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Thursday, June 6, 2013

June Film Club: Documentary # 2

Our second documentary film for the month of June (which will be showing June 27th at 6:15pm) is the film:  Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a film by the street artist Banksy that tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art.  The film charts Guetta's constant documenting of his every waking moment on film, from a chance encounter with his cousin, the artist Invader, to his introduction to a host of street artists with a focus on Shepard Fairey and Banksy, whose anonymity is preserved by obscuring his face and altering his voice, to Guetta's eventual fame as a street artist himself.  The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on January 24th, 2010.  It is narrated by Rhys Ifans.  The film was nominated fore the Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature at the 83rd Academy Awards.  There has been debate over whether the documentary is genuine or a mockumentary, although Banksy answers "yes" when asked if the film is real.

This film holds a 96% certified fresh rating on the aggregate review site out of 107 critical reviews.
This film is a great little piece of satire on celebrity, consumerism, and the world of art.  I found it hugely entertaining and I hope you will as well.  I look forward to seeing you all there!

Here's the trailer:

Monday, June 3, 2013

June Film Club: Documentary #1

The first film we will be watching for the month of June is Seth Gordon's delightful documentary, The King of Kong: A fistful of Quarters.

The film is a 2007 American documentary film that follows Steve Wiebe as he tries to take the world high score for the arcade game Donkey Kong from whom the film presents as reigning champion, Billy Mitchell.  In Ottumwa, Iowa, Walter Day founded Twin Galaxies, an organization formed to keep track of high score achieved on arcade games in the Unite States.  Billy Mitchell, having achieved the highest ever recorded scores on Donkey Kong and Centipede in the 1980s, remains a video game legend in 2005.  On the other side of the country, in Redmond, Washington, Boeing employee Steve Wiebe has been laid off as a Boeing engineer, and now spends his time as a science teacher.  His friends and his wife, Nicole, describe him as an unfortunate figure who always comes up short, despite being proficient at music, sports, art, and mathematics.  Preparing to get back into the workforce, Wiebe begins going to night school to get a master degree and obtains a Donkey Kong machine to play in his garage as a pastime.  After reading about Mitchell's world record of 874,300 on the internet, Wiebe focuses on mastering Donkey Kong and successfully achieves a score of 1,006,600 points.  Wiebe submits the tape to Twin Galaxies, which propels him to becoming a local celebrity and news topic as the new world record holder for a few weeks.  However, Mitchell sends his self-styled protege, retired banker turned pro-gamer Brian Kuh, to investigate Wiebe's machine.  Kuh find that the machine's circuit board was provided by Roy Schildt, who claims to hold the high score for Missile Command.  Unbeknownst to Wiebe, Shcildt and Mitchell have been nemeses for years ever since Mitchell caused Schildt's high score to be brought under scrutiny, preventing him from receiving official recognition from Twin Galaxies.  They believe Wiebe's board may have been tampered with in order to get revenge on Mitchell.  In order to prove his gaming skills, Wiebe travels to Funspot Arcade in Laconia, New Hampshire, to perform a high score live for Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day and other high-ranking members of Twin Galaxies, hoping to confront Mitchell and play head-to-head.

This film holds a 96% certified fresh rating on the aggregate review site out of 98 critical reviews.

I really loved this film, and I hope you will too.  We will be meeting Thursday, June 20th at 6:15pm.  Hope to see you there.

Here's the trailer:

Summer of the Documentary Film

Hey everybody!

This summer, I'd like to do something a little different with Film Club.  In theory, I think it's an awesome idea and one that will work well, in practice, well, let's hope I'm right.  The theme for the summer is going to be Documentary Film.  What I'd like to do is show two films a month, both will be on a Thursday night.  I'm thinking, one film will be on the regular third Thursday and maybe the second one will be on the fourth Thursday, we'll see how it works out.  This way, we don't have to stay after hours on a Friday or something, and hopefully everyone will be able to make it to at least one film or the other (or ideally, both!)  Each month will have a different theme of sorts.  One month is going to be light-hearted films for pure entertainment's sake, another month might be more informative, dealing with such subject matter as the military and the space race.  The last month will be two films from the same director, both incredibly emotional films dealing with humans, their motivations and the consequences of their life choices. 
Hopefully by this time, the remodeling will be done and we will be able to enjoy these films on a brand new projector, blu ray player and sound system.  In the meantime, feel free to come to library and check out our Documentary section.  Like the rest of the DVD collection, it is growing at a healthy rate and we have some very great films in there.

Here's a look at the lineup I have planned (click the title for the trailer):

July 18th- For All Mankind
July 25th- Restrepo

August 15th- Into the Abyss
August 22nd- Grizzly Man

I'll keep you updated!