“The Eulogy” recounts the life and lonely death of one of Australia’s greatest pianists

“The Eulogy” recounts the life and lonely death of one of Australia’s greatest pianists

Source:  The Conversation

How could one of the greatest pianists that Australia has ever produced die lonely, neglected, and impoverished in a dilapidated house in suburban Melbourne?

“The Eulogy,” a documentary written and directed by Janine Hosking examines the life, career, and tragic death of Australian concert pianist Geoffrey Tozer, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 54 from liver disease.

The film begins with former Australian prime minister Paul Keating reading the now-infamous eulogy he delivered at Tozer’s memorial a decade ago.  The speech, which starts out as a celebration of the pianist’s life and achievements, culminates in an attack on Australia’s cultural establishment.

Keating speaks of the arts in Australia as riven with “bitchiness and preference” and “inverted snobbery.”  He accuses the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras of treating Tozer with “indifference and contempt” and suggests the people “who had charge in the selection of artists during this period should hang their heads in shame.”

“The Eulogy” made its world premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival.

Read the story at The Conversation.


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“Gift” explores the parallels between creating art and the act of giving

“Gift” explores the parallels between creating art and the act of giving

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

You will think the world is a better place after seeing Robin McKenna’s documentary based on Lewis Hyde’s enduring 1983 book “The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.”

Inspired by the book’s exploration of the connection between making art and the act of giving, the film profiles four contemporary examples from around the world.

Cynics may scoff (and at times, to be fair, it’s hard not to agree with them during some of the film’s more fanciful moments), but for many people, “Gift” will live up to its title.

One of the more fascinating subjects is the Metropoliz Museum of the Other and the Elsewhere, described as “the first inhabited museum on Earth.”  Formerly a sausage factory, the Roman museum is now home to some 200 migrant families, who co-exist with the art being exhibited there on a rotating basis.

The institution is a minor miracle, considering the scarcity of affordable real estate in the Italian city, and is in constant danger of being encroached upon by government and commercial interests.  But the positive publicity and good will it has engendered has so far enabled it to thrive.

“Gift” is playing in select theaters around the country.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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How “The Elephant Queen” filmmakers earned the trust of their majestic subject.

How “The Elephant Queen” filmmakers earned the trust of their majestic subject.

Source:  IndieWire

When Apple TV+ launches on Nov. 1, one of the first pieces of original content available will be nature documentary “The Elephant Queen,” about a beautiful, tusked matriarch of a family of elephants.

Directors Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble filmed in Kenya for four years straight, but it took a little while before they found Athena, their main character.

“To begin with, she wouldn’t let us close. But we could see that with her herd, with her family, she was a really calm, beautiful, temperate matriarch.  And we would just spend time with her,” Deeble told the crowd after an International Documentary Association screening of the film at the London West Hollywood, part of the IDA’s annual screening series.

Over the course of several weeks, Athena had allowed the small crew closer and closer, until they were about 40 meters from her.  One day, Athena walked away to let her calf stand between her and the crew.  That’s a rare occurrence for a mother.

Read the story at IndieWire.


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Meet the diver who documents climate change in the Arctic. She says we’re running out of time

Meet the diver who documents climate change in the Arctic. She says we’re running out of time

Source:  Los Angeles Times

Nearly 20 years ago, Jill Heinerth led a National Geographic diving team that made the first cave dives inside the largest floating piece of ice ever seen on Earth.  The B-15 iceberg had calved from an ice shelf in Antarctica, and they were moved to explore the inside of what was regarded as a potential harbinger of global climate change.

When Heinerth wrote the script for accompanying documentary, “Ice Island,” people cautioned her not to use politically charged terms such as “climate change” and “sea-level rise.”

Scientists recently announced that the polar ice is collapsing faster than predicted.  And every week, the headlines are filled with new warnings of accelerating ocean-level rise.  Heinerth says climate change is happening.  She has dived and documented it firsthand for decades.

Heinerth says how we plan for it and adapt to it in the next few years will determine the future of our civilization.  It’s also what draws her to scuba dive under the ice in the northern reaches of her native Canada.

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times.


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HBO orders two more seasons of Axios news series

HBO orders two more seasons of Axios news series

Source:  ABC News

HBO has ordered two new seasons of its Sunday night news series “Axios on HBO” which has produced newsmaking interviews with presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and business leaders Elon Musk and Tim Cook.

The announcement means 12 new episodes each year in 2020 and 2021.

“Axios on HBO” wraps up its second season with four new episodes beginning on Oct. 20.

Axios’s daily newsletter and website concentrates on politics, business, and technology with an emphasis on brevity, which producers Matthew O’Neill and Perri Peltz use as models for the HBO series.

Read the story at ABC News.


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