Veteran director Michael Apted investigates the art of the lens in his new documentary Bending the Light, which takes audiences inside a lens-making factory to explore the relationship between artists and their tools. Apted spoke to EW about the film (set to premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival on Aug. 3), the challenges of being afforded a “rare glimpse” inside an otherwise secure factory, the cultural influences of his Up series, and whether or not he thinks it might have inspired Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.
Tag: documentaries (1-10 of 13)
In order to examine the art of photography, you have to start by looking at the glass. “It’s the heart of the camera,” explains one lens-maker in director Michael Apted’s (The Up Series) latest documentary Bending the Light.
Apted’s film gives audiences a rare glimpse inside a premier Japanese lens factory and features interviews with celebrated photographers and cinematographers like Stephen Goldblatt, Greg Gorman, Richard Barnes, and Laura El-Tantawy in his study of the relationship between the artist and their tools.
Remember that time Nicolas Cage was going to be Superman?
In the long period between 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and 2006’s Superman Returns, the Man of Steel was stuck in development hell, with several projects failing to launch. Of those projects, one of the strangest was 1996’s Superman Lives!, an adaptation of the Death and Return of Superman written by Kevin Smith (who has talked about this project before) and directed by Tim Burton.
Filmmaker Jon Schnepp has spent the past year making a Kickstarter-funded documentary on the failed project. In an effort to raise more funds to complete post-production on the film, Schnepp has released a trailer of his nearly finished documentary.
The trailer displays a remarkable level of access—just about everyone with a major role to play in production is featured in interviews, including director Tim Burton. Also displayed are a number of production assets, including concept art, costumes, and test footage.
Does this year’s box-office news have you feeling that the movie industry has gone to pot? Are you sad that Shailene Woodley was cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 because you never got Mary Jane? … I’m sorry, am I being too blunt?
In a marketing ploy that Miley Cyrus would love, producer and co-writer Adam Hartle is planning to give away free pot to those going to screenings of his new documentary Mile High: The Comeback of Cannabis, which chronicles the history of Colorado’s recent ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.
Documentaries serve a crucial role in our culture — not only because they can challenge the way we look at the world, but also because, occasionally, they might actually prod us off our collective asses to do something. An Inconvenient Truth, Bowling for Columbine, Paradise Lost: these films motivated some moviegoers to get involved in important issues in ways they never thought they would. Other documentaries aren’t trying to change the world necessarily, but still discover and dissect fascinating people and events in ways that fiction can’t or won’t. Offer me Michael Mann’s Ali and Leon Gast’s When We Were Kings, for example, and I’ll choose the real Ali every time. Ali, boom bye yae!
Docurama, a free on-demand streaming channel, debuts today, and it’s hoping to eventually become the home for serious documentary viewing. At launch, the site already features movies from award-winning filmmakers such as Alex Gibney, Fred Wiseman, and Joe Berlinger, and the service is promising to have more than 1,000 titles available by mid-summer. READ FULL STORY
It all makes sense now. Sort of. James Franco has been a willing subject in a documentary about his life for the last year. One of his former film students at UCLA, Lisa Vangellow, is directing the nearly-completed film, which promises to “examine the incredible stamina and work ethic that James Franco possesses and how he incorporates this into his various areas of artistic interest,” according to Vangellow’s production company’s website.
According to The Wrap, Franco. A Documentary enjoyed access to Franco colleagues, including Seth Rogen and Klaus Biesenbach of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Curtiss Clayton (To Die For) is editing the film, and Vangellow, in an email to EW, says she plans to bring the finished film to festivals.
Franco’s representative did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
“Shep Gordon is the nicest person I’ve ever met, hands down,” Mike Myers says of the subject of his new film, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. The uber-manager also had a hand in the careers of everyone from Alice Cooper to Anne Murray, which is why the friendliest dude in Hollywood makes for perfect documentary fodder.
In a new trailer for the film, Michael Douglas says the word “mensch” is synonymous with Gordon. Sylvester Stallone calls him a protector: “He keeps the wolf from the door,” the actor says. Emeril Lagasse credits Gordon for creating the concept of the celebrity chef. And then there’s footage of Gordon with the Dalai Lama, a personal friend.
Gordon laughs a lot, and his famous pals relate memories of him fondly. We’re told he tells great stories…and from what’s seen in the trailer, it’s hard to imagine otherwise. Take a look: READ FULL STORY
Prizes for the honor include $25,000 each for the filmmakers and an additional festival screening on Sunday, the festival’s last day. An added feather in Hicks’ cap: Radius-TWC picked up worldwide distribution rights to his doc. He also won the juried prize for new documentary director earlier in the week.
Keep On Keepin’ On chronicles jazz legend Clark Terry’s mentorship of a young blind piano prodigy. READ FULL STORY
“I like to win,” Lance Armstrong says as the trailer for Oscar-winner Alex Gibney’s latest documentary begins. “But more than anything, I can’t stand the idea of losing. Because to me, that equals death.”
In 2009, Gibney began filming a new doc about Armstrong’s big “comeback year.” Though he knew that the beloved cyclist — famous for beating cancer, then winning the Tour de France seven consecutive times — had been accused of doping in the past, Gibney had no idea that those allegations would eventually be proven true. “He had lied to me, straight to my face,” Gibney says in the trailer. “When the truth came out, I told him he owed me an explanation.”
You’ll find that explanation in The Armstrong Lie, which charts Lance’s plummet from grace and includes an interview that will “finally set the record straight.” Get your popcorn ready; this looks like a must-see for anyone who loves a good rise-and-fall narrative.
Years ago a shy, loyal Liverpudlian teenager named Freda Kelly became the personal secretary of her favorite local band. Little did she know that those four boys would grow into the Beatles, and that she’d go on to be their enduring fan club president. Ryan White’s affectionate new documentary Good Ol’ Freda (in theaters tomorrow) is not just a look at a cheerful, unassuming woman who found herself the sturdy center of a pop culture storm, but also at the band to which she stayed forever true. “This is a woman who turned down numerous book offers over the years,” says White. “She probably could’ve made a very healthy advance on many tell-alls.” But from the get, Kelly warned the director that she wasn’t interested in spilling scandalous stories on the boys’ personal lives or their behind-the-scenes drama. Instead this delightful raconteur provides a warm and cozy peak into her life with the Beatles, and the terrifically intimate relationship she maintained with their legions of fans. Original Beatles music in the film to boot. Herewith an exclusive clip: READ FULL STORY
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