Category Archives: documentary
American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist Noam Chomsky, has teamed up, probably reluctantly,with french director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Green Hornet) to give us a view inside of this thinking man’s mind. This trailer is so Michel, anyone who’s a Michel Gondry fan or a humanist, will get a kick out of it.
The documentary focuses on the life of controversial MIT professor, philosopher, linguist, anti-war activist and political firebrand Noam Chomsky. Through complex, lively conversations with Chomsky and brilliant illustrations by Gondry, the film becomes a work of art that reveals the life and work of the father of modern linguistics while also exploring his theories on the emergence of language. IFC Films released the film in limited theaters November 22nd.
- Noam Chomsky Makes Michel Gondry Feel ‘Stupid’ in ‘Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?’ Trailer (Video) (thewrap.com)
- Michel Gondry Has An Animated Talk With Noam Chomsky (fastcocreate.com)
- Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (ieet.org)
- Michel Gondry’s Animated Documentary Acquired by Sundance Selects (thewrap.com)
- Sundance Selects Acquires Michel Gondry’s Noam Chomsky Docu ‘Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?’ (m.deadline.com)
Muscle Shoals…heard of it? Probably not and yet it is the birthplace of some of the most iconic rock songs in history. Directed by Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier, Muscle Shoals is a heartfelt tale of ambition and overcoming all odds to bring the world the best of R&B, Blues and Rock N Roll.
Strange how one finds out about all these amazing music houses, it wasn’t too long ago that I learned about Sound City through the documentary film, then there was the documentary The Wrecking Crew and now this. All these films do an excellent job of peeling away the grime that tends to build up on stories such as these. Whether bias or not, inside all these tales I’m sure is another side of the story, but stories worth listening to are never without it’s controversy.
Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River” as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals is some of the most important and resonant of all time. “I’ll Take You There”, “Brown Sugar”, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, “I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Loved You”, “Mustang Sally”, “Tell Mama”, “Kodachrome”, and “Freebird” are just a few of the tens of thousands of tracks created there.
At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, he brought black and white musicians together to create music that would last for generations while also giving birth to the unique ‘Muscle Shoals sound‘ and the rhythm section ‘The Swampers’.
In this movie legendary artists including Aretha Franklin, Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Jimmy Cliff, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Wilson Pickett, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Steve Winwood and others bear witness to the magnetism and mystery of Muscle Shoals and why it remains a global influence today.
‘Muscle Shoals comes from the heart – not only the film but the entirety of the tale itself’ – Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier, Director
Continuing in that tradition of groundbreaking cinema the production company Oscilloscope Labs, started by The Beastie Boys MCA (R.I.P), brings us another riveting documentary about youthful rebellion on a whole new level. Directed by Lofty Nathan, The 12 O’Clock Boys follows the lives of a notorious motocross gang that has developed a new way of spreading hi jinx across Baltimore’s inner cities. Is it breaking the law and how far will some of the impressionable youth go to become one of the boys?
This film premiered at SXSW Film Festival this year and also took the Hot Docs HBO Emerging Artist Award this summer. This is one of those Kickstarter successes that I think everyone should see…it looks amazing.
The 12 O’Clock Boys are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore. Converging in groups and invading the streets, they dangerously–yet magnificently–make their presence known as they pop wheelies and weave in and out of traffic at excessive speeds, all the while taunting the police who must obey a self-imposed “no chase” rule for fear of endangering the public. Nathan frames the years-in-the-making narrative through the eyes of the adolescent Pug – a kid from the Westside eager to join the 12 O’Clock Boys’ ranks. Pug reveres the Boys’ every move, and Nathan follows this young man through some of the most pivotal years of his life, providing a compelling and intimate personal story within the broader depiction of the wild, dynamic world of the 12 O’Clock Boys. Oscilloscope Labs will release Lotfy Nathan’s 12 O’Clock Boys starting in early 2014.
I was never cool enough to own a game console when I was young, my parents barely let me watch MTV. My exposure came from going over friends house’s and playing Contra and Gauntlet for hours on end, but then I would have to go home and that made me sad. At night I would dream about stacking 8 bit cheeseburgers and capturing the elusive Red Falcon…WHY DIDN’T THEY BUY MY A NINTENDO??!!
This trailer for Gamer Age,is surprisingly good and well shot and edited. The creators are hoping to have the full length documentary shown at the ArcLight Documentary Festival, Oct. 9-13! You can go now to their YouTube and vote for it to be shown. Voting ends July 21, 2013
Directed by Jonathan Drake, Ian Santer. With Kevin Tancharoen, Holly Conrad, Amanda White, Jennifer Zhang Gamer age presents an anthropological look into the rich culture of video games.
Bringing into focus the popular and esoteric influences gaming has had already, the passion and controversy surrounding games today, and a vision of what is yet to come. Though a relatively recent phenomenon, spanning only about 40 years; video games have had an immeasurable impact on mainstream society. Audiences will now witness the story of how video games have challenged conventional social dynamics, such as relationships, education, therapy, art, and commerce.
According to Hollywood Reporter the Cannes Film Festival documentary that chronicles the ill fated Jodorowsky film, has just just acquired N. American distribution of the Frank Pavich film. Sony Classics will be distributing this amazing film in the U.S.
“To have my first film distributed by Sony Pictures Classics is a dream come true. I’m incredibly excited to know that we will be working alongside the company that so fully supported such great documentaries like Crumb and Searching for Sugar Man,” said Pavich in a statement. “SPC has seen that, even though this is a documentary about a never-completed film, it is not a story about failure. It’s a story about ambition and how the power of art can effectively change the world.”
In a festival review, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Stephen Dalton described Jodorowsky’s Dune a “homage” to a lost film. “For all its claims of prophetic genius, Pavich’s documentary may well prove to be a more enjoyable film than the high-camp carnival of excess it seeks to commemorate,” he wrote.
No word yet on a Blu-Ray DVD release, but we will determinately let you know.
M.I.A is an anomaly of sorts, not because she’s an artist that constantly challenges herself, but because, if you really listen to what she is saying, she’s always coming hard at the problems in the world. Whether she’s just cashing in on her self-perpetual, controversial nature or is truly a rebel remains to be seen, but she’s always gone the way of independent distribution until 2004 when she signed to a major, but in her defense maybe she’s using that as a way to get her message out to more people. I’m not gonna lie, I still hear a little girl when I listen to M.I.A., but that’s part of her charm. She has that level of reckless abandon to her style that’s infectious and always pushing things forward. She’s like a real life version of Tank Girl in my eyes.
This new trailer for her documentary (untitled) contains a lot of what I already knew about her, at least from the trailer stand point, but maybe there’s more. I guess we’ll just have to see. The trailer contains interviews with Kanye West, Diplo and a host of others. Because this trailer is supposedly “unofficial” I guess we should expect to see a legitimate trailer soon. No word on distribution yet.
It’s funny, cause when I think back to that evening at Pleasure Island AMC Theaters with my bestfriend Damion and watching Goodfellas, all I remember was how violent the film was and not being able to wrap my mind around it. I attribute that film as being “thee” film that broke my “Rated R” cherry. I don”t think it was until a year later that I could truly appreciate the genius of that film. Even to this day, it’s in my top ten of best films ever made.
This “making of…” documentary, delves a little into the behind the scenes of this amazing gangster drama by talking to the people who were involved like editor Thelma Shoonmaker, writer of the book Nicholas Pileggi and actors Paul Sorvino, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco. The film also talks to Martin Scorcese and a host of other partners who’ve been with Marty since the beginning.
It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come since this film, a fact brought crashing home when you see the use of a flatbed, reel to reel editor. Goodfellas was timeless in it’s execution and artistry, even by today standards. I don’t think Martin has ever made a film that good since, which is a shame considering he should’ve won the Oscar for it. Instead they throw him that sympathy vote years later with The Departed, a film that fails in comparison to Goodfellas, but what do I know?
If I were to mention the name Richard Williams , most of you wouldn’t know who I was talking about, but if I asked you have you seen Disney‘s Who Framed Roger Rabbit you’d all light up like a Christmas trees. Well, Richard Williams is the man behind all the animation in that film. Persistence of vision chronicles a period in Richards life when he was creating The Thief And The Cobbler (via The Cinefamily) (a radical new project started in the Sixties, but finally slated for completion only after Williams’ Oscar for 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit) .
The film was met, as with all truly groundbreaking art, with red tape, revisions, revoicing and slowly all semblance of what Richard had first created was completely gone. It’s a tragic true story of artist working in the corporate world and how integrity is no match for money.
Dir. Kevin Schreck, 2012, digital presentation, 83 min. – See more at: http://www.cinefamily.org/films/persistence-of-vision/#sthash.BI91SBFK.dpuf
Wanna see the Draft House Film: A Band Called Death at the Phoenix Filmbar on June 28th 2013? Let us know who these six Detroit based rock acts are and win a ticket to the premier. The first four people to answer correctly, will receive tickets to the premier.
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early ’70s formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death’s music— and band name—too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell…the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers.
I love love love me some bounce music. I thank the queen diva “Big Freddia” for bustin my cherry, back in 2011 with her hit track “Yall Get Back Now“, since that, I’ve been groovin to the likes of Nicky Da B and Katy Red (who some say started this whole Bounce thing). So it is with extreme pleasure that I present to you this amazing documentary “The B.E.A.T” directed by Abteen Bagheri, that tries to get at the meat of this New Orleans dance music craze. The documentary features interviews with some of the heavy hitters in the “Bounce” music scene. Folks like:
This insane short also features music from:
Nicky Da B – ‘Express Yourself‘ / ‘Just a lil Nasty’ / ‘Beating Down Yo Block’
Sissy Nobby – ‘Freestyle’
Big Freedia – ‘Booty Whop Marc Garvy’
The scene has gained quite a bit of steam, but it still remains truly New Orleans and I imagine that this is right where they want it. Special thanks to DIPLO for sharing this with us on Twitter.