DVDs Currently Checked Out From GreenCine

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In The Realms of the Unreal

” Award-winning short filmmaker Jessica Yu makes her feature-length debut with In the Realms of the Unreal, a documentary about outsider artist Henry Darger. Born in 1892, Darger lived in Chicago and worked as a janitor for most of his life. When he died in 1972, his landlord found his life’s work: The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion (often simply referred to as The Realms). A massive, multiple-volume fantasy novel, The Realms also contains nearly 300 illustrations of collages, drawings, and paintings. Rather than interview art scholars and psychologists, Yu chooses to look at Darger’s work from the viewpoints of those who knew him. Yu also incorporates animation segments into the documentary, using Darger’s original images. In the Realms of the Unreal was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the documentary competition. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide”

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Manufacturing Consent

” The Canadian documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media presents a lengthy, detailed look at the political beliefs of celebrated intellectual Noam Chomsky. Casting only passing glances at Chomsky’s groundbreaking work in the field of linguistics and his eventful life, filmmakers Mark Achbar and Peter Witonick instead focus on his activities as a political dissident and media critic. Particular attention is paid to his contention that the American mass media serves as a form of “thought control in a democratic society,” with major news organizations systematically bending the truth to support the status quo. Chomsky defends this belief in numerous public appearances, lectures, and debates, siting as examples the widely divergent media treatment of genocidal activities in Cambodia and East Timor and the unquestioned acceptance of America’s Gulf War policy. While opposing viewpoints and rebuttals are sometimes aired, the filmmakers quite clearly are in general agreement with Chomsky and even include humorous visual illustrations of his political theories, utilizing stock footage, on-screen diagrams, and the like. Despite its clear favoritism, the film nevertheless succeeds in making a thought-provoking case for these ideas and provides an intriguing glimpse into the life of a complex, driven thinker. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide”

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Word Wars

” The directorial debut of filmmakers Eric Chaikin and Julian Petrillo, Word Wars: Tiles and Tribulations on the Scrabble Circuit is a humorous documentary look at the culture surrounding the National Scrabble Tournament. Focusing on four players in particular, the film details the intense competitions that lead up to the finals in San Diego, where each of the competitors hopes to take home the 25,000-dollar prize. Premiering at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Word Wars screened as part of the documentary competition. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide”