Author Archive: Daniel Engelke

Daniel currently resides in New York City working as a freelance writer and director. He is a graduate of the Film and Video department of Columbia College, specializing in Italian Neo-realism and French & British New Wave cinema.

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Viva la libertà

Viva la libertà

| November 7, 2014

Toni Servillo seemingly has the reputation of Italian cinema weighing on his shoulders. Most films coming out of the Peninsula and making it to international shores star, well, him. In fact, amongst American audiences, the 55-year old Servillo is the most known Italian chameleon since Marcello Mastroianni. In Viva la libertà, which in the provided […]

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Amor Cronico

Amor Cronico

| November 6, 2014

Who is CuCu Diamantes? This is the question you’ll be asking during her film Amor Cronico. The film follows Cuban-American singer CuCu Diamantes who returns to her home country of Cuba for an island-wide tour. Accompanied by a pint-sized doting manager Guarapo, a sprawling cocktail lounge band, and a giant heel (literally), she tours the […]

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Citizenfour

Citizenfour

| October 24, 2014

Citizenfour is the last and latest piece in filmmaker’s Laura Poitras ‘New American Century’ trilogy. The preceding films, My Country, My Country and The Oath, examined U.S. life and policy in the post-9/11 world. Citizenfour is no different. Like her focus on the Iraqi occupation and Guantanamo Bay, Poitras now takes aim at government surveillance […]

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Dream Deceivers

Dream Deceivers

| August 12, 2014

The raving and remonstrating over subliminal messages in popular music is over. Sure, zealous listeners claim to hear voices of the Illuminati in contemporary hip-hop, but the hoopla is mostly a thing of yesteryear. In David Van Taylor’s 1991 documentary Dream Deceivers, the story of two teenagers who attempted suicide due to the urging of […]

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A Hard Day’s Night

A Hard Day’s Night

| July 3, 2014

London, 1964. Our feet tap and fingers snap to Eight Days a Week. We know all their hits on the radio and have seen them on the telly, but never like this: John, Paul, George, and Ringo – The Beatles – in person. OK, it’s not 1964 and unfortunately only half of the World’s Favorite […]

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Interview with ‘Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia’ director Nicholas Wrathall

Interview with ‘Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia’ director Nicholas Wrathall

| May 31, 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with director Nicholas Wrathall to discuss his new documentary on Gore Vidal, The United States of Amensia. Our conversation covers many of the subjects mentioned in my review of the film – including the personality and politics of Gore Vidal, along with the director’s impetus behind the creation […]

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Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

| April 29, 2014

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia is the “last word and testimony” of one of the last stalwart liberal writers of the 20th century. After the passing of Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut in 2007, last stood Gore Vidal. For those familiar with the writer, the lengthy title is not only a favorite quotation, but […]

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The Unknown Known – Errol Morris

The Unknown Known – Errol Morris

| April 9, 2014

The Unknown Known is a ‘Rumsfeld Rule’, meaning “there are things we think we know, but turns out we do not.” The flip side of the  phrase reads “the absence of evidence does not mean the evidence of absence.” That was the maxim used to indicate “overwhelming evidence” of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. […]

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Bastards

Bastards

| April 8, 2014

Claire Denis’ follow up to 2009’s White Material is a gritty film-noir about a Parisian sex ring entitled Bastards. The French title Les Saluds is certainly more poetic, but the film is anything but. As in her previous productions, Denis remains an unsympathetic provocateur. Bastards opens with Navy officer Metro leaving his ship to fix a family problem in Paris. Though […]

Mitt – Greg Whiteley

Mitt – Greg Whiteley

| March 25, 2014

As technology progresses political campaigns are increasingly filled with candid moments. Gaffes are known to hinder ambitious candidates (sometimes fatally) and forever haunt the victim. In Mitt Romney’s 2012 run, a covertly placed camera caught such a moment. Will a 90 minute documentary change voter perceptions about a politician who derided 47% of Americans as willfully […]

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