Don Schwartz Spotlight on Documentaries
Welcome to the Blog of actor/journalist/personal historian Don Schwartz.
Don has been published in a variety of publications since 1977. His book, Telling Their Own Stories: Conversations with Documentary Filmmakers, is available from Amazon in softback or Kindle edition.
Don holds multiple degrees, including a Ph.D. in psychology and counseling from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Don is a regular guest on our web radio show, The Art of Film Funding, produced by From the Heart Productions, reviewing documentary films with founder Carole Dean—http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-art-of-film-funding
Don also contributes film reviews and filmmaker profiles to CineSource Magazine online—www.CineSourceMagazine.com
His weekly film review appears in The Marin Post—https://marinpost.org/
You can access Don’s Personal Historian services at:
“We weren’t trying to get anything our way; we wanted it that way for our descendents, for the rest of the world.” Unidentified Interviewee
Monumental is a biography of environmental pioneer and warrior David Brower – plus partial outlines of the histories of the American environmental movement and The Sierra Club.
Brower was born in
“Can Bhutan emerge from the process of modernization with its environment and culture intact?”
That’s the primary question posed by Bhutan, the second documentary film I’ve had the pleasure to view from John Wehrheim and Bob Stone. Like their Taylor Camp, Bhutan is a visually ecstatic film which I’d love to see on the big screen, Blu-ray, or 4K.
“God help the next Queen of Comedy ‘cause this one’s not abdicating.” Billy Sammeth
In the ever-expanding cosmos of documentaries this is one title I would not have chosen to view. But peer pressure held sway. The simple fact that several people who know my penchant for movies as well as my interest in documentaries drove my ego-dystonic decision to view the screener.
And, of course, they we
“The worst place where I ever slept in was the bushes.” Rudee, Age 6
Prolific documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi and her crew are hanging out at a motel walking distance from Disneyland. They are observing and speaking with homeless children and their families who live in this semi-urban purgatory set in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States of America.
“Jack presented the facts; we chose not to listen to him.” Neal Nicol
Kevorkian, an HBO documentary, covers the later life of right-to-die champion Jack Kevorkian, M.D. Directed by Matthew Galkin, it is a companion piece to the HBO narrative You Don’t Know Jack starring Al Pacino, and directed by Barry Levinson.
The cultural explosions of the legendary and now mythical sixties were too numerous and varied, too wide and deep to be captured in toto in any one documentary or narrative film. The best that can be done is to cover individual facets of the revolutions – and hopefully a body of work will eventually emerge to form
Well, I can’t compete. I can’t put the introduction to this film more succinctly than the film’s DVD case: “Winner of 20 festival awards, 'Bidder 70' is Tim DeChristopher, the student who monkey-wrenched the 2008 fraudulent Bureau of Land Management Oil and Gas Lease Auction. Bidding 1.8 million to save 22,000 acres of pristine Utah wilderness surrounding Arches and Canyonlands Nationa
HBO’s Banksy Does New York is yet another shameless attempt to exploit the phenomenon of ‘Banksy,’ a faux character created by a small group of artisans and their enablers. Given the success of the first major film about this composite character called ‘Banksy’ (Exit Through the Gift Shop), and given the media might
Produced in 1999, and narrated by the ubiquitous Peter Coyote, Emperor of Hemp is a tightly focused portrait and biography of marijuana and hemp crusader Jack Herer whose early life was as a patriotic Vietnam veteran and businessman who deplored the emerging ‘counter culture’ – especially its anti-war/anti-government expressions and use of drugs.
“Trumble,” I heard Bette say when I asked if she had any new documentaries. As of this writing Bette is the owner of Larkspur's Bette’s Flicks, one of an extremely rare species of brick-and-mortar video stores.
“Wasn’t he the guy who did the special effects for ‘2001’?” I queried, excited to see such a film. “No,” she sai