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Posts by Daniel Clarkson Fisher

As previously mentioned, two of my classmates, John Verhaeven and Kenny McDonald, are producing a new podcast called “Doc This!” Its goal is to “get behind the minds and processes of Ryerson University’s MFA Documentary Media students.” I co-host with another classmate, Sara Wylie.

Episode Three is now live. In it, Sara and I speak to yet another classmate, Émeraude Mbuku, about punk rock, Kanye West, and more. Émeraude is a delight, and I suspect you’ll appreciate this interview — give a listen.

As usual, there’s also a sixty-second review of a new documentary at the end of the episode. This time, it’s John on Emanuel Licha’s five-channel video documentary War Tourist.

As I mentioned some months back, two of my classmates, John Verhaeven and Kenny McDonald, are producing a new podcast called “Doc This!” Its goal is to “get behind the minds and processes of Ryerson University’s MFA Documentary Media students.” I co-host with another classmate, Sara Wylie.

The second episode is now live. In it, Sara and I speak to yet another classmate, Annum Shah, about her beautiful thesis project. I hope you’ll give it a listen — I think it’s a good conversation.

As usual, another classmate also offers a sixty-second review of a new documentary at the end of the episode. This time, it’s Nawal Salim on the series TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.

(And how about that stunning new logo by Episode #1 interviewee Daniel Schrempf?)

I’ve got a new article over at New Politics magazine, the title of which is “The Unbearable Centrism of Mainstream Documentaries”. In it, I write about about how Former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama’s multi-year production deal with Netflix could be understood as the culmination of a worrisome turn in contemporary documentary.

You can read the whole thing here.

I’ve got a new interview with Rodney Ascher, director of the documentaries Room 237 and The Nightmare, over at Nonfics. Rodney is one of my very favorite filmmakers, and it was both an honor and a pleasure to get to speak to him at some length.

His most recent project, Primal Screen, debuted on the horror-themed streaming service Shudder last year. The short, which “asks real people to look back at pop-culture artifacts that traumatized them in their youth and describe the effect they had on their lives,” can currently be streamed for free and without a login at the site.

I recommend you take a look at this underpraised little gem, and then check out our conversation here.

I’ve got a new article, my first for PopMatters, at their website. The title is “In Defense of Errol Morris’s Standard Operating Procedure. In it, I use the occasion of the film’s tenth anniversary to write about the great director’s oft-misunderstood masterpiece, which centers around the photos that emerged from Abu Ghraib prison.

You can read the whole thing here.

[UPDATE, 5/22/2018: I’m completely amazed to report that Errol Morris himself recently retweeted this piece. See below.]

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Two of my wonderful classmates, John Verhaeven and Kenny McDonald, are producing a new podcast called “Doc This!” Its goal is to “get behind the minds and processes of Ryerson University’s MFA Documentary Media students.” I co-host with another wonderful classmate, Sara Wylie.

In the first episode, Sara and I speak to yet another wonderful classmate, Daniel Schrempf — I hope you’ll give it a listen!

(Bonus: A fifth wonderful classmate, Pearson Ripley, offers a terrific, sixty-second review of Errol Morris’s astonishing Netflix documentary series Wormwood at the end of the episode.)

I’ve got a new article, my first for the venerable New Politics magazine, at their website. The title is “The ‘Inescapable Need and Possibility’ of Third Cinema”. In it, I talk about the radical, global filmmaking movement known as “Third Cinema”; its adherents in the United States; and what might be learned from their work at this particular moment in time. If you’re actively thinking about film as a form of cultural resistance, you might just be interested in this.

You can read the whole thing here.

As a contributor to Nonfics, I participated in their year-end poll. The results are in, and you can check them out right here.

Individual ballots aren’t included, and I won’t share mine. However, I will say that documentary fans should make it a point to see Karl Marx City, The Work, and Starless Dreams. The 2017 docs that you’ve heard about are very fine indeed, but it was this year’s comparatively less ballyhooed titles that really stayed with me.

I had the enormous pleasure of appearing as a guest this week on episode 21 of Neil Hopkins and Chris Foster’s wonderful new Docs Factor Podcast. We discussed Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott’s 2003 documentary adaptation of Joel Bakan’s book The Corporation (a favorite of mine).

You can listen to the episode here, or with whatever app you use for podcasts. (Don’t forget to subscribe to the show while you’re at it!)

Also, if you haven’t seen The Corporation, I should point out that Achbar and Abbott have made it freely available to watch on YouTube. Get hip to it.

We just got the news that our proposal has been accepted, so I’m happy to share: I’ll be co-facilitating a workshop with my good friend Dr. Vicki Callahan as part of the 2018 Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Annual Conference here in Toronto. Our workshop topic will be “In the Mix: The Collaborative Video Essay in Theory and Praxis.” If you’re planning to attend the conference, I do hope you’ll make some time for our workshop.

For more information, visit cmstudies.org.

I’ve got an interview with Laura Dunn, director of the new documentary Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, over at Nonfics. Laura’s first theatrically released feature, 2007’s The Unforeseen, not only boasted Robert Redford and Terrence Malick as executive producers but also garnered rhapsodic reviews, an Independent Spirit Award and television distribution on both PBS and the Sundance Channel. Special screenings of Look & See are currently taking place around the country, and it’s now available on Netflix U.S. as well.

Take a look at out our conversation here.