In Review – White Like Me (2013 – Documentary)


On the heels of our two major party political conventions – I’ve been considering a film or two to suggest to the politically minded. Something to set the mood or inform the electorate, in a broad way, about the issues of the day.

To that end – the disparity in the diversity of the two major conventions was the thing that was most stark (all other content notwithstanding) to me.  Since the election – and before – of the first African American, sometimes known as Black – President of the United States, this disparity has been, ironically perhaps, most stark.

It is also ironic, that as the nation has nominated the first woman to be President of the United States in a major party – that race, not gender – is still the driving prevalent issue of our nation, even beyond domestic and foreign terrorism.

To that end, I was reminded of director Scott Morris‘ 2013 documentary White Like Me, featuring race-educator and author Tim Wise. The film explores race and racism in the U.S. through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. Or, in other words, most of the people at one of those conventions as opposed to some of the people at the other convention.

The things that Wise speaks to in White Me, explains those distinctions lucidly.

As it happens, the book Black Like Me (from which this film takes its cues), by journalist John Howard Griffin, was published in 1961 – the year I was born. The corresponding film was released in 1964 – a year of landmark civil rights legislation. Fifty plus years later our two primary party political conventions suggest that while changes abound – much as stayed the same.  Little “d” democrats were often southern and racist in 1961, while republicans were still rich and privileged and – well – republican. And race is still a central issue in the republic. Whether we want to think so – or not.

You only had to look at those two conventions. You could even turn the sound down. Which, occasionally, I did.

Scott Morris’ film is clear, concise and full of fact and example and history. As is Wise’s presentation, in whatever format. The movie is neither placid nor inflammatory (unless you’re already a little inflamed). It’s also not – not angry – yet not angry.

It even manages to be funny every now and again.

Like all contemporary documentaries it’s advocacy. Such is the nature of docs these days. That’s said – it’s accurate and well done advocacy that is most relevant to the politics and the zeitgeist of the very political – race conscious day.


FilmWeek: ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘The Infiltrator,’ Cafe Society’ and more…

FilmWeek: ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘The Infiltrator,’ Cafe Society’ and more…

Listen here: Larry Mantle and KPCC film critics Amy Nicholson and Tim Cogshell review this week’s new movie releases including “Ghostbusters,” “The Infiltrator,” “Cafe Society” and


Tim’s Hits

Amy’s Hits

Mixed Reviews

This Week’s Misses


Tim Cogshell, Film Critic for KPCC and Alt-Film Guide; Tim tweets from @CinemaInMind

Amy Nicholson, Film Critic for KPCC and Chief Film Critic, MTV News; Amy Tweets from@TheAmyNicholson


Tim is Critic At Large for Alt Film Guide (  His reviews are archived at:

Tim Cogshell Sits Down with the Young Stars of an Old School Western – Angels and Outlaws


Angels and Outlaws is not a Clint Eastwood production – exactly – but his many “productions” – so to speak – are most relevant to this rooting-tooting blood soaked western. A bad guys and worse gals immorality tale that stars his daughter Francesca Eastwood, his ex Frances Fisher, and his sense of the western narrative – the unrighteous man (or woman) with a horse and a gun. Or- just a gun.

Interview by: Tim Cogshell

Outlaws-and-Angels_poster_goldposter_com_1  Lobby Poster Art

Produced by – CinemaInMind

Tim is Critic At Large for Alt Film Guide (  His reviews are archived at:

OFF-RAMP – Tim Cogshell with a DYI Film Festival – Noir is a Style not a Genre…


Tim Cogshell has another DIY film festival for Off-Ramp listeners, this time looking at 3 important films in the film noir style. Because noir is a style – not a genre’.

Listen here:


TheyLiveByNightLobby Poster 2 odds against tomorrow one sheet. 2 Touch of Evil One Sheet

Lobby Cards: They Live By Night | Odds Against Tomorrow | Touch of Evil


Tim Cogshell, Film Critic for KPCC and Alt-Film Guide; Tim tweets from @CinemaInMind

Tim is Critic At Large for Alt Film Guide (  His reviews are archived at: