Novemba are an Australian-born/London-based directing partnership formed of Blair Macdonald & Oliver Clark.
Below are Novemba’s selects and what they had to say:
1. Anvil! The story of Anvil (2009)
Directed by Sacha Gervasi
A total gem. A music doc that’s ultimately a story about friendship. It’s tragic, funny and heartwarming. It’s also very personal, and a great example of the power of documentary to observe and reveal human nature. We strongly identified with the lead characters, a pair of childhood friends, still chasing their unfulfilled dreams together as adults!
2. Vernon, Florida (1981)
Directed by Errol Morris
Quirky little film by one of the documentary greats. Centered on the residents of a small rural town in Florida in the early 80s. It’s got a beautiful shapelessness to it. There’s no singular narrative, or any clear direction. Morris is content with just hanging around and following the flow of conversation. The accounts from wild turkey hunters are legendary.
3. When We Were Kings (1997)
Directed by Leon Gast
Has to be one of the best sports documentaries of all time. It’s a time capsule of an extraordinary moment in history, and to see it is to start to comprehend the magnitude of the man they rightly call The Greatest: Muhammad Ali.
4. Jodorowsky’s Dune (2014)
Directed by Frank Pavich
As we await the release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, this is a worthwhile detour. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s madcap account of his doomed adaptation of the book thirty years ago is an enthralling ride. It reminded us that perspective is born of our failures as much as our successes. Jodorowsky is a joy to watch, an unforgettable presence with a special spirit.
1. Tangerine (2015)
Directed by Sean Baker
This is the debut feature from Sean Baker, shot on an iphone 5, with a cast of mostly non actors. The two leads are also transgender women. It’s bold, brave filmmaking and we loved this unique view of LA. The performances are great and the characters feel like they existed in the world long before the movie came to life.
2. The Proposition (2005)
Directed by John Hillcoat
Our favourite Aussie western, and there are some great ones. Written by Nick Cave, and directed by John Hillcoat, it’s brutal and beautiful in equal measure. The acting is superb. The soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is sublime. It’s a potent experience, with an atmosphere so heavy and thick it leaves you gasping.
3. Local Hero (1983)
Directed by Bill Forsyth
A real charmer of a film, set in a small fishing village in Scotland. The setting, the score, the offbeat tone of the whole film is magical. It’s one we keep coming back to, about as perfect a rainy Sunday watch as you’ll find.
Selects: Documentary Shorts
1. Consumed (2016)
Directed by Richard John Seymour
A contemplative look at the supply chain of consumer goods. We love the way it frames the world, holding a mirror to it and allowing us to draw our own meaning rather than prescribing it to us.
2. Huntsville Station (2020)
Directed by Jamie Meltzer & Chris Filippone
A group of people wait at a Greyhound station in Texas, they have just been released from prison. A unique observation of this transient moment of newfound freedom and what it represents for these characters.
3. Long Term Parking (2016)
Directed by Lance Oppenheim
A community living in a car park at Los Angeles airport. A little slice of life that contemplates the idea of home and belonging.
Selects: Narrative Shorts
As teenagers growing up in Sydney, and starting to pick up a camera, these shorts were some of our early favourites. They were made by an Australian filmmaking collective, Blue-Tongue Films, many of whom have gone on to bigger things. At the time it was definitely inspiring to see young filmmakers from our own backyard making great work with a unique storytelling voice.
1. Lucky (2010)
Directed by Nash Edgerton
2. Crossbow (2009)
Directed by David Michôd
3. I Love Sarah Jane (2011)
Directed by Spencer Susser