Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival

D.A. Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop: 50 Years on from the Monterey International Pop Festival

Held fifty years ago this month on the virtual solstice of the Summer of Love, the Monterey International Pop Festival was a dazzling counterculture coming-out party. Its infectious good vibes and series of revelatory performances that soon passed into rock ’n’ roll legend were captured by documentarian D. A. Pennebaker, fresh off the release of…

By Rick Ouellette
art Tim's Vermeer

Art and the Movies: The Shadow of Perfection

“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection,” said Michelangelo back in the day. In today’s high-end art world, where astronomical auction sales are now commonplace, there’s an impetus to maintain that exalted status for superstar artists both present and past. In this current state of affairs, where paintings can…

By Rick Ouellette
Terms and Conditions May Apply

Terms and Conditions May Apply

The new millennium has seen a rapid growth in the number of conscientious big-topic documentaries. There have been multiple entries on such inescapable issues as the environment (An Inconvenient Truth, The 11th Hour, Gasland), industrialised agriculture (The Future of Food, King Corn, Food Inc.) and widespread financial chicanery (The Corporation, Inside Job). Now it’s the Internet’s…

By Rick Ouellette

You’ve Been Trumped: Documenting Donald Trump’s Scottish Incursion

The title could just about sum up this blood-boiling 2011 documentary directed by Anthony Baxter and produced and co-written by Richard Phinney, a festival fave finally released on DVD a few months ago. At face value, it’s a gritty, ground-level film witness to Donald Trump’s unsubtle tactics in pushing through plans to build an enormous…

By Rick Ouellette
The Year Without a Santa Claus

On the fourth day of Christmas: How Rankin and Bass invented television Christmas

An interesting little book came out about five years ago called The Man Who Invented Christmas, about how Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol played a crucial role in formulating our modern conception of the holiday. So does that make the animation team of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass “The Duo Who Invented Television Christmas”?…

By Rick Ouellette