An unexpectedly controversial German film about skaters challenges the establishment in more ways than one.
On the controversy over allowing a partially fictitious film win awards in the documentary category (against presumably less colorful and more rigorously fact-based films), Persiel remains silent, though he does theorize that the definition of "documentary" is expanding and evolving all the time.
"I call This Ain't California a 'documentary tale'," he explicates, adding his own micro-category. It's an explanation that probably won't placate his detractors, but whatever side of the definition of "documentary" the film winds up being relegated to, the definition of "best" will still apply. No matter what, it's a movie well worth seeing, and controversies aside, a movie well worth having been made — for truly we have been splendidly manipulated. *
2012'S TOP SELF-CURATED DOUBLE FEATURES (A.K.A. TWO-DOLLAR WEDNESDAY AT LOST WEEKEND IS MY JAM)
More in common than you'd expect Delicatessen (Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France, 1991) and Deliverance (John Boorman, US, 1972)
William H. Macy is underrated Edmond (Stuart Gordon, US, 2005) and The Cooler (Wayne Kramer, US, 2003)
All about men A Single Man (Tom Ford, US, 2009) and A Serious Man (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, US/UK/France, 2009)
Post-Prometheus Ridley Scott-a-thon Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, US/Hong Kong/UK, 1982) and Alien (Ridley Scott, US/UK, 1979)
Noomi vs. Rooney The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, US/Sweden/Norway, 2011) and The Girl with the
Dragon Tattoo (Niels Arden Oplev, Sweden/Denmark/Germany/Norway, 2009)
Please kill me Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, various, 2000) and Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, US, 2010)
Gay follies Paris is Burning (Jennie Livingston, US, 1990) and The Birdcage (Mike Nichols, US, 1996)
Dark days Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki, US, 2003) and Deliver Us from Evil (Amy Berg, US, 2006)
The masochism tango The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke, Austria/France/Germany, 2001) and Secretary (Steven Shainberg, US, 2002) Let's get physical Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, US, 1997) and Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh, US, 2012)