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Tag: documentaries (1-10 of 17)

Martin Scorsese to exec produce Grateful Dead documentary

Get ready, Deadheads. The Grateful Dead turn 50 next year and to celebrate, they’re getting a new documentary from executive producer Martin Scorsese and director Amir Bar-Lev (Happy Valley).

The still-untitled doc will feature never-before-seen footage from various performances, archived interviews and behind-the-scene moments as well as new talks with surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir. It’ll also feature the eccentric characters from the “Dead universe.” Band archivist David Lemieux will serve as the music supervisor.

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Bar-Lev noted that he’d first set out to make a film about the Grateful Dead 10 years ago. While there have been many documentaries, concert films and television specials chronicling aspects of the seminal band, including a 10-minute short from Paul McCartney, the press release notes that this film will be the first official career-spanning portrait of the influential rockers.

“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band. They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans,” said Scorsese in a statement. “I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved.”

The surviving members agreed heartily, saying jointly that they’re “humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese. From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved. The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them.”

It might be time to outfit that old VW microbus with a television.

See the Oscar contenders for Best Short Documentary

While the Oscar races for prizes like Best Picture will remain a mystery for the next few months, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has narrowed the field for another Oscar category: Best Documentary Short Subject.


Actors and directors praise Richard Linklater in '21 Years' trailer

Richard Linklater’s had a good year, with Boyhood enjoying strong buzz since its debut this summer. Linklater took 12 years to shoot and produce the film. In that span of time, the renowned director created a number of other influential films.

In honor of his work, 21 Years: Richard Linklater brings together actors and directors who have worked with or been influenced by Linklater, and the film’s first trailer offers no shortage of praise for him.


'Sight & Sound' announces list of greatest documentaries

Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera tops the list of the greatest documentaries of all time, according to hundreds of film critics, curators, directors, and documentary film specialists surveyed by British film magazine Sight & Sound.

Every 10 years, Sight & Sound polls hundreds of film luminaries from around the world to generate a list of the best films of all time. In 2012, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo knocked Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane off its 50-year perch for the #1 spot. For the first time, the magazine is debuting a separate poll for documentaries. 340 critics, programmers and filmmakers were asked to participate; 100 of them voted for Vertov’s 1929 film, Man with a Movie Camera, securing its place in the top spot. READ FULL STORY

'Bending the Light' director Michael Apted on the future of the camera


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.


Cameras are storytellers in Michael Apted's 'Bending the Light' trailer


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.


Documentary about the time Nic Cage almost played Superman gets trailer

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.

Marijuana documentary makers hope to entice viewers with free pot

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.


Docurama wants to be your home for free, on-demand documentaries -- EXCLUSIVE


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

James Franco's life is -- of course -- a documentary

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.


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