WE ♥ DOCS
"Becoming less an art show than a city-wide, full-contact game of hide-and-seek." We occasionally make exceptions to feature HBO movies and documentaries, and this is worth your attention. It's a documentary titled Banksy Does New York, inspired by Banksy's Better Out Than In (the real name of the show), profiling the controversial street artist's residency in New York City last October. Every day for the entire month, Banksy would reveal a new piece of art hidden around the city, and it caused a flurry of interest and activity. The doc, which will be airing on HBO, is made up of footage from the masses and it looks fantastic. I was involved in the Banksy mayhem myself, scouring the city and chasing the art, and it was so much fun.
For several years now, the NBC comedy series "Community" has evaded cancellation like a ninja. It earned five seasons on the TV network after nearly getting canceled several times, and when they finally axed it before the sixth season, Yahoo Screen revived it at the last minute. And one of the reasons the show has gotten such a big cult following is because of series creator Dan Harmon. The writer and producer has become known for his cynicism and blunt attitude along with his hard work and clever writing. Now the documentary Harmontown has followed him on a podcast and live performance tour, complete with interviews with collaborators like Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Joel McHale and many more. Watch!
"I will not give into despair, because hopeless should never win... and hopeless is a lie." Drafthouse Films has debuted the first trailer for the highly acclaimed documentary The Overnighters, from director Jesse Moss, who captures an extraordinary look at a small community in North Dakota. We've been raving about this documentary since Sundance and recently featured the first "motion-poster" poster for the doc, which fades between many of the faces seen in this trailer. The trailer is a beautiful glimpse at the bigger story in The Overnighters, as there's something else going on but you have to see the film to reveal its secrets. Many, many people are going to be talking about this documentary this year, so get your first look at the trailer.
"Deeply Human..." Yes! Finally some marketing for a documentary I've been raving about since Sundance. Drafthouse Films has debuted the first teaser poster via Indiewire (they're calling it a "stop-motion" poster) that fades through a set of characters/real people featured in The Overnighters, a documentary by Jesse Moss that follows life in one small North Dakota town and a pastor there trying his best to help those who come to work in the oil fields. Yes, the pastor (Jay Reinke) can be seen in the middle of the rotation, but it's the quotes and the imagery that really make this art so striking to look at. You can see the first trailer now.
With the forthcoming adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey on the way, if you don't know much about the world of BDSM, then you might be interested in checking out the documentary Kink, produced by James Franco and directed by Christina Voros. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and we got a saucy tease before the film premiered, but now a full trailer has arrived as the film is poised to hit limited theaters in just a couple days. The doc looks as Kink.com, the Internet’s largest producer of BDSM content, and aims to explore the driving force behind this seemingly misunderstood fetish. There's no nudity or sex in the trailer, but the subject matter alone makes this NSFW. Watch below!
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.