WE ♥ DOCS
"Is it worth it to possibly lose a friend?" Red Bull Media has unveiled a trailer for a documentary film called Chasing Niagara, profiling the life of "extreme kayaker" Rafa Ortiz and his dream of paddling over the Niagara Falls. The doc looks at the way he takes big risks to live a life on the edge, literally, kayaking over waterfalls and in places where no one has ever kayaked before. Of course Red Bull is releasing this film, it's right up their alley. The footage is impressive as it seems they've captured some of the best shots they could of Rafa and his crew, including footage from cameras mounted to his helmet. I'm a big fan and supporter of adventure junkies and risk takers, and this looks like another exhilarating, inspiring doc about them. Enjoy.
"We had each other, and we brought that to the music." Imagine Entertainment + Apple Corp have unveiled the first official trailer for Ron Howard's documentary Eight Days a Week, profiling the touring years of the world famous band The Beatles. Directed by Ron Howard, the film will follow the band from their early days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966. This is a rather short first trailer that gives us a quick tease of the footage that Howard and Co have rounded up. Everyone knows and loves The Beatles, and we've all seen lots of footage and so many films about them, hopefully this is something fresh with an inside look that hasn't been explored before. Check this out below.
"I believe my future is bigger than my past." Amazon Studios & Open Road have released a trailer for the documentary Gleason, profiling the life of former NFL player Steve Gleason, who has ALS. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a "rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles", eventually leaving the person completely unable to move. This is the same disease that Stephen Hawking has, however this doc shows how a normal, healthy person slowly loses his ability to move or function. And it's very sad, but very inspiring, because Gleason does his best to weather the storm and survive against all odds. Yes, this will make you cry, there's no doubt.
"Who decides what a meaningful life is?" The Orchard has put out a trailer for the exceptional documentary Life, Animated, which was one of my favorite docs from the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Life, Animated tells the story of Owen Suskind, a boy with autism who learns to express himself by watching classic Disney animated movies. I wrote in my glowing review that "this doc is full of so much life" and it will move you to tears because it's so inspiring. My review is also quoted in this trailer - yay! Disney is very supportive the doc and let them use footage from many of their films, as well as certain characters for an animated sequence specially made for the doc. Get a glimpse below and get your tickets to see it right away.
Now this looks like is an excellent documentary for movie lovers. This trailer apparently first debuted last year, but this is the first time we've come across it, and it's still worth featuring. Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex is a feature documentary currently playing at film festivals that profiles the work of creature designers who make the monsters for movies. The doc profiles artists like Rick Baker, Phil Tippett, Greg Nicotero, Richard Taylor and many others, with interviews with filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, John Landis and Joe Dante. It's a comprehensive inside look at the meticulous and impressive work of hand crafting actual practical creatures and other props to make audiences believe in anything. So awesome.
A Film About Husbandry and Wife. An official trailer has debuted for a documentary called At the Fork, another documentary examining the food we eat and specifically the animals raised en mass for food. Don't worry, though, this one isn't about to make you feel ashamed for eating a hamburger or some bacon, it's a "surprisingly non-judgemental" look at our food and where it all comes from. This is a very beautiful trailer with some fantastic cinematography that sets up the story in this film. The doc features the song "Mercy" performed by the Dave Matthews Band (but it's not in the trailer). I recommend taking a look at this trailer.
"I don't like to brag, but… I don't think there's a player in the world that could've beat me." FilmBuff has debuted a trailer for a documentary called Man vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, featuring some funky animation to tell the story of arcade gamer and high score record holder Tim McVey. Following in the footsteps of other arcade game docs like The King of Kong and Chasing Ghosts, this is less about the actual game of Nibbler (also known as Snake) and more about the gamer who was/is obsessed with setting (and maintaining) the highest score. I love that this apparently has its own theme song ("Man versus Snake!!") and man does this trailer do a good job of selling it. I want to watch! Don't skip this trailer.
"They're relating to everything in LA because of Grand Theft Auto!" Abramorama has debuted a trailer for the documentary Breaking A Monster, which profiles the heavy metal / punk rock band Unlocking the Truth. The story begins profiling them when they're in 7th grade, following this three-man band as they play shows to big crowds on the streets of New York City, eventually landing a major record deal along with gigs opening for Metallica. The band features Malcolm Brickhouse on vocals & guitar, Alec Atkins on bass, and Jarad Dawkins on drums. It's not just another rock doc about being famous, since it's also a coming-of-age story of these kids growing up right when they're making it big living their dream. Fire it up below.
"I was concerned about what I was seeing on TV - mixing politics and religion." Music Box has debuted a trailer for the documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, which profiles the life and work of legendary TV producer Norman Lear. From documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, this premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to mostly positive buzz. I wrote in my review from the fest: "Not only is Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You a fascinating look at the 'history of TV', in a sense, but it's also a remarkably eye-opening examination of how to be yourself, find happiness, and strive on even with so much opposition or absurdity all around." Even if you don't know much about Lear, it's enjoyable.
"The explosion of information technology on the internet has lead to some of its greatest glories." Magnolia has released an official US trailer for the new Werner Herzog documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of The Connected World, in which Herzog profiles the internet and how it has changed the world, for better or worse. The doc premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to mostly positive reviews. We featured the first two trailers a few months ago while waiting for release info to be revealed. The doc has 10 distinct chapters, from "The Early Days" to "The Future", and explores both the good and bad of what the internet has provided. I'm still quite excited to see this doc, anything by Herzog is usually quite fascinating.
"Demands its place in front of our eyes and compels our engagement and action." The official UK trailer has debuted online for an award-winning documentary called Fire at Sea, examining the migrant crisis in Italy as seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old local boy living on the island of Lampedusa. This doc won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the top prize, winning over a handful of other feature films. There's definitely a political side to that win, but it also looks like a fantastic doc which rave reviews throughout the fest. Written and directed by Gianfranco Rosi, the film follows a boy named Samuele, while examining the cultural impact of a small town on an island where thousands of migrants land on the shores every week.
"Something as simple and innocuous as this becomes a challenge for all of us to maintain accountability control…" Magnolia has debuted a second trailer (see the first one here) for the documentary Zero Days, the latest from Alex Gibney, profiling the "Stuxnet" virus. The documentary premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year (read my review) and it's actually about the beginning of the cyber warfare era that we've quietly entered. This trailer barely scratches the surface of what they get into with this doc, though it does feature some of the really chilling lines and moments where you start to realize this is a global issue. This doc is terrifying in the way it makes you feel out of control with what's happening in this world. Enjoy.
With the conversion to digital cinema nearly complete worldwide, will 35mm still live on somewhere? This documentary is proof that yes, a love for film and 35mm projection will live on forever, even in the most remote places in the world where it's hard to even get electricity. The Cinema Travelers is a documentary made by directors Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya and it profiles a traveling cinema in India, which shows up in desolate places of the country with very basic projection rigs to show classic films to swarms of people. It is absolutely wonderful to discover, capturing so spectacularly the joy and wonder that movies bring to people of all ages. It evokes the same emotions as Cinema Paradiso, but this is all real life.
"We could hear laughter coming out of the vents…" Magnolia Pictures has debuted a trailer for the weird, fantastic, crazy documentary Tickled, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Made in New Zealand, the doc follows a journalist named David Farrier as he investigates the people behind "competitive endurance tickling" videos posted online. He ends up in a "wormhole" of madness when he is threatened in every way possible by the entity that is supposedly behind everything. It received rave reviews at the fest, and this trailer has some great quotes in it. I wrote in my Sundance review: "Every new discovery is more insane than the last, and watching it unfold this way was both terrifying and exhilarating." Dive in.