Documentary

2012
A New Product

"Scenes from meetings within a company which advises corporations how to design their offices -- and the work done there. The film shows that words are not just tools, they have become an object of speculation." 

-- Harun Farocki

1996
No Blood/No Foul

From the performance by the same name, by Suzanne Lacy, Stan Hebert, Councilwoman Sheila Jordan, Frank Williams, Officer Terrance West, Mike Shaw, and Annice Jacoby, Oakland, 1995-6. Suzanne Lacy worked alongside youth activists, city council members and the mayor’s office to draft a Youth Policy Initiative that would create a dedicated stream of funding to serve youth needs. In the spring of that year, No Blood/No Foul was a performance on the eve of the Policy’s vote by the Oakland City Council, with Mayor, Council members and a large audience in attendance.

2006
Notes on the Death of Kodachrome

This piece purports to be about the discontinuation of the much-loved format, Kodachrome, and with it the further endangerment of super-8 film. But it has other agendas of reclamation and personal reckoning that are its true subject matter.

2004
Nothing Ventured

An examination of venture capital, Nothing Ventured documents the tough negotiations that take place when entrepreneurs and bankers meet.

2009
O'er the Land, Deborah Stratman

A meditation on the milieu of elevated threat addressing national identity, gun culture, wilderness, consumption, patriotism and the possibility of personal transcendence. Of particular interest are the ways Americans have come to understand freedom and the increasingly technological reiterations of manifest destiny.

2016
ON ESSEX ROAD

A watchful dog in a confusion of reflected chairs begins and ends Cohen’s finely tuned observational portrait of London’s Essex Street, and the inhabitants who work the shops and throng the pavement there. People hurrying, pausing, waiting or simply standing, intermingled with worn statues of historic peerage in the slanted light of late afternoon. A man holds a copy of The Law of Privacy and the Media as though testing its resilience against the quiet onslaught of an average work day.

2006
Operation Atropos

Operation Atropos is a documentary about interrogation and POW resistance training. Director Coco Fusco worked with retired U.S. Army interrogators who subjected her group of women students to immersive simulations of POW experiences in order to show them what hostile interrogations can be like and how members of the U.S. military are taught to resist them. The group of interrogators is called Team Delta, and they regularly offer intensive courses that they call "Authentic Military Experiences" to civilians.

2018
Deborah Stratman, Optimism

The urge to relieve a winter valley of permanent shadow and find fortune in alluvial gravel are part of a long history of desire and extraction in the far Canadian north. Cancan dancers, curlers, ore smelters, former city officials and a curious cliff-side mirrored disc congregate to form a town portrait. Shot on location in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.

2016
Out of Kerr's Suitcase

Memory in three acts. A boy opens his presents. Two men open a suitcase stuffed with photographs. An aging actress opens her heart to lost love and ancient rivalries.

2018
Paternal Rites, Jules Rosskam

Paternal Rites is a first-person essay film that examines the secret underbelly of a contemporary Jewish American family as they grapple with the after effects of physical and sexual abuse on their present-day lives. It is also a groundbreaking film about the nature of trauma and memory itself: the ways in which trauma encrypts in uncanny ways; the function of speech and narrative in the process of decryption; and the role of film and filmmaking in the practice of healing.

2015
Paweł Wojtasik Videoworks: Volume 1

Exploring climate change, the destruction of nature, and industrial pollution, these four works by Paweł Wojtasik paint horrific yet meditative landscapes of global infrastructures including meat production, waste treatment, and laboratory experimentation. Often focusing on human and animal interactions in the modern world, Wojtasik's camera studies the subtleties of interspecies connection in a clinical way, lingering on the power and human control of nature.

1988
Pemp

Pemp traces the 25-year struggle of the Parakatêjê (Gavião) to maintain autonomy in the face of huge development projects in the south of Pará. From the initial recovery of their lands in 1957 through dealings with FUNAI in the 1970s and the appropriation of Brazil nut monopolies to their current negotiations with the government, Pemp shows the Parakatêjê’s most precious project; the preservation of their ceremonies and songs. The Kokrenum, chief and keeper of the group’s traditions, uses video to transmit them to future generations.

1997
Persistence

"Persistence was shot in 1991-92 in Berlin, and edited with films by U.S. Signal Corps cameramen in 1945-46, obtained from Department of Defense archives. Interspersed through these materials are filmic quotations from Rossellini's Germany Year Zero (1946). A meditation on the time just after a great historical event, about what is common to moments such as these—the continuous and discontinuous threads of history—and our attachment to cinematic modes of observation that, by necessity, shape our view of events.

1982
Lawrence Weiner, Plowman's Lunch

Plowman's Lunch is called a documentary because its intent was to explore actual occurrences—be these the building of the work, or what befalls the players. It still uses an open form, but the characters are more developed; they have "names," and some of the scenes were truly dangerous for them to produce. As in the other films (with the exception of Done To) there is a nucleus of three characters—two women (Boris and Jamiee), and one man (Steentje, a tranvestite/hermaphrodite). The music, composed expressly for the piece, is harmonious with its developments.

1981
Polisario: Liberation of the Western Sahara

A historical analysis of the on-going war in the Western Sahara. Liza Bear interviews Abdullah Majdid, the Polisario Front's United Nations representative. The tape addresses Morocco's U.S.-backed military effort to subjugate the indigenous Sahrawi population and annex one of the world's largest phosphate deposits, as well as the Sahrawis' conditions for a referendum.

This title was originally produced as a half-hour program for Communications Update, an artist created, public-access, weekly series shown on Manhattan Cable TV.