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In Search of Israeli Cuisine (2017)

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Roger Sherman sets his camera on Israeli culinary culture. With Israeli-American restauranteur Michael Solomonov as the on-screen narrator and guide, the film wanders throughout Israel sampling the foods prepared in the nation’s finest eateries and in the homes of several private cuisine.

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Blackhearts (2017)

As Norway prepares for one of its epic black metal festivals, 3 bands prepare to go and play their set there for the first time.  The film follows closely Hector from Columbia (leader of the band Luciferian), Sina from the Middle East where playing black metal is a jailable offense, and Kaiadas and his band mates (band Naer Mataron) through their preparation for the festival and what pushes them to play this type of music.  The film also explores the history of black metal in Norway, including a visit to the Rockheim museum in Trondheim, interviews and moments with members of bands such as Keep of Kalessin, Mayhem, and a few others.  Through seeing the lives of these musicians, what they believe in, and what they want to accomplish, the viewer can get a good idea of what black metal is all about and also learn about its history.

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Dinosaurs vs. Apes: Hollywood Goes Ape! (1994)

Don Glut is a lover of the golden age of monster movies, and his 1994 documentary explores Hollywood’s fascination with apes. Though “King Kong” popularized the giant ape in film, the idea of giant apes have been around for quite a while and even showed up every so often in silent films. Even by 1994 standards, “Hollywood Goes Ape!” isn’t the most polished documentary, but it does offer a no frills exploration in to ape cinema of all kinds. There are looks at giant ape films like “King Kong” and “Konga,” and odd ball ape movies like “The Ape Man,” and “Superman vs. The Gorilla Gang.”

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What Happened in Vegas (2017) [Cinequest 2017]

Las Vegas has long been a city of many mysteries, of gambling, sins, even murder.  Throughout seasons upon seasons of television shows set in the city have shown police brutality and corruption, this film shows that it may very well be closer to the truth than fiction.  What Happened in Vegas explores cases where all signs point to police execution or over reach of power that lead to deaths and subsequent framing of the victim as bad, evil people.

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Cinema Crazed Covers The 2016 Oscar Contenders

It’s that time of year again, where Hollywood either guides us in to celebrating actual works of cinematic art, or will likely arouse the ire of cineastes for years to come by playing it safe with the obvious crowd pleasers once again. In either case, “Oscar” night 2017 promises to be an interesting and controversial one. With the political landscape, racial landscape, and current crop of movies nominated at this years’ ceremony, a lot of us are hoping the Academy celebrates films that hold a miror to society rather than simply celebrate the safe, and light hearted fare that pass itself at “escapism.” That said, while we are a bit of cynics, we have a good time every year with the pageantry, the fun, and celebration of film.

To remind you of who is nominated this year, we covered a lot of Oscar nominees. If you want to a refresher course of what we thought of a lot of the films up for an award this year, we’ve compiled a list of movies reviewed by the Cinema Crazed contributors. Feel free to voice your own opinions on these films and many others in the comments!

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Joe’s Violin (2016)

Kahane Cooperman’s Academy Award-nominated documentary short offers a simultaneous pull on the heartstrings and a classical meditation on violin strings. The eponymous instrument is a violin donated by Joseph Feingold, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, to an instrument donation drive conducted by a radio station to help music students in cash-strapped schools in New York. The violin went to an all-girls academy in the Bronx, where it was presented to 12-year-old Brianna Perez, a gifted student from a broken home who aspires to become a music teacher.

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Working Class (2011) [San Diego Film Week 2017]

Using A Tale of Two Cities, this documentary tells the story of Mike Giant in San Francisco and Mike Maxwell in San Diego who are both artists and friends who connected through tattoos the first put on the second.  Throughout the film, their lives are paralleled and compared until it eventually brings them together.

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Country: Portraits of an American Sound (2015)

This documentary made in 2015 and released in early 2017 explores how the image of country singer is developed through photography and has been since the very start of the music genre.  Through interviews with photographers, artists, singers, and musicians, the history of country music is explored and the emphasis on how image can help make or break an artist’s popularity are explained as well as the process behind some memorable photographs done by various photographers, some specializing in country portraits and other specialized in portraits.

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