WE ♥ DOCS
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.
"This shot carries a memory within it." Kino Lorber has debuted a trailer for the documentary called Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang, directed by Walter Salles, taking a look at the life of famed Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke. It looks like a fantastic documentary with some incredible footage of Jia Zhangke in China, and all over the world. Salles last directed the Jack Kerouac adaptation On the Road, but returns to docs to make this stunning feature on another very talented filmmaker/storyteller - Jia Zhangke, of films like A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart, Still Life, 24 City, The World and many others. This is a rather beautiful trailer with some poetic imagery, it really makes me want to see this documentary. Watch below.
"He had a million ideas! And had a huge influence on the course of popular culture." Amazon and Gland Power Films + Cartuna present the full official trailer for the documentary NUTS!, from filmmaker Penny Lane. This totally wacky, almost unbelievable true story documentary examines the life of a person named John R. Brinkley, one of the most impressive snake oil salesmen in US history, who made his fortune by surgically attaching goat testicles to men to cure impotence. It was all BS and this amazing doc turns it into an even more entertaining story by hand-animating half of it, as well as presenting bits of archival footage and interviews. Brinkley goes on to run a radio station and come up with all kinds of crazy ideas. Have at it.
"We wanted something different…" Are you ready for this? FilmRise Releasing has debuted the first trailer for a documentary called Holy Hell, from director Will Allen, profiling twenty years inside a religious cult called The Buddhafield. The doc premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year to much acclaim as it truly does include over twenty years of footage, since Allen joined the cult fresh out of school and became their official videographer. I saw the doc at Sundance and it's one of the most definitive inside looks at how a cult works, featuring interviews with many ex-members and so much remarkable footage. If you're at all curious, or intrigued, or baffled by any of this, I highly recommend catching this doc when it open this May.
"Are you somebody I'm supposed to know?" Sundance Selects has debuted the first official trailer for Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg's documentary Weiner, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The doc is an "examination of disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign and the landscape of today's political landscape." I heard rave reviews from many of my friends while at Sundance, meaning it's more than just a story about Anthony Weiner and has much more to say about what's going on with politics. This is a great trailer - the kind that shows you just enough, pulls you in, makes you curious about seeing the entire film. Looking forward to catching this.
Happy Earth Day! To celebrate the occasion, I wanted to feature a trailer for a documentary about climate change and what we can do to save this big, beautiful planet we all live on. Time to Choose is the latest documentary from Oscar-winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson (of Inside Job, which won Best Doc in 2010; No End in Sight) and it focuses on the many people around the world actually coming up with and implementing creative solutions to the climate problem. It's a fantastic doc that I highly recommend. "We hope that when audiences see this film, they will see the tragedy unfolding, the urgency of stopping it, and all the remarkable and innovative ways we are using to build a sustainable, prosperous future for Earth."