Film

Hankin, ’16 Acres’ appeals to the human side of politics

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When it comes to politics there are generally two sides of the fence: you’re either interested, or you aren’t. Then there are the rare moments when an event is so catastrophic, a policy so egregious, that everyone, young and old, find themselves getting involved whether they like it or not, out of moral obligation or personal vendetta. The devastating tragedy of September 11, 2001 is one of these. However, busy as we are supporting our troops, admonishing our government, or going about our lives with an air of indifference, it is perhaps the revelatory spotlight on the question of what to do with the 16 acres of land where the twin towers once stood that has plagued the nation—especially New Yorkers; a question whose answer lies in the celluloid folds of Richard Hankin’s aptly-named biographical documentary, 16 Acres.

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Coast Modern, Architecture For The Soul

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Is life composed of hard edges, or soft curves? In this elliptical documentary on the architectural wonderment of modernism and its steadfast metamorphosis over the last eighty-plus years, filmmakers Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome travel the Pacific Northwest in an effort to capture the essence of a spirituality we won’t find at the local synagogue or mosque, but in the very bones of our own homes. Coast Modern tries to establish not so much a style of living, but a way of life in its up-close-and-personal investigation of a series of homes and establishments belonging to the few who’ve decided to forgo the privacy and security of the enclosed enclaves most of us probably find ourselves in.

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Tom Cawley’s “Something” is Anything but “Nothing”

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While higher-budgeted docs filled with even bigger names might elicit the awe of that Hollywood intangibility, Cawley’s down-to-earth subject matter, and even the subjects themselves, bring us into the story of our own lives. We don’t want to be the people on-screen, these celebrities of sight and sound and tactile surfaces, but rather we wish to paint the stars of our respective destinies with the footnotes of these men and women’s successes, failures, moments of elation, and of suffocating despair. They are, in a word, human.

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse, if you haven’t already Googled it yourself already, is a documentary that focuses on Esquire magazine during the sixties. Specifically, during the sixties under the helm of editor Harold T.P. Hayes. The story goes something like this: during one of the most turbulent decades unseen since the Civil War era, editor and provocateur Howard Hayes is remembered as having stepped up to take the falling star that was Esquire, and put it back in the sky. The film’s summary goes on to describe a man who not only led a team behind some of the most varied polemical writing styles and iconoclastic subtleties, but did so under the caveat that each and every day could easily lead to (and oftentimes did) disaster riddle in controversy.

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