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Tag: Documentary (51-60 of 177)

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

SXSW: Napster doc 'Downloaded' premieres and Sean Parker has one great regret

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

Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna reveals illness, reconfirms awesomeness in 'The Punk Singer'

The Punk Singer, Sini Anderson’s intimate, invigorating portrait of Riot grrrl founder and former Bikini Kill and Le Tigre frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, world premiered at SXSW this week and it’s the film I can’t stop thinking about. In it, Hanna reveals for the first time that she dropped out of the music scene after being stricken low by Lyme Disease, a diagnosis that took six long, hard years for doctors to make. At its terrifying peak her illness robbed Hanna of that raw belt of a singing voice and she worried she’d soon be bound to a wheelchair. Watch a clip below: READ FULL STORY

'Room 237': Check out the poster for the awesome new documentary about Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' -- EXCLUSIVE

In Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic The Shining, Scatman Crothers’ chef Hallorann warns Danny Lloyd’s Danny to stay the hell away from room 237 of the Overlook Hotel — which turns out to excellent, if ignored, advice. But while room 237 is to be avoided, the new documentary Room 237 is a must-see, one which EW’s Owen Gleiberman has described as a “mesmerizing pop-art document.” The work of first-time director Rodney Ascher, the film showcases the theories of five obsessive Shining fans as to what Kubrick really intended with his Stephen King adaptation and features footage from both that snowy chiller and many others.

Room 237 opens theatrically on March 29 and will also be available on VOD, SundanceNOW, and other digital outlets from that date. You can check out the film’s trailer, synopsis, and — exclusively — the new Room 237 poster below.

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SXSW: Snowfort Pictures founder Travis Stevens talks 'Big Ass Spider,' 'Cheap Thrills,' and more

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One of the first things future Snowfort Pictures founder Travis Stevens did after arriving in Los Angeles was hit Tom Cruise in the head. “I moved to L.A. with a degree in filmmaking and I thought I would be hired to make films,” he recalls. “Within a couple of months I realized ‘No’. So I started doing work as an extra just to be on a set.” One of the movies Stevens worked on was 1996’s Cruise-starring Jerry Maguire. “There’s this scene where Tom Cruise gets out of a limo and there’s all these reporters,” continues Stevens. “For some reason they gave me this big telephoto lense on my camera and in one of the early takes I smacked him him right in the head. I almost crapped my pants. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve just killed my career.'”

As it happens, Stevens’ career would turn out just fine. In 2010, the now seasoned film exec founded Snowfort Pictures, a boutique production company specializing in smarter-than-average — or so-called “elevated” — genre movies, and immediately impressed horror fans with A Horrible Way To Die from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (the pair responsible for this summer’s much-tipped You’re Next). Stevens now has two films debuting at this month’s SXSW — the rather self-explanatory Big Ass Spider and the black comedy-thriller Cheap Thrills — and a number of other projects in the pipeline, including the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune and the revenge movie American Muscle.

We asked Travis to walk us through his upcoming slate of movie mayhem. READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Spielberg, Lucas, and Scorsese pay tribute in trailer for 'Milius' doc -- VIDEO

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It is a nice coincidence that the trailer for a new documentary about filmmaker John Milius should arrive as the Big Lebowski is celebrating its 15th anniversary, given the writer-director was one of the inspirations for John Goodman’s war-obsessed gun nut Walter Sobchak. But the clip for Milius also serves as a reminder that that piece of trivia is one of the less interesting things about this larger-than-life character who brought us Big Wednesday, Conan the Barbarian, Dillinger, and Red Dawn, and who also cowrote Apocalypse Now and had a hand in penning the U.S.S. Indianapolis monologue in Jaws.

Milius is screening at SXSW tomorrow. You can check out the trailer below. READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Check out artist Paul Pope's new poster for documentary 'William and the Windmill' -- EXCLUSIVE IMAGE AND VIDEO

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Real-life stories don’t get much more remarkable than that of William Kamkwamaba, a young Malawian who rescued his family from famine by constructing a power-generating windmill from junk parts. Kamkwamaba related his story in the 2009 bestseller The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and he is now the subject of the SXSW-screening documentary William and the Windmill from director Ben Nabors, which details both his original story and his subsequent brush with fame.

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'The Bitter Buddha': Director Steven Feinartz on his documentary about cult stand-up comedian Eddie Pepitone

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Were you to ask 100 passers-by to list their favorite stand-ups it is unlikely any of them would mention the name Eddie Pepitone. But were you to ask any random group of comedians the same question it might be a different matter. The New Yorker has long been a fixture on the L.A. comedy scene and his rage-fueled rants are beloved by the likes of Sarah Silverman, Marc Maron, and Patton Oswalt, all of whom appear in the new documentary about Pepitone, The Bitter Buddha.

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Tribeca Film Festival announces 2013 film opener

The Tribeca Film Festival has just announced that the world premiere of Mistaken for Strangers will open the 2013 festival. Mistaken for Strangers, directed by Tom Berninger, chronicles Berninger’s experience on tour with his brother, The National’s front man Matt Berninger.

Mistaken for Strangers exemplifies the independent spirit and vitality that Tribeca is excited to showcase every year,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer, in a release. “We are thrilled to open with a film that embodies the journey of an independent filmmaker, and is at its core a highly personal and lighthearted story about brotherly love. It will be a great night of both indie film and music.” READ FULL STORY

'Inocente': An artist's journey from homelessness to the Academy Awards

Affleck and Hathaway, Lawrence and Day-Lewis may have been the most notable winners on Sunday night, the artists who cemented their Hollywood legacies at the 2013 Academy Awards. But no one’s life has changed more this year from starring in an Oscar-winning movie than Inocente Izucar. The name might not ring a bell, but you’ll remember the acceptance speech for Best Documentary Short, when Inocente‘s co-director Sean Fine introduced her to the world. “We want to thank this young lady who was homeless just a year ago and now she’s standing in front of all of you,” he said. “She’s an artist and all of you are artists and we feel like we need to start supporting the arts. They’re dying in our communities. And all of us artists, we need to stand up and help girls like her be seen and heard. It’s so important. Thank you.”

Fine and his wife and collaborator, Andrea Nix Fine, discovered Izucar in San Diego four years ago, when the Oscar-nominated duo (War Dance) were searching for subjects for a documentary about homelessness. Then 15, Izucar and her family moved 30 times in the previous nine years, never living in the same place for more than three months. Her father, who’d illegally brought his family north of the border when Izucar was a child, had been deported back to Mexico, and her mother struggled to support her four children, toiling at a series of low-paying odd jobs. But it wasn’t her plight that made Izucar so compelling a subject; it was her talent and her spirit. She is a promising artist who starts each day painting bright and extravagant makeup on her face, and after the filmmakers connected with her through a San Diego non-profit called ARTS: A Reason to Survive that supports at-risk youngsters, they spent the next two years documenting her life. “I don’t even want to imagine where I would be if there wasn’t the documentary and everything that’s going on with it,” says Izucar. “I’m really thankful to Sean and Andrea.” READ FULL STORY

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