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Icarus Film
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Films & DVDs for American Studies  Text Size Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size
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    A

  • Afghanistan 1979: The War That Changed the World - A behind-the-scenes history of the Soviet Union's 10-year long war in Afghanistan. (new June, 2015)

  • America's Brutal Prisons - Exposes the violence occurring inside prisons throughout America, where prisoners are routinely abused, even tortured, by prison guards.

  • B

  • Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 - Auteur filmmaker Bill Morrison brings to life a new cinematic record of World War I. (new April, 2015)

  • C

  • Caught in the Crossfire - Chronicles three diverse Arab New Yorkers - a beat cop, a minister, and a high-level diplomatic correspondent - as they wrestle with their place in wartime America.

  • Chantal Akerman Four Films - Four documentaries spanning two decades are included in this 5-disc box set, with a 16-page booklet and bonus film about the late filmmaker. (new January, 2016)

  • Chore Wars - Do you say "I love you" with flowers - or by doing the dishes?! The place of chores in the battle of the sexes.

  • Clara Lemlich - The story of the young, Jewish, Ukrainian-born woman who in 1909 sparked the 'Uprising of the 20,000' -- the first massive strike of New York City garment workers.

  • Conversations with Roy DeCarava - The life of the first black photographer to win a Guggenheim Fellowship.

  • A Crime to Fit the Punishment - Visits blacklisted Hollywood filmmakers who came together to make the seminal labor film, SALT OF THE EARTH.

  • Cul de Sac - An allegory for a working class suburb in decline, this film investigates the story of Shawn Nelson, who stole a tank and went on a rampage through the residential streets of Clairemont, CA.

  • D

  • Damages - Behind the scenes at Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder, a leading law firm specializing in personal injury cases.

  • Dear Dr. Spencer - From the early 1920s until his death in 1969, Dr. Robert Douglas Spencer practiced medicine in a small town in Pennsylvania, where he treated colds, set fractures - and performed illegal abortions.

  • Downtown Dream Still
  • Downtown Dream - Five people in a Rust Belt town struggle to reinvent their lives and their dreams in contemporary America.

  • Dreamland - Takes a sharp but disarming approach in examining the romance of gambling, and reveals the decidedly unromantic reality.

  • Ducktators - A unique look at the use of cartoons during World War II.

  • E

  • An Empire of Reason - What it would have been like if television had covered the ratification process of the US Constitution in 1781.

  • The End of the Nightstick - An eye-opening investigation of institutional racism, brutality, and coverups in Chicago's police department.

  • F

  • Far from Vietnam - The landmark collaboration between Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker and Alain Resnais in protest of the Vietnam war.

  • Fate of a Salesman - Meet Willie, Steve and Jerry, D.C.'s experts in pin-striped suits and feathered hats. How long can they stay in business? (new January, 2015)

  • The Film of Her - A Library of Congress clerk tries to save early cinematic treasures in Bill Morrison's doc-fiction hybrid. Music by Henryk Gorecki & Bill Frisell.

  • Finally Got the News - A film about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, which was, "in many respects the most significant expression of black radical thought and activism in the 1960s." - Manning Marable, Prof. of History, Columbia Univ.

  • First Kill - Compellingly brings out the contradictory feelings that war evokes - fear and anger, but also seduction, fascination and excitement. With Michael Herr (Apocalypse Now, Dispatches).

  • From The Other Side - Using technology developed for the military, the flow of illegal immigration into San Diego has been stemmed. But for the desperate, there are still the dangerous deserts of Arizona, where Chantal Akerman shifts her focus.

  • Fundi - Friend and advisor to Martin Luther King, FUNDI reveals the instrumental role that Ella Baker played in shaping the American civil rights movement.

  • Fundi - Friend and advisor to Martin Luther King, FUNDI reveals the instrumental role that Ella Baker played in shaping the American civil rights movement.

  • G

  • Ghosts of Attica - The definitive account of America's most violent prison rebellion, its deadly suppression, the days of torture that ensued, and the almost 30 year legal case that followed.

  • The Great Flood - Artist Bill Morrison and musician Bill Frisell evoke the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and ensuing transformation of American society.

  • A Grin Without A Cat - Chris Marker's epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60's and 70's: Vietnam, Che, May '68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.

  • Guns & Mothers - The contentious debate over gun control, as seen through the eyes of two mothers on opposite sides of the issue.

  • H

  • Henry Miller - An intimate and revealing look at Henry Miller, and his life and work through this program from the archives that originally aired on television in Quebec in 1969.

    I

  • I Am Become Death: They Made the Bomb - Illuminating stories told by scientists who actually worked on the Manhattan Project.

  • I Am Somebody - 1969 hospital workers struggle in Charleston, South Carolina.

  • In Motion: Amiri Baraka - Biographical profile of the out-spoken African-American writer.

  • An Injury To One - Reconstructs the long-forgotten murder of union organizer Frank Little in Butte, Montana, and draws a connection between the unsolved murder of Little, and the attempted murder of the town itself.

  • The Internationale - Draws on people's stories of an emotionally charged radical song (the long-time anthem of socialism and communism) to celebrate the relationship between music and social change.

  • The Intolerable Burden - One black family's commitment to a quality education, from the pre-1965 time of segregation, through desegregation, and through the recent period of resegregation. **Winner, John E. O'Connor Film Award, American Historical Association**

  • Investigation of a Flame - An intimate look at the Catonsville Nine who on May 17, 1968 walked into a Catonsville, Maryland draft board office, grabbed hundreds of selective service records and incinerated them with homemade napalm.

  • J

  • Jack Kerouac - A charming program from over 40 years ago: Jack Kerouac talks about his childhood, writing On the Road and the origin of the word "beat."

  • Jesus Politics - A personal investigation into the role of religion in American politics, and specifically this year's presidential election.

  • K

  • Kati With an I - In three tumultuous days, the future of one Alabama high school senior is cast into doubt.

  • Knock Off - Juxtaposes the deified position logos occupy in our consumer-culture, with the lives of sweatshop workers who cannot afford the items they create.

  • L

  • The Last Angel of History - An engaging and searing examination of the hitherto unexplored relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and rapidly progressing computer technology. (from the Jan., 1998 Catalog Supplement)

  • Last Summer Won't Happen - Shot in 1968, one year after the Summer of Love, this is a critical yet sympathetic examination of the anti-war movement in New York City.

  • Let the Church Say Amen! - The effects of church and religion on both urban and rural African-American life.

  • Lomax the Songhunter - Alan Lomax (19152002) traveled the world with his recording equipment, capturing folk songs. (new September, 2014)

  • The Loving Story - Oscar-shortlist selection, this is the definitive account of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage.

  • M

  • Machito - The Cuban band leader Frank "Machito" Grillo.

  • Made Over in America - In a culture where bodies seem customizable, how do we perceive body image, and how are desires for a better self influenced by reality television and the makeover industry?

  • Malls R Us - From impressive architectural projects to economic, environmental and social concerns, everything about shopping malls, and more.

  • Mayan Voices: American Lives - Contrasts the experiences of Mayan families who came to Indiantown, Florida as refugees fleeing the violence in Guatemala in the early 1980s, with the struggles of those continuing to arrive in search of better lives.

  • Middletown - This classic series, created by Emmy and Academy Award winner Peter Davis, explores both the continuity and the change embodied in the people and institutions of one Midwestern community: Muncie, Indiana.

  • Milk in the Land - How did milk become so popular, and iconic? An entertaining and innovative history and deconstruction of milk and American culture!

  • N

  • No Loans Today - Fringe banking in redlined, post-riot South Central Los Angeles.

  • Northern Light - A beautiful and candid portrait of the American working class experience set against the backdrop of a town's snowmobile race.

  • Notes on Marie Menken - The story of the "mother of avante-garde film"—the influential experimental filmmaker who inspired artists such as Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, and Kenneth Anger.

  • O

  • Other American Voices - A survey of critical perspectives on the change in the political mood in the United States after the attack of September 11, 2001.

  • Our House - A groundbreaking documentary that explores what it's like to grow up with gay or lesbian parents, as Americans struggle to re-define family values.

  • Outerborough - A trolley traveling over the Brooklyn Bridge in 1899 helped create the footage underlying Bill Morrison's neo-travelogue. Music by Todd Reynolds.

    P

  • The Paper - A year in the life of one of the country's biggest college newspapers, Penn State's The Daily Collegian, as it struggles with declining circulation and difficult choices about how to represent its diverse readership.

  • Persons of Interest - The government calls them terrorists - they call themselves Americans. A unique and compelling film that gives voice to the human costs of the government's anti-terrorism campaign.

  • The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover - A complex tale of art world profit, deception and crime, framed by O. Winston Link's stunning iconic photographs of the last of the American steam locomotives.

  • Playing the News - Does the convergence online of current affairs (like the Iraq war) and computer games herald the future of news and entertainment? And if so, is it dangerous, or a new way to reach a young audience?

  • The Price of Aid - An investigation of America's food aid programs for famine-stricken nations, a multi-million dollar business, which asks both U.S. and African government officials whether such aid creates more problems than it solves.

  • The Prize of the Pole - Robert Peary's quest to plant an American flag at the North Pole came with enormous, and sometimes unacknowledged, costs. Now his great-grandson wants to set the record straight.

  • Profits of Punishment - A critical look at America's booming private prison industry.

  • Public Enemy - Four former leaders of the Black Panther Party reflect on the impact of their radical 60s civil rights movement, and the promise and limitations of attempting revolutionary change.

  • R

  • Red Hook Justice - Profiles an innovative court in a Brooklyn neighborhood plagued by poverty and crime that is at the center of a legal revolution - the community justice movement.

  • Release - Al Capone's release from prison is eagerly awaited by a crowd in Bill Morrison's split-screen panorama. Music by Vijay Iyer.

  • Resist - Chronicles the history and mission behind The Living Theatre, one of the most significant companies in the history of American theatre and the avant garde.

  • Rice and Peas - The experiences of a Trinidadian restaurant owner in Brooklyn.

  • Robert, Mary, and Katrina - The astounding story of how one elderly couple faced and survived Hurricane Katrina. "[Their] story of struggle and survival from the wrath of Katrina grips the audience's emotions." - Educational Media Reviews Online

  • S

  • Selling Sickness - Explores the unhealthy relationships between society, medical science and the pharmaceutical industry as it promotes not just drugs but also the latest diseases that go with them.

  • Sermons and Sacred Pictures - Profiles Reverend L.O. Taylor, a Baptist minister and inspired photographer / filmmaker who documented the fabric of black American life prior to the civil rights movement.

  • Seven Songs for Malcolm X - An homage to the inspirational African-American civil rights leader.

  • Sex, Lies and Tabloids! - The rise and fall of tabloid papers in the US and UK. Now, tabloids may be gone, but their spirit is everywhere. (new November, 2015)

  • The Sixth Side of the Pentagon - Chronicle of the 1967 Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam protest march on the Pentagon, by documentary essayist Chris Marker. Also on this disc is a second film, THE EMBASSY.

  • Societies Under The Influence - Argues that the "drug war" we read about in our newspapers everyday is a corrupt and pernicious front that protects our judicial system, big business, organized crime and American foreign agendas.

  • South - The heart of this journey is the brutal murder of James Byrd, Jr in Jasper, Texas. But this is not an anatomy of his murder, rather, it is an evocation of how this event fits in to a landscape and climate as much mental as physical.

  • The Substance - Chock-full of rare footage and LSD-celebrity interviews, an informative and entertaining historical and scientific "trip."

  • T

  • Teeth - An amusing but informative look at the psychological, social and economic issues surrounding the modern American obsession with straight, white teeth.

  • They Chose China - Academy Award-nominated documentarian Shuibo Wang tells the controversial story of American POWs who after the Korean War refused repatriation, and stayed in China.

  • Time of the Locust - Critically examines American involvement in Vietnam through a compilation of American, Japanese and Vietnamese combat footage.

  • To Be Seen - A lively study of visual culture, and an exploration of an age-old urban cultural phenomenon, street art. What is art's role in the context of public space and urban culture?

  • W

  • Wall Street - On the floor and behind the scenes of the New York Stock Exchange. A revealing and candid look at the people and culture that make up the biggest marketplace in the world.

  • We All Fall Down - The rise and fall of America's mortgage system and the damage in the wake of its collapse. With Nouriel Roubini, Richard Sylla and Chris Mayer.

  • Wearing the Green: Longtermers of the New York State Prison System - Former Black Panther Eddie Ellis' odyssey through New York State's prison system.

  • The Writers of Today - A series of dialogues with five of the foremost writers of the twentieth century.

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Last Updated April 5, 2016
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