Friday, April 07, 2006

Day 2 of 4 of Full Frame Film Festival

We had wanted to see No Umbrella but had to miss it. We were delighted to see the almost 3 hour work-in-progress by Ken Burns, The War, about WWII told from the personal perspective of folks from four towns in the U.S. I believe what he showed us was episode 5 out of around 8 episodes. As always, his films are fabulous and the bottoms-up approach of relating personal episodes nicely illuminate his subjects. I saw most of The Angelmakers, about women in a number of villages in eastern Europe who had poisoned their husbands (in the 1920s?) when that seemed their only out since divorce was taboo.

I found the story of The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover fascinating. It is about the black and white photographer of night-lit steam trains, Winston O. Link (in whose honor there is the only museum dedicated to one photographer in the U.S.), and his marriage to Conchita. Conchita has an affair and leaves Winston. Did she steal from his stock of valuable pictures? It was a documentary of a very interesting crime investigation.

I had wanted to see Iraq in Fragments, but couldn't get in to the sold-out showing. My wife saw it and spoke with the director; she said it was a very well made film. Instead, I caught the last hour or so of What Remains, a peek into the life of fine art photographer Sally Mann and her most recent work, a study of "what remains" after death.

My wife and I loved Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandella, Thomas Allen Harris' biography of his stepfather, who was part of a group of 12 who went into exile to fight for South African freedom. It was also great talking with Thomas afterwards and building a connection with him.

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