It's no secret that I have great love for documentary films. One of my favorite features is "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control," Errol Morris' 1997 nonfiction film.
Morris, a master storyteller, took seemingly unrelated subjects in this case, a robotics designer, a topiary gardener and a lion tamer and used them to make a compelling piece about the meaning of existence.
And while they may not be as heady as that film, I was impressed with two locally produced documentaries. "Killer at Large" comes from the makers of the acclaimed "This Divided State" and examines America's deadly obesity "epidemic."
Filmmakers Bryan Young, Steven Greenstreet and Elias Pate have clearly done their research. Interview segments include commentary from obesity researchers, nutritionists and other experts, as well as former President Bill Clinton, consumer advocate Ralph Nader and playwright/filmmaker Neil La- Bute.
"Killer at Large" is not rated but features some disturbing imagery and adult language.
Also, I was fortunate enough receive a DVD copy of "Afterimage: The Art of 337."
For those who don't know about the 337 art project, it was a combination of supposed street art (including graffiti), mixed-media, murals and other art forms, all of them covering the interiors and exteriors of an abandoned downtown Salt Lake building.
Attorney Adam Price and his wife, Dessi, actually bought the building as a home, but they decided to raze it and rebuild from there. So, before that happened, they turned the building over to local artists.
Filmmakers Alex Haworth and Davey Davis interviewed the Prices and the artists and chronicled the building demolition. It's fascinating stuff.
"Afterimage: The Art of 337" is not rated but contains some adult language.
The Salt Lake Art Center, 20 S. West Temple, is hosting screenings of "Afterimage" Aug. 8 and 16. The art center is also selling copies of the DVD for $15 with some of the proceeds from that going to the art project. For more information on the film, www.337project.org or www.thedadafactory.com.
One local documentary I haven't seen but am interested in, though, is "The Up Beat," an examination Utah's ska music scene.
The movie was already shown at the Ogden Street Festival, and it will screen Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Tower Theatre. That event also will feature a performance by local music act Fews & Two.
For more information, browse www.theupbeatmovie.com.
• A QUICK DISCLAIMER ...
I should mention that I have personal connections to all three local movies.
I have friends whose works were part of the 337 art project. I have friends who were interviewed in "Killer at Large" (another friend supplied some of the artwork seen in the movie).And I was interviewed for "The Up Beat," since I was a former concert promoter and the manager for the Logan ska band Model Citizen. Just thought I should make that clear.