WE ♥ DOCS
"It's a heavy weight… to be so famous." HBO has debuted a full trailer for the acclaimed sports doc Diego Maradona, to follow up the first teaser trailer they released last month. This sports doc is the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Asif Kapadia, who won the Best Doc Oscar in 2016 for Amy, and also directed Senna. This time he has crafted a film about the career of celebrated Buenos Aires-born football player Diego Maradona, who played for SSC Napoli in the 1980s. Constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage, this documentary centers on his life and fame and involvement with the Italian mafia. Many in the sport, including football writers, players, and fans, regard him as the greatest football player of all time. He was joint "FIFA Player of the 20th Century" with Pelé. This doc has been picking up tons of great reviews, and it's a must watch for anyone who loves sports and/or wants to learn more about the true story of Diego.
"The sooner you understand who you are, the sooner you understand what you can do. It's taken me 60 years for me to understand who I am…" BritBox has unveiled a trailer for the latest entry in the landmark documentary series (known as the Up series) following the same people as they grow up. 63 Up is the latest in the series, directed by Michael Apted, which first started with Seven Up in 1964 (which was directed by Paul Almond). Apted has been revisiting the same exact people, the same children, even seven years since they were first born. To get an updated on them and see where life has taken them. This new film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival this year, and is playing at the New York Film Festival next, before hitting theaters in NY & LA later this fall. Even though they're 63 years into this, it's still as intriguing and relevant as ever, showing just how much our lives change and evolve over time. Looks like another must watch doc.
"If you knew in your heart & your mind that someone took your child's life, how far would you go to get to the truth?" PBS has debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary titled Always in Season, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. After winning a Special Jury Award at Sundance, the acclaimed film went on to play at the Omaha, Cleveland, Full Frame, Atlanta, Sarasota, San Francisco, and Provincetown Film Festivals throughout the year. When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother's search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present. It goes beyond the story of Lennon, examining lynching throughout history. Another powerful doc about America's sordid past.
"He was the complete package…" "And everyone wanted a piece of him." Dogwoof has debuted an official trailer for a music documentary titled Mystify: Michael Hutchence, from Australian filmmaker Richard Lowenstein, which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Lowenstein is a director of the majority of both INXS and Michael's music videos and the 1986 feature film, Dogs in Space, in which Michael played the lead. INXS was an Australian rock band, formed in 1977 in Sydney, with Hutchence as the lead singer and main lyricist. He sadly passed away in 1997 from a suicide. The feature doc film is about the "troubled heart and soul" of Michael Hutchence of INXS. This premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and played at the Sydney and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals this summer. Looks like another good biopic doc.
"You don't know if he's trying to do this for fun, or trying to kill you…" Magnolia Pictures has debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary titled Wrinkles the Clown, the latest doc film from filmmaker Michael Beach Nichols (of Flex Is Kings, Welcome to Leith). In Florida, parents can hire Wrinkles the Clown to scare their misbehaving children. This for-hire clown service first went viral in 2014, and they decided to make a doc about him. Who is he? Why exactly does he do this? Is it really for real? (Yes, it is. This ain't no joke.) "With incredible access to the mastermind behind the mask, Wrinkles the Clown is a cryptic and playful exploration of these questions, as well as an inside look at myth-building and the unpredictable spread of imagination in the internet age." Ahaha this looks so deliciously creepy, and mysterious, and the perfect doc film to tie in with Stephen King's It Chapter Two opening this week. So who wants to meet him?
Can laughter change the world? Can happiness save a life? Those are the kind of questions that might come to mind while watching this documentary, and at times, you could actually believe the answer is yes. 45 Seconds of Laughter is a doc film directed by actor Tim Robbins. He takes his acting group called The Actors Gang inside of a high security prison in California, running a week-long workshop where prisoners participate in a group in various theater / acting exercises. We've seen films like this before, and performing theater inside prisons isn't new, but it is always moving to watch. There's just something remarkably stirring about seeing prisoners, perpetually unhappy and angry, suddenly finding happiness and making tiny steps forward. It reminds us once again how the incredible power of positivity can be as a great force for change.
"Your job is to come up with the unimaginable." Dogwoof has unveiled the first official trailer for an indie documentary titled Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, which is a film about sound design in cinema. This premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and also played at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. It's the most comprehensive film about sound design so far, made by an experienced sound editor named Midge Costin (she worked on Days of Thunder, Crimson Tide, Broken Arrow, The Rock, Con Air, and Armageddon). An exploration of the history, artistry, & emotional power of cinema sound, as revealed by legendary sound designers and visionary directors, via interviews, clips from movies, and a look at their actual process of creation and discovery. Looks like an informative and enjoyable moviemaking doc to catch.
"It's hard. He in hell for staying faithful to a 'hood." Dreamville has released the full official trailer for an American documentary titled Out of Omaha, which premiered at the DocNYC Festival last year and won the main Audience Award prize. The latest feature from acclaimed doc filmmaker J. Clay Tweel (of Print the Legend, Finders Keepers, Gleason), the film is about two black brothers overcoming systemic injustice in the city of Omaha, Nebraska (with a population of 460,000, but less than 13% of them are black). The social film is described as an "award-winning, intimate portrait of twin brothers Darcell and Darrell Trotter, young black men coming of age in the divided city of Omaha." Executive produced by J. Cole. Check it out below.
"Three words are important to me: inspiration, creation, sharing." Janus Films has debuted a new official US trailer for the wonderful, inspiring cinema documentary Varda by Agnès - the final film made by the iconic / the legendary Agnès Varda before she passed away earlier this year. This premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this year to rave reviews (here's my own), and is being released as a feature doc along with a retrospective of all her films. An "unpredictable" doc from a fascinating storyteller, Varda by Agnès sheds light on her experience as a director, bringing a personal insight to what she calls "cine-writing," traveling from Rue Daguerre in Paris to Los Angeles and Beijing. It's a lovely journey through her entire life/career, examining many of her films with conversations discussing her life as a storyteller. I said in my review: "it's utterly delightful and endlessly inspiring to listen to her talk about cinema and to tell stories about her life."
"We don't have anesthesia, but we have music!" National Geographic has debuted an official trailer for the documentary titled The Cave, the latest film from Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad who last made the Oscar-nominated doc Last Men in Aleppo. This is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival coming up soon, and will be released in theaters sometime later in the fall. Not to be confused with the horror film The Cave, or the Thai rescue film also called The Cave. Fayyad's new documentary titled The Cave tells the story of a hidden underground hospital in Syria and the unprecedented female-led team who risk their lives to provide medical care to the besieged local population. This looks as compelling and as heartbreaking, and also as inspiring, as Fayyad's Last Men in Aleppo, another important story from Syria being shared with the world.
"They were all thinking about this as more than a science fiction adventure in the future." Screen Media Films has debuted an official trailer for the movemaking documentary Memory: The Origins of Alien, a clever, fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary looking back at this seminal sci-fi horror classic (first released in 1979). This doc premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and it's finally opening (in theaters + VOD) in October. From Swiss doc director Alexandre O. Philippe (The People vs. George Lucas, Doc of the Dead, 78/52), this film tells the untold origin story behind Ridley Scott's Alien - rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythologies, underground comics, the art of Francis Bacon, and the dark visions of Dan O'Bannon and H.R. Giger. A "contemplation" on the symbiotic collaborative process of movie-making, the power of myth, and our collective unconscious. This is not your usual doc, it explores the creation of this sci-fi film in a remarkable and captivating way - by examining the mythos & the big ideas behind its inception.
"What planet did you come from?" HBO has unveiled a new US teaser trailer for the acclaimed sports doc Diego Maradona, which initially premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year (here's the first trailer). The doc film is the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Asif Kapadia, who won the Best Doc Oscar in 2016 for Amy, and should've won an Oscar for his doc film Senna. This time he has crafted a film about the career of celebrated Buenos Aires-born football player Diego Maradona, who played for SSC Napoli in the 1980s. Constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage, this documentary centers on his life and fame and involvement with the Italian mafia. Many in the sport, including football writers, players, and fans, regard him as the greatest football player of all time. He was joint "FIFA Player of the 20th Century" with Pelé. This doc had lots of positive reviews out of Cannes, and it's a must watch for anyone who loves sports and/or wants to learn more about the true story of Diego. Kapadia is quickly becoming a doc master.