Thursday, February 06, 2014

TJS Documentary Review: The Woman Who Wasn't There

The Woman Who Wasn't There

Rating:Almost a whole pack
             17 out of 20 cigarettes

Where you watch it- Netflix Streaming

This is the second best documentary I have watched on Netflix. The subject of this film- Tania Head- is one of the most fascinating in any documentary I have watched so far. This woman is so extraordinary and unbelievable and yet you know her. You know this woman.

 TWWWT is one of those rabbit hole documentaries that starts in one place and ends in a completely different place. A documentary that does this rare but it is the best kind. Because life unfolds this way, does it not? The only other documentary that I think outdoes this one is "Capturing the Friedmans." And if you haven't seen that - see it and brace yourself.

Like many documentaries in the last couple years TWWWT uses animation. The style of the animation and how it is implemented adds so much to the film. The editing of the interviews, "talking heads," is masterful as well.

Peeling back a layer, I think this is a very important film to add to the 9/11 documentary canon. The perspective taken examines the psychological impact the disaster had on the world.  Although, this case is exaggerated- I can't help relating to Tania somehow. What she did was incredible.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

TJS Documentary Review: Bronies

The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony

Rating: Half a Pack
             10 out of 20 cigarettes

Where you watch it- Netflix Streaming

The subjects of this film are pretty fascinating and hard to wrap my brain around. Mostly straight teenage boys and young adult men obsessed with "My Little Pony," a show originally targeted towards young girls.

As a documentary this lands somewhere on the low budget end. There have been many films in the last 15 years that follow the same formula- examining the obsessed fan subculture of Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. This film is in the same vein. However, kudos for throwing some solid elements into the mix- interviews with My Little Pony's creator and impressive animated transitions.

I think I got a loose grasp on what the appeal was for these boys. These are not boys from my generation. It's even a little much for me- a pretty gay guy- to see straight men behave like this. Bronies grew up in a 9/11, School and Movie Theater shooting, in your face, in your neighborhood violent world. After meeting the Bronies, it makes sense to me (a little more) why these boys are putting their focus on a cuddly, cute TV show that focuses on cotton candy love and friendship.