WE ♥ DOCS
"When you're ill, you realize that health is everything. If you're in good health, there is no limit." Cohen Media Group has released the first official trailer for a documentary titled Serendipity, not to be confused with that John Cusack film from 2001. Serendipity is an autobiographical film made by, and about, French artist Prune Nourry. She has spent a majority of her artistic career creating work that deals with women's bodies and female fertility. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to create this film (also a book) which captures the subsequent evolution of her body, her work, her soul, her mind. This beautiful film embodies the artist's belief that everything is connected, coincidence is an illusion, and "the essentials to life really are health, love, and art." It is a very unique, deeply introspective doc that is worth a bit of your time.
"They found no skeletons [in the closet], only beautiful shoes." Showtime has debuted the official trailer for The Kingmaker, the latest acclaimed documentary made by filmmaker Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles, Generation Wealth). This just premiered at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals a month ago, and it's also playing at the Toronto, Bergen, London, and Chicago Film Festivals before it opens in a few select US theaters in November. Focused on the indomitable character of Imelda Marcos, The Kingmaker examines, with intimate access, the Marcos family's improbable return to power in the Philippines. Marcos is the extremely wealthy former first lady of the Philippines whose tricky behind-the-scenes influence of her husband Ferdinand's presidency rocketed her to the global political stage. It's a look at how her corruption and ruthlessness are still prevalent, and it's a riveting, eye-opening, frightful doc about the times we live in.
"Look at the Enquirer in the realm of pop culture, rather than journalism." Magnolia Pictures has debuted an official trailer for the documentary Scandalous, directed by doc filmmaker Mark Landsman (Peace of Mind, Thunder Soul). Scandalous is the sensational true story of The National Enquirer, the infamous tabloid with a prescient grasp of its readers darkest curiosities. The film is a thrilling, eye-opening look at how this newspaper fed into the desires of many Americans to become obsessed with the rich, famous, and powerful people. "From its coverage of Elvis's death, to Monica Lewinsky and the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the National Enquirer rattled the foundations of American culture and politics, sometimes allegedly using payoffs and blackmail to get its scoops." This looks entertaining but also very frightening, a glimpse into how one paper can manipulate the minds of many, and turn them into addicts for gossip and scandal. Enjoy.
"All he had were his skates and his talent." Film Movement has debuted an official US trailer for the film The Ice King, a biopic documentary about a figure skater named John Curry. James Erskine's The Ice King is the searing documentary of a lost cultural icon, a story of art, sport, sexuality, and rebellion. With incredible unseen footage of some of his most remarkable performances and with access to Curry's letters, archive interviews, and interviews with his family, friends and collaborators, this is a portrait of the man who turned ice-skating from a dated sport into an exalted art form. Watch any figure skating and it falls into two possible camps: before and after John Curry. He became the first openly gay Olympian at a time when homosexuality was barely legal. From bullying and prejudice, to relief in the gay underworld, to his untimely death from AIDS, Curry's story dovetails with the experiences of a generation. This has taken over a year since its initial debut to finally arrive in America, but it will be available to watch this October. Check it out.
"We don't interpret something, we present something." Magnolia Pictures has debuted an official trailer for the documentary Cunningham, about legendary dancer Merce Cunningham, born in Washington State. This premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews, and plays at the New York, Zurich, Vancouver, and London Film Festivals next before it opens in theaters this December. This vibrant, inspiring tribute to Cunningham features all kinds of never-before-seen footage. The iconic Merce Cunningham as well as the last generation of his dance company is stunningly profiled in Alla Kovgan's new 3D documentary, through recreations of his landmark works and archival footage of Cunningham, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg. Cunningham resisted "avant-garde" or any other label. "I don't describe it. I do it," he once said. One review says the film can renew your "appreciation of the many wonders of the human body." Give this a look below.
"A portrait of delusion." Utopia has debuted an official trailer for the documentary American Dharma, the latest film from legendary doc filmmaker Errol Morris. This originally premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year, but became controversial as it spends too much time sympathizing with and promoting an extremely evil person. No one wanted to release it, but Morris finally found a way to get it out. American Dharma is a portrait of controversial political strategist and former Donald Trump advisor, Steve Bannon. Morris engages in a conversation with Bannon, challenging him on all of his beliefs, and asking him to breakdown the reasons why he's doing what he's doing in the world. It's shocking, surprising, and also just scary as fuck because he straight up explains how and why they have been manipulating and tricking people into supporting conservatism. I saw this in Venice last year and I hated it, as it allows Bannon to humanize his beliefs in a way in which no one needs to see. But that's up for everyone to decide themselves, I suppose.
"That's a problem - it's perpetuating inequality." Three Frame Media have debuted an official trailer for a documentary titled Unlikely, which is opening in select US theaters starting next month. The documentary sheds light on the underbelly of the higher education system -- the student drop out crisis. Not everyone knows this, but the US has ones of the worst college completion rates in the entire world - less than 50% of students who start college ever finish. Set in the cities of Akron, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles, the film investigates America's college dropout crisis through the lives of numerous students navigating the broken higher education system and the innovators working to close the opportunity divide. Featuring interviews with LeBron James, Howard Schultz, and many others. This looks like it takes a very hard-hitting look at the problem, examining why it's not working, but also focusing on how to improve and fix what's broken.
"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?