What if the story behind the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in Ukraine was far more sinister than we ever thought? The documentary The Russian Woodpecker is named after the Duga, a gigantic radio-transmitter wall that produces a pecking sound, and that technology is just one of many objects of fascination for a Ukranian artist who is obsessed with the cause and effect of the Chernobyl disaster.
The film follows as he looks into the history of the site and its surroundings, and comes to some absolutely crazy conclusions. Everyone I talked to who saw this doc at Sundance loved it, and I deeply regret missing it. So would someone buy this movie already, so we can all see it? In the meantime, you can watch The Russian Woodpecker trailer below.
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Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2015 by Angie Han
Laura Poitras‘ Citizenfour earned near unanimous praise when it opened, and even won the Best Documentary Feature Award at this year’s Oscars. Beyond that, it’s also been deemed capital-I important thanks to its by-the-moment coverage of Edward Snowden’s massive NSA leak. It’s the kind of movie that has critics and pundits imploring “everyone” to watch it.
But if you haven’t gotten there quite yet, fear not. Citizenfour is now easier to watch than ever because it’s streaming for free, in full, online.
Update: Sorry folks, but this was a pirated rip, albeit one dressed up to look better than most streaming piracy.
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In 1982, a group of kids wanted to make a movie. Not just any movie, however. They wanted to make Raiders of the Lost Ark. That’s exactly what they did. Shot for shot, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala attempted to recreate Steven Spielberg‘s masterpiece. It took seven years.
They didn’t quite finish at the time, but eventually fandom took over. Years later the remake began to take on a life of its own. The Internet got a hold of it, famous filmmakers championed it, a book was written and eventually, the old friends decided to shoot the one scene they couldn’t do when they started – the airplane fight.
That full story is told in a new documentary called Raiders!, directed by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen. It’ll premiere at next month’s South by Southwest film festival. Now, a trailer has been released. Check out the Raiders documentary trailer below. Read More »
One of the hottest tickets at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was the world premiere of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. It’s the latest documentary from Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and it follows men and women who left the controversial religion as they reveal their thoughts on how it works. There’s dirt on John Travolta, Tom Cruise and tons of others. Peter reviewed the film at Sundance and now, ahead of its late March premiere on HBO, a Going Clear trailer is now online. Watch it below. Read More »
One of the chief appeals of documentary film is the ability any given film has to pull you into a subculture that would otherwise be off-limits. Here’s Spearhunter, which follows some people you probably wouldn’t even guess existed: a set of men in Alabama who hunt wild boar with spears. In particular it investigates one guy who proclaimed himself the greatest spear hunter, and created a museum dedicated to the art of spear hunting. (And also to himself.)
The doc will premiere in March at SXSW, and this Spearhunter trailer is very entertaining and more than sufficient to arouse my curiosity about the story the film plans to tell. Read More »
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There are several moments in this trailer for Champs, a film which documents the highs and many lows of boxing, which should get anyone’s attention. Even those who aren’t boxing fans tend to have an opinion on the sport and the business behind it, and hearing something like 50 Cent saying the sport is one where “some of the toughest mothers in the world are letting guys who couldn’t make it take advantage of them” will probably reinforce some conceptions of the business. Here, boxers like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins speak up, and celebrity commentators such asMark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Ron Howard, Spike Lee add their own views on the sport.
Check out the Champs trailer below. Read More »
If you’re tempted to think “oh, whatever, a documentary about an old piano player,” based on the subject of this film, I urge you to watch this trailer for Seymour: An Introduction. I guarantee you’ll see it differently. Ethan Hawke has been part of Richard Linklater’s association with IFC thanks to Boyhood, and now he’s made a really tender doc that IFC will distribute later this year. Seymour follows pianist Seymour Bernstein, who quit a concert career in order to teach. Ethan Hawke profiles Bernstein, following not just his life, but his attitudes about life, performance, and priorities.
Watch the Seymour: An Introduction trailer below. Read More »
We liked the documentary The Wolfpack at Sundance this year — directed by Crystal Moselle, the film focuses on six brothers who spent their lives leaving their Lower East Side apartment only a couple times a year. Inside the flat, they obsessively watched movies, and eventually recreated their favorite films for their own amusement. The film captures some of these recreations on video, and they are startlingly good. That’s part of the reason other people liked the film, too. Magnolia picked it up quickly, and the film won the US Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the fest.
As a thank you for the award, the Angulo brothers created a few new video recreations based on ’90s faves such as The Usual Suspects, El Mariachi, and Clerks. Check out those clips below, along with a poster for the film, with a design influenced by another major ’90s movie. Read More »
How much do you know about the creation and performance that gave life to one of the nastiest aliens in the Star Wars universe? Dive deep into the guts of slimy intergalactic gangster Jabba the Hutt in a new short documentary from the guy who made some of the most detailed making-of films we’ve ever seen, for movies like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jaws. Jamie Benning has put together Slimy Piece of Worm-Ridden Filth: Life Inside Jabba the Hutt, using incredible vintage footage showing the inner workings of the Jabba puppet, and a new interview with puppeteer Toby Philpott.
This doc tells you more than you ever thought you wanted to know about the workings of the giant alien slug Jabba the Hutt puppet, and goes into great detail about the staging of every major scene in Return of the Jedi, and the team of people required to bring the character to life. Read More »