I usually resist writing about documentaries because it’s so difficult not to fall into the trap of summarizing the subject without actually dealing with the film — and the bullying/self-congratulatory tone of so many of the current advocacy docs, whether I happen to agree with their politics or not, turns me off instantly.
But for reasons not entirely within my control (which is to say, Criterion’s terrific new Blu-ray of “Stagecoach” was recently covered elsewhere in the New York Times), I’ve given in to peer pressure and reviewed three recent non-fiction releases: the 1977 “Word Is Out,” which Milestone is releasing in a fine restoration from UCLA; “Inner Voice,” Barbeth M. VanLoo’s study of the dancer and composer Meredith Monk; and “For the Love of Movies,” Gerald Peary’s long-gestating survey of the rich past and uneasy present of film criticism in the popular media. The piece is here.
The latter film, which is available through Gerry’s website, features interviews with a number of folks who participate these discussions; needless to say, they all come off as highly intelligent and irresistibly attractive.
Of course, if anyone wants to talk about “Stagecoach” instead, I’ve got nothing against it.