WE ♥ DOCS
For anyone who has more than just a fleeting interest in the art of filmmaking, hopefully you've been made aware of the spectacular film text that is Hitchcock/Truffaut. The book contains in-depth and revealing interviews conducted with master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. However, rather that just being interviewed just any author or journalist, Hitchcock was interviewed by the influential French New Wave filmmaker Francois Truffaut. The result is some of the most impacting series of discussions about cinema you've ever heard that give insight not only into their filmmaking styles but also their lives. Now a documentary based on the book is in the works with tons of iconic directors appearing in the film. Read on!
If seeing Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey taking off their clothes in Magic Mike piqued your interest in male stripping in the area of sheer curiosity, then one of the film's stars has a documentary just for you. "True Blood" star Joe Manganiello was also sharing the stage with those actors with his shirt and pants off, and his experience on the film got him interested in directing a documentary on the profession of male exotic dancers. And so here we are with a red band trailer for the Slamdance selected film La Bare, focusing on the history, lives and culture of the most popular male strip club in the world.
From behind the Iron Curtain comes an inside look at Soviet Russia's Red Army hockey team in a new documentary titled Red Army, which just premiered at Cannes 2014. Directed by Gabe Polsky (The Motel Life), this outstanding doc focuses one of the greatest hockey players to ever live, Viacheslav "Slava" Fetisov, who was trained by the national Red Army team since age 10, playing for the USSR throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, as well as in the NHL before eventually taking the job as Minister of Sport in Russia. It's a fascinating and surprisingly moving doc about passionate hockey players just playing the sport they love.
Whoa - where did this come from? A press release has announced that Gravitas Ventures has acquired US release rights to release a documentary about the filmmaking career of Richard Linklater, who just debuted his 12-year project Boyhood at Sundance earlier this year. Titled 21 Years: Richard Linklater, the feature-length doc "examines the first 21 years of Linklater's career and includes intimate interviews with many of the filmmakers' longtime collaborators and animation by Austin-based Powerhouse Animation Studios." His first 21 years of work includes classic films like Slacker, Dazed & Confused, Before Sunrise & Sunset, Waking Life, School of Rock, Bad News Bears, Fast Food Nation and A Scanner Darkly. Read on.
It's been nearly three years since we heard anything about Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time, an IMAX documentary spin-off from his existential Tree of Life. For awhile, we've known that Brad Pitt was going to narrate the film that focuses on life, death, the universe and all that good stuff in between. Now the film is being shopped around Cannes this month, so some more information on the project has surfaced. First of all, Screen Daily has word that the haunting voice of Cate Blanchett will also be narrating this wholly interesting and gestating project from Malick. In addition, there will also be two cuts of the film. Read on!
Have you had enough of James Franco yet? Well, no matter what your answer, you're going to get more. Franco has become a renaissance man of art in all forms from painting to filmmaking and even some poetry in between. You might be wondering how a man who has been involved and linked to nearly three dozen projects on film and television alone has time for everything. And soon we'll find out. The Wrap has learned that first-time filmmaker Lisa Vangellow is directing and producing Franco: A Documentary, which will dive into a year in the professional and personal life of the Oscar-nominated star of all sorts of films.
Amidst all the blockbuster films hitting the big screen this summer, there are plenty of lower key releases that deserve your time and money. One such film is a documentary that premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and is perfect for anyone who truly loves film. Life Itself is a documentary focusing on Roger Ebert, arguably the most influential and iconic film critic in the medium's short history. Directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams), the film chronicles Ebert's early career up through his final years following a battle with cancer and leaving behind a legacy that has inspired many writers and filmmakers today. Look!
Even the most casual Star Wars fans are familiar with the likes of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher (all part of the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII), but only the hardcore know those who helped bring characters like Darth Vader and Boba Fett to life. You might know that James Earl Jones provided the voice for Luke Skywalker's Sith father, but do you know an actor named David Prowse put on the mask to play the character on set? Or do you know the actor behind the mask of Han Solo's bounty hunter nemesis Boba Fett? A new documentary called Elstreet 1976 focuses on those actors and more, but they need help.
It's been over two years since we heard anything about James Cameron's documentary Deepsea Challenge 3D, a film following the filmmaker's journey in his own Deepsea Challenger submersible on 13 dives into the New Britain Trench off Papua New Guinea and the Mariana Trench, where he explored the deepest part of the ocean. In fact, Cameron became the first person to travel solo to this part of the planet with a little help from National Geographic (who showed off his dive in 2012), Rolex and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Now DisruptiveLA has announced they will release the doc in US theaters on August 8th.
Despite having his hand in filmmaking, literature, history, politics, theater and more, there's a chance you might not know the name Gore Vidal. A legend on the page, the man is best known for his novels and essays, frequently about America's culture, politics and history. Now everyone will get a chance to become more familiar with the man who sadly passed away in 2012. The documentary Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia paints a thorough and entertaining portrait of Vidal for those who are unfamiliar or may have followed him for years. It looks like a charming profile of a truly gifted, influential writer. Watch!
The drama behind true stories, whether you see them in documentaries or narrative films, can be tricky when the audience already knows the ending. But when it comes to the HBO documentary The Case Against 8, that doesn't lessen the emotional impact of this tale of civil rights. Focusing on the two gay couples who took the case against Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, all the way to the Supreme Court, this film shows you how the fickle and feeble arguments some have against gay marriage hurts real people who want nothing more than to be treated just like everyone else with regards to the law.
Our own Alex Billington loved the inspirational but tragic documentary The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year, calling it "an excellently arranged, engaging and powerfully moving documentary." Now the film is finally heading to theaters this summer and the first trailer has arrived. As a teenager, Aaron Swartz was a computer-programming prodigy with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, but sadly, he was pushed to suicide after some federal lawsuits tore his life apart. This looks like a must-see documentary telling a tale that didn't need to end so tragically.
Discover the man who saw everything and went looking for more. That's an epic line - but perhaps fitting. Radius-TWC has debuted a trailer for the documentary directed by Mike Myers—yep, the comedian/actor, that one, in his directorial debut—about a man named Shep Gordon, also known as the "Supermensch", a talent manager and "the consummate Hollywood insider" - seen above. The doc, titled Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, played at a few film festivals (Toronto, SXSW) but finally lands in theaters this summer. Myers has lots of footage and inside access to quite a few big names who tell many fun stories about the manager and his unique influence on fame. It looks pretty dang good. "He tells the best stories."
"I don't want 'em here, players don't want 'em here..." Bring on the Soviets. Sony Pictures Classics recently secured US distribution to this doc, titled Red Army, which will be premiering at the Cannes Film Festival as a Special Screening. It's actually a hockey doc, about "the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team." The first trailer has been out for a few months and now we can feature it with the premiere just a few weeks away. The doc "tells an extraordinary human story from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the friendships, the betrayals, and the personal dramas, which led to his transformation from national hero to political enemy." This looks really, really good. Fire it up below!