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Tag: Documentary (1-10 of 168)

Tribeca Film Festival: Nas music documentary 'Time is Illmatic' premieres opening night

The 13th Tribeca Film Festival kicked off Wednesday with Nas documentary Time is Illmatic, directed by multimedia artist and first-time director One9.

The film — which premiered at New York’s Beacon Theater — chronicles the rapper’s journey from the Queens projects to the debut of his 1994 record Illmatic, widely considered one of the best rap albums of all time.

“The nature of the subject is about surviving and thriving,” said Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “That’s what New York did post-9/11,” when Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff held the first Tribeca fest. “And that’s what Nas has done in his career. It’s about bridging cultures and bridging communities — that’s what his work is about.”

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Jane Goodall Q&A: Scientist talks Disneynature Ambassador role, future birthday plans

Dr. Jane Goodall is known the world over as a chimps expert. but over the course of many decades, the British scientist’s extensive research has made her a prominent environmentalist and humanitarian as well. Among her many distinctions and titles is being named the first-ever ambassador for Disneynature, the Walt Disney Label behind the upcoming nature documentary Bears.

“The Disneynature team is honored to have Dr. Jane Goodall as our official ambassador, inspiring others to take part in the world of Bears – which is our shared world – and to make a difference,” Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios, said. “Jane has had an impact on countless lives—human and animals alike.  She speaks from her heart for all living things, championing the next generation’s pursuit in protecting our planet.”

Between promoting her Roots & Shoots environmental outreach program, traveling, fundraising, and celebrating her 80th birthday on April 3, Goodall spoke to EW about her secret to aging gracefully, her experience traveling to Alaska for the filming of Bears, and details for next year’s birthday plans. READ FULL STORY

'Teenage' executive producer Jason Schwartzman on zoot suits and youth culture's pre-history

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Today’s teenagers may be their own industry, but the idea that there’s a distinctive time between childhood and adulthood is still relatively new.

Filmmaker Matt Wolf explores this concept, and the genesis of western youth culture, in Teenage, an intoxicating, genre-bending portrait of teenage life inspired by Jon Savage’s eponymous book. With never-before-seen archival footage, recreations, an original score from Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, and voiceovers from the likes of Ben Whishaw and Jena Malone, Wolf creates an experimental, creative non-fiction collage that covers the turn of the century through 1945.

In retelling the stories of boxcar children, victory girls, Bright Young Things, zoot suits, and other youth movements of the past century, Teenage finds a universal story of discontent, alienation, feverish energy, and rebellion.

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Knicks hoops documentary headlines Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival

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The New York Knicks are one of basketball’s most storied franchises but they haven’t won an NBA title since 1973. Celebrity fans like Spike Lee, Woody Allen, and screenwriter William Goldman worshipped the star-studded — but team-first — Knicks teams of that championship era, and a generation of aging sportswriters refuse to let those hardwood legends die. Actor Michael Rapaport was only three years old when the Knicks won their last title, but he’s turned his yearning for those glory years into a documentary, When the Garden was Eden.

Rapaport’s movie, which is also part of ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series, headlines this year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, and will be the program’s gala premiere on April 17. “As a native New Yorker and lifelong Knicks fan, it was an honor to explore the championship New York Knick teams,” Rapaport said in a statement. “Those players have been a part of my vocabulary since I was a child…Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe and Willis Reed are icons of New York City and it’s been a privilege to be a part of re-telling the Knicks story.”

Also premiering is Champs, which examines how the brutal sport pulled all-time greats, like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, out of a life of crime and poverty.

Click below for the entire Tribeca/ESPN lineup, descriptions courtesy of the festival: READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Check out an exclusive clip from cult actor doc 'That Guy Dick Miller' -- VIDEO

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If you’re a fan of Roger Corman or Joe Dante then you’re probably also a fan of Dick Miller, who is something of a fixture in both their filmographies.

And even if you’re not, there’s a very good chance you’re at least familiar with his face, given that the veteran character actor has appeared in more than 150 films and TV shows, including The Terminator, both Gremlins movies, and Star Trek: Next Generation. READ FULL STORY

Watch Alec Baldwin playfully call his '30 Rock' mom Elaine Stritch a bitch in a new doc - EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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If you thought Alec Baldwin was cantankerous, even he pales compared to the veteran Broadway and TV star Elaine Stritch. In Chiemi Karasawa’s new documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, opening in limited release this Friday, the 89-year-old actress (and Today show F-bomb-dropper) recounts her turbulent life on the stage and screen, her battles with alcoholism, and her improbable comeback in the last decade. In this exclusive clip, we see Stritch on the set of 30 Rock, where she played the wasp-tongued mother of Alec Baldwin’s network exec Jack Donaghy (a role that earned the actress her third Emmy Award in 2008). On set, she mixes it up with Tina Fey and Baldwin, a kindred spirit who hilariously grumbles about the veteran scene-stealer in rehearsal. “Don’t you last-word me, you,” he says. “It’s my laugh-line, you bitch.” And her reaction to his grousing is just as priceless. READ FULL STORY

Mick Jagger! Orson Welles! Giant worms! Check out the trailer for 'Jodorowsky's Dune' -- VIDEO

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Would you see a big-budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel Dune directed by genius-madman Alejandro Jodorowsky and starring Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, and Salvador Dali?

So would I — but, alas, we never will. In the mid-’70s, Hollywood studios declined to finance just such a project after Jodorowsky spent a couple of years prepping the movie with a band of hugely gifted artists including future Alien creators H.R. Giger and Dan O’Bannon. (In fairness to the studio execs, they may have been justifiably reluctant to invest in a project which Jodorowsky himself believed might be as many as 20 hours long).

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'Tim's Vermeer': Teller talks (yes, talks!) about his astounding documentary

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In the new documentary Tim’s Vermeer, Texas-based inventor and non-painter Tim Jenison attempts to prove that seventeenth century artist Dutch Johannes Vermeer used an optical device to craft his masterpieces by adopting that technique to painstakingly recreate Vermeer’s The Music Lesson. If that sounds like a snooze on paper, the film is anything but, partly thanks to Penn Jillette‘s enthusiastic narration, and his magic-partner Teller’s assured direction. but mostly because of the possibility Jenison might actually drive himself insane attempting to complete his Herculean task. (EW’s Owen Gleiberman recently described the movie as “exquisitely fun” in his “A”-grade review.)

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Sundance 2014: In Iran, a schoolgirl shoots for the stars in 'Sepideh'

Danish director Berit Madsen didn’t set out to tell a story about feminism in Iran. She just met a pretty amazing 14-year-old girl who wanted to learn about the stars, and hoped to do justice to her story.

“I’d heard about this place which had an astronomy club going on and this teacher who wanted to build an observatory, and that boys and girls would go out alone to watch the stars,” Madsen, director of the Sundance documentary Sepideh, tells EW. “Even knowing Iran it was  bizarre to me, because you’re not supposed to expect stuff like that to happen.”

Madsen’s film follows the life of the titular teenager, who grows from a young girl obsessed with Albert Einstein into a woman engaged to be married and heading to university to study astronomy.

Sepideh is screening this week at the Sundance Film Festival, and is also being released exclusively on iTunes in the U.S. and Canada, coinciding with its Sundance premiere.

We talked to Madsen about how she connected with Sepideh and how making this film over the past five years has lead her to work on new projects about the Middle East:
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Sundance 2014: What happened at Penn State was not anomalous at all, says 'Happy Valley' director

The passion for college football in certain parts of our country almost resembles a cult in its intensity. And perhaps no team had a more devoted following than Joe Paterno’s Penn State program, which proudly won “the right way” on and off the field ever since he became head coach in 1966. His reputation was nonpareil in the sports world — until former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was indicted in Nov. 2011 for molesting young boys on the Penn State campus. Paterno, then 85 years old, was fired, along with three other top University administrators, rocking the Penn State community, a.k.a. Happy Valley, to its core.

Into that storm came filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story). Happy Valley, which premiered this week at the Sundance Film Festival, captures the pain, the outrage, and the conflicting passions of people caught in the maelstrom. With interviews with State College locals, Penn State students, the Paterno family, and Sandusky’s adopted son, Matt, the film paints a complicated portrait of a community still recovering. There are powerful scenes in which an artist paints over Sandusky in a Penn State mural, adds a halo to Paterno’s portrait… and then takes it off as more sad news breaks. There is another sequence where a man protests by standing near the stadium’s Paterno statue with a sign calling the coach an enabler, and the angry reaction it elicits from loyal fans who drove miles to pay homage to their hero is all you need to know about the town’s torn soul.

“What I tried to do is give the audience the puzzle I’ve been working with for 18 months, and turn it around in your head and maybe conclude the same things I did — and maybe different things,” Bar-Lev said after an early screening. In fact, the early reactions to the film were all across the board. Some viewers concluded that Paterno and his superiors were complicit and that our universal obsession with athletics blinded well-intentioned people. But one member of the audience, who identified himself as a relative of Penn State benefactors Louis and Mildred Lasch, walked away with a different impression. “I was very nervous coming into this documentary, but I want to applaud you because I think you did find the truth in what’s a very, very difficult thing,” he said.

The truth. I’m not even sure Bar-Lev would agree that he’s found it. But Happy Valley is a powerful portrait of a wounded community that might not be so different from your own.

The director chatted with EW about his film: READ FULL STORY

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