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Reviews for May 2nd, 2014

Documentary Round-Up

      First Run Features opens two docs at the Quad Cinema this weekend. The first, More Than the Rainbow, is about street photographer Matt Weber based in New York City. For the past three decades, he has shot many photographs around the city his camera and has witnessed the gentrification taking place first-hand. He wisely states that the modern New York City has become too plastic and boring; there's something charming about the New York of the 70's and 80's which seems to be gone now. Director Dan Wechsler captures the essence of what makes Weber so brilliant not just by showing you his photos, but also by showing you how articulate and candid he is via interviews. These aren't the kind of dry interviews that will make you ask "When's the exam?" after the doc is over; they're filled with wit and charisma. It's hard to believe that he learned about photography through experience rather than going to school. You also learn where he got his passion for photography from, and what he thinks about black-and-white photography vs color. Unlike most docs, More Than the Rainbow balances its praise of its subject with some criticism, particularly from photographer Eric Kroll who's not a fan of Weber's work---see this doc to find out why. Regardless of whether or not you like Weber's photographs, you might find yourself inspired to take out your camera whether it be digital or analog and take a great photograph---this is, of course, if you're lucky enough to find a fleeting moment that can capture that greatness on camera. It's a must-see for anyone even remotely interested in photography, and it would make an interesting double feature with the upcoming narrative film Words and Pictures which debates which is more powerful: words or pictures. The other doc First Run Features is opening at the Quad is the Speak the Music: Robert Mann and the Mysteries of Chamber Music which runs merely 58 minutes. Opting for more archival footage of Mann teaching rather than illuminating about his life, director Allan Miller alienates those who aren't avid fans of classical chamber music or classical music in general. Mann comes across as immensely passionate about his work which can be palpably sensed in the footage of him giving advice to his young students. By the end of this doc, you might not learn much about Robert Mann, but at least, on top of be able to understand what makes him so talented, you'll probably wish that he were your music teacher.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Directed by Marc Webb


Number of times I checked my watch: 5
Released by Columbia Pictures.
Opens nationwide.


Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski


*****Full review coming soon*****

Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Released by Music Box Films.
Opens at Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

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