Screenings This Week: DOC NYC 2011

Over the last couple weeks we’ve shared some of the highlights from the Red Hook Film Festival and the Architecture & Design Film Festival. Continuing on with a look at architectural-, urbanistical- or design-oriented cinematic events happening around New York City, this week we’re taking a look at DOC NYC: New York’s Documentary Film Festival, this year running from November 2-10.

The DOC NYC film festival seeks to cross disciplines, fields and generations in order to introduce a new audience to documentary films. While the film festival’s primary themes are not architecture or urbanism, there are plenty of films that engage design as subject matter. Here are some of the highlights:


Still from Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Saturday, November 5, 2pm
Charles and Ray Eames are known as one of the most influential design teams of the twentieth century. Their interdisciplinary projects blurred the realms of architecture, exhibition design, furniture design, filmmaking and product design. Eames: The Architect and the Painter takes a closer look at the interlacing of their private and public lives, as well as how their influence on following generations of designers.


Still from This Space Available
Saturday, November 5, 7pm // Tuesday, November 8, 1:15pm
Signage and advertisements have taken over the airspace of cities around the world. According to This Space Available, this type of “visual pollution” has changed how we see and use public space. Director Gwenaëlle Gobé follows a number of activists in New York City, as well as around the world, that are trying to reclaim the airspace for the public.


Still from Racing Toward Red Hook

Sunday, November 6, 11:15am
What hidden worlds and communities are scattered across the five boroughs of New York City? Shorts: NYC Uncovered features four short films that reveal some of the lesser seen parts of the city. Racing Towards Red Hook (21 min, Jessica Scott) highlights a fixed-gear bike race, profiling a number of the competitors. Vulture Culture (21 min, Eric Rockey) reveals a community formed around scavenging food from dumpsters. Home Game (37 min, Suzannah Herbert) “documents a soccer team comprised of homeless men”.


Stil from Minka

Monday, November 7, 8:30pm
Screening as part of Shorts: Views on JapanMinka looks at the role of architecture in memory and the “meanings of home” through the lens of one man’s story of his life with his adopted son in a 250-year-old farm house in Japan. Inspired by John Roderick’s memoir, Minka: My Farmhouse in Japan, director, producer and cinematographer Davina Pardo (along with co-producer and Omnibus contributing editor Andrew Blum) brings the story to the screen. In The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, Lucy Walker takes a look at some of the hardest hit areas of the recent tsunami in Japan, and how the cherry blossom season brought hope and encouragement to survivors.


Still from Page One: Inside the New York Times

Wednesday, November 9, 6:30pm
The New York Times, arguably, still sets the agenda for what stories are newsworthy and what topics are important. But the newspaper industry is in the midst of tremendous change, facing a world in which paperless is king and information is available everywhere. Page One: Inside the New York Times reveals the inner workings of the institution, through the lens of the team that covers the media business. “Not since All the President’s Men has a film delivered such a revealing look at journalism.”


Still from Brooklyn Boheme

Wednesday, November 9, 9:30pm
Fort Greene, Brooklyn gave rise to “an African-American arts movement in the late 20th century as vibrant as the Harlem Renaissance.” For Brooklyn Boheme, director Nelson George teams up with Diana Paragas to interview some of the leaders of that movement, including Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Saul Williams and Lorna Simpson, to create a portrait of this important neighborhood.


Still from The Interrupters

Wednesday, November 9, 9pm
“The Violence Interrupters have one goal in mind: to save a life.” The Interrupters documents the struggle of one group comprised of ex-gang members and relatives of gang members, the Violence Interrupters, who are trying to break the cycle of violence in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods.


Jessica Cronstein is a designer and writer interested in the point at which the social, cultural and physical growth of a city intersect. She has just completed her M.Arch at Rice University and lives in New York City.

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