WE ♥ DOCS
"Isn't art always, to a certain extent, therapy for the artist?" Oscilloscope Labs has debuted an official US trailer for the cinema documentary Searching for Ingmar Bergman, which first premiered as a Cannes Classic at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The documentary celebrates Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman's 100th birthday, by taking an extensive and fascinating look at his life and creative inspiration. The doc presents key scenes and recurring themes in his films and his life, and journeys to the places at the center of Bergman's creative achievement and the focal points of his life such as the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, locations and landscapes from his masterpieces, and his stations in Sweden, Germany, Spain, and France. This looks like a profound, entrancing, wonderful tribute to the life of a true master filmmaker.
"This is Hometown, America in revolt…" Catalyst Media has debuted an official trailer for a restored 4K re-release of a classic documentary titled The War at Home, which was nominated for Best Documentary in 1980 (though it lost to Ira Wohl's Best Boy). The film is an intimate look at the impact of the war in Vietnam on one American city, using Madison, Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin as a microcosm for the 1960s national Antiwar Movement. From Metrograph: "Stereotype-busting interviews with student activists, police, and Vietnam vets illuminate a treasure trove of rare archival film. Featuring footage from the earliest antiwar protest in 1963 to the bombing of the Army Math Research Center in 1970 to the end of the U.S. war in Vietnam, this impassioned, vital work of politically charged non-fiction is newly restored in 4K and re-released in yet another period of American political conflict and turmoil." It looks even more affecting now.
"A story becomes universal when something is also personal." The Orchard has released a lovely official trailer for a documentary called Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, an examination of the literary profundity of, and a closer look at the author behind, the beloved book The Little Prince. The film presents a fascinating new look into the genius of The Little Prince, published as Le Petit Prince, as well as the life and experiences of French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who first published the book in 1943. The film features appearances by Rupi Kaur, Mark Osborne, Adam Gopnik, Stacy Schiff, Éric Emmanuel Schmitt, Olivier d’Agay, and François d’Agay. This honestly looks rather wonderful, I'm very curious to check it out.
"Murad is campaigning to try to get the world to notice, and do something." Oscilloscope Labs has debuted the official trailer for a documentary titled On Her Shoulders, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and won the US Documentary Directing Award. The film is even more relevant now because its subject, young activist and genocide survivor Nadia Murad, just won the Nobel Peace Prize with Denis Mukwege. After surviving the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaping sexual slavery at the hands of ISIS, 23-year-old Nadia Murad gave a testimony before the U.N. Security Council that was heard around the world. Nadia suddenly became the face and voice of the Yazidis. Despite longing for a normal life away from the spotlight, she takes on the exhausting role of an activist in hopes of halting the ongoing genocide. This seems like a powerful look at how hard it is to speak up and keep living your life.
"They want to see if they can 'bring it' now, because they couldn't 'bring it' then." How about that for a bit of honesty? Freestyle Digital Media has unveiled the official US trailer for a documentary titled Old Man Football, which premiered at a few small film festivals last year. The film is about an event in which older men and women returned to Corpus Christi (Texas) Carroll High School to play in an old vs young game and reclaim their past glory on the football field. The doc film presents "multiple stories of personal redemption" following a few various people as they return home and think about their lives back then and where they are now. It seems to be leaning a little too heavy on nostalgia, but also looks honest and heartfelt. Check it out.
"All he really cares about is access to power." Giant Interactive has revealed the trailer for a documentary titled Mooch, about the infamous White House Communications Director named Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci. Made by doc filmmaker Andrew J. Muscato (Doped: The Dirty Side of Sports, Muhammad Ali: A Life), he was already working on this well before he ended up getting the White House job. "Anthony, I always thought was an interesting kind of creature of Wall Street, who I thought, through a film, I could kind of introduce to the world. But recently he kind of pre-empted me and introduced himself," Muscato explains. The rest is history. And he was there to capture it all. Mooch is being released very quickly straight to VOD later this month, if anyone wants to watch. And this isn't a puff piece - it thoroughly criticizes him.
"Thanks for stopping by." The first official trailer has debuted for the documentary Monrovia, Indiana, the latest film by iconic doc filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. This premiered at the Venice Film Festival, played at TIFF, and is also stopping by the New York & London Film Festivals next. Monrovia, Indiana is another entry in Wiseman's observational oeuvre, taking us to a very small town in the middle of America. Wiseman explains: "During the nine weeks of filming the residents of Monrovia were helpful, friendly and welcoming and gave me access to all aspects of daily life. Life in big American cities on the east and west coasts is regularly reported on and I was interested in learning more about life in small town America and sharing my view." The film runs 2 hours, 23 minutes and is worth a watch if you're a fan of Wiseman's docs.
Get your first look at the new Peter Jackson movie! They Shall Not Grow Old is a feature documentary made by Peter Jackson and co-directed by Paul Wheatcroft. It's premiering at the London Film Festival next month, and then will open in cinemas in both 2D & 3D. The film features footage from World War I, known as "The Great War", that has been cleaned up, digitized, and colorized to look like it's modern footage from today. "Reaching into the mists of time, Jackson aims to give these men voices, investigate the hopes and fears of the veterans, the humility and humanity that represented a generation changed forever by a global war." Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC. The initial premiere in October will include a Q&A with Peter Jackson, hosted by Mark Kermode, that will be broadcast to all the cinemas around the UK. This is just more of an introductory teaser than a real trailer. Take a look.
"What do I do with the time I have left?" GKids has unveiled an official US trailer for the long lost Miyazaki documentary titled Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, which they will be releasing in US theaters later this year (via Awards Circuit). The doc was originally made for TV and released in Japan back in 2016, but has been awaiting an international release ever since then. Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki spends intimate time with Miyazaki-san himself, examining his time since retirement in 2013. It follows his very first attempts to use computers for animation. The big question it asks: "Can an old master who thinks he's past his prime shine once again?" This film fits right in with that other wonderful Ghibli doc, Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. I can't wait to see this, I've been waiting patiently for it..! Finally coming to theaters.
"Missing my daughters grow up - that's what I was sentenced to." HBO has debuted the official trailer for a documentary titled The Sentence, which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It's a very big win for this film: a powerful, emotional, personal look at the life of a woman sentence to 15 year's in prison for her deceased ex-boyfriend's crimes. The title – The Sentence – is a reference to the mandatory minimum 15 year federal prison sentence she received for her tangential involvement with a Michigan drug ring years earlier. The film follows the story of Cindy Shank's family, and her three young children, who patiently wait for their mother to finally be released. "This intimate portrait of mandatory minimum drug sentencing's devastating consequences, captured by Cindy's brother, follows her and her family over the course of ten years." There's a good reason it won the Audience Award this year.
"Buster Keaton is the essence of movies." -Werner Herzog. Cohen Media Group has debuted the first official trailer for The Great Buster: A Celebration, a documentary about the iconic silent era actor/filmmaker Buster Keaton. Directed by fellow filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, the film looks back at his entire career, with restorations of archival works, as well as interviews with his friends, family, collaborators, and a broad array of artists. Bogdanovich's personal dive into the Keaton archives reveals a visionary artist who put everything on the line for a laugh in such treasured films as The General (1926), Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), Sherlock Jr. (1924), and so many others. This has already played at the Telluride and Venice Film Festivals, and it will be showing in select US theaters next month. A must watch documentary for every true cinephile.
"Orson was such a perfectionist." Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for the documentary They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, a film about the story of and making of Orson Welles' final film, The Other Side of the Wind, which was finished and is also being released this year. This documentary is also the second film this year made by the incredibly talented Morgan Neville, who also directed the wonderful Won't You Be My Neighbor? about Mr. Rogers. In the final 15 years of the life of legendary director Orson Welles he pins his Hollywood comeback hopes on a project, The Other Side of the Wind, in itself a film about an aging director trying to finish his last great movie. They'll Love Me When I'm Dead is about what happened, and why he never finished it, and the final days of Orson the filmmaker. This looks way better than the actual film itself.