WE ♥ DOCS
"Gotham City needs you, Batkid!" Warner Bros has debuted the official trailer for Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, the documentary following the story of "Batkid" and his amazing day in San Francisco. Almost everyone remembers this, when the entire city came together and everyone dressed up so that he could play Batkid and save the town, and it's such a heartwarming story. The documentary looks at the "why" of the event, how it all came together, why so many people came out to support him, and how it turned into an event the entire world watched. The film earned positive reviews playing at Slamdance and we expect it to make many other people smile once it hits theaters this June. Don't miss it! Take a look.
"I'm not a girl trying to be a star…" A24 has debuted the official trailer for Asif Kapadia's documentary Amy, the story of English musician Amy Winehouse who died at age 27 in 2011. This trailer is timed with the film's big premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this week, where it's finally unraveling even though they seem to already have quotes galore in the trailer. From the director of Senna (a fantastic doc), Amy presents an inclusive look at the life of singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, including the story of her success and subsequent downfall. Early word is that it's another excellent doc from Kapadia, delving deep into the mind of someone as talented as Winehouse. I'm looking forward to catching this soon; opens in theaters this July.
"If I didn't have movies, life would be pretty boring." Magnolia has debuted the official trailer (+ poster) for the documentary The Wolfpack, a Sundance sensation and winner of the Grand Jury Prize earlier this year. The filmmaker, Crystal Moselle, follows six brothers from New York City who are huge movie buffs, recreating scenes in their apartment, but are also kind of kooky because their parents lock them up in their apartment. Yea, you have to see this story to understand, and they make for very interesting subjects that are easy to root for as fellow movie lovers. They make all the props themselves, from things found in their apartment. Unfortunately the filmmaking is a bit weak, but it's a fun story to see otherwise. Check this out.
"To keep going, we've got to be a part of something bigger than ourselves." The Orchard has debuted a trailer for The Yes Men Are Revolting, an autobiographical documentary about the "Yes Men", Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, two "hilarious activists" that tell their own story in this film. As they explain, they have been pulling off corporate pranks for years and now are trying to find new inspiration fighting climate change. Yeah it looks a bit cheesy, but I'm much more interested in the angle of seeing them pull off their hoaxes than anything. If you enjoy activism or stories about passionate people, give this a look.
"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.