Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Documentaries Of the Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     I hardly ever used to watch documentaries; in my youth, they always dealt with war or politics, two issues I did not care to explore.  Within the last twenty years, filmmakers have been exploring more interesting and varied subjects--this, perhaps was paved the way for by the Maysles Brothers in their 1976 "Grey Gardens," wherein we all wanted to be Little Edie.  At least, I still do!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      This year, two very different documentaries impacted me.  "The Witness." by way of her brother, explored the tragic circumstances surrounding the iconic murder of Kitty Genovese on March 13, 1964.  I was moved by her brother, by the heartbreak of a life cut all too soon, and assured by the revelation she did not exactly die alone and abandoned.  Good as this documentary was, and is, I don't think it will change things.  Kitty's tale was always be one of urban apathy.

                                       On the flip side, "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened" took on something close to my heart--the 1981 musical, "Merrily We Roll Along," which I not only saw in my youth, but, over the years, came to know people associated with it.  The excitement of being in a Broadway show, only to have it fall apart, is brilliantly chronicled in this film put together by cast member Lonny Price.  What is most interesting is how Terry Finn, who originated what I always thought the show's almost annoying character, Gussie, comes off as moving and heartbreaking.  Way to go, Lonny, and kudos to all involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Interesting how these two films stood out, and apart, from more narrative films!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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