Beyond the Bolex
Beyond the Bolex

DOC NYC kicks off this weekend and the lineup is bursting with titles.  Here are a few interesting documentary films to give you a sense of the programming and inspire a reason to get out and watch something nice, or at least fun.  

‘63 Boycott

Gordon Quinn’s new short film 63’ Boycott looks to be not just another social issue film about racial segregation in Chicago public schools, but a relevant piece about activism that is still happening over half a century later.  Mixing unseen archival footage (shot by Quinn himself) from the Freedom Day movement with present-day video from demonstrations, there are a clear similarities drawn between then and now.  Quinn being an active participant of organizations for the betterment of communities they serve, 63’ Boycott seems to have the energy to get people on the streets.  Director Gordon Quinn with producers Rachel Dickson and Tracye A. Matthews are expected to be at the screening on November 9th at the IFC Center.

Beyond the Bolex

A film with a production history that may have been years in the making, filmmaker Alyssa Bolsey creates a portrait of the inventor of the Bolex camera, her great-grandfather Jacques Bolsey.  Using materials from family photos as well the possibly limitless hours of footage shot from a Bolex, Bolsey paints a picture of the Steve Jobs like inventor/designer. Director Alyssa Bolsey is expected to attend the world premiere on November 8th at the Chelsea Cinepolis.

Barbara Rubin & The Exploding NY Underground

An undiscussed figure of the 60s underground art scene, Barbara Rubin was out there. Chuck Smith takes the time to elaborate the fascinating profile of Rubin contextualizing the avant-garde films she’s made. Chronicling her life from hanging out with the likes of Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg to settling down in France with a Hasidic Jewish community.  Smith’s film includes interviews with people who knew her well including Amy Taubin and Jonas Mekas. Director Chuck Smith is expected to attend to screening on November 11th at the IFC Center.

The Eyes of Orson Welles

From the same Irish narration of Mark Cousins, from The Story of Film: An Odyssey, comes a conversational look at the unseen artwork of Orson Welles.  Sketches, storyboards, poems, notes; it all comes out and is explored with a soft touch, as if it were an interview that Welles could only be a part of by speaking from his art.  Cousins’ is expected to be at the screening on November 12th at Chelsea Cinepolis.


Similar to Walter Evan’s work documenting Americans during the Great Depression, directors Sally Rubin and Ashley York’s film looks at the “American hillbilly.”  Especially interesting during a time when that label has contentious connotations concerning America’s political atmosphere.  Going to York’s hometown in Appalachian Hills, the women give wider perspective on the classical stereotype of close-minded ignorance. Both directors are expected to attend the screening on November 12th at the IFC Center.

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes

Charlie Tyrell’s new short film has a title with a combined meaning of being off-putting (“Dad’s Porno Tapes”) but deeply personal (“Dead Dad”.)  With a similar to Dear Zachary, Tyrell focuses on the recently formed bond shared between him and his late father, by way of a VHS pornography collection.  Subject matter aside there is a combination of archival photography of his father along with stop-motion animation, a process that is far too tedious to not be commendable.  Charlie Tyrell is expected to attend the screen on November 9th at the IFC Center.

See Know Evil

The photography of Davide Sorrenti is known for being anti-glamour and disturbingly melancholic, but the story of his very short life has yet to be properly told.  Having been a part of youth culture of the 90s, the heroin scene, and even a relationship with Jaime King; Sorrenti could be described as a James Dean for fashion photography.  Director Charlie Curran who has done work in both film and fashion should be no stranger to the kind of image making that makes iconic personas. Curran and his team are expected to be at world premiere on November 9th at the SVA Theatre.

What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

A self-explanatory title but Pauline Kael deserves more than that.  Being one of the most well known film critics ever, Rob Graver’s portrait of Kael seeks to contextualize the critic to make sense of the madness.  Including interviews from filmmakers and writers alike, archived footage, clips from relevant films; perhaps this doc is more than a celebration of an iconic figure in film criticism, it’s a spotlight on a leading women figure in a world of men.  Director Rob Graver along with producers Glen Zipper and Doug Blush will be attendance at the screening on November 11th at the SVA Theatre, followed by an extended conversation with critics David Edelstein, Stephanie Zacharek, and Eric Kohn.

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