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  • SXSW Film 2010 Preview | Part 2

    White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights, Haynesville, War Don Don, The Good Heart, Putty Hill, Presumed Guilty, The Weird World of Blowfly, Iron Crows

    By | March 11, 2010

    We are only hours away from day 1 of SXSW FILM 2010, and with that continues our preview coverage with 7 more reviews to wet your film fest appetite. Check out the excerps below and click the links to see the full reviews. Check out Part 1 by clicking here.

    White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights, The | Review

    Under Great White Northern Lights is satisfying because it doesn’t go too deep into aimless conversations with the band, but instead focuses on the music, with excellent live footage that continues to hammer home the raw power that has made The White Stripes a power to be reckoned with. There are certainly poignant moments, with Jack and Meg discussing the idea behind the band, the apparent purposeful colors used from the outset, and their aversion to set lists. But overall, Malloy lets the music speak for the band.”

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    Haynesville | Review

    “Either I have not been keeping up with current events in the wide world of energy, or the historic discovery of the largest natural gas field in the United States (if not the world) somehow slid under the radar of national news. So, first of all, I have to thank director Gregory Kallenberg for making this documentary. As much as I hate how the world relies so much on coal, oil and gas for energy; knowing that such a significant natural gas reserve exists eases my mind in a strange sort of way.”

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    War Don Don | Review

    “Director Rebecca Richman Cohen’s documentary War Don Don takes a comprehensive and critical look into the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Special Court’s flaws appear to be inherent in the international war crimes tribunal system. How can someone be found guilty for someone else’s acts? Are military commanders guiltier than their soldiers merely because of their rank? What if there is indisputable proof that leaders or military commanders specifically commanded their soldiers to commit heinous acts? What if the soldiers were forced by their commanders to commit heinous acts?”

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    Putty Hill | Review

    Putty Hill is a story with a multitude of interconnected characters that do not communicate very well. Most of the characters only speak when asked a question (and sometimes those questions need to come from off camera – presumably from Porterfield – in true mockumentary fashion); but the heart ofPutty Hill is what the actors do when they are not talking, when they are doing nothing. In a strange kind of way, Putty Hill is like Mumblecore for the working class.”

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    Good Heart, The | Review

    “The most intriguing aspect of The Good Heart is the clever use of the ambiguity of place – this could be anywhere. Everyone except Lucas has an accent, yet the only characters that are identified as being foreign are of Southeast Asian decent (Jacques degradingly refers to them as “Orientals”); while the bleak urban landscape offers no clear identifiers.”

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    Presunto culpable (Presumed Guilty) | Review

    Presumed Guilty is by no means an easy film to watch with content that is simultaneously frustrating and heartbreaking. Nonetheless, Hernandez and Smith do a tremendous job with the material, conveying it flawlessly in a straightforward and easy to understand manner. Most importantly, Tono’s innocence is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. The question remains: is the film convincing enough for the Mexican judicial system to release Tono?”

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    Weird World of Blowfly, The | Review

    “No matter how one feels about Blowfly – as long as you aren’t too put off by raunchy humor and blunt comments about race – The Weird World of Blowfly is an intriguing documentary about a very fascinating guy. (There, I said it, Blowfly is fascinating.) Jonathan Furmanski’s documentary is also a very informative look at the economics surrounding the comeback of a dirty rapper who is rapidly approaching 70-years old.

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    Iron Crows | Review

    “In Iron Crows, Director Bong-Nam Park takes us out of our comfortable confines to a place that is hard for most to imagine. This is not a documentary peppered with overdrawn interviews or over-indulgent cinematography. Instead, Park presents a stark portrait of the squalor of the ship graveyard and the misery these men endure every day. While the men admit freely their trepidation concerning their fate, they also acknowledge the necessity of the graveyard as a source of income, although it is difficult to imagine anyone working such a job for a mere two dollars a day.”

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