WE ♥ DOCS
"An astounding, crucial work…" Drafthouse Films has unveiled the full theatrical trailer for their upcoming release of The Look of Silence later this summer. Drafthouse has been holding onto this highly acclaimed documentary since it premiered at festivals last year, opting to wait until this year to give it a push. The Look of Silence is documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer's follow-up to his Oscar nominated doc The Act of Killing, about the 1965 Indonesian genocide. Before that film was released, Josh returned to Indonesia and spent time with an optometrist who speaks directly to the killers, confronting the very men who took away and murdered his brother. It's a harrowing, stunning, powerful documentary that you need to see yourself.
"We're absolutely talking about the tip of the iceberg." Ahead of its premiere in the Cannes Market, the first trailer for Amy Berg's documentary An Open Secret has debuted, profiling the controversy about sexual assault allegations involving children working in Hollywood. This is the doc that we've been hearing about ever since the Bryan Singer story made headlines, and he's one of the cases discussed. Amy Berg is a very talented filmmaker (West of Memphis about the West Memphis Three riled me up) and I am very curious to see what she has uncovered in this. The trailer is a nice tease, with hints at all the shocking details included within, so give it a look and check it out in theaters. "The Film That Hollywood Doesn’t Want You to See"!
"It's a kind of horror that is worse than like in the movies." One of the most terrifying films of the year won't be a horror film that Hollywood cooked up with jump scares, it will be a documentary called The Nightmare. The director of Room 237 has turned his camera on subjects who suffer from sleep paralysis, a curious ailment shared by many across the globe, all with similar supernatural horrors and phenomena. This played at Sundance earlier this year, and it's very unnerving and thought provoking. At the same time, there's something about it that feels like it builds up the potential horror for the audience a little too much.
Ever since The LEGO Movie hit theaters, the building block toy has been an even bigger sensation than it was before, and we've featured some cool LEGO videos all paying tribute to our favorite films. Of course, LEGO has been a toy brand that has been a huge part of generations of kids and their parents, time and time again. Now a new documentary called simply A LEGO Brickumentary is coming to theaters this summer, narrated by Jason Bateman (who gets his own LEGO minifigure to guide us), to dive into the history, legacy and limitless imagination that the Danish toy group has provided. Looks pretty cool. Watch!
"I think the only way to tell you who I am these days, is to sing a song." Netflix has become quite the destination if you're looking to watch some great documentaries. Not only do they have a great library of docs from years past, but they've been picking up their own documentaries for distribution as well. One of them is What Happened, Miss Simone?, which was the opening night film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The doc dives into the life and career of legendary recording artist Nina Simone, looking at her musical genius, inner demons and incredible career, and now the first trailer is here. Watch!
"It's America right now, whether you like it or not." It's almost time for the Tribeca Film Festival, where the "Saturday Night Live" documentary Live from New York! will kick things off right in the Big Apple where the iconic sketch comedy series is created. And with that comes the first trailer for the look back at the legacy of the show that has shaped and continues to influence pop culture and comedy as we know it. There's plenty of behind the scenes footage, sketch clips and talking heads from the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, John Goodman and many more. As a huge "SNL" fan, this is a doc I cannot wait to see. Watch!
Back in February, we learned that the opening night film of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival would be a documentary about "Saturday Night Live" perfectly titled Live from New York!. And while the debut of the film is still over a week away, those who can't attend the film festival in New York can take solace in knowing that the film has just been set for a theatrical release this summer on June 12th. This will be the first feature film documentary diving into the history of Lorne Michaels' iconic sketch show, the first and only of its kind, launching the careers of countless comedians for 40 years and still counting. More below!
Back in 2011, the music industry was rocked by the tragic, but sadly not unexpected, news of the death of Amy Winehouse at the young age of 27. Now Senna director Asif Kapadia has decided to paint a portrait of the late singer, with a focus on her meteoric rise to fame, and how she didn't expect so much fame, and therefore wasn't equipped to handle it. A24 picked up the documentary for distribution in the United States (it's their first doc they'll distribute), and the teaser trailer has just arrived with a montage of archived clips, interview snippets and foreshadowing quotes about the tragedy that was waiting all along. Watch below!
"You can't imagine what would have happened." Back in 2012, Joshua Oppenheimer delivered the disturbing, unnerving documentary The Act of Killing, which exposed the horrifying mass executions of accused communists in Indonesia and those who are celebrated in their country for perpetrating the crime. Now Oppenheimer is back with a companion documentary called The Look of Silence, which finds a family of survivors learning how their song was murdered, and also who is responsible. This prompts one of them to take action, confront the killers and having them take responsibility for their despicable actions.
Experience a life lived without limits. I LOVE this documentary. No seriously, I really love, love, love it with all my heart (read my perfect review at NYFF last year). Sunshine Superman is a must-see thrillseekers documentary about Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE-jumping movement, the man who started the sport of jumping off of buildings. It's an incredible, heart-wrenching, remarkable story of a man who dared to dream as big as possible, who never let anything scare him, and who truly lived. It's so inspiring because Carl, a goofy lovable character, has such a big heart and really doesn't let anyone get him down, even when they start to claim "this is a crime!" He still has that smile on his face, and he still keeps jumping. Rock on.
"What do you like about living on Earth?" Google Play has just premiered a short 10-minute documentary called EMIC, made in promotion for/and inspired by the sci-fi movie Interstellar and the idea of one day leaving Earth. Google has been working with Paramount on promoting Christopher Nolan's big epic sci-fi movie all along, with virtual websites for screenings during its release last year. Now it's about to hit Blu-ray soon and is out on iTunes now, so Google is putting out its centerpiece video, the final "culmination" of everything they've worked together on. Similar to Life in a Day, it's a doc that explores what life is like on Earth, to create a time capsule-like video to save and take with us when we one day leave Earth. It's actually quite beautifully made from wonderful footage. "This film is intended to go wherever mankind goes next."
After premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary Misery Loves Comedy, marking the directorial debut of comedian and character actor Kevin Pollak, is arriving this spring. With a cavalcade of comics and actors, from Amy Schumer to Tom Hanks to Judd Apatow to Larry David, all these comedians talk about the craft of being funny, and just what it takes to make it happen. Do comedians have to be miserable to be funny, or is there more to it than that? There's also a quote from yours truly there in the trailer (read my full review here), and it's definitely worth checking out. Watch below!
Right around the time of the Academy Awards, we got a "Sesame Street" parody of Birdman with Caroll Spinney, the man who brings Big Bird to life on the iconic children's television show. Now we have the traile for a documentary called I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story on the way looking at the man who few people know, despite his work as one of the most iconic Muppets of all-time. You may not know, but Spinney is also the voice of Oscar the Grouch, and this doc, which has been on the festival circuit for awhile, chronicles Spinney's life and career starting from life as a child to work with Jim Henson.
Before Jemaine Clement became the star of films like Gentleman Broncos and this year's Sundance selected People, Places & Things and director of What We Do in the Shadows, and before Bret McKenzie became an Oscar-winning songwriter and part of Middle-Earth for Peter Jackson, the duo became famous as the humorous folk duo Flight of the Conchords. And one year before they had their hit show on HBO, they were playing shows at SXSW, and while on their Texas trip, they shot a 45-minute documentary. Of course, it's hilarious, but it's also fascinating to see them with fans before they made it big. Watch now!