The theme for this month – Life on The Cutting Room Floor
“The doc’s chief enjoyment is twofold, and lies in the eloquence of the writers interviewed, as well as in the insider-baseball trivia they share. For instance: Not only must every New York Times obituary state that its subject is deceased, it must relate how the writer knows this to be true. The rule was made after someone filed a lovely parting ode to a Russian ballerina who, sadly or otherwise, had not yet passed. The fact that writers often work on ‘advances,’ or advance obituaries, in which they start writing about a luminary before he or she has died, is another humorously macabre insight for those of us unfamiliar with the biz.” Anna Storm, Film Journal International
“Above all, such segments emphasize the infinite variety of human lives and human achievements.
“More intriguing — and one of the reasons the Times obituary section stands out — are the death notices for the lesser-known pioneers and newsmakers of our history: the first professional dog walker, the grandfather of cheerleading, Joseph Stalin’s daughter, the five-time Hobo King, the stripper who was Jack Ruby’s girlfriend, the inventor of the TV remote, the last survivor of Brown v. Board of Education.
“Celebrating such people in print isn’t just about telling a good story about someone you’d never heard of. It prompts readers to seek and find the connections between everyone, known and unknown. It reminds us that we all make history as we go, and a good obit only stands back and reveals the who, how, when, and why. Obit understands the governing paradox of the trade — that these writers are modern-day resurrectionists. ‘You’re trying to weave a historical spell and enchant the reader and do justice to a life,’ says Grimes. ‘It’s a once-only chance to make the dead live again.'” Ty Burr, Boston Globe
“Every family has its secrets, and these days it seems like anyone with a word processor and/or camera is willing to mine theirs for a memoir or documentary. It’s easy to be jaded about these sometimes narcissistic endeavors, but when a film like Stories We Tell comes along, you’re reminded how powerful and universal even the most intimate and individual lives can be when captured with intelligence and perspective.
“Actor (The Sweet Hereafter, Splice) and director (Away From Her, Take This Waltz) Polley started out making a documentary to learn more about her mother, Diane Elizabeth, who died when Sarah was 11. In the process, she unearthed truths about the father who raised her, Michael Polley, including that he might not be her biological dad.” Marc Mohan, Oregonian
The TFC Discussion Night for these three films is Wednesday, June 14 in the CSL.