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A Closer Look: Full Frame Film Festival

Did you know Durham hosts one of the world’s best film festivals every year?  The Full Frame Film Festival began in 1998 as a small event hosted by Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.  Nowadays, it takes over downtown Durham for 4 days and plays host to over 100 films.  It runs April 12th – 15th.  You can purchase your tickets online or at the event.

Here are my top picks for this year:

1. Samsura, April 12th at 10pm

“Through an intricate synthesis of images, and without a single word of dialogue, this intoxicating film takes us on a cross-continental journey through our modern world. Samsara is a Tibetan word that means “the ever-turning wheel of life.” Contributing to the cyclical rhythm at work, music builds and drifts away throughout this vast array of images, impeccably captured on 70mm film.”

 

2. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, April 13th at 7:20pm

“With intimate access to the artist, Alison Klayman presents a portrait of Chinese photographer, sculptor, architect, and activist Ai Weiwei. Captured over the course of three years, this portrait is as much about the current state of China as it is Ai Weiwei’s art and character. Exhibited all over the world, his pieces present a unique collision of grand imagination and pointed politics…”

 

3. The D Train, April 14 at 1:50pm

“A man enters the subway, paying with a token. To the accompaniment of a jaunty Shostakovich waltz, archival images tell a life story—at once singular and universal. The latest inspired composite from Jay Rosenblatt (Phantom Limb,The Darkness of Day) features a dynamic collection of found images, mostly black and white but with the occasional splash of vibrant color. Texture, movement, and connections spark as life passes before our eyes.”

 

4. Detropia, April 13th at 4:40pm

“[This film is] an affecting and modern symphony of Detroit, a casualty and the epitome of fin de siècle industrial and urban abandonment. The city’s rapid decline (half of its inhabitants have moved since 1970 and half of its manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2000) triggered a fight-or-flight response on a massive scale, resulting in unprecedented political and civic challenges and corresponding radical countermeasures.”

 

5. How to Survive a Plague, April 14th at 7:20pm

“In the early 1980s when the number of AIDS cases in America began to soar, many organizations with the resources to help turned a blind eye to the epidemic. Enter ACT UP, a group of activists who felt they’d been backed into a corner by society’s complacent attitudes. Many of ACT UP’s members were HIV-positive and saw this unifying political action as their only hope of survival.”

 

I hope to see you there!

-Robert

 

images and quoted text: http://www.fullframefest.org

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