Starting this Wednesday, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be holding some screenings of films shown at last year's festival.
The Academy's 15-film shortlist of Oscar nominees is out, and Full Frame is proud to see a number of 2009 Full Frame Alumni on the list. They are celebrating by giving those who didn't get a chance to see them at the festival (or want to see them again), the opportunity to do so.
Screenings are FREE at the Bay 7 Cinema at American Tobacco – Second Wednesdays at 7pm. Here are descriptions of the upcoming three films, which are considered Oscar frontrunners:
BEACHES OF AGNES
Wednesday, January 13
This cinematic autobiography by celebrated French filmmaker Agnès Varda unfolds in a luminous series of recollections from her extraordinarily rich life. Now in her eighties, Varda takes stock of her childhood, her marriage to fellow French New Wave filmmaker Jacques Demy, and her brilliant career as a photographer, experimental filmmaker, and installation artist as she confronts the unfathomable idea that life is drawing to a close. Using the beach as both a visual and a metaphoric conceit, she interweaves old family photographs, footage from her vast body of work, intimate anecdotal voice-overs, and present-day sequences in a stunningly cinematic expression of the creative life. In one sequence Varda returns to the Mediterranean beach of her youth and of her early films and sets up an elaborate collections of mirrors to capture her reflections, both literally and figuratively. Whimsical, witty, eloquent, poetic, Beaches of Agnes is as transcendent as the life it recollects.
Wednesday, February 10
This white-knuckle spy thriller of a documentary uncovers a horrifying secret in a little seaside town in Japan. To the unsuspecting, Taiji looks like the dolphin capital of the world, with dolphin images dotted all over town and the real creatures cavorting in its picturesque cove. But what few know is that beneath the calm surface of the water lurks a devastating practice—the systematic capture and slaughter of thousands of dolphins a year, their mercury-laden meat sold in markets as another kind of seafood. Enter Ric O’Barry, the former dolphin trainer renowned for his work on Flipper, National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, and a team of intrepid filmmakers, specialists, and free divers, who set out with undercover cameras and underwater microphones to expose the ugly truth behind this seeming paradise. They keep you on the edge of your seat until the film’s final moments. You will never look at a dolphin or a plate of seafood in the same way again.
Wednesday, March 10
Looking beyond the pastoral images gracing grocery store shelves, director Robert Kenner serves up a revealing look at the way food is produced in America. From factory farms to cornfields to patented seeds, this film skillfully untangles the twisted knot of farm policy, lobbying, engineering, and corporate greed that has drastically altered the landscape of American farming since the 1950s. Exasperating stories reveal the heartbreaking consequences of an industrialized food system: we meet, among others, a woman whose young son died of E. coli poisoning, a chicken farmer dragged into debt by Purdue, and a small-town seed saver being sued by corporate giant Monsanto. We also meet pioneers actively working to change the system: Polyface farmer Joel Salatin champions sustainable agricultural practices, while Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Yogurt, proves that a successful business can be earth-friendly. Featuring authors Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Food, Inc. is a film with an activist edge.