Jerry White

Only Connect: D.A. Pennebaker, 1925-2019

By Jerry White / September 23, 2019

Cinéma vérité is all too easy to misunderstand, all too easy to take literally. Worst of all, it’s all too easy to piously debunk—even by some of its most famous practitioners. Frederick Wiseman, when interviewed for Peter Wintonick’s Cinéma vérité: Defining the Moment (1999), said that “my definition of cinéma vérité is that it’s a pompous French term that has no meaning.”

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General Report II: The New Abduction of Europe (Pere Portabella, Spain) — Wavelengths

By Jerry White / September 6, 2016

From Cinema Scope #67 The Changing of the Age: Pere Portabella on Informe General II By Jerry White I have always thought of Pere Portabella as the most French filmmaker outside of France—though “French” in the specific sense of the long-standing Gallic idealization of l’artiste engagé. The summit of this ideal, in cinematic terms, would…

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Star Wars: Laura Poitras’ Astro Noise

By Jerry White / March 21, 2016

By Jerry White “I should rewatch The Man Who Fell to Earth, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and All the President’s Men.”—Laura Poitras, “Berlin Journal,” February 7, 2013 “For those who listen, the stars are singing.”—Edward Snowden Just after making it though Astro Noise, Laura Poitras’ new exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art (whose…

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Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland/Denmark)

By Jerry White / December 13, 2013

By Jerry White Ida marks Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski’s first feature film in Polish—the director immigrated to the UK with his parents in the ’70s, and subsequently built his career there—but just what kind of Polish film it is proves a rather tricky question. There are, to be sure, several national-cinema standbys on order: it’s…

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Sergei Dvortsevoy

By Jerry White / April 4, 2012

By Jerry White Born in Kazakhstan and film-schooled in Moscow, Sergei Dvortsevoy has not only become his homeland’s cineaste laureate—eclipsing the brutalist Darezhan Omirbaev through his belief in the genuinely transformative possibility of a well-composed moving image—but also perhaps the first genuinely essential post-Soviet filmmaker. This is not only because he is the first important…

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Web Only | DVD: A Glance at North Korean Cinema

By Jerry White / March 12, 2011

By Jerry White “Depicting the typical man of the new era means creating images of people who live, work and struggle with the conviction that they are masters of the revolution and the work of socialist construction…Stressing this principle of Chajusong and creating human images based on the concept of Juche allows literature to make…

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Spotlight | Petropolis: Aerial Perpectives on the Alberta Tar Sands (Peter Mettler, Canada)

By Jerry White / December 16, 2009

The French première of Peter Mettler’s new work Petropolis at the scrappy Festival OFNI in Poitiers (this year devoted to Canada) took place at a planetarium, in what the organisers called “un lieu scientifique.” How right they were. Shot on HD video, Petropolis is comprised entirely of aerial images of the landscape surrounding and comprising…

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Spotlight | Encounters at the End of the World (Werner Herzog, US)

By Jerry White / September 1, 2009

By Jerry White Whoever thought that Gilles Deleuze and the Discovery Channel would come together to tell us something about the state of modern cinema? And yet here we are, presented with Werner Herzog’s newest film, the Discovery Channel-produced Encounters at the End of the World on our screens (well, some of our screens), and…

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