Liz Garbus

Liz Garbus

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Liz Garbus - 68th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Century City, California, United States - Saturday 6th February 2016

Liz Garbus
Liz Garbus

Liz Garbus - 68th Annual DGA Awards 2016 held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Arrivals at DGA Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 6th February 2016

Liz Garbus

What Happened, Miss Simone Trailer


Nina Simone was, by all accounts, one of the greatest performers of all time. A courageous and powerful voice that touched millions and truly came alive on the stage. Although what most people don't know, is that she was the same when she left the stage. Being such a brave and important figure who lived in a time of distress and injustice, Simone was as alive offstage as she was on it, but she was angry. See, for the first time, the ultimate power that courage and anger can have on the world, but also make the people around her wonder, "what happened, Miss Simone?"

Continue: What Happened, Miss Simone Trailer

Bobby Fischer Against The World Review


Excellent
Strikingly well-assembled, this straightforward doc chronicles the chess champ's life using first-hand reminiscences and a wealth of historical footage.

It's surprising, involving and ultimately very moving.

Fischer emerged as a 9-year-old chess prodigy. By 15 he was the 1958 US champion, and he soon set his sights on the world champion Russian players. At the height of the Cold War in 1972, both countries had their reputations staked on the showdown between Fisher and Boris Spassky in Reykjavik. After Fischer's paranoid, diva-like behaviour almost derailed the match, he emerged the victor.

Continue reading: Bobby Fischer Against The World Review

Martin Garbus and Liz Garbus - Martin Garbus and Liz Garbus Wednesday 22nd April 2009 at Tribeca Film Festival New York City, USA

Martin Garbus and Liz Garbus
Martin Garbus and Liz Garbus

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que Tu Lo Sepas! Review


Good
Puerto Rico is a special case in American history, neither fish nor fowl, and so off the radar of the average citizen as to almost not exist. Taken as a prize in the 1898 Spanish-American War, the island was swiftly made into a colony of sorts, the land pressed into service for sugar companies, while a large segment of the population - who to this day don't have the right to vote for president - was put into uniform or brought to the U.S. mainland in a little-known or -understood farm worker relocation program in the postwar period. In 1952, the island was made into a commonwealth, a status it still holds today, which makes it something less than a state and yet more than a colony; though plenty of Puerto Ricans would argue that it much more strongly resembles the latter.

The first major Latin American group to emigrate to the American mainland, Puerto Ricans in the States number about three million today, though ignorance of where they're from and what they're about is endemic. To illustrate this ignorance in her documentary Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas!, Rosie Perez tells a story about being asked while she was in college where Puerto Rico was. Thus the reason for her film - which she co-directed with Oscar-winner Liz Garbus - which mixes Perez family history with that of the island and its people in general. It's sort of an elaborate home movie mixed with social studies, but an impressive effort, nonetheless.

Continue reading: Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que Tu Lo Sepas! Review

Street Fight Review


Excellent
It's tempting to view politics as little more than a grudge match, an untelegenic blood match between a number of well-dressed liars who should be judged not for the substance of their statements, but rather the artifice with which they conceal their true intentions. That was certainly the manner in which the local and national media seemed to treat the 2002 Newark mayoral campaign, an unusually rough-and-tumble fight between a hard-headed incumbent and an idealistic upstart. Even though the outcome couldn't have been more crucial - given the city's desperate poverty and steadily rising crime rate - it was treated more humorously than anything else, the writers almost seeming to pine for the more colorful days of machine politics that the election harkened back to. But, as Street Fight - Marshall Curry's punchy, entertaining, Oscar-nominated documentary of the election - shows, that kind of corrosive cynicism ends up favoring the entrenched powers that be, no matter what dirt they may sling.

Going into the election, it looks a pretty easy choice. The incumbent, Sharpe James, had been mayor of Newark since 1986 and seems your typical city hall dinosaur. Lazy from a lack of competition and fattened off a suspiciously hefty salary (further boosted, many had it, by the endemic corruption James had narrowly escaped being jailed for in the '90s), James should have been a cinch for his challenger, Cory Booker, to take out. Booker is a choirboy type from the suburbs, a Rhodes scholar and college football star who went straight from Stanford to Yale Law School to Newark, where he moved into a housing project and set up a nonprofit organization before taking on James. He's tall, broad of shoulder, quick of wit, and self-assured without seeming pompous; in short, a campaign manager's dream. New vs. old, crusading vs. corrupt, the choice seems clear. As Curry ably shows, though, in places like Newark, the old guard hasn't stayed in power so long by playing nice.

Continue reading: Street Fight Review

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que Tu Lo Sepas! Review


Good
Puerto Rico is a special case in American history, neither fish nor fowl, and so off the radar of the average citizen as to almost not exist. Taken as a prize in the 1898 Spanish-American War, the island was swiftly made into a colony of sorts, the land pressed into service for sugar companies, while a large segment of the population - who to this day don't have the right to vote for president - was put into uniform or brought to the U.S. mainland in a little-known or -understood farm worker relocation program in the postwar period. In 1952, the island was made into a commonwealth, a status it still holds today, which makes it something less than a state and yet more than a colony; though plenty of Puerto Ricans would argue that it much more strongly resembles the latter.

The first major Latin American group to emigrate to the American mainland, Puerto Ricans in the States number about three million today, though ignorance of where they're from and what they're about is endemic. To illustrate this ignorance in her documentary Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas!, Rosie Perez tells a story about being asked while she was in college where Puerto Rico was. Thus the reason for her film - which she co-directed with Oscar-winner Liz Garbus - which mixes Perez family history with that of the island and its people in general. It's sort of an elaborate home movie mixed with social studies, but an impressive effort, nonetheless.

Continue reading: Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que Tu Lo Sepas! Review

Street Fight Review


Excellent
It's tempting to view politics as little more than a grudge match, an untelegenic blood match between a number of well-dressed liars who should be judged not for the substance of their statements, but rather the artifice with which they conceal their true intentions. That was certainly the manner in which the local and national media seemed to treat the 2002 Newark mayoral campaign, an unusually rough-and-tumble fight between a hard-headed incumbent and an idealistic upstart. Even though the outcome couldn't have been more crucial - given the city's desperate poverty and steadily rising crime rate - it was treated more humorously than anything else, the writers almost seeming to pine for the more colorful days of machine politics that the election harkened back to. But, as Street Fight - Marshall Curry's punchy, entertaining, Oscar-nominated documentary of the election - shows, that kind of corrosive cynicism ends up favoring the entrenched powers that be, no matter what dirt they may sling.

Going into the election, it looks a pretty easy choice. The incumbent, Sharpe James, had been mayor of Newark since 1986 and seems your typical city hall dinosaur. Lazy from a lack of competition and fattened off a suspiciously hefty salary (further boosted, many had it, by the endemic corruption James had narrowly escaped being jailed for in the '90s), James should have been a cinch for his challenger, Cory Booker, to take out. Booker is a choirboy type from the suburbs, a Rhodes scholar and college football star who went straight from Stanford to Yale Law School to Newark, where he moved into a housing project and set up a nonprofit organization before taking on James. He's tall, broad of shoulder, quick of wit, and self-assured without seeming pompous; in short, a campaign manager's dream. New vs. old, crusading vs. corrupt, the choice seems clear. As Curry ably shows, though, in places like Newark, the old guard hasn't stayed in power so long by playing nice.

Continue reading: Street Fight Review

Girlhood Review


Very Good
Most people assume that boys will be more violent than girls, especially in the adolescent years. The stereotype is that boys work out their aggression with bloodthirsty sparring while girls internalize their problems with unhealthy cliques of peers who focus on shopping or dieting. But having researched the growing percentages of assaults on women by women, documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus follows two young female delinquents as they struggle through the structure they didn't have at home while trying re-enter society.

Shanae is 13 years old. At the age of 10, she was gang-raped by five boys, reacted by delving into drugs and alcohol, and ended up at the Waxter facility after stabbing a friend to death. Megan is 14 and has been in and out of foster homes for years since her addict mother prostituted herself to earn money for drugs. Megan was sent to the same detention center after assaulting a peer with a box cutter.

Continue reading: Girlhood Review

The Farm: Angola, USA Review


Good
This documentary about the largest (and arguably, deadliest) prison in America, Angola, has amazing access to the six convicts it follows, but never really generates enough emotion to merit classic status. The prisoners have it rough -- I can't imagine having to learn the law so I could defind myself in parole hearings and the like -- but unfortunately the movie is not really artistic enough to bring out the qualities in these prisoners well enough so that we care about them. Ultimately it's an interesting look at the penal system, but not really a compelling enough story about its "victims."
Liz Garbus

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Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Five years after his first stint as hitman Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic, Jason Statham has returned to the role for Mechanic: Resurrection.

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John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

In a busy year that has seen John Krasinski star in movies and TV shows, he somehow managed to find the time to direct, produce and star in the new...

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Liz Garbus Movies

What Happened, Miss Simone Trailer

What Happened, Miss Simone Trailer

Nina Simone was, by all accounts, one of the greatest performers of all time. A...

Bobby Fischer Against The World Movie Review

Bobby Fischer Against The World Movie Review

Strikingly well-assembled, this straightforward doc chronicles the chess champ's life using first-hand reminiscences and a...

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas! Movie Review

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas! Movie Review

Puerto Rico is a special case in American history, neither fish nor fowl, and so...

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Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas! Movie Review

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas! Movie Review

Puerto Rico is a special case in American history, neither fish nor fowl, and so...

Girlhood Movie Review

Girlhood Movie Review

Most people assume that boys will be more violent than girls, especially in the adolescent...

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