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'Risk' Review: Julian Assange Doc Doubles As Portrait of Power Run Amuck

'Risk' Review: Julian Assange Doc Doubles As Portrait of Power Run Amuck
Documentarian Laura Poitras is our nonfiction poet laureate of paranoia, a vérité surveyor of the global surveillance state who feels compelled to train her cameras on what's really happening – in occupied war zones (My Country, My Country), Guantanamo P.O.W. trials (The Oath), the eye of Nsa-whistleblowing shitstorms (the Oscar-winning Citizenfour). Even when she's not earning enemy-of-the-state status via aiding and abetting Edward Snowden, there's always a sense of personal danger hovering around her films as she displeases the powers that be; any or all of her movies might plausibly be called Risk.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Movie Review: Laura Poitras’ ethically muddled Risk loses itself inside WikiLeaks

File Risk away for future classes on filmmaking ethics. Laura Poitras began work on a film about Julian Assange, the white-haired founder of WikiLeaks, and his inner circle of associates and activists in 2011, some years before she started filming Citizenfour, her Oscar-winning documentary about the Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden. The result premiered at Cannes almost exactly a year ago, and if accounts are to believed (though who knows), it was well received as a less revelatory companion piece to the Snowden film, made with unprecedented access to the elusive Assange. But this cut of the film no longer exists. In fact, Risk never acknowledges that it did. In the year since its first screening, the documentary has been re-edited in light of Assange’s involvement in the Democratic National Committee email leaks and of allegations about sexual abuse by the activist and hacker Jacob Appelbaum, who previously appeared in ...
See full article at The AV Club »

[Cannes Review] Risk

Laura Poitras’ greatest strength as a documentarian is winning the trust of high-profile individuals and getting them to appear in front of her camera. In her recent features she has used this talent to bring a more acute sense of personal immediacy to stories that have dominated the news in the wake of 9/11. The Quest focused on Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Citizenfour observed Edward Snowden in the days leading up to his momentous disclosure of the Nsa’s global surveillance programs. As Citizenfour came out over a year after the events, which were extensively reported on by virtually every media outlet around the world, its appeal lay less in its revelations than in the fact that it allowed us to sit in on a moment that changed history. Sadly, this quality is largely missing from her new documentary Risk.

We do get to meet WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange,
See full article at The Film Stage »

WikiLeaks rep: Julian Assange would find life no easier under President Clinton

Journalist and hacker Jacob Appelbaum says Clinton camp are out to get the WikiLeaks founder, while Laura Poitras, whose documentary about Assange has premiered at Cannes, denies rumours of a falling out

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder who is still confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, would find life no easier under a President Hillary Clinton, according to the journalist, hacker and WikiLeaks representative Jacob Appelbaum.

Speaking at a Q&A after the Cannes film festival premiere of Risk, Laura Poitras’s documentary about the WikiLeaks activist, Appelbaum said Clinton’s representatives had made it clear that, thanks to Cablegate – the 2010 leak of more than 250,000 classified Us State Department messages by WikiLeaks (published by media partners including the Guardian) – Clinton’s office was in no mood to rethink their strategy when it came to Assange.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Watch: Ai Wei Wei and Jacob Appelbaum Rebel in Laura Poitras' 'The Art of Dissent'

Watch: Ai Wei Wei and Jacob Appelbaum Rebel in Laura Poitras' 'The Art of Dissent'
Read More: 'Citizenfour' Team Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras Talk to the Late David Carr  If there's anyone who's proven the immense power of documentary, it's Laura Poitras, the director and producer of the Oscar-winning documentary "Citizenfour." Her film shook new ground when it exposed the whereabouts of Edward Snowden, the elusive ex-nsa employee behind the infamous 2013 Wikileaks, as well as the invasive wiretapping practices of the Nsa. Poitras' commitment to truth and storytelling didn't stop there, however, as she was invited to film Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei and computer researcher and confidant to Edward Snowden, Jacob Appelbaum, in their first collaboration for a powerful art-tech piece entitled "Panda to Panda."  Her short film, "The Art of Dissent," debuted today on The New York Times' website, and it documents the intricate and eye-opening processes behind Appelbaum and Ai Wei Wei's collaboration. Just...
See full article at Indiewire »

‘McFarland USA’ To Close Santa Barbara Film Festival: Full Lineup

‘McFarland USA’ To Close Santa Barbara Film Festival: Full Lineup
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has unveiled its 2015 line-up which includes films representing 54 countries, 23 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres. The U.S. premiere of Niki Caro’s McFarland USA will close out the 30th fest. Based on the 1987 true story and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, the film follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. The unlikely band of runners overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.

The festival runs from January 27-February 7.

Below is the list of World and U.S. Premiere films followed by the list of titles by sidebar categories.

World Premieres

A Better You, USA

Directed by Matt Walsh

Cast: Brian Huskey,
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival

  • Hitfix
'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival
A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the Sbiff curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet. Sbiff will open with "Desert Dancer," producer Richard Raymond’s directorial debut. Starring Reece Ritchie and Frieda Pinto, the drama follows a group of friends who wave off the harsh political climate of Iran’s 2009 presidential election in favor of forming a dance team, picking up moves from Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev thanks to the magic of YouTube. The festival will close with "McFarland, USA," starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. Telling the 1987 true story of a Latino high school’s underdog cross-country team,
See full article at Hitfix »

Look of Silence wins top prize at Cph:dox

  • ScreenDaily
Look of Silence wins top prize at Cph:dox
Winners also include E-Team and Olmo & The Seagull.

The winners were announced at Cph:dox tonight in Copenhagen’s lavish Hotel D’Angleterre hotel, followed by a party at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

The top prize, the Dox:award, went to Joshua Oppenheimer’s lauded The Look of Silence, his follow-up film to Bafta winner and Oscar nominee The Act of Killing.

The jury for that ward included David Wilson, Laurence Reymond, Kidlat Thaimik, Lilibeth Cuenca and Nelly Ben Hayoun. They gave a special mention to Democrats by Camilla Nielsson.

They said in a statement: “This film is an act of research, digging into recent but clouded history, a philosophical meditation on memory and crime. We honor this work of art that, above all else, manages to break the silence.”

The other prizes were:

Nordic:dox: Olmo & the Seagull by Lea Glob & Petra Costa

Special Mention to: In the country by Anders Jedenfors

F:act: E-Team by Katy Chevigny & Ross
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Edward Snowden Documentary ‘Citizenfour’, Sweden’s ‘Force Majeure': Specialty Box Office Preview

Edward Snowden Documentary ‘Citizenfour’, Sweden’s ‘Force Majeure': Specialty Box Office Preview
Last year, RADiUS scored at the box office and in Awards Season with its documentary 20 Feet From Stardom (nearly $4.95 million and Best Documentary Feature Oscar win). This year, it may have another non-fiction awards behemoth, hitting theaters this weekend.

Citizenfour, directed by journalist and filmmaker Laura Poitras, tells the story of Nsa leaker Edward Snowden as he disclosed massive domestic U.S. government spying. The film unfolds in real time as Poitras and Guardian colleague Glenn Greenwald, working on a long-term project about government surveillance, were contacted online by a mysterious source calling himself “Citizenfour.” The film, completed in secret while Poitras was in self-imposed virtual exile, alleges even more Nsa overreaching at home and abroad than just what came out of the massive pile of U.S. documents Snowden leaked.

Another potential awards contender also arrives in U.S. theaters this weekend: Sweden’s entry for Foreign Language Oscar,
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Filmmaker‘s Fall Issue, with Laura Poitras Cover Shot by Jacob Appelbaum, Online Now

Activist, hacker and computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, a subject in Laura Poitras’s riveting and important Citizenfour, shot Filmmaker‘s Fall issue cover — an eerie portrait of Poitras at home in Berlin, filmed on discontinued Kodak Color Infrared (Eir) film. Here, via email, is Appelbaum on the photograph: I have been shooting with Kodak Color Infrared (Eir) film for the better part of a decade thanks to a kind introduction to the medium by Canadian artist Kate Young. Sadly shortly after discovery of the film, I learned that it was discontinued by Kodak. The film was given an extra lease […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Filmmaker‘s Fall Issue, with Laura Poitras Cover Shot by Jacob Appelbaum, Online Now

Activist, hacker and computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, a subject in Laura Poitras’s riveting and important Citizenfour, shot Filmmaker‘s Fall issue cover — an eerie portrait of Poitras at home in Berlin, filmed on discontinued Kodak Color Infrared (Eir) film. Here, via email, is Appelbaum on the photograph: I have been shooting with Kodak Color Infrared (Eir) film for the better part of a decade thanks to a kind introduction to the medium by Canadian artist Kate Young. Sadly shortly after discovery of the film, I learned that it was discontinued by Kodak. The film was given an extra lease […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

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