WE ♥ DOCS
"She was clearly impassioned by what she'd seen." Abramorama has released an intense official trailer for a documentary titled Under the Wire, a tribute to two great war correspondents: journalist Marie Colvin and photographer Paul Conroy. The two worked closely together for years, and the two went together to Syria in 2012. Colvin is the subject of two major films this year: Girls of the Sun and A Private War. This is a documentary about the real person, the vigilant, determined, tenacious woman who went out of her way to tell the truth and report from incredibly dangerous war zones. Colvin was sadly killed in the Siege of Homs in 2012, and this film is a tribute to her and Conroy - they went in when no one else would. This contains the first-hand account of what happened, and features all manner of jaw-dropping, shocking footage. See below.
"A lot of women didn't like us back then." Gravitas has unveiled the trailer for a documentary titled, in full, Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. That title pretty clearly explains what the film is about, but it's actually focused on the origins of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, beginning in the 1960s and continuing into the 1970s. This doc film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and played at a few other festivals. It's the never-before-told story of Suzanne Mitchell, the fiercely-loyal den mother of the original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Seen by many as regressive and exploitative, this diverse sisterhood of small-town "girls next door" became a controversial pop culture phenomenon at the height of the Sexual Revolution. This looks like a wild and fascinating story.
"The other side […] are the stories of the effect of war on human beings who take up the call." HBO has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary titled We Are Not Done Yet, which is a 40-minute short doc that will premiere on HBO in early November. Directed by filmmaker Sareen Hairabedian and produced by Jeffrey Wright, We Are Not Done Yet profiles a group of veterans and active-duty service members as they come together to combat past and current traumas through the written word, sharing their experiences in a United Service Organizations (USO) writing workshop. This looks like a very emotional, deeply moving, empowering film about how important it is for veterans and service members to support each other as a way of coping with the mental struggles that come with war. It looks like it's worth your attention for their sake.
"See where this ends up taking me…" Greenwich Entertainment has debuted the trailer for a documentary titled The World Before Your Feet, which originally premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. The film is about a man named Matt Green (his website here), who became famous when the world learned that he has been walking around New York City in an ambitious attempt to walk down every block of every street in New York City. There are over 8,000 miles of sidewalks, paths and roads, and he has been strolling down all of them for the last six years. The film "tells the story of one man's unusual personal quest and the unexpected journey of discovery, humanity, and wonder that ensues." This almost reminds me of a Frederick Wiseman doc, showing us "sides of the city you rarely see in movies." It actually looks wonderful.
"Terrence is able to get to the core of the human condition in so many ways." The Orchard has released an official trailer for a documentary titled Every Act of Life, an uplifting film about the acclaimed, beloved Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally. McNally, now 79 years old, has been described as "a probing and enduring dramatist" and also "one of the greatest contemporary playwrights the theater world has yet produced." He has been working in theater for over 60 years, creating groundbreaking plays and musicals, fighting for LGBT rights, and winning four Tonys in the process. The doc film is not only about him and his life, but also the pursuit of love and inspiration at every age, and the power of the arts to transform society.
"The art world needs to get shaken up a little bit." An amusing, energetic full-length trailer has arrived for the documentary Meow Wolf: Origin Story, telling the inside story of the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based DIY artist collective Meow Wolf. This "uncommonly inspiring doc" premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and is playing in theaters for only one night in late November if anyone wants to see it on the big screen. Origin Story follows the seven eclectic founding members and hundreds of volunteers as they struggle with fracture, loss, success, and failure over a decade – while constantly redefining themselves and what art can really be. The film is an artistic explosion in and of itself, throwing down a kaleidoscope of color, sound, and music that brings this crazy, highly inspiring ride to life. This trailer gets into Meow Wolf's behind-the-scenes and the creators' lives more than the teaser, and I really appreciate how honest it looks.
"This film IS the red pill." The Orchard has released a trailer for an intriguing "full disclosure" documentary titled Above Majestic, which premiered at the truth-obsessed Disclosure Fest earlier this year. The film is a "shocking and provocative look at what it takes to hide a multi-trillion dollar Secret Space Program from the public and the implications this has for humanity." Yeah, it's a bit of a conspiracy theory documentary, but also a look at the possibility that secret space programs may exist because we need to continue to keep an eye on aliens without informing the public. The film features interviews with insiders and researchers such as David Wilcock, Corey Goode, John Desouza, Niara Isley, Jordan Sather, Dr. Michael Salla, & more. This doc looks super duper wacky, with so many absurd claims. Maybe it's a fun one to watch? Who knows.
"To really get the full story, you've got to go back to when we met." Amazon Prime has revealed an official trailer for a documentary titled Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams, made by acclaimed filmmaker Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo, The Shock Doctrine, Moving to Mars, Oasis: Supersonic). Mat has known the four members of Coldplay since college, and has been filming them and making videos for them for over 20 years, putting together this comprehensive and honest look at the band. A Head Full of Dreams "offers an in-depth and intimate portrait of the band's spectacular rise from the backrooms of Camden pubs to selling out stadiums across the planet. At the heart of the story is the band's unshakeable brotherhood which has endured through many highs and lows." The doc will play in theaters for one night only during a global event on November 14th, before releasing streaming on Amazon Prime a few days later. Check it out.
"Isn't art always, to a certain extent, therapy for the artist?" Oscilloscope Labs has debuted an official US trailer for the cinema documentary Searching for Ingmar Bergman, which first premiered as a Cannes Classic at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The documentary celebrates Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman's 100th birthday, by taking an extensive and fascinating look at his life and creative inspiration. The doc presents key scenes and recurring themes in his films and his life, and journeys to the places at the center of Bergman's creative achievement and the focal points of his life such as the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, locations and landscapes from his masterpieces, and his stations in Sweden, Germany, Spain, and France. This looks like a profound, entrancing, wonderful tribute to the life of a true master filmmaker.
"This is Hometown, America in revolt…" Catalyst Media has debuted an official trailer for a restored 4K re-release of a classic documentary titled The War at Home, which was nominated for Best Documentary in 1980 (though it lost to Ira Wohl's Best Boy). The film is an intimate look at the impact of the war in Vietnam on one American city, using Madison, Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin as a microcosm for the 1960s national Antiwar Movement. From Metrograph: "Stereotype-busting interviews with student activists, police, and Vietnam vets illuminate a treasure trove of rare archival film. Featuring footage from the earliest antiwar protest in 1963 to the bombing of the Army Math Research Center in 1970 to the end of the U.S. war in Vietnam, this impassioned, vital work of politically charged non-fiction is newly restored in 4K and re-released in yet another period of American political conflict and turmoil." It looks even more affecting now.
"A story becomes universal when something is also personal." The Orchard has released a lovely official trailer for a documentary called Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, an examination of the literary profundity of, and a closer look at the author behind, the beloved book The Little Prince. The film presents a fascinating new look into the genius of The Little Prince, published as Le Petit Prince, as well as the life and experiences of French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who first published the book in 1943. The film features appearances by Rupi Kaur, Mark Osborne, Adam Gopnik, Stacy Schiff, Éric Emmanuel Schmitt, Olivier d’Agay, and François d’Agay. This honestly looks rather wonderful, I'm very curious to check it out.
"Murad is campaigning to try to get the world to notice, and do something." Oscilloscope Labs has debuted the official trailer for a documentary titled On Her Shoulders, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and won the US Documentary Directing Award. The film is even more relevant now because its subject, young activist and genocide survivor Nadia Murad, just won the Nobel Peace Prize with Denis Mukwege. After surviving the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaping sexual slavery at the hands of ISIS, 23-year-old Nadia Murad gave a testimony before the U.N. Security Council that was heard around the world. Nadia suddenly became the face and voice of the Yazidis. Despite longing for a normal life away from the spotlight, she takes on the exhausting role of an activist in hopes of halting the ongoing genocide. This seems like a powerful look at how hard it is to speak up and keep living your life.