A CHRISTMAS IN TENT CITY–Poor immigrants recall a long-ago Christmas when there was no money. Several colorful paintings are used Ken Burns style. Very short. Sort of a “remember the migrant children” type of film.

DRAG KING–Loud people talking about cars. Old, old cars. They race with boats dragged behind their cars. Not on trailers, just dragging on the ground. One race filmed. Crashing boats and cold cars–funny and “cool” but shallow and very short.

FORCED INTO “COMFORT”, FIGHTING FOR APOLOGY–Korean comfort women. Uses old footage, semi-colorized, and a weird effect with “motion waves” around the movement of the footage. Interviews with survivors. Some very angry. The survivors protest every Wednesday in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul. Some of the old footage seems extra sinister in light of present-day knowledge.

NAMING PLUTO–Old English eccentric scientists discuss the Planet Pluto. We meet the old woman who initially named it when she was eleven years old. Her father ran the Oxford library at the time. Not much more story here. There is a scientist with an honest-to-god monocle in his eye.

PICKIN’ & TRIMMIN’–A barbershop in Drexel, NC. One man has cut hair for 69 years, his young apprentice for 42 years. Old men talking story. The place is famous for musicians stopping in to play bluegrass in the backroom. Nothing is scheduled, it’s all jam sessions. All are welcome: kids, old people, people passing through. Funny in a down-home, small town way. Has some great music as well. The head old barber keeps a collection of gag gifts which he enjoys showing off. Really a warm film, full of men. There is nary a woman or person of color in the whole thing. Really well done.

RARE CHICKEN RESCUE–Heavy-set, unkempt depressive loses his job and goes inside his family’s cottage for “four or five years” and only comes out when the sound of the farm’s poultry (mostly turkeys) make him go outside to investigate. He considers this a sign. They “call” him when he needs to get out of the house. They require his food, his water, his egg incubation skills. He realizes his purpose in life now. He may never trust humans again, but he’ll become a best friend to chickens, going so far as to help sustain them as extinction nears. He goes on a road trip to locate eggs of rare species no one has seen in years. He has paintings of these species in books but has never seen them. Very compelling in its fetishization of chickens. Studio interviews are held while chickens sit on laps. A really compelling documentary, the best of this bunch.

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  1. Cynthia says:

    Agree, agree, agree. And I loved watching all the beautiful chickens.

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Written by Michael W. Cummins