Back in Time Back to the Future Documentary

/Film readers, you’ve been recruited. The producer and director of a new Back to the Future documentary, Back in Time, have asked for your help. They’re well into production on a documentary about the history of Back to the Future and the long-lasting effect the film has had on popular culture. However, the twist is the film is being told through the eyes of the film’s third star: The DeLorean.

Director Jason Aron and producers Louis Krubich and Lee Leshen have traveled all over talking to people inspired by the film, many of whom own DeLoreans, and the next up is one of their biggest yet: Doctor Emmet Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd. Aron has created a video specifically for the /Film readers asking for questions they can ask Lloyd. Then, sometime in the future, we’ll be able to post his answers, even if they don’t make it into the final film.

Below, give us your best Christopher Lloyd question in the comments, check out some production stills from Back in Time and read more about the film. Read More »

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Orson Welles Documentary Magician

Maybe I’m guessing wrong, but it feels like Orson Welles has fallen away from his perch at the top of the list of the most fascinating American filmmakers. We’re a couple decades removed from the prominence of the people who kept him in the conversation; other filmmakers have dominated the conversation as dialogue about film has changed. We’ve seen Citizen Kane fall from first to second on Sight and Sound’s once-a-decade list of the 50 Greatest Films of All Time. (Kane held the #1 spot for fifty years.)

No matter how many other filmmakers do things that Welles did, however, none will ever do everything Welles did, and very few will do it in the way he managed. He wasn’t just there for many of Hollywood’s formative moments, he provided several of them. If you don’t know the history and films of Welles, there’s never a bad time to dive in.

Here’s the trailer for the Orson Welles documentary Magician, which recounts Welles’ life and achievements, featuring interviews with with Richard Linklater, Peter Bogdanovich, Frank Marshall, Anthony Perkins, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Steven Spielberg. Read More »

Watch Out of Print

Julia Marchese has worked at the New Beverly theater in Los Angeles since 2006. That employment came to an end this week, but along with the end of her tenure at the theater comes an unexpected gift for audiences.

Marchese has spent the past couple years producing and directing Out of Print, a documentary on the allure of 35mm film projection, with the New Beverly at the center of the doc. Financed in part via Kickstarter, the film features interviews with Patton Oswalt, Edgar Wright, Rian Johnson, Joe Carnahan, Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Joe Dante, Mark Romanek, John Landis, Lloyd Kaufman, Fred Dekker, and Richard Kelly.

Now, she has released the film online for free. The title Out of Print has proven to be unfortunately prophetic, for reasons Marchese explains in her online release, but you can enjoy the feature in full right now.

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The Man vs The Machine

Frank Marshall is known mostly for producing some of the most beloved films of all time, including Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Goonies, and The Bourne Identity. But from time to time he tries his hand at directing as well. Among other things, he’s helmed Arachnophobia, Congo, Eight Below, and the ESPN 30 for 30 installment Right to Play.

His latest directorial effort is a documentary short titled The Man vs. The Machine, chronicling the epic mid-’90s showdown between chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM computer Deep Blue. Watch The Man vs The Machine trailer after the jump.

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Citizenfour

As various parties race to get out the first Edward Snowden biopic, the first Edward Snowden movie has already premiered. Laura Poitras‘ documentary Citizenfour debuted at the New York Film Festival over the weekend and while it won’t hit theaters for another couple of weeks, we have the first Citizenfour trailer to share with you in the meantime.

The title of the movie comes from the codename Snowden used to sign his emails to Poitras when he first contacted her. The filmmaker was already deep into work on a documentary about post-9/11 surveillance when she got his messages. Together with journalist Glenn Greenwald, she worked with Snowden to release information to the NSA’s covert surveillance programs in 2013. Watch the Citizenfour trailer, plus the Citizenfour NYFF Q&A panel, after the jump.

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electric-boogaloo-the-wild-untold-story-of-cannon-films

As difficult as the films of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were to predict when they were released during the heyday of Cannon Films, their output is almost more difficult to understand now. The seat of the pants craziness that was Cannon’s stock in trade isn’t often seen today, unless via the ironically bad output of Asylum and similar outfits. So let’s go back to the footloose ’80s with this Electric Boogaloo trailer.

Golan and Globus bought the Cannon name in 1979, and through the early ’90s churned out an amazing series of low-budget near-exploitation films that were all violence, titillation, crude humor, and weird story concepts. Naturally, the movies are now hailed as being pretty awesome. (Just get a copy of, say, Ninja III: The Domination to see how magnificently insane Cannon projects could be.)

The documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films traces (obviously) the history of the company, and does so with a wild energy that is fitting for the films in question. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Richard Linklater

In this summer’s Boyhood, Richard Linklater summed up 12 years of a kid’s life into one feature-length movie. Now the documentary 21 Years: Richard Linklater will do the same to the filmmaker’s career.

Directed by Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood, the documentary is based on the idea that “the first 21 years defines the career of an artist.” In Linklater’s case, that means looking at everything he’s done from Slacker to Boyhood… which are actually 23 years apart, but we’ll let it slide. Hit the jump to watch the 21 Years Richard Linklater trailer.

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star wars toy documentary

One of the best/worst things about being a Star Wars fan is the merchandise. There’s just so much of it. You can try and avoid it, tell yourself you aren’t going to buy it, but eventually someone is going to make that exact piece you’ve always dreamed about and you have to have it. That’s because, in one of the most famous business deals ever, George Lucas turned down a significant chunk of his salary on the original film in exchange for rights to any Star Wars sequels and merchandising. Before the movie came out, that seemed like a no-brainer for the studio. This movie was never making money. Now, over 30 years removed, merchandise makes way more money than the movies, to the tune of billions of dollars.

Toys are at the center of that empire of Star Wars merchandise. Toys you almost certainly owned as a child and beat into submission as you saved the world time and time again. Toys now sold in specialty shops for so much money you kick yourself for destroying them in your childhood. And when there’s a topic so specific yet so universal and fun, it’s bound to prompt a documentary.

Enter director Brian Stillman and a film called Plastic Galaxy, which “explores the groundbreaking and breathtaking world of Star Wars toys. Through interviews with former Kenner employees, experts, authors, and collectors, it looks at the toys’ history, their influence, and the fond and fervent feelings they elicit today.” Um, yes please.

The film is currently streaming exclusive on Vimeo. Below, watch a trailer and learn more. Read More »

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