APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT is on The New Yorker‘s list of the best films of 2015
BBC World News reports on APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT
APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT is on the A.V. Club‘s list of the best films of 2015
“Wilder’s film is a remarkable…sketch of how people — both young and old — interact with and negotiate a nominally ‘free’ environment, making it both a sharp character study as well a fascinating reflection on philosophies of freedom and control…the film is spent entirely on the school campus in extreme proximity to the action, with a mixture of handheld camera work that tracks gestures as well as extreme close-ups reminiscent of Cassavetes’ Faces and Husbands.” Ivan Čerečina reviews APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT for 4:3.
“Something of a revelation…This isn’t the sort of politically minded essay film that we might expect, given the current crisis in the American education system. Wilder’s style has more in common with Frederick Wiseman‘s High School than it does Waiting for Superman. Its raw materials are conversation and expression rather than expert testimony or facts and figures…Unlike Wiseman’s epic landscapes of entire institutions, she uses observational methods to shepherd the audience through a chronicle of increasingly unique events.” Four out of five stars from Nonfics.com.
Richard Brody for The New Yorker on GREY GARDENS, APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT and ‘participatory documentaries.’ “A superb new documentary…astonishingly nuanced and intimate.”
“One of the finest documentaries in recent memory.” Micah Gottlieb interviews Amanda Rose Wilder for BlackBook.
“A visceral, experiential, and absorbing viewing experience, not an educational issue doc.” NPR’s Tomas Hachard reviews APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT.
The Wall Street Journal highlights APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT ahead of its New York theatrical.
Donna Kozloski reviews APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT. “Filmmaker Amanda Rose Wilder immerses herself in this unsteady environment, her observational approach favoring poeticism to pure representation…The whole film mirrors the textured rawness of childhood.”
Village Voice’s Calum Marsh makes APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT a Critic’s Pick. “This candid glimpse plays as exhilarating drama.”
Slant Magazine’s Christopher Gray gives APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT 3.5 out of 4 stars.
The Dissolve’s Scott Tobias gives APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT 4 out of 5 stars. “Much of the observational brilliance of Approaching The Elephant comes from how closely form relates to content: Out of chaos comes order, both at Teddy McArdle and in the film, which brings the personalities and conflicts into sharper focus as it goes along. What follows is a psychodrama of often-startling intensity.”
For Movie Mezzanine, Amanda Rose Wilder talks to Alissa Wilkinson.
Amanda Rose Wilder on APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT for Filmwax Radio.
Amanda Rose Wilder talks to The L Magazine.
Director Amanda Rose Wilder talks with Evan Louison for 1985artists. “I realized the free school model would allow me to film children as real people, the grittiness and sharp lights of childhood, their rhythms, which I’d seen captured best in movies about kids outside of school environments…”
APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT is #3 on Village Voice’s 2014 Best Undistributed Film Poll!
APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT is on Film Comment’s list of Best Unreleased Films of 2014!