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Staff Picks

Staff Picks

The OVID staff picks their favorite films.

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Staff Picks
  • Bright Leaves

    Directed by Ross McElwee • Documentary • With Ross McElwee, Allan Gurganus, Paula Larke, Marilyn Levine, Emily Madison, Charlleen Swansea, Adrian McElwee, Tom McElwee • 2005 • 105 minutes

    McElwee family legend has it that the Hollywood melodrama Bright Leaf starring Gary Cooper as a 19th century...

  • Tony Manero

    Directed by Pablo Larrain • Drama • With Alfredo Castro • 2008 • 98 minutes

    Raul Peralta, a middle-aged criminal in 1970's Chile, is obsessed the idea of impersonating Tony Manero, John Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever. Every Saturday night, he unleashes his passion for the film's mu...

  • A Bread Factory

    2 videos

    The acclaimed new work from filmmaker Patrick Wang (In the Family), featuring a remarkable performance from actress Tyne Daly, is the story of The Bread Factory, a community arts center in the small town of Checkford, told in two films. In part one, after 40 years of running The Bread Factory, Do...

  • Decasia

    Directed by Bill Morrison • Documentary • 2002 • 67 minutes

    Often compared to Stan Brakhage, Bill Morrison created DECASIA entirely with decaying, old found footage, melded to the music of Bang on a Can's Michael Gordon, performed by the 55 piece basel sinfonietta. The result is a delirium of de...

  • Searching For Gerda Taro

    Directed by Camille Ménager • Documentary • 2021 • 58 minutes

    SEARCHING FOR GERDA TARO celebrates the life and work of Taro — a charismatic Jewish refugee from Germany, an anti-fascist, and a trailblazing photographer whose work would be forgotten for decades.

    In 1935, Taro (then going by her b...

  • Thursday Till Sunday

    Directed by Dominga Sotomayor • Drama • 2012 • 98 minutes

    It all begins on a Thursday when Lucía (9) and Manuel (5) go on vacation with their parents to the north of Chile. It all ends on a Sunday. It’s the children’s distant and fragmented outlook on this possibly last family trip.

    “Says and c...

  • Vito

    Directed by Jefffrey Schwarz • Documentary • With Vito Russo, Lily Tomlin, Larry Kramer, Charles Russo, Armistad Maupin, Phyllis Antonellis, Michael Schiavi, Arnie Kantrowitz, Bruce Vilanch • 2011 • 93 minutes

    On June 27, 1969, a police raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar took a surprising turn ...

  • The Substance

    Directed by Martin Witz • Documentary • 2011 • 81 minutes

    In 1943, at the Sandoz chemical-pharmaceutical laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, chemist Albert Hofmann, in search of a respiratory and circulatory stimulant, first synthesized LSD. Martin Witz's THE SUBSTANCE: ALBERT HOFMANN'S LSD is a...

  • 12 O'Clock Boys

    Directed by Lofty Nathan • Documentary • 2013 • 76 minutes

    The 12 O'CLOCK BOYS are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore -- popping wheelies and weaving at excessive speeds through traffic, the group impressively evades the hamstrung police. In Lotfy Nathan's wild, dynamic documentary (t...

  • The Hole

    Directed by Tsai Ming-liang • Drama • With Lee Kang-Sheng; Yang Kuei-Mei • 1998 • 89 minutes

    Set just prior to the start of the 21st century, this vaguely futuristic story follows two residents of a quickly crumbling building who refuse to leave their homes in spite of a virus that has forced th...

  • Dark Star: H. R. Giger's World

    Movie + 1 extra

    Surrealist artist H. R. Giger (1940–2014) terrified audiences with his Oscar-winning monsters in Ridley Scott's ALIEN. Sci-fi, horror, music, album covers, tattoos and fetish art have been influenced by his dark, intricate paintings and sculptures depicting birth, death and sex. Both a mesmerizin...

  • From The East

    Directed by Chantal Akerman • Documentary • 2003 • 110 minutes

    FROM THE EAST retraces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. It is a voyage Chantal Akerman wanted to make shortly after the collapse of the Soviet bloc "befo...

  • Girls Always Happy

    Directed by Yang Mingming • Drama • With Yang Mingming, Nai An • 2018 • 116 minutes

    Rising Chinese director Yang Mingming both directs and stars in GIRLS ALWAYS HAPPY – a mother-daughter story that goes for the jugular.

    Wu (Yang Mingming) and her mother (Nai An) live in a Beijing hutong – an ol...

  • The Battle of Chile
    Movie + 2 extras

    The Battle of Chile

    Movie + 2 extras

    On September 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende's democratically-elected Chilean government was overthrown in a bloody coup by General Augusto Pinochet's army.

    Patricio Guzman and five colleagues had been filming the political developments in Chile throughout the nine months leading up to that...

  • Seventeen

    Directed by Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines • Documentary • 1982 • 120 minutes

    Part of the acclaimed Middletown series.

    In their final year at Muncie's Southside High School, a group of seniors hurtles toward maturity with a combination of joy, despair, and an aggravated sense of urgency. They are...

  • Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?

    Directed by Travis Wilkerson • Documentary • 2018 • 90 minutes

    “In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” So begins Travis Wilkerson’s critically acclaimed documentary, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, which takes us on a journey through the Ame...

  • The Woodmans

    Directed by C. Scott Willis • Documentary • With Betty Woodman, Francesca Woodman, Charles, Woodman
    George Woodman • 2010 • 83 minutes

    The tragic story of Francesca Woodman, a young photographer renowned for her extraordinary nude self-portraits, is also the story of her brilliantly artistic f...

  • Kati With an I

    Directed by Robert Greene • Documentary • 2010 • 86 minutes

    At once universal and personal, this intimate documentary portrait of an Alabama teenage girl on the verge of her high school graduation captures three tumultuous days during which her future is cast into doubt.

    Eighteen-year-old Kati ...

  • 108 (Cuchillo de Palo)

    Directed by Renate Costa Perdomo • Documentary • 2010 • 91 minutes

    When Rodolfo Costa was found naked on the floor of his home in Paraguay, he had been dead for days. Though ostensibly jobless, he had mysteriously amassed a small fortune. He also had a secret alias-Hector Torres-and a secret lif...

  • Six In Paris

    7 videos

    In 1965, young producer Barbet Schroeder supplied a 16mm camera, along with color film stock, to six friends, asking them to each make a short film about a Parisian neighborhood. The resulting films were shot quickly, with low budgets, improvised takes and live sound. Richard Brody of The New Yor...

  • Pripyat

    Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter • Documentary • 1999 • 100 minutes

    After the nuclear catastrophe in 1986, a 30 km restricted zone was erected around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and 116,000 persons were evacuated from this area. Pripyat is a portrait of the people who still live and work t...

  • Crimson Gold

    Directed by Jafar Panahi • Drama • With Hossain Emadeddin • 2003 • 95 minutes

    Two master filmmakers, Abba Kiarostami (A Taste of Cherry) and Jafar Panahi (The Circle, Taxi) team up as writer and director, respectively, on Crimson Gold, a subtle tragedy on class conflict in modern Iran.

    Hussein ...

  • L'attesa

    Directed by Piero Messina • Drama • With Juliette Binoche, Lou de Laage, Domenico Diele, Antonio Folletto, Corinna Locastro • 2016 • 100 minutes

    Stunningly shot and deeply resonant, L’ATTESA heralds the arrival of a talented new voice. With Sicily as his backdrop, Piero Messina (assistant direct...

  • Too Late to Die Young

    Directed by Dominga Sotomayor • Drama • With Demian Hernández, Antar Machado, Magdalena Tótoro • 2019 • 110 minutes

    Chile 1990, at the end of Pinochet's dictatorship, a group of adolescents living in a commune, attempt to make sense of their own burgeoning desires and tangled relationships while...