There are documentarians and then there are documentarians. Frederick Wiseman has spent almost half a century painstakingly detailing institutions, the people who work for them, and those who depend on them in films such as 1967’s Titicut Follies, which portrayed conditions at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane in Bridgewater, Mass., and 1975’s Welfare, about the travails of welfare workers and their clients.
Tag: Documentary (41-50 of 193)
For years in her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch sang Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here” from Follies. It became her signature number, a defiant anthem for a woman — “a lean, glaring lion of a woman,” The New York Times once wrote — who’s done it all, seen it all, and has absolutely no intention of going quietly.
Now 88 years old, the Tony-winner and three-time Emmy winner has finally slowed down a tad. (She “retired” last spring from her regular one-woman show at Manhattan’s Carlyle Hotel and moved back to Michigan, where she grew up.) But Chiemi Karasawa‘s documentary, Shoot Me, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, captured the dame’s last year or so in the Big Apple. It’s extremely poignant and fun; you see Stritch from all angles, revealing that there’s not an inauthentic bone in her body.
Stritch has been promoting the film at festivals across the country, most recently in Chicago, and Sundance Selects plans to release the doc in theaters Feb. 21. Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive poster for the film (above), and you can click below for the trailer:
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“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.
'Spinning Plates': New doc goes inside the kitchen of three inspiring restaurants -- TRAILER PREMIERE
You might think there are no three places further apart culinarily speaking than Grant Achatz’s hyper-molecular gastronomy mecca Alinea in Chicago, a mom-and-pop Mexican eatery in Arizona, and a family-owned country restaurant in the middle of Iowa. But the upcoming documentary Spinning Plates is out to prove that no matter how fancy or bare bones a kitchen is, running a restaurant takes a special kind of family. “Food is at once art, at once craft, and at once science,” Achatz says in the exclusive trailer below.
But more than that, food is relationships, as evidenced in the stories of Achatz’s cancer recovery, Breitbach’s in Iowa rebuilding after a fire, and the heartbreaking work of the immigrant family running La Cocina de Gabby in Arizona. “Every customer is a guest in my house,” La Cocina de Gabby’s owner says. Check out the trailer below to be a guest in three of the most unique restaurants in the country.
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Ten years ago, filmmaker Errol Morris sat down to interview Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defense who’d molded the country’s Vietnam War policies in the 1960s, for the Oscar-winning documentary, The Fog of War. McNamara, one of the “best and brightest” minds from the Kennedy Administration, had come to regret some of his decisions, and his expansive conversation with Morris, conducted through an Interrotron camera that allows the subject to look directly into the eyes of the audience, became a cautionary tale at a time when the country was revving up its war machine to take down Saddam Hussein in Iraq following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
One of the primary architects of that 2003 military campaign was Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld had been the youngest Secretary of Defense in U.S. history when he held the position under Gerald Ford in the 1970s, and he became the oldest Secretary when he joined George W. Bush’s cabinet in 2001. Rumsfeld was formidable, intimidating, and imperious, and his press conferences were grand theater in which he made immediately infamous statements like, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time,” and, in reference to the existence of Iraqi WMDs, “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or vice versa.”
Especially when the Iraqi War got ugly — “Stuff happens,” Rumsfeld said — and photos of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib were splashed on front pages around the world in 2004, Rumsfeld became the face of America’s controversial policies in the Middle East. He resigned in 2006, but he remains unwavering in his beliefs that the government did what it needed to do. There is no fog in Rumsfeld’s war.
Morris was surprised when Rumsfeld agreed to speak with him at all and even more surprised when he sat for 33 hours of on-camera interviews over the course of a year. The filmmaker calls those exchanges “one of the most difficult series of interviews that I’ve ever done.”
Morris spoke to EW at the Toronto Film Festival, where The Unknown Known screened.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How does one begin to court Donald Rumsfield for a project like this? Not why, but how?
ERROL MORRIS: I wrote him a letter. I’d become aware of all of his memos — called yellow perils in the Ford Administration, snowflakes during the Bush Administration. And the idea of all these memos fascinated me. I contacted his attorney slash agent, Bob Barnett — he’s legendary. He sells most of these huge inside-the-beltway books. Bob Barnett told me, “Well, he’s never going to talk to you.” And I asked, “Well, will you forward a letter and a copy of The Fog of War?” He said he would. In the letter, I explicitly told Don Rumsfeld that I was not envisioning a Fog of War 2. I felt: different men, different set of historical circumstances, different issues. So I met with him in his offices — which was one of the more extraordinary events for me. You know, Rumsfeld coming to the door, introducing himself, saying, “Don Rumsfeld.” READ FULL STORY
Filmmakers don’t get much more fantastic — in every sense — than Terry Gilliam, the agreeably bonkers auteur whose filmography includes Time Bandits, Brazil, and Twelve Monkeys. So it seems appropriate Fantastic Fest has decided to close this year’s event with his new movie, The Zero Theorem. The Christoph Waltz-starring film, which concerns a reclusive computer genius plagued with existential angst, will screen at the Austin, Tx.-based genre festival on September 26.
Cartoonist Ralph Steadman and Johnny Depp recall gonzo great Hunter S. Thompson in doc 'For No Good Reason' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
British cartoonist and artist Ralph Steadman is probably best known for his squiggly lined collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson, whose early works of gonzo journalism in the 1970s Steadman illustrated in magazines and books. Steadman is the focus of Charlie Paul’s new documentary For No Good Reason, which plays next week at the Toronto film festival before a release in U.S. theaters sometime early next year. In this exclusive clip (after the jump), Steadman recalls his very first assignment with Thompson, covering the 1970 Kentucky Derby for a now-defunct magazine called Scanlan’s Monthly. “I think what he saw in this, our connection, was somebody that somehow saw the thing in pictures as he saw it in words,” Steadman recalls. “And that seemed to me to be part of the whole chemistry of it, that our chemistry there made gonzo possible.” And yes, that is the familiar voice of Johnny Depp, a longtime friend of Steadman’s who appears frequently in For No Good Reason, narrating passages from Thompson’s Scanlan’s piece, “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved.” READ FULL STORY
'The Punk Singer' director on capturing the essence of Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna -- POSTER PREMIERE
Riot Grrrl founder Kathleen Hanna never intended to be the subject of a feature-length film. She just wanted a concert documentary.
But Sini Anderson, Hanna’s close friend and the eventual director of The Punk Singer, pushed for more. “I thought it was a really good time for people to know not just about Le Tigre, but about her story,” Anderson told EW of the lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. “I think that was a terrifying idea for Kathleen.” She eventually came on board and what resulted is an intimate portrait of Hanna at the center of the movement told through 20 years of archival footage and interviews with Hanna and those who are and were closest to her, including Joan Jett and The Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz, to whom Hanna has been married since 2006.
Alice Guy-Blaché isn’t a name that many members of Hollywood recognize, and that is exactly what co-directors Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs are trying to change.
Green and van Sluijs, along with executive producer Robert Redford, recently reached their Kickstarter goal of $200,000 to make a documentary, titled Be Natural, about Guy-Blaché, the 23 year old who became the first female director in 1896. READ FULL STORY
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