
Run time: 83 min.
Call number: HD1525 .F66 2014

"...Required to pick a minimum of 480 pounds of fruit per hour (hands moving so quickly that you would swear the film has been sped up), the workers average around $42 for a nine-hour shift. . . . “We live like animals in cramped housing,” one man says, as Mr. Rawal shows us jam-packed trailers and ragtag encampments. The ability to improve these conditions lies not with the farmers, we are told, but with the fast-food industry, restaurants and supermarkets whose contracts with buyers set the economics of the supply chain. But when a coalition of tomato pickers in Immokalee, Fla., began agitating for companies to pay a penny more per pound for their tomatoes, the state’s largest supermarket chain, Publix, refused to blink."

—Jeannette Catsoulis, N.Y. Times


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rich Hill: Three Boys in Small Town America

Director: Andrew Droz Palermo & Tracy Droz Tragos
Run time: 91 min.

Call number:  HV1437.R535 R53 2014

"The brutally sparse documentary 'Rich Hill' removes poverty from the realm of the abstract and makes it personal, closely chronicling the lives of three teenage boys—Andrew, Harley and Appachey—as they navigate adolescence in their impoverished (and cruelly named) Missouri town. . . . Rich Hill looks like a thousand other poor rural towns peppered across America — desolate landscapes, ramshackle houses, roads lined with fast-food restaurants and pawn shops. It's a town thin on resources and diversions and, even more importantly, jobs."
Barbara VanDenburgh, The Arizona Republic

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Case Against 8 (2014)

Director: Ben Cotner & Ryan White
Run time: 112 min. 
Call number: KFC129 .C374 2014

"Looking back on the legal battle that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court decision on California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage couldn't be more timely. It also makes for a riveting film. Even knowing the outcome, watching '8' . . . is like watching a well-scripted legal thriller. . . . Filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White were granted extraordinary access to war rooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as two seemingly ill-matched legal titans, conservative Ted Olson and liberal David Boies, led the charge against Prop. 8 through the court system."

David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle