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:
July 24th, 2016
“The United States has become a national security state whose raisin d’etre
is war. We’ve created a terrorist-industrial complex that is self-perpetuating, and now—searching for the reason for this constant state of war—terrorism is the perfect case for us. We can do this forever.”
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson
Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2002-2005
Written and directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, ...Read More
July 16th, 2016
Veteran filmmaker Nelson George’s A Ballerina’s Tale
tells the dramatic story of African American ballerina Misty Copeland who broke multiple barriers in the rarefied world of professional ballet—and found pop stardom along the way. In addition to the racial barrier, she broke morphological barriers with her curvy muscular physique.
In 2013, in the midst of her exciting ascent, Copeland performed the lead role in Stravinsky’s ...Read More
July 16th, 2016
First time feature director Michael Valentine's Comix: Beyond the Comic Book Pages
is a thoroughly engaging documentary about the worlds of comic books. Valentine interviews fans, writers, line drawers, colorists, a movie celebrity or two, and industry icons—including the icon of icons, Stan Lee—all talking about the fun, the power, and the history of this uniquely Amer ...Read More
July 8th, 2016
Once in a blue moon I cover a narrative film. For context, here’s a list of the few I’ve covered:
Tell No One (French, 2006)
An Angel at My Table (1990)
Gaby: A True Story (1987)
Mostly Martha (2001)
What’s In A Name? (French, 2012)
I discovered John Carney’s Begin Again ...Read More
May 30th, 2016
Invitation to Dance
tells two parallel stories: A biography of disability rights activist Simi Linton
and a history of the disability rights movement over the last 4 decades. As Linton became active in this movement she discovered a unique focus on dance—and became known as ‘the instigator of dance’ ...Read More
May 25th, 2016
Boy, am I late to the party for this one. Samsara
was released more than five years ago.
I was watching Issabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live
on Netflix. The film kept freezing. After several tries I gave up, and began searching the site for something else, one that would not freeze.
The title Samsara< ...Read More
May 21st, 2016
Us humans have been messing with the Earth since we began cultivating the land.
James Crump’s Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
covers and uncovers a no-longer-obscure footnote of art history about a small group of artists who messed with the land for art’s sake.
In the sixties and early seventies this group ventured from New York to the American southwest to create land art—a ...Read More
May 19th, 2016
The ‘Professor’ is what his Tai Chi students called Cheng Man-Ching (1901-1975). He is acknowledged as the master who brought Tai Chi to the west. Tai Chi student and Hollywood writer/director Barry Strugatz has told the Professor’s story in his first feature documentary the Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West
Although the black and white footage of ...Read More
May 15th, 2016
Just as there cannot be too many documentary films about our environment, so there cannot be too many documentary films about prosecutorial malfeasance. The environmental damage perpetrated by us humans is ubiquitous. Twenty thousand inmates in the United States are innocent of the crimes for which they have been convicted and incarcerated.
Ryan Ferguson was one of them.
Andrew Jenks’s “DREAM/KILLER
” is a superbly produce ...Read More