WE ♥ DOCS
Back during Comic-Con, director Jon Schepp made the timely debut of a trailer for his gestating documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? Now we get another glimpse of the doc which is still in production and looking for help with a FanBacked campaign. For those who don't know, the film is about the failed attempt by director Tim Burton to create a new Superman film with Nicolas Cage as the DC Comics superhero. This new trailer focuses on the crazy vision for the film that included monsters, weird landscapes, a translucent, Sigfried & Roy-style Superman suit, and much more insanity.
While the movie poster is still a prominent piece of movie marketing, there are far too many that have become nothing more than shoddy Photoshop jobs with floating heads, flying embers and tons of designs that are exactly the same. Now a documentary from director Kevin Burke aims to look at what happened to the movie poster by diving into the history of the piece of movie promotion that used to be much more creative and artful than most of the posters we see in theaters today. Twenty-Four by Thirty-Six will shed light on movie poster art, its evolution over the years and much more. Now we have the first trailer.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Do the Right Thing, which seems pretty appropriate considering all the craziness that's happening down in Ferguson, Missouri right now. Well, director Spike Lee decided to team up with Beats Music (the headphones company) for a 22-minute documentary short looking back at the influential, racially charged film from 1989. It's both sad and amazing that Lee's film still holds cultural relevance in 2014, but rather than getting too serious, the documentary tours the locations with Lee himself, joined by Danny Aiello, the man who played Sal, who's pizzeria is now gone in real-life too. Watch below!
"It was easier to pitch with the LSD, that's the way I was dealing with the fear of failure." Today's trailer is for another fascinating baseball documentary that premiered at Sundance this year (we also recommend The Battered Bastards of Baseball). This one is titled No No: A Dockumentary about pitcher Dock Ellis, the man famous for pitching a no-hitter game in 1970 while on LSD. "It was an ugly no-hitter," he admits in the trailer, but still a "no-no". While Dock passed away in 2008, filmmaker Jeff Radice was able to interview him extensively and it's amusing and enlightening to hear his story, filled with anecdotes, archival footage and stories from other players. Looks like another great baseball doc and I'm looking forward to seeing this.
"We want to compete, and we want to show you that this is real." There's a doc about every obscure sport, so why not one about quidditch? Yep, that game from Harry Potter, the one where you fly around on brooms and toss balls through hoops. Except here in the
human muggle world, it's played on the ground by die-hard nerds (one of them is a huge Tron Legacy fan) who love to compete in sports. The doc is called, appropriately, Mudbloods is focuses on the resilient underdogs of the UCLA Quidditch team as they make their way to the Fifth Annual Quidditch World Cup in NYC. This looks fun but potentially a little too wacky.
If you're more than a casual video game fan, then you might already know about the infamous attempt at an Atari game that was E.T., based on Steven Spielberg's modern classic sci-fi film of the same name. The game is regarded as one of the worst ever made, and one of the biggest blunders ever by any tech company in history, one that almost sank the entire video game industry back in the 80s. If this sounds familiar, that's because the film just made the news recently after being behind the dig into a New Mexico landfill where millions of unsold copies of E.T. were buried. Now the documentary Atari: Game Over from director Zak Penn dives into the story of Atari and this failed game and the first trailer has arrived. Watch!
Director Michael Apted is no stranger to documentaries as his Up series has chronicled people over the span of 56 years now. This time he's putting the focus on the process that allows him to actually photograph his films with a documentary called Bending the Light. The film focuses on the creation of camera lenses in a top notch Japanese factory and the photographers who use them so effectively to brilliantly capture a single moment in time. As you'll see in the trailer, there's talks with some of the foremost experts on intricate lens-crafting, as well as cinematographers from the feature film world and more. Watch below!
"The New Beverly crowds are genuine, they're there just to love cinema." How do we save 35mm film? By cherishing it, archiving it, and reminding the world of its existence with screenings and events that herald the soon-to-be-long-lost-format. One of the latest documentaries about this technological evolution is titled Out of Print, a film two years in the making from New Beverly's Julia Marchese. The doc focuses on the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles and the many people who make it their home. She has interviews with people like Edgar Wright, Patton Oswalt, Rian Johnson, Joe Carnahan, Kevin Smith, Joe Dante and so many others. The first trailer is out and it's all about a love for cinema, its many joys, and repertory theaters.
Hot on the heels of the 50th anniversary re-release of the musical classic A Hard Day's Night, featuring the iconic British import The Beatles, it turns out The Fab Four have a new film on the way as well. Apple Corps Ltd, White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment announced in a press release that they are teaming up to produce a documentary about the early party of The Beatles career. More specifically, it will focus on the touring years following the rock group from their early days in the Cavern Club in Liverpool to shows in Hamburg and all the way to their last public concert in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, in 1966.
"I wake, I write, I eat, I watch TV." Madman Films has unveiled the first official trailer for the remarkable new documentary 20,000 Days on Earth, profiling Australian singer/songwriter/musician/poet Nick Cave. This doc premiered at Sundance in January and received quite a bit of acclaim for its originality (I've never seen anything like it) and was picked up by Drafthouse Films for release later this fall. An early trailer has arrived online and it gives us all a taste of just how unique, and exciting, and bold, and fascinating this doc (and Nick Cave himself) is. I'm actually really impressed by this trailer, it sells the film nicely, and makes it look like the kind of must-see music doc that will easily attract both fans and non-fans alike. Enjoy.
"What Gordon did is create a negative that no one could mess with." In 2008, Paramount restored and re-released Francis Ford Coppola's original The Godfather trilogy in full high definition, and the result was a glorious must-have box set featuring all three movies. The restoration was supervised by Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis (who just passed away a few months ago) as well as Steven Spielberg, and this 19-minute short explores the process they went through to bring these classics back to life. Featuring interviews with Coppola, Willis, archivist Robert A. Harris, and others, it's a fun and fascinating featurette.
"A true tale told by those who lived it." Something a little raw to raunch up your day. A trailer has debuted for a wacky documentary called Limo Ride, about an epic "wildest night ever" limo ride about ten friends having the time of their lives. If you like white trash cinema, this is the doc for you. It's essentially about these guys recounting the tale of this crazy night of drinking and sex and all kinds of bad shit, which hearing about now is so much fun. They end up at some beach, endless bars all over, and other nasty places. This sales trailer is full of nudity and language aplenty, so don't watch this one at work, or with any one around.
Following a debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball will make its debut exclusively on Netflix next month, and the first trailer has just arrived. The documentary tells the true story of the Portland Mavericks, a scrappy, independent baseball team of underdogs started by actor Bing Russell in the 1970s. In fact, you probably know one of the many players, because Kurt Russell is Bing's son. As someone who doesn't enjoy watching sports, there's just something that is inexplicably appealing about sports documentaries and dramas, and this looks like a treat. Watch!
If you're a hardcore Star Wars fan, there's a good chance you have already discovered the indie documentary The People vs. George Lucas from 2010. The film from director Alexandre O. Philippe looked at the disenchantment that fans of Star Wars and Indiana Jones came to feel following the mostly disappointing prequels to the classic original trilogy. Speaking with various fans and celebrities, the film talks about the anticipation leading up to The Phantom Menace, and the disappointing that eventually followed. And with Star Wars: Episode VII in production, that means it's time for the documentary sequel.