THE CREATIVE HIGH

By C.J. Hirschfield

In 2020, more people in San Francisco died of overdoses than of covid-19—an almost impossible statistic to comprehend.

So a film featuring people living in that city who are in recovery from addiction is timely and hopeful; what is unique is that all nine of them have had their lives dramatically transformed by the “alternative high” they achieve through art-making.

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 IMPERFECT: Defying Expectations

By C.J. Hirschfield

If you’re producing a mainstage musical with a large cast, you can pretty much expect that there will be moments of anxiety, frustration, self-doubt—and even romance. In the excellent and thought-provoking new documentary IMPERFECT, all of this happens–and more. The more is because the particular production of Chicago-The Musical that the film documents features a diverse– and disabled– cast, whose physical and neurological challenges add a complex dimension to the work they so clearly love.

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NEW YEARS CHEER- A Nostalgic Look at Past New Years Through Images, Movies and Music

Welcome 2022!

We have brought back some of our favorite images, videos and music from our last version of this celebration in January 2020 and added a lot of new finds and fun. You will find music, food, drinks, photos and more. From Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald to Chuck Berry, Etta James, The Ramones, L’l Nas, Nina Simone, and  watch The Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve 4+ hour concert to close Winterland following a collection of Dead NYE concert posters. There are superheroes, favorite cartoon characters, comedians including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Laurel & Hardy and the Three Stooges plus how to  countdown to midnight with Star Wars.

 

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THE KING OF “TELL ME MORE”

By C.J. Hirschfield

At the beginning of the pandemic, TIGER KING was the documentary everyone was watching. It focused on an eccentric and unethical schemer/scammer driven by greed–truly a despicable character. Kind of like the president we were forced to endure on screen at the same time.

Maybe now we’re ready to see more documentaries like the recently-released FAUCI, and now LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, which turn the camera onto people who show up with passion, talent and humility every day– and not just for the money. After a film festival tour and theatrical release the film is now on Netflix.

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A Concerto is a (Beautiful) Conversation with Michael Morgan

By C.J. Hirschfield

(Editor’s note: On August 20, 2021 Michael Morgan unexpectedly passed away at age 63 from an infection. In the weeks prior to being admitted to the hospital he had conducted at the San Francisco Symphony and Bear Valley Music Festival. The Oakland Symphony paid tribute to him.)

In April, 2021, ten documentary short subject films were short-listed for this year’s Oscars. At their best, documentary shorts tell a compelling story that, while lacking in length (they must be under 40 minutes) still manage to grab and hold us, leaving us richer for the experience.

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