DocFest 2013 Capsule Reviews: “Sparks: A Burning Man Story”, “Elena” and “Fuck for Forest”

Sparks: A Burning Man Story

sparkburningmanstory-600x340 two-stars1Sparks felt mostly like the camera operators from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire were given a break from their day jobs, a huge budget, a sound recorder at a rave, and a bunch of helicopters to shoot a dance party-o-rama video of Burning Man. The film seems to have no idea what it is trying to be – a documentary on the inner sanctum, or a rave music video, with atrocious throbbing techno-dance or cheesy pop music that does not fit the subject matter. In the end it is just a frustrating, sensationalist mess to watch.

Showtimes for Spark: A Burning Man Story – Thursday, June 6th at 7:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Elena

film-hot-docs-600x338five-starsWhat a beautiful, touching, difficult film. Elena is a very personal film made by Brazilian Petra Costa about her older sister Elena and her relationship to her and to the memories she has of her. It takes subjective personal filmmaking to a new level.

Showtimes for Elena – Friday, June 7th at 9:00pm (Balboa Theatre)

Sunday, June 9th at 7:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Monday, June 10th at 9:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Fuck For Forest

DSC0515122four-stars4Fuck For Forest is a very interesting bit of narration. The subject matter, an eco-pornography group called Fuck For Forest who make porn videos and then try to donate their gains to ecological movements, is a pretty bizarre and interesting group to watch in and of itself. But the subject matter, the musical choices, and the often beautiful cinematography at times juxtapose to create a disturbing combination, and, along with the eventual failed attempt to donate the money in the end, creates the film as some sort of long, dark joke. When I found out the filmmakers, Michal Marczak and Lukasz Grudzinski, are Polish, suddenly the humor made more sense.

Showtimes for Fuck For Forest – Sunday, June 9th at 9:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Thursday, June 13th at 7:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Friday, June 14th at 9:00pm (New Parkway Theatre in Oakland)

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Categories: Docfest Film Festival, Reviews

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