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Recommended Viewing: September 2010

DVDgenericCheck out this month's selection of DVDs for creative thinkers.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
Director: Bruno Wollheim

HockneyOne of the defining figures of the modernist art movement, David Hockney has carved out a career of enviable longevity and stylistic diversity.

Renowned for his L.A.-based pool series and his large-scale landscapes, Hockney's employs a striking use of colour and inventive artistic vision.

With unprecedented access to Hockney's working and personal life, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture intimately captures the 70-year-old on his return to South Yorkshire after 25 years in California.

Following a six-year hiatus from painting, Hockney once again reinvents his artistic method, endeavouring to capture the great British landscape in all weathers so to create the largest painting ever made outdoors.

Concurrently, Hockney meditates on his inspirations and motivations, presenting a uniquely personal portrait of a complex and engaging artist for our times.


Four Seasons Lodge
Director: Andrew Jacobs
First Run Features

FourSeasonsHaunted by the past but driven by an unquenchable passion for living, an aging group of Holocaust survivors gathers each summer at an idyllic hideaway in the Catskills, where they savor tightly bonded friendships, find new love and celebrate their survival.

Directed by New York Times journalist Andrew Jacobs, with cinematography by the legendary Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens), Four Seasons Lodge is an inspiring and surprisingly funny documentary that captures what may be the final season for a remarkable tribe of survivors who have found that dancing, laughter and late-night revelry may be the best revenge on Hitler.

Beyond Treason
Director: William Lewis
Available at
Beyond Treason

TreasonUS Department of Defense documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act expose the horrific underworld of the disposable army mentality and the government-funded experimentation upon US citizens conducted without their knowledge or consent.

Is the United States knowingly using a dangerous battlefield weapon banned by the United Nations because of its long-term effects on the local inhabitants and the environment?

Explore the illegal worldwide sale and use of one of the deadliest weapons ever invented.

Beyond the disclosure of black-ops projects spanning the past six decades, Beyond Treason also addresses the complex subject of Gulf War Illness.

It includes interviews with experts, both civilian and military, who say that the government is hiding the truth from the public and they can prove it.


Director: Robert Greenwald
Available at

OutfoxedFormer Fox employees talk about how they were forced to push a "right-wing" point of view or risk their jobs. Some have even chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect their current livelihoods.

As one employee said "There's no sense of integrity as far as having a line that can't be crossed."

Outfoxed examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know.

Outfoxed first examines media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Australian company, News Corp., tracing how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helped Murdoch break the rules to establish a fourth network in the United States.

The film explores Murdoch's burgeoning kingdom and the impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person.

Media experts, including Jeff Cohen (FAIR), Bob McChesney and Chellie Pingree, provide context and guidance for the story of Fox News and its effect on society.

The team behind Outfoxed created a system to monitor Fox News 24 hours a day for months to discover exactly how its shows worked.

A team of volunteers around the country scrutinized every hour of Fox News programming, noting examples of bias in its coverage.

The result is an intense examination of Fox News and the lie inherent in its favorite motto: "Fair and Balanced."



Chuck Close
Director: Martion Cajori

ChuckCloseChuck Close, an astounding portrait of one of the world's leading contemporary painters, was one of two parting gifts from the late filmmaker Marion Cajori, the second being Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and the Tangerine.

With editing completed by filmmaker Ken Kobland, Chuck Close portays the life and work of a man who has reinvented portraiture and triumphed in the face of adversity.

When a debilitating spinal artery occlusion left him paralysed in the 1980s, Close had to rethink his precisely photorealist technique: now, with the help of an assistant, and using an elaborate system of pullies and levers, Close has continued to paint in spite of his handicap.

Chuck Close allows the artist to illuminate his methodology, but also features his friends and colleagues (Brice Marden, Robert Storr, Dorothea Rockburne, Philip Glass, Arne Glimcher, Kiki Smith, Elizabeth Murray, Alex Katz, Kirk Varnedoe, among others), who make important contributions to appreciating Close's gifts.



Prodigal Sons
Director: Kimberly Reed
First Run Features

ProdigalReturning home to a small town in Montana for her high school reunion, trans filmmaker Kimberly Reed hopes for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother, Marc.

But along the way she uncovers stunning revelations, including a blood relationship with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, intense sibling rivalries and unforeseeable twists of plot and gender that forces them to face challenges no one could imagine.

Winner of the FIPRESCI International Film Critics' prize at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival and Special Jury Prize for Fearless Filmmaking at the Florida Film Festival and Bravery in Filmmaking at the Nashville Film Festival, Prodigal Sons is a raw and provocative examination of one family’s struggle to come to terms with its past and present.




DVDs selected by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief.

For details of where to send review copies, click on the Contact menu.




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