In the new documentary Dirty Wars, investigative journalist and bestselling author Jeremy Scahill details America’s “covert wars,” the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command (which the filmmakers describe as “the most secret fighting force in U.S. history”), and how “unprecedented civilian casualties” around the world have been caused by drone strikes, night raids, and U.S. government-condoned torture. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Documentary (21-30 of 155)
Jon Stewart talks timeless satire and fearful politicians in 'Herblock' documentary -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
, we heard from so many how Jon Stewart is an heir in many ways to Herb and his satirical style,” director Michael Stevens tells EW in an email. “When we interviewed Jon — he was our last — he called Herb a ‘touchstone’ for all of those comics, writers and satirists who feel it’s their job to take on the powerful and stick up for the little guy.”
Watch a sneak peek of Stewart below, cut exclusively for EW by Stevens, who’s won four consecutive Emmys for shepherding The Kennedy Center Honors with his producing-partner father, George Stevens, Jr. (a streak that, it’s worth noting, began with the 2009 telecast that included Stewart delivering a benchmark tribute to honoree Bruce Springsteen). READ FULL STORY
James Franco is a pretty fashionable guy, so it makes sense that he’s involved with the anticipated Tribeca documentary The Director, about Italian fashion house Gucci, which is set to premiere at the annual NYC film fest on April 21.
The Director tells the story of iconic brand under the creative direction of Frida Giannini. The doc covers 18 months behind-the-scenes at Gucci with Giannini, exploring how her unique vision is brought to life in the brand’s models, designs, and shows.
Franco is also one of the documentary’s producers, and also appears in the film. He’s seen in the new trailer readying for one of the ad campaigns he’s shot for the brand.
Check out The Director trailer below.
'Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's': Meet the man behind fashion's most famous window displays -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
“Being able to shop at Bergdorf-Goodman is an aphrodisiac.” — celebrity stylist Robert Verdi
The one-of-a-kind mecca of materialism at the corner of Manhattan’s 5th Avenue and 58th Street is practically an erotic destination for society’s wealthiest and most stylish personalities. But for other mere mortals, the store’s magnificent window displays are the closest they’ll get to the fabulous designs inside — 1.5 million walk by and gawk each week.
Director Matthew Miele followed David Hoey, Bergdorf-Goodman’s senior director of visual presentation, and his team during their holiday window preparations in 2011 as part of his documentary about the store’s legendary mystique, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s. “The windows are sort of an embodiment of the personality of the store, the fashion Id of the store, in a way,” says Hoey, who’s been conceiving and creating Bergdorf’s windows for nearly 17 years. “You have to think of three levels of scale. Windows have to look interesting from across the street. Then they have to look good from the sidewalk. But then there’s a whole other layer of interest, which is up close.”
Thanks to his elaborate and artistically thoughtful displays, Hoey is a revered pillar of the New York fashion scene. (Yes, that’s his name on the doc’s poster, above Marc Jacobs and even with Giorgio Armani.) “A good window dresser is really pretending that he’s doing many other professions: You’re doing fashion, you’re doing theater, advertising, and you’re a story-teller,” says Hoey. “On the professional spectrum, window dresser is somewhere between industrial engineer and cake decorator.”
During the course of the year, Hoey supervises the decoration of hundreds of store windows, with the famous holiday displays taking months to prepare. Crowds flock to 5th and 58th the day they’re unveiled, but Hoey isn’t able to bask in the success. “Believe it or not, in my case, I’m thinking about the next year immediately,” he says. “Once they’re revealed, we almost immediately begin the next set. We’re our own harshest critics.”
Click below to see an exclusive scene from Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf‘s that takes you behind the store’s holiday glass. READ FULL STORY
When the members of indie rock band The National set out on tour, the last thing they expected was for the brother of frontman Matt Berninger to tag along with his camera. But that’s exactly what Tom Berninger did for his directorial debut, Mistaken for Strangers, a “self-mockumentary” that follows the members of band around in every aspect of their lives on tour. From the stage to the shower, Tom spares no expense (or privacy) in his film. He also asks the hard-hitting questions: “How famous do you think you are?” “How fast can you play [the guitar]?” “What kind of drugs and how many drugs have you done?”
The result is a film just as much about Tom’s journey to complete a project as it is about the band. As Tom puts it in the film’s trailer, “I just want to make something good for him [his brother] as well as myself.”
Check out the trailer for Mistaken for Strangers below: READ FULL STORY
Les Blank, the documentary director who followed fellow filmmaker Werner Herzog to record his devotion to art (Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe in 1979) as well as his exotic descent into obsession (Burden of Dreams in 1982), died Sunday at age 77, according to the The New York Times.
Leslie Harrod Blank Jr.’s own obsessions included a rapturous appreciation of regional music and cuisine, which echoed in a filmography that included The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins in 1969; Chicken Real in 1970; Garlic Is as Good as 10 Mothers in 1980; and Ry Cooder And The Moula Banda Rhythm Aces in 1988;. Blank, born in Tampa, Fla. on the eve of Thanksgiving Day 1935, never became a name that would start bidding wars in Hollywood, but his gentle essayist approach made him an anthropologist with the gentle touch of an erudite tour guide.
“I’ve seen a lot of cameramen go in and treat the subjects like so many guinea pigs,” Blank said of his appraoch in 1979. “I think the people pick up on my very protective feelings toward them, and they aren’t self-conscious about what they do or say, and they try to show the inner light about themselves that I find so attractive.”
Have you seen the trailer for the One Direction documentary, This is Us? Did you want there to be more shirtlessness? Did you want there to be more robots? Then we’re here to bring you a double-shot of good news. In a Twitter Q&A earlier today, director Morgan Spurlock — who once ate so much McDonald’s he became famous — gave more details about the film, which is being released in 3-D on Aug. 30.
To recap: The fivesome all care deeply about one another, all have great hair, and all treat Spurlock as if he were furniture. Will they be wearing shirts in the movie? They’re wild! Shirts are expensive. Music makes family. Who is Spurlock’s favorite guy? That’s one mystery he’ll never tell.
But really, the Q&A speaks for itself:
'Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out': 'This case just seems to set everyone off' says director -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Roman Polanski can make 1,000 more films as good as Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby, but for many Americans, he remains the flamboyant Hollywood director who drugged and had sex with a 13-year-old girl and then fled the country before justice could be served. The facts, of course, are much more complicated than that, and director Marina Zenovich picked at the scabs of the decades-old scandal for her Emmy-winning 2008 documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.
But though Zenovich had investigated why Polanski felt compelled to leave the country in 1978 before he could be shackled with a potentially harsh jail sentence, her high-profile documentary may have had an adverse impact on Polanski’s current situation. “It kind of fanned the flames,” says Zenovich. “This case just seems to set everyone off.”
Shortly after Zenovich accepted her Emmys in September of 2009, Polanski was arrested in Switzerland and the U.S. began extradition proceedings. He was imprisoned for 10 months before Swiss authorities released him and said it would not hand him over to the American legal system. Zenovich, who’d already been working on a short epilogue, chronicling Polanski’s legal team’s attempt to clear his name, saw her planned postscript turn into an “international thriller,” that ultimately became Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out.
In the new documentary, which becomes available On-Demand March 26 and will air on Showtime this fall, Zenovich visited Samantha Geimer, the now-grown woman who had that fateful counter with Polanski when she was 13, at her Hawaii home. “I was able to go and see her where she kind of escaped to,” says Zenovich. “My idea was that he was in exile in France [all these years], and she was in exile in Hawaii.”
Geimer’s mother, Susan Gailey, an actress herself who many blamed for the conditions that led to the 1977 incident, wasn’t part of the first documentary, but she agreed to speak on-camera for Odd Man Out. In an exclusive video clip, Gailey gets right to the heart of why the Polanski case remains such an infuriating and polarizing political obsession. “When Samantha called, she said, ‘Mom, Polanski was arrested,’ and now that I’m reminded, I said, ‘What did he do?’” says Gailey. “I don’t understand this. I mean, I don’t understand why this is back.”
Watch the exclusive clip and the movie’s trailer below. READ FULL STORY
Meryl Streep wants you to stop and smell the roses with mesmerizing 'Wings of Life' doc -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Spring is in the air, and Meryl Streep would like to tell you about the birds and the bees.
The three-time Oscar winner narrates Wings of Life, an eye-popping, hi-def nature documentary from Disney that zooms in to examine the pollination partnerships between flowers and the butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and bats that make our quality of life possible.
It’s the perfect project for Streep, especially when you hear the Adaptation star wax poetic about an ingenious orchid. She gives voice to the planet’s flowers, to whom “beauty is our strategy” to invite animals and insects for a transaction that perpetuates both species.
Using amazing high-speed camera equipment that can shoot up to 1,500 frames per second, Wings of Life will open your eyes to the majestic beauty and mystery of nature, both exotic and familiar. In an exclusive clip from the documentary, which becomes available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital and On Demand on April 16 — just in time for Earth Day — a hummingbird’s task is visually deciphered into a divine aerial ballet. Watch the clip — followed by the trailer — below. READ FULL STORY
When Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker took the stage after the world premiere of the new documentary Downloaded at SXSW, about the rise and fall of their revolutionary music-sharing service, they were met with tremendous applause. That, says director Alex Winter (Bill from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, incidentally), was a moment of tremendous relief and vindication.
“The guys were just happy to see the public liked it,” says Winter, 47, who first met the tech entrepreneurs back in 2002 and has been working to bring Napster’s story to light for over a decade. He himself was an early web adopter and distinctly remembers his first introduction to Napster. “Someone on news groups said, ‘We should just move over to Napster, it’s a lot easier to talk,’” he remembers. “These were dial-up days. You didn’t talk online. And so I swapped over to Napster and suddenly I was in real-time chat in somebody’s hard drive. And they were in Japan! We had a global community overnight that was absolutely incredible.”
He reached out to Fanning and was taken with how their entire conversation revolved not around music piracy but in this notion of creating a global community. On the flip side, Winter had made a name for himself as a prolific music director, working with artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ice Cube. “I had major investment in the record industry and the music business and I know a lot of bands,” he says. “It wasn’t like I was super pro-Napster. I just really understood how gigantic the change was that they had been part of enacting. Napster wasn’t two backwards baseball cap-wearing guys who wanted to get Madonna tracks for free, which is how people think of them. Napster was created by two very brilliant global visionaries who wanted to create a global community. And they did. And it worked! And that paved the way for everything that’s happened since then.”
Watch a trailer for the doc below. READ FULL STORY
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