the lovers and the despot trailer

The story chronicled in the new documentary The Lovers and the Despot sounds like a joke, which only makes the truth of it feel all the weirder and all the more horrifying. In 1978, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il abducted South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and actress Choi Eun-hee (who were estranged lovers) and forced them to help revitalize his struggling film industry. What followed was truly stranger than fiction and directors Ross Adam and Robert Cannan look to chronicle every beat of this incredible tale in The Lovers and the Despot. You can get a sample of what to expect in the newly arrived trailer.

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Eight Days a Week Trailer

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about The Beatles, a new documentary coming to Hulu this fall is bound to have something that you haven’t seen or heard yet. Director Ron Howard has been working on a documentary about the British import known as the Fab Four, focusing on the years the band was touring around the world to screaming audiences and fainting women from 1962 to 1966, and the first teaser trailer gives us a glimpse of the film, complete with talking heads from the surviving members of the band, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Watch the Eight Days a Week trailer after the jump. Read More »

Gleason Trailer

Steve Gleason was once a professional NFL defensive back for the New Orleans Saints, credited with kickstarting the beginning of a huge comeback for the once-struggling football team, something that the city desperately needed. But at age 34, his whole world went into upheaval when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Gleason is a new documentary from Finders Keepers director Clay Tweel that tells Steve Gleason’s story so far, providing the backstory of his career and the dramatic change in his life following his medical diagnosis as he deals with the deterioration of his bodily functions. However, what could easily just be a sad story is made to feel uplifting as Gleason rises to the challenge and refuses to let the disease ruin his quality of life. But most importantly, he doesn’t let it stop him from being an integral part of his family.

Watch the Gleason trailer after the jump. Read More »

tickledmovie

Tickled is one of the most bizarre and riveting documentaries of the year, but the real-life story unfolding around the film is also getting stranger by the day.

Last night at a Tickled Q&A in Los Angeles, the film’s co-director Dylan Reeve encountered a surprise: several people featured in the documentary showed up for the screening. Hit the jump for the cringe-worthy video that resulted, and some thoughts from co-director David Farrier on how he feels about proceeding with the film’s release. Massive SPOILERS for the Tickled documentary follow (If it’s playing in a theater near you, you should see it. It’s great).
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The Pistol Shrimps

Produced by Morgan Spurlock (POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) and directed by Brent Hodge (I Am Chris Farley), The Pistol Shrimps follows an L.A.-based rec-league team. Actress Maria Blasucci created The Pistol Shrimps, and their point guard is Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation). The team is primarily made up of actors and writers, and Hodge’s doc is about how they all came together and attempted to win the L.A. City Municipal Women’s Basketball League division championship.

Below, watch The Pistol Shrimps trailer.

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Roseanne for President Trailer

America is so embroiled in the current insane election that you may have forgotten some of the craziness that ensued in the election for president back in 2012. You may not remember this, but comedian and sitcom star Roseanne Barr was once legitimately campaigning to be President of the United States as a challenge to the two-party political system that runs our democracy. Now a documentary reminds us of her journey, and gives us an in-depth look at not just her campaign, but the comedian herself.

Watch the Roseanne for President trailer after the jump. Read More »

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Tony Robbins Documentary Trailer

I saw director Joe Berlinger‘s Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru at SXSW earlier this year and had a very mixed reaction. While some found the film genuinely inspiring and others ruthlessly mocked it, I fell somewhere in the middle. It’s a fascinating movie and one worthy of being watched and picked apart, even if Berlinger’s portrait of the the famed motivational speaker is essentially a hagiography. In fact, it may be worth watching because it suggests Robbins can do no wrong and that viewpoint says a great deal about Robbins and those documenting him. Your personal mileage may drastically change how you watch this movie.

Anyway, Netflix scooped up the film and has released the first trailer, which offers a fairly accurate look at what you can expect.

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raiders interview

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is one of the most purely entertaining documentaries you will see this year, a tribute to the joys of cinema and the agonies of childhood. Directors Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen tell the story of Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, two childhood friends who set out to remake Steven Spielberg‘s Raiders of the Lost Ark. When they were eleven years old. In 1982. Their efforts resulted in Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, which has found a cult following over the years. Raiders! pulls double duty, exploring the making of the original fan film and the modern attempt by Strompolos and Zala to actually finish what they began as children and complete the one scene they never managed to film: the famous brawl on the German Flying Wing.

With the film currently touring around the country for the rest of the summer (you can check out the schedule and purchase tickets here), I sat down with Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala to talk about their experiences in making “the greatest fan film ever made,” their future filmmaking endeavors, and whether or not they’re sick and tired of Raiders of the Lost Ark at this point.

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Life Animated Trailer

Almost everyone has memories of growing up watching Disney movies. Whether it was in theaters or on VHS, the animated movies of Walt Disney Pictures have touched billions. But for one young man, they helped him cope with autism and connect to a world that he struggled to understand.

Life, Animated tells the story of Owen Suskind, an outgoing child who suddenly showed signs of autism at a young age. The documentary tells his life story as we follow Owen, now a twentysomething young man, as he sets out to live in his own apartment for the first time. And in this story, we see how Disney movies changed his life by way of clips from the movies, reenactment by Owen himself, and some gorgeous original animation as well. Watch the Life Animated trailer after the jump. Read More »