WE ♥ DOCS
"Can you turn off the cameras?" Netflix has unveiled a trailer for a conservation & health documentary called Seaspiracy, from the same filmmakers behind the Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014) previously. Seaspiracy examines the global fishing industry, challenging notions of sustainable fishing and showing how humans cause widespread environmental destruction. "This film will radically transform the way we think and act on ocean conservation forever. It is time we focus our ecological and ethical concerns on our seas and its inhabitants. This is a new era for how we treat the most important habitat on earth." Are you ready? The good news is that the film will be launching worldwide on Netflix later this month! Not too long of a wait to catch this documentary and learn the truth about the fishing industry & sustainable futures.
"For some kids, I want it to turn their lives around." Discovery has unveiled a trailer for the documentary film titled My Beautiful Stutter, which is premiering on the Discovery+ streaming service starting this month. The doc follows five kids who stutter ages 9 to 18, from all over the U.S., who after experiencing a lifetime of bullying & stigmatization, meet other children who stutter at an interactive arts-based program, The Stuttering Association for the Young ("SAY"), based in NYC. Over the course of a year we witness first hand the incredible transformation that happens when these young people of wildly different backgrounds experience for the first time the revolutionary idea at the heart of SAY: that it's okay to stutter. This looks so powerful and inspiring! The doc is produced by Michael Alden and Ryan Gielen; and executive produced by Paul Rudd, Mariska Hargitay, Peter Hermann, Patrick James Lynch, and George Springer. It's worth a look.
"Where my ability ends… my faith begins." Netflix has unveiled a teaser trailer for a new sports film titled in full Baggio: The Divine Ponytail, also known as Il Divin Codino (which is just "The Divine Ponytail") in Italian. The Netflix feature is a chronicle of the 22-year career of soccer star Roberto Baggio, including his difficult debut as a player and his deep rifts with some of his coaches. He inspired entire generations to play football. And not only that. A unique footballer, capable of thrilling fans all over the world. This is not a documentary, but a fictionalization, starring Andrea Arcangeli as Roberto Baggio. The feature film will "look at key moments from his 22-year career, including that penalty kick in the 1994 World Cup final and his contentious move from Fiorentina to Juventus. It will also take a closer look at the man himself, his relationship with his family, and his Buddhist beliefs." Very interesting. The cast includes Valentina Bellè, Thomas Trabacchi, Andrea Pennacchi, and Antonio Zavatteri. Check out the first look trailer below.
"It truly is amazing what people will say on the phone when they don't know the feds are listening." Netflix has unveiled a trailer for a documentary called Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal, the latest from acclaimed doc filmmaker Chris Smith (of American Movie, Home Movie, The Yes Men, Jim & Andy, Fyre). Smith knows how to make great docs. Everything you've heard is true. But you haven't heard everything. Using real conversations recreated from FBI wiretaps – the film has recreations and sequences starring Matthew Modine as Rick Singer. An examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged. This is such a wildly upsetting, insidious story and I'm glad it's being told this way.
"God gave us everything to also help those…" Cinetic has revealed a promo trailer for an indie documentary titled Dirty Feathers, premiering at this year's Berlin Film Festival kicking off next week. The film is a "poetic and humane portrait of the residents of a shelter in El Paso, Texas" from a producer of What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? previously. Hear the story of two lovers, and others as they struggle to live. "On the streets of the US-Mexican border towns of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, we meet several people – including a grieving father, a war veteran and a 16-year-old – who are living without a home. At night, many of them sleep in the shelters of the OC, the Opportunity Center for the Homeless in El Paso, but during the day it is a matter of somehow surviving on the streets. Together and individually, they reflect on their past, their backgrounds and the here and now and share their dreams, their desires and their hopes for the future that are keeping them alive." This looks like a tough watch, but still meaningful in its intentions.
"It's the foundation of us…" eOne has released an official trailer for Big Giant Wave, a "cinematographic wave" doc film that is described as an "ode to music." Big Giant Wave illustrates our essential connection with rhythm, music, our planet, the brain, daily lives and our collective humanity. Presented by Jean-Marc Vallée. Conceived as a cinematographic wave, this documentary essay takes us from Montreal to Cremona via Sweden, Mexico and the American West Coast to meet fascinating scientists and artists who, from their various horizons, illustrate the essential link between rhythm, music, our planet, the brain, everyday life and our collective humanity. The film is premiering in competition at The International Festival of Films on Art taking place in a few weeks. This looks exquisite! I'm very much looking forward to experiencing it myself.
"Jumping off stuff… is part of me." Greenwich Entertainment has released the new trailer for an adventure sports documentary called Super Frenchie, profiling the life of French adventurist Matthias Giraud. This originally premiered at last year's Newport Beach Film Festival, but hasn't shown up anywhere else yet; now arriving later this March. Super Frenchie provides an intimate look at the life of professional skier and BASE jumper Matthias Giraud, who stops at nothing to pursue his passion for adventure. The film follows Matthias as he dares ever more dangerous stunts while simultaneously falling in love and starting a family. The story takes a turn when Matthias suffers a catastrophic crash just days before the birth of his first child. But of course, that doesn't stop him from continuing on. Nothing can ever stop these guys from jumping! It's always a passion and a lifelong pursuit no matter what. That avalanche cliff shot at the end is just incredible.
"The most awkward period of your life… that’s when we were in front of the cameras." Hulu has released an official trailer for a documentary called Kid 90, stylized as just kid 90, looking back at life in the 90s. The film is a "time capsule" rediscovery - an intimate look at young Hollywood starlets growing up in the 1990s, using hundreds of hours of footage captured by Soleil Moon Frye. As a teen in the 90s and a child actor, Soleil Moon carried a video camera everywhere she went documenting her friends as they grew up in Hollywood and New York City. After all this time, she finally goes back to revisit all the old videos of young celebrities, and share them with us. Some of the people seen in this: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Arquette, Stephen Dorff, Balthazar Getty, and Beverly Hills 90210's Brian Austin Green. It looks like a very personal exploration of what life was like, but not sure there's going to be any profound revelations from this journey.
"I'm here for you." HBO has revealed the first teaser trailer for a new music doc called Tina, profiling the legendary singer Tina Turner. "Simply the best." This documentary will be premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in a few weeks, then will debut on HBO for streaming later in March. Made by the Academy Award-winning filmmakers behind the docs Undefeated, I Am Dying, and L.A. 92 previously. Featuring a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself, Tina presents an unvarnished and dynamic account of the life and career of music icon Tina Turner. Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, journalist Kurt Loder, playwright Katori Hall and Tina's husband Erwin Bach are among the interviews in the intimate documentary. It's described as "the defining and inspirational record of one of the greatest survivors in modern music" by Berlinale. This is going to be good.
"Whenever you made work, it ought to be about something… And it ought to be about something that mattered." Another "how did we miss this when it was first released?!" trailer to feature. Black Art: In the Absence of Light is a documentary already available to watch via HBO that was initially released earlier this month for Black History Month. Inspired by the late David Driskell's landmark 1976 exhibition, “Two Centuries of Black American Art," the documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light offers an illuminating introduction to the work of some of the foremost Black visual artists working today. Directed by filmmaker Sam Pollard, who also made the outstanding MLK/FBI doc released this year. The film shines a light on the extraordinary impact of Driskell's exhibit on generations of Black artists who have staked a claim on their rightful place within the art world. Featuring "insights and context from scholars and historians, along with interviews from a new generation of working African American curators and artists." Looks like a must see.
"You want the truth? I'll give you the truth." Crackle has released an official trailer for a documentary called Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story, which will debut streaming as a five-part series about the story behind video game giant Nintendo. The focus seems to be on the rise and prominence of Nintendo in America, not so much its origins in Japan, as told through interviews with many game industry veterans. We love Nintendo and good docs and can't help posting about this anyway. Via Nintendo Enthusiast, the film features interviews with "actor Wil Wheaton, actor Alison Haislip, Nintendo of America co-founder Ron Judy, Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske, former Nintendo CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé, and Xbox head Phil Spencer. But there are even more knowledgeable industry figures in the documentary where that came from, such as Digital Eclipse Editorial Director Chris Kohler, Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski, and composer Tommy Tallarico." It looks like a fun trip back through history.
"Everybody wanted to know how much this was going to end." HBO has revealed the full-length official trailer for a documentary mini-series titled Allen v. Farrow, which is releasing this week with hopes that everyone will watch it while stuck at home during the winter. This is a new doc from the award-winning filmmakers Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering, who last made the outstanding On the Record doc last year. This time they turn their attention towards Woody Allen, examining his scandals and legal troubles over decades. This four-part documentary series for HBO delves into the Allen v. Farrow controversy ("what you think you know is just the tip of the iceberg"): the accusation of sexual abuse against Woody Allen involving Dylan, his then seven-year-old daughter with Mia Farrow; their subsequent custody trial, the revelation of Allen’s relationship with Farrow’s daughter, Soon-Yi; and the controversial aftermath in the years that followed. Hopefully this will finally bring an end to debates about Allen and his obvious sickness, but you never know.