ïYesterday’s edition of the Los Angeles Times offers a belated but pleasant article on the “year of the documentary,” and although it seems to have just discovered films like Bowling for Columbine, Spellbound, My Architect, and The Fog of War, this is one dead horse that deserves a beating:
Once relegated to public broadcasting, cable channels or independent film festivals, the genre is increasingly viewed as popular entertainment worthy of big-screen play. Though many documentaries still face an uphill battle, Hollywood’s perpetual stepchildren are finally getting seated at the grown-ups’ table. They’re making money. They’re easier to finance and market. And they are increasingly feeding an adult appetite in a movie world that is more often aimed at teenagers.
ïSpeaking of documentaries, I was able to see four great ones this weekend by Chantal Akerman–expect a summary tomorrow.
ïRobert Davis offers some intriguing commentary from the San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival. (And I hope he’s gearing up for SFIFF next, as I may just bump into him at a screening or two.)
ïAnd speaking of Asian-American films, Robot Stories (2002) premiered in L.A. this weekend, and it’s a solid independent film in the science fiction genre which includes many strong performances and creative support by members of the Korean-American community. Although two high-profile Hollywood films are being released this summer dealing with artificial life (I Robot and the remake of The Stepford Wives), both of these films will have to work overtime to beat Robot Stories‘ sensitive, thoughtful, and poignant statements on the subject.