WE ♥ DOCS
"We're protecting the truth, we're protecting lives." But are they really? That's the real question. This isn't a new trailer, but we're featuring it because the documentary is opening in theaters this week. Killing Them Safely is a documentary about how Tasers are arming some law enforcement agencies with a weapon that is being purported as nonlethal even though it can be deadly. The trailer doesn't show much footage, just some statistics, quotes, and a bit of an interview with one of the guys from Taser. The rest you'll have to see in the doc itself. I will say I'm interested in checking this out. I also have to point out the awesome poster for this doc, also seen below the trailer - impressive design work. If you're at all intrigued, give this doc a watch.
"It takes great storytelling to elevate food criticism to what Jonathan does." What is it like to be a food critic? Find out with this documentary City of Gold, following food critic Jonathan Gold around the city as he explores the various cuisines and fine dining options available in Los Angeles. It's not just a doc about food, it's a story about people, about culture, and about the connections we make and the times we share together over food. I'm not actually familiar with Jonathan Gold or his work, but that doesn't make this any less interesting, as I'm curious to find out how it all works (and if the disguises worl). Try not to get hungry!
"As it gets closer and more probable, being a star is really losing its meaning, but whatever it means - I'm ready." The first official trailer has debuted for the new documentary from Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil, West of Memphis) titled Janis: Little Girl Blue. The film received raves out of TIFF and is about the story of rock & roll singer Janis Joplin. This trailer only shows glimpses of the archival footage they've dug up of Joplin singing and laughing and being eccentric and fun. One review says, "Berg is able to craft a much deeper look into the woman behind the myth and the result is unexpected, to say the least." Give this a look.
Premiering at the New York Film Festival tonight is the new documentary from Paul Thomas Anderson. Yep, he made a documentary in the last year, but it's only 54 minutes long (more, more!). The doc is about his friend and collaborator Jonny Greenwood, who he follows to the Mehrangarh Fort in India to be hosted by the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Greenwood was there to record an album with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, and an amazing group of local artists. The doc is said to capture that experience and the music and is "pure magic". Check out this fan-made poster art made to look like a vintage portrait of the Maharaja.
"I'm a driver, I'm an actor, and a filmmaker." FilmRise has debuted the trailer for Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, a documentary about actor/director Steve McQueen trying to make the racing film Le Mans, which was released in 1971. Apparently it was a very troubled, messy production with all kinds of problems and on-set rivalries - resulting in what was a "poorly received" film that didn't really connect with American audiences. The documentary features plenty of archival footage along with some interviews to present a unique, inside look at the production and what really went down. Of course, found within all that footage is McQueen talking about a love for car racing and filmmaking. "This is the story of racing, man."
The Greatest Story Hitchcock Ever Told. The first official trailer has debuted for Kent Jones' documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut, about the relationship between the two legendary filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock and François Truffaut. The film is also about, and focuses on, the book "Cinema According to Hitchcock" also known as "Hitchcock/Truffaut" - which is easily available on Amazon now for anyone interested. The documentary also spends time with many of today's great filmmakers, asking them about the book and the influence that Hitchcock/Truffaut had on them. It looks like a fascinating, must-see documentary for any and every last movie nerd or cinephile to seek out as soon as possible. It arrives in theaters later this year.
One more time! BBC Worldwide has debuted an official trailer for the doc Daft Punk Unchained, from director Hervé Martin Delpierre. After their involvement in Mia Hansen-Løve's film Eden (which I highly recommend), the Daft Punk guys seem a bit more relaxed with telling their story. Daft Punk Unchained is apparently an entire documentary, with a runtime of 85 minutes, about Daft Punk and their rise to fame. Maybe they didn't want to go with "Unmasked" because there is no real unmasking? "Unchained" is so much wilder. I am hoping that this is the definitive doc that examines them from the inside, but I'm not sure. It features the likes of Giorgio Moroder, Kanye West, Michel Gondry, Paul Williams and many others. Dig it!
"Sherpa people have a great respect for that mountain." The first teaser trailer has debuted for one of my favorite documentaries of the year, titled Sherpa, playing at the Toronto Film Festival this week. I saw this at Telluride and totally loved it. Directed by Jennifer Peedom, Sherpa tells the story of the hard-working sherpas of Nepal, who do all the very challenging work hauling loads of supplies up and down mountains like Everest while western climbers wait. The footage of the sherpas working, all the climbing, and being in the right place during so many incredible moments - like the tragic avalanche in 2014 that killed 16 sherpas - is what makes this doc so amazing. Get a glimpse at some footage, along with the buzz out of TIFF, below.
"I've seen what happens if you take loads of drugs… I've now seen what happens if you make money in Hollywood…" The official trailer for the new Russell Brand documentary has debuted, for those interested in seeing where the comedian/actor/activist/maniac is at now. Titled Brand: A Second Coming, from doc director Ondi Timoner, the film is about a "second coming" of Russell Brand following his rise to fame and subsequent fall thanks to criticism. It looks like it tells a cautionary tale of excess and consumerism, which is the message behind his recent activism anyway. Go "behind the scenes of this wildly complex man for an intimate look at what drives Russell Brand as he continues to be the consummate disruptor." Enjoy!
"It reaches everyone." Gravitas Ventures has release the full-length official trailer for Jason Aron's Back in Time, the new documentary about Back to the Future. We first featured a trailer for this back in March when the film was still looking for funding through Kickstarter. Aron's documentary focuses on the impact that the film has had, and the success it has achieved, connecting with so many fans all over the world. It looks like a fun, if not lightweight doc, that celebrates so many of the people and artists behind the film. And of course, all the people who love the film, too. There's some excellent clips and footage about the DeLorean, lots of interviews with the likes of Zemeckis & Spielberg, and more. It's time to go back to the future again.
"I have invaded your country." Hot on the heels of the world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, the first teaser trailer has debuted for Michael Moore's Where To Invade Next. His latest doc is not actually about America invading countries, instead it's a doc about how other countries have solved many of the problems that America can't seem to solve. The film received a short standing ovation and rave reviews from critics at its TIFF premiere, and from the looks of it this is going to be a very provocative and entertaining doc. This teaser doesn't show much of the meatier footage beyond fun glimpses of Moore bringing the 'Merican flag to other countries. I'm looking forward to this, always down for a good Michael Moore doc. Check it out below.
I love this documentary. It's beautifully made, with so much breathtaking and remarkable footage. Sherpa, directed by Jennifer Peedom, is a doc about the sherpas of Nepal. Most people have heard of them (the most famous being Tenzing Norgay, who was first to reach the summit of Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary), maybe seen a few photos, but they're rarely seen in movies - even ones about climbing Everest. But in reality the sherpas do all of the work, carrying massive loads of supplies up/down the mountain while western "clients" sit in heated tents waiting for their trek upwards. This documentary about the sherpas is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, and I genuinely mean that. It's an exhilarating and moving experience.
Join the movement to change the world. Fox Searchlight has debuted another trailer for the documentary He Named Me Malala, profiling the life and activism of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. We've featured one trailer for this previously and it looks like a very inspiring, very moving, heartfelt look at Malala's ambition and her relationship with her father. We expect this film to start getting more and more buzz as it shows up at film festivals this fall, between Telluride and Toronto, before opening in theaters in October. Hopefully this doc will help Malala reach out and inspire even more people all around the world.
Hey - Tower Records! We all remember that place. We also remember they're explosive collapse, all tangled up with the rise of the internet and MP3s. But is that really the real story behind their demise? All Things Must Pass is a feature documentary made by actor Colin Hanks exploring the history of Tower Records, focusing on its founder Russ Solomon. This looks like it's an extensive look inside at the real story, as they have tons of archival footage and lots of interviews. I'm very intrigued to see this. And I'm intrigued to see the discussions in it, like the one Dave Grohl mentions about "I don't understand why it's gone…?" Indeed.