Film | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Required Viewing | Restrepo

Jun 28th, 2010 | Categories: Books, Film, Military | by Michael Williams

This past weekend I finished reading Sebastian Junger’s new book War — which along with the accompanying documentary Restrepo (directed by both Junger and photojournalist Tim Hetherington) — documents one U.S. Army platoon’s entire 15 month deployment to Afghanistan’s Korangal valley, one of the most dangerous places in the world. Rather than focusing on the politics of the War in Afghanistan, both War and Restrepo center on the soldiers on the front lines. The book and film are a sobering look at the everyday GIs that are out there in the shit; dividing their mountainous existence between boredom, firefights, reinforcing their post and dealing with the local Afghans. I highly recommend both the book and the film, which each provide a poignant perspective on the war in Afghanistan, and at the same time manage to avoid the pitfalls of the typical modern war documentary. [Restrepo / War]

"Restrepo" film directors Sebastian Junger (left) and Tim Hetherington (right) at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan.

Misha Pemble is startled by the sound of gunfire during a firefight across the valley with insurgents. Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. June 2008.

Two-Lane Blacktop

Jun 27th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Cars, Film, Video | by Michael Williams

A ’55 Chevy “one-fifty” with a 454 and four on the floor. James Taylor at the wheel and Dennis Wilson riding shotgun; no names and no bullshit. Two-Lane Blacktop came out two years before American Graffiti and two after Easy Rider. The film remains a cult classic. Good old American muscle. [Two-Lane Blacktop]

Alexander Olch's The Windmill Movie

Jun 19th, 2009 | Categories: Film | by Michael Williams

When I first met Alexander Olch a few years ago about working on his PR I gave him a hard time about his dueling career paths. “Are you a tie designer or a filmmaker?” I asked. With a grin he replied, “both!” it took a little convincing but we did end up working with Olch for his PR (and he still remains a client). Just yesterday I saw Mr. Olch’s writer, director, filmmaker role come to fruition when his documentary The Windmill Movie opened at Film Forum. The film is a portrait of Richard Rogers — Alexander’s film professor and mentor at Harvard — that is culled from decades worth of archival footage that Richard shot in an effort to tell the story of his life. Olch does an amazing job of putting together the long-over-due tale of Dick Rogers’ of professional jealousy, a resented privileged upbringing and the struggle to make it all into a film.

The Windmill Movie is now playing at Film Forum and in Washington D.C. with more cities to follow. Read more: The New York Times and Valet

Watch | East of Havana

May 30th, 2008 | Categories: Film, TV | by Michael Williams

My friend Jauretsi’s documentary film East of Havana —a look into the burgeoning underground Cuban hip-hop scene —is making its television debut tonight (May 30th) on the Sundance Channel at 10PM. If you are as interested in Cuban culture as I am, you will make sure to check it out.

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