As a lover of documentary film, the return of the Gateway Film Center's twice-yearly Documentary Week brings both excitement and stress. The weeklong slate of docs always brings unique offerings, but it comes at a price.
As a lover of documentary film, the return of the Gateway Film Center's twice-yearly Documentary Week brings both excitement and stress.
The weeklong slate of docs always brings unique offerings, but it comes at a price. When you've got 16 films spanning a week, you've got some choices to make. And limited showtimes mean your targets may not necessarily fit into your schedule.
There is, as per usual for Doc Week, a little something for everyone. Here are some highlights. It's up to you to navigate the schedule at the GFC website (gatewayfilmcenter.org).
Opening night kicks off homegrown with "Hang On Sloopy." This Buckeye football-centric doc takes a look at a certain aspect of OSU lore. "It's a rockumentary about how a university and a whole state fell in love with a '60s pop song," said Dave Whinham, one of the film's producers, who will be on-hand for the opening night premiere (Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.). The film will be introduced by former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce. Added bonus: Your $20 admission includes a DVD copy to take home.
Our battleground-state status in a contentious election sets up nicely for some docs exploring political themes. Director Jared P. Scott will be present for a Friday screening of his "Requiem for an American Dream," a definitive look at Noam Chomsky. Sunday brings a doc many can relate to: "The Brainwashing of My Dad," which looks at the effects of a steady diet of Fox News. It will include a panel discussion with director Jen Senko.
Saturday brings "At Fest," a loving look at the Philadelphia Folk Fest, which has been bringing crowds to celebrate music in a field since before Woodstock. The screening will include live music, and once again, an appearance by the film's director, James Wallace.
Another music doc is the one I'm personally most excited about. "Mad Tiger" looks at the cult cartoon-punk band Peelander-Z as one of the founding members contemplates leaving. If it's one-tenth as good as the group's live show, it's worth your money.
Speaking of tigers, Doc Week comes to a close with a screening and panel discussion of "Paper Tigers," a look at an alternative school for traumatized youth. There are more docs to be found this week. Go find at least one.