By Sean Wu
Beginning next month, many members of the Bijou Film Board (myself included) will be making the trek to Columbia, Missouri for the True/False Film Fest, an annual documentary film festival highlighting some of the best in documentary filmmaking. The lineup was recently announced. Here is what I am looking forward to.
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
The lineup is presented alphabetically on the website, so this is the first movie I saw listed. And what a movie! This is one of my most anticipated films of 2017 because it’s directed by arguably the best documentary filmmaker working today, Steve James. Hoop Dreams? Great movie. Based on early buzz, Abacus seems to be another fine addition to a fine filmography.
JonBenet Ramsay’s death was back in the news again late last year, since it’s been more than twenty years now. There are still theories and suspects, which makes Kitty Green’s documentary so interesting—the news is so relevant! Casting JonBenet premiered at Sundance last month to incredible acclaim, too.
This won the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance last month, and won’t be coming out until fall. This one, about an eccentric romance, might be an Oscar contender worth seeing.
Long Strange Trip
Amir Bar-Lev is an under recognized filmmaker in my opinion, so it’s really cool to see his name and latest movie in the True/False lineup. Long Strange Trip is about the Grateful Dead. Whether or not the movie is strange is unknown, but it’s certainly long—259 minutes!
According to the logline on the website, “Cate Blanchett shapeshifts from hobo to rocker to anchorwoman and beyond, audaciously proclaiming 50 versions of The Future.” That. Sounds. Awesome.
European provocateur and prolific filmmaker Ulrich Seidl is back again, this time with a documentary. The movie sounds normal for Seidl—almost too normal. Consider my curiosity piqued.
The lineup lists three secret screenings—Argon, Krypton, and Xenon. Because all three are a secret, I am incredibly interested in them. I just want to know what the secret is!
I am not familiar with the director Fan Jian, nor have I heard of this movie before scanning the lineup. However, I am incredibly interested by the subject. Movies about Chinese culture are always of some interest, considering my heritage. Besides that, there is also always something interesting about literature too.
Also, there’s a music lineup to the fest too! Acts interesting to me include Open Mike Eagle, U.S. Girls, and Mirah. Regardless of what I see and don’t see, this year’s True/False fest looks to be a time of great excitement and fun. I can’t wait.
To learn more about the True/False fest, visit their website here.
Sean Wu is an avid film lover. He is currently a part of Bijou Horizons. More of his writing can be read here.