hayao miyazaki documentary

Tuesday December 9 is a great day to be a fan of Studio Ghibli. It’s the day Mami Sunada‘s documentary, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, hits all your big digital VOD platforms: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Playstation, Xbox, and Vudu.

That means you can sit back and be a fly on the wall of one of the world’s most incredible and influential animation studios as Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata work to finish The Wind Rises and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. That in itself is an amazing opportunity. What’s even more incredible is while Sunada’s cameras were rolling, Miyazaki made the decision to retire from filmmaking.

Below, we’ve got an exclusive clip from The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. In it, you can watch Miyazaki actually work. He animates the final shot of The Wind Rises, which he decided to change at the last second and, to him, it tied everything together. It’s a bitter sweet, wonderful moment and – potentially – a piece of film history. Watch the exclusive Hayao Miyazaki documentary clip below, then read through our recent stroll through his entire feature career. Read More »

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cosmos black hole

The cosmos is a big place. Like terrifyingly, staggeringly big. Really too big to be comprehended, and certainly too big to fit into one measly TV season. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the people behind Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey are considering a second. Hit the jump for more on the possible Cosmos Season 2.  Read More »

Last Days

Two years after Zero Dark Thirty opened, Kathryn Bigelow is back with her latest movie. But you won’t find this one in theaters — instead, you can watch the whole thing right here.

Bigelow’s latest project is Last Days, a short film about the illegal ivory trade. Not only is the trade killing off endangered elephant populations, it’s hurting humans, too, because the proceeds are going toward terrorist movements. Watch the Kathryn Bigelow short film Last Days after the jump.

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The Search for General Tso

If you’ve ever looked at a Chinese menu and wondered who the heck General Tso was and why we’re eating his chicken, director Ian Cheney finally has an answer for you. And it’s not as straightforward as you might expect.

In the new documentary The Search for General Tso, Cheney dives into the melting-pot origins of the Chinese-American restaurant staple, zipping across both countries and coming up with some tasty findings. Watch The Search for General Tso trailer after the jump. Read More »

WTF: A ‘Dear Zachary’ TV Show Is In The Works

dear zachary tv show

There’s little doubt Dear Zachary is one of the most heartbreaking films every made. The 2008 documentary by Kurt Kuenne started innocently enough as the director tried to make a movie about his deceased friend for his yet-to-be-born son. But as the story unfolded, reality turned into a nightmare for the child, his family and, to a lesser extent, anyone who watched it. Dear Zachary was so powerful and upsetting, it ended up having an effect on political issues in Canada. It’s currently available to stream on Netflix and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Just don’t forget the tissues.

Well in yet another weird twist of fate for the film, the director has now sold the rights to Universal Cable Productions to develop it as a miniseries. Read more about the Dear Zachary TV show below. Read More »

Life Itself

One of the interesting things about awards season is how voters are sometimes forced to vote on certain films. Take, for example, the Oscar shortlists. A small group of people wade through the hundreds of eligible films in certain categories and then provide a shortlist. Then, nominees can only be picked from that list. So there’s really a round of nominations before the actual nominations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences already released a shortlist for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, and now they’ve made public the shortlist for Best Documentary. Plenty of fantastic films are on the list including the Roger Ebert doc Life Itself, The Overnighters, CitizenFour and Jodorowsky’s Dune. Check out the full Oscar documentary shortlist below. Read More »

studio ghibli documentary trailer

The best documentaries take a great subject and then get hit by lightning. You’re filming your movie and then, over the course of it, something incredible and magical happens that takes the story in a whole different way. For filmmaker Mami Sunada, unprecedented access into one of the most famous animation studios in the world, Studio Ghibli, was just the beginning. Things got very interesting when their most famous and revered filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki, decided to announce his retirement.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is the result of that crazy story. It’s a documentary about the behind the scenes drama at Ghibli and the aftermath of Miyazaki making the bombshell announcement. A trailer for the film has now released in advance of a limited theatrical release November 28 and then a VOD window early in 2015. Check out the The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a Studio Ghibli documentary trailer, below. Read More »

Watch the Doc ‘Atari: Game Over’ Now for Free

watch Atari: Game Over

When a landfill in New Mexico was dug up last year, with those involved hoping to exhume thousands of dumped copies of Atari’s terrible E.T. video game, the whole event was captured on camera for a documentary. That doc is Atari: Game Over, directed by Zak Penn, and it is now available online. Thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, you can watch Atari: Game Over for free. Read More »

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