WE ♥ DOCS
"You'd better win." Chassy Media has debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary titled Shelby American, the latest from racing doc directors Nate Adams & Adam Carolla (of Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman, and The 24 Hour War). The film profiles the life and times of notorious race car driver, engineer, designer, coach and expert Carroll Shelby - the same guy played by Matt Damon in the Ford v Ferrari movie this year. Carroll Shelby came from humble beginnings working as a chicken farmer in rural Texas. He exploded into the auto-racing scene by beating all the top-tier drivers of the era and winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. All while still wearing his chicken-overalls. He launched his company Shelby American after that, which lead him to meet Henry Ford II. The rest is history. For any and all racing fans, this seems like a must see. Or for anyone who wants more after watching the excellent Ford v Ferrari film.
"Ten years of that was, uh, a fun party… You should've been there!" Cleopatra Entertainment has released an official trailer for a rock doc titled Melody Makers, which has been in the works for years premiering originally at the Whistler Film Festival in 2016. The film is about the legendary British rock n' roll magazine called "Melody Maker", which first launched in 1926. The documentary focuses on Melody Maker's Chief Contributing Photographer (from 1965-1975), Barrie Wentzell, who tells the story of the rise and fall of the magazine, which marked the end to a style of rock n' roll journalism that no longer exists today. Featuring appearances by Wentzell, Steve 'Abbo' Abbot, Ian Anderson, Eric Burdon, and others. Not just another rock doc, a rock doc with a specific focus on journalism and the rock fans who followed these bands for decades.
"The main solution is so simple, that even a small child can understand it." An official trailer has debuted online for a documentary filmed titled The Forum, the latest by acclaimed German doc filmmaker Marcus Vetter (of Cinema Jenin, The International Criminal Court, The Forecaster, and Killing for Love). This is premiering at the IDFA Film Festival and at DOK Leipzig this fall, with this new trailer being released to promote it and help the film find international distribution. Vetter is the very first filmmaker allowed to film behind-the-scenes at the annual, top secret, wealthy-people-only World Economic Forum in Switzerland. It gets really exciting when Greta Thunberg shows up, rattling the cages of this elite squad of leaders who just want more money. In all seriousness, this doc looks like an extremely fascinating, enlightening, and thrilling look behind-closed-doors at how the world works. And perhaps how it might be possible to shake things up.
"Success is a life where I'm surrounded by people who I love and people who love me." Level 33 Ent. has debuted an official trailer for a documentary titled Most Likely to Succeed, available to watch starting in December. This ambitious, fascinating film follows four teens from disparate backgrounds who are voted "Most Likely To Succeed" during their senior year of high school in 2007. Award-winning photographer and now filmmaker Pamela Littky follows them for a decade, filming their ups and downs as they discover the true meaning of "success" out in the real world after school. Borrows a bit from the Up series, and Boyhood, but with its own unique take on success. I wasn't expecting much from this, but it really looks fantatic once it gets into it. Get through the first half and once they start looking back it gets real interesting. Have a look.
"How do you make sense of the senseless?" Kino Lorber & ABC Docs have debuted an official trailer for the documentary film After Parkland, which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. In the aftermath of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman traveled to Parkland and began filming with students who endured gunfire and the parents who lost their children in the crosshairs. After Parkland is an intimate chronicle of various families as they navigate their way through the unthinkable; reckoning with unexpected loss, journeying through grief, and searching for new meaning. Follows in the footsteps of the documentary Newtown, taking a raw, heartfelt, truthful look at how a community moves on after such horrible tragedies.
"Bikram was so good at getting inside our brains." Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary titled Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator, the latest feature made by Oscar-winning filmmaker Eva Orner (The Network, Chasing Asylum, Out of Iraq). The film tells the controversial story of the famous founder of "hot yoga" named Bikram Choudhury, who immigrated to Los Angeles in the early 70s and made tons of money with his fitness empire. The doc traces his rise to glory in the 1970s to his disgrace in accusations of rape and sexual harassment in more recent years. Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator, a Netflix original, shines a light on the stories of the women who took him down and explores the contradiction of how this healing discipline could simultaneously help and hurt so many. This doc definitely fits into the Netflix canon with all their other searing, jaw-dropping, fascinating films about crazy minds of manipulative men. Yoga madness.
"There is energy in abundance everywhere on the planet." Vision Films has unveiled an official trailer for an indie documentary titled Teslafy Me, made my Slovenian filmmaker Janja Glogovac. The film takes a closer look at the iconic inventor / technological mastermind Nikola Tesla, born in in 1856 and raised in the Austrian Empire before coming to America. A vision for a world free of pollution and climate problems, with energy available in abundance - are we ready to take up legacy of ingenious inventor Nikola Tesla? By now (thanks to The Prestige and Elon Musk's car company) we all know about Tesla and his legacy, despite the fact that the history books don't spend much time on him. The film features William Terbo (a NASA Engineer, Tesla's great-nephew), Branko Terzič (Senior Fellow, Global Energy Center), Leonardo DiCaprio (actor, environmentalist), Marina Abramovic (artist, writer, filmmaker) and also Gramatik (composer, DJ).
"Why can't we talk about not having children?" Helpman Productions has debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary titled To Kid or Not To Kid, made by director Maxine Trump (no relation). The very personal film is about Maxine's own investigations and considerations about her life and whether or not to have children, then expanding the discussion to provoke conversation. It comes as quite a surprise that in the 21st century we still live in a world where you're criticized for speaking openly about living childfree. To Kid or Not To Kid goes deep into the lives of two women as they search for ways to support each other in living without having children. The film premiered at DOC NYC last year, and it will be getting a web series along with the theatrical release later this month. I'm always interested in films that ask us tough questions.
"Imagine how they felt, being photographed." Cohen Media Group has unveiled an official US trailer for the acclaimed documentary called Shooting the Mafia, which first premiered at both the Sundance & Berlin Film Festivals earlier this year. The doc film is a profile of famed Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia, the first woman to ever be employed as a photographer at a newspaper in Italy in the 1960s. She went on to take iconic photos of the Mafia and their many violent crimes during their worst era, receiving death threats and getting entangled in their world. She fought back by showing the public just how bad they were, never letting any pressure stop her from using her camera to tell the truth. This was one of my favorite films at the Berlin Film Festival this year, explaining that it's "a fantastic, powerful doc that is both about a remarkable woman, and also a historical examination of how the Mafia lost its power over the years." A must catch doc.
"What is the point of continuing to sell our bodies without any quality or talent." Kino Lorber has debuted a new official US trailer for the indie documentary titled The Disappearance of My Mother, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. We originally featured a trailer in January before the festival, now we have another trailer for the film's opening in December. An iconic fashion model in the 1960s, Benedetta Barzini became a muse to Warhol, Dali, Penn and Avedon. As a radical feminist in the 1970s, she fought for the rights and emancipation of women. But at the age of 75, she is fed up with all the roles that life has imposed upon her and decides to leave everything and everybody behind, to disappear to a place as far as possible from the gaze of the camera. Only her son Beniamino, the director, is permitted to witness her journey. This is a remarkably beautiful, one-of-a-kind doc film that I hope people will discover.
"What you don't control is a potential threat." Greenwich Entertainment has unveiled an official trailer for the new Alex Gibney documentary titled Citizen K, which first premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year and it also played at TIFF. Citizen K is a reference to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian citizen who now lives in London after being put in jail as an outspoken opponent of Putin. He only got out because he's a billionaire. The film tells the complete story of the strange case of Khodorkovsky, once believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia, who rocketed to prosperity and prominence in the 1990s, served a decade in prison, and became an unlikely martyr for the anti-Putin movement. Expertly researched, Alex Gibney uses Khodorkovsky’s story as a way to explore the complex interplay between oligarchy and government and its destructive effect on democracy, in Russia and beyond. The film covers all of Russia's modern history and how it became the dangerous power it is now, and how Khodorkovsky fights back, even while living abroad.
"Your son is going to be OK." "And if I can't pay?" 1091 Media has debuted an official trailer for the indie documentary called Midnight Family, which first premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to some rave reviews. The film has gone on to play at numerous other festivals all over the world, picking up awards including the Grand Jury Award at the Sheffield Doc Festival, and the "Bravery Award" at the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival. In Mexico City's wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help. It's a remarkably thrilling, and powerfully honest look at the chllaneges of Mexico's infrastructure, following this family as they pick up the pieces (literally) trying to earn a living saving the lives of citizens. Don't skip this.