Friday, January 27, 2006

Sundance Post III: Doc Day 

We dragged our sorry selves out of bed with five and a half hours of sleep to kick off a day full of documentaries.

We got off to a very strong start with So Much So Fast, the story of a young man who developed ALS and his remarkable family; most remarkable are his brother and friends who founded a foundation to challenge the rules of clinical science in order to race for a cure for their loved one. (For those of you who know Lawler, this is the foundation he worked for at one time. He appears briefly in the background of one scene.)

Next up was I for India, an autobiographical documentary about an Indian family's generational diaspora from India to Great Britain. While there are some great elements to it due to the extensive Super 8 film reels that the director's father shot over the years, it was not overall a tremendously engaging film and I admit to taking a brief opportunity in the middle section to work on repairing my sleep debt.

Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris is an interesting tale about a jazz singer lauded as a "singer's singer" who never achieved the public notice his peers expected, despite his having toured with Charlie Parker and having been Ella's favorite male vocalist. Captured just before his death, the film untangles his odd history and suggests that for every Frank Sinatra that receives critical and public acclaim there are probably 99 serious artists like Jackie Paris who do not.

We just came from God Grew Tired of Us and my eyes are still tired from weeping. It follows the "Lost Boys of Sudan" from their 1000 mile trek through the desert to three remarkable souls relocated to the United States. Totally ripped my heart out.

Now we're off to see our final film of the day and it's yet another doc. This one's 2+ hours on Ralph Nader. More on that one either late tonight or tomorrow.
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