About Daniel Maurer

Posts by Daniel Maurer:

No Comments

‘Tell Me Who I Am’ Is a Disturbing Doc About Family Dysfunction, But There’s a Problem With Its Startling Reveal

Marcus and Alex Lewis in Tell Me Who I Am, directed by Ed Perkins. (Image courtesy of Netflix)

Tell Me Who I Am is one of the most disturbing documentaries about family dysfunction since Capturing the Friedmans— all the more so because it unfolds like a psychological thriller. But there’s something about the film’s big reveal that won’t be readily apparent to viewers who haven’t read the extraordinary book that preceded it. (This article contains spoilers and is written for those who’ve already watched the film.) More →

No Comments

Two New Docs Go Deep Inside the Philippines’ Murderous War on Drugs

The Nightcrawlers.

“When I smoke meth, I feel nothing when I kill.” The irony is thick as a man paid to execute drug users exhales a cloud of shabu smoke in The Nightcrawlers. The National Geographic documentary, which last week won a special jury prize for courageous filmmaking at the Hamptons International Film Festival and next month will play at DOC NYC, is named after the photojournalists who’ve documented thousands of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, said to be ordered by police at the encouragement of strongman president Roberto Duterte. The film, directed by Alexander A. Mora, follows these photographers while also riding along with the masked vigilantes who brazenly gun down users and pushers in the streets of Manila. More →

No Comments

Bikram Choudhury Is ‘Not Happy’ With a Chilling New Doc About the Hot Yoga Guru

As I waited in line for the US premiere of Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator at the Hamptons International Film Festival on Saturday, I was reading The Program, Toni Natalie’s new memoir about surviving NXIVM. It was a funny coincidence, given the clear similarities between hot yoga pioneer Bikram Choudhury and New Age cult leader Keith Raniere. Both are charismatic manipulators who offered healing and empowerment to their vulnerable, mostly female followers, only to psychologically, financially, and sexually prey on their devotees while raining ruin down on anyone who threatened their empire. But while Raniere has been convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking (his sentencing date was announced earlier this month), Choudhury is still teaching his trademark brand of hot yoga to starstruck students– a fact that is not lost on filmmaker Eva Orner. More →

No Comments

In a New Doc, Imelda Marcos’s Son Is a Shoe-In For Vice President

Early in Lauren Greenfield’s new documentary about Imelda Marcos, The Kingmaker, there’s a photo of the disgraced former First Lady of the Philippines mingling with one of the many beautiful people in her orbit at the time: Donald and Ivanka Trump. This is our cue that the story of the Iron Butterfly remains relevant decades after she and her husband Ferdinand packed their diamonds into a bunch of diapers and fled the Philippines amidst the People Power Revolution.  More →

No Comments

The Comic Geniuses Behind ‘On Cinema’ Have an Unmade Murder Mystery Lying Around Somewhere

Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington’s Adult Swim show, On Cinema at the Cinema, has birthed so many wacky offshoots– a podcast! a spinoff show! a rock band and EDM remix! Oscar specials! live tours! Twitter battles! fan recaps!– that it’s hard to believe its creators haven’t explored every possible outlet for their shtick, which can best be described as Siskel and Ebert on crack (or rather, on Dr. San’s Nutritional Vaping Technology). But last night, after the opening of their first feature film, they revealed that the beginnings of an earlier On Cinema movie are lying around somewhere. More →

1 Comment

‘The Booksellers’: A Musty-See Documentary About Old Books

I remember the moment I almost emptied my bank account at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. The object of temptation: a poster advertising the reopening of the New St. Mark’s Baths, the notorious gay bathhouse that was ultimately shut down by Ed Koch during the 1980s AIDS scare. Sci-fi illustrator Boris Vallejo’s artwork depicted a He-Man type riding a horned beast, flanked by ripped space aliens. It was like a Miles Davis cover if Bitches Brew was an advertisement for pre-Giuliani orgy dens, and I had to have it. More →

No Comments

Brooklyn Bazaar Will Close (Again) at the End of November

Sharkmuffin at Brookjlyn Bazaar (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

The Brooklyn Bazaar will leave its home of three years at the end of November, it announced today. “This is literally like fucking Groundhog Day for us,” said owners Belvy Klein and Aaron Broudo, who in 2015 were forced to move the Bazaar from its original Banker Street warehouse after a rent hike. More →

No Comments

The Easter Egg in Bong Joon-ho’s Genre-Bending, Mind-Blowing ‘Parasite’ That Explains the Ending

Mr. Park (Sun-kyun Lee) and Yeon-kyo Park (Yeo-jeong Jo) in Parasite (courtesy of Neon/CJ Entertainment)

Spoiler Alert: This item is intended for those who’ve already watched “Parasite,” which opens Oct. 11; it contains plot spoilers including a description of the film’s ending.

If you’re thirsty for a new Jordan Peele movie, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is your tall glass of water (or murky glass of makgeolli). Much like Get Out, it deftly combines comedy, horror, and social commentary; and much like Us, it pits families on either side of the class divide against each other. Needless to say, it has won critical acclaim: After becoming the first South Korean film to nab the Palme d’Or at Cannes back in May, it’s currently clocking a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s the #73 top-rated movie of all-time on IMDB, and it received rapturous applause following its New York premiere at the New York Film Festival on Saturday. More →