Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013 by Angie Han
Movie projects fall apart all the time, and most of the time they simply fade from memory soon afterward. Years later, the people who actually worked on the movie might be the only ones who remember it even existed to begin with. But sometimes a failed effort is so bizarre or so high-profile — or both — that the public is still wondering about it, long after it’s become clear that it’ll never come to fruition.
One film that definitely falls into the latter category is Superman Lives, a proposed take from the ’90s that would’ve featured Nicolas Cage in the lead role with direction by Tim Burton and a script by Kevin Smith (among others). Even now, over a decade later, we’re intrigued when old bits of concept art or toy prototypes surface. While we’ll never get to see Burton’s vision for ourselves, an upcoming documentary by Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse, Venture Bros.) aims to explore what could have been. More after the jump.
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Sarah Polley‘s documentary Stories We Tell is absolutely brilliant. I don’t use that word lightly, but I’ll say it again: brilliant. The actress-turned-director trains the camera on herself in a movie exploring not only her own family, but how people tell stories. She focuses on the truths embedded in them and different points of view. To help bolster that approach, Polley films not only her family, but herself filming the documentary, and cuts between the two seemlessly.
So while we’re hear Polley’s family history — how her mother and father met, got married, had kids, went through terrible trials, tribulations — we see the family, we see archival footage, we hear different points of view from all parties involved, and we see Polley behind the camera doing this, manipulating and prodding her subjects. And from there things get even more amazing.
After premiering at Berlin and playing Toronto and Telluride, Stories We Tell hit the slopes of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and just might be the best film at the festival. Read More »
You may remember the news stories from late in the summer of 2008. Eleven climbers died trying to climb the second tallest, and most treacherous mountain in the world: K2. The specific details of the tragedy were never made public, mostly because the survivors all had different stories to tell.
The precise intersection of those stories is the mystery director Nick Ryan unravels in The Summit, a documentary combining footage from the actual mountain with stunning reenactments and eyewitness interviews. Transitioning between the three disciplines, Ryan is able to not only tell the story of 24 climbers who climbed the mountain, he’s actually able to piece together exactly how 11 of them perished. Blending those two stories together, however, presents a problem.
Read more about the film below. Read More »
Dirty Wars is a movie that you’ll watch, and which will compel you to watch your back after you’ve seen it. Paranoid viewers might think the CIA should have a list of all the people who’ve seen the film, directed by Richard Rowley, because they now know unspeakable, horrific truths about America.
In Dirty Wars, Rowley follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill deep behind enemy lines. He travels across the Middle East, Africa, and other regions to talk to people whose families — women, children, babies — have been killed by the American military. Over the course of the movie, one incident leads to another, and eventually a pattern is revealed. It seems like America is fighting an unstoppable World War against an enemy we’re creating ourselves, in countries that we aren’t at odds with.
Dirty Wars is a focused, fascinating and frightening look at war in the 21st century, and a film you’re sure not to forget. Read more below. Read More »
We’ve all heard tales of huge online companies trying to use our knowledge for profit. We scoff at Facebook or Instagram when they update their privacy settings and get creeped out when Gmail gives us ads for things we’re discussing with our friends.
Google and the World Brain, a new documentary by Ben Lewis, is about that but on an even more frightening scale. It focuses on Google Books, and the company’s attempt to complie the entire printed history of the world into a single database. That sounds like a noble and worthwhile cause but, after watching Google and the World Brain, you might think otherwise. You might think Google has an agenda worthy of Dr. Evil. Read More »
Sound City was a recording studio outside Los Angeles, and a dump by all accounts. But it housed a dedicated staff and some incredible gear. The hit-machine incarnation of Fleetwood Mac met in those halls, and the 1975 album they recorded at Sound City put the studio on the map. Dozens of great rock records were cut in the studio’s two rooms. Years later, when the shift to digital recording had almost killed the studio, Nirvana showed up to record Nevermind in the big room, and the joint found life again.
Sound City is the first film from Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl. Grohl takes a shot at crafting a comprehensive history of the studio, but this is really a nostalgic look at a unique part of rock history, loaded with earnest testimonials from the likes of Rick Rubin, Neil Young, and Trent Reznor.
The material is all filtered through Grohl’s own deep fondness for the studio, and tied up as a tidy parable about rock music as an inherently personal means of communication. It tells a unique aspect of rock history from an accessible insider perspective, and features blistering performances that will raise the pulse of any rock and roll fan. Read More »
There’s probably a way to cut a work-safe trailer for kink (the lower-case “k” is intentional) but that would be so boring. Not that this first trailer is all that explicit, but the film is a documentary about the filmmakers at fringe and BDSM porn site Kink.com. Or are they smut peddlers? Or experimenters in human interaction? The doc might answer some of these questions.
The trailer paints most of Kink’s employees and contract performers as regular ol’ folks who just happen to get paid making films that feature whips and ball gags. And that’s a good start for the subject, since that’s the case for the bulk of the people who enjoy the website’s content, too. I don’t know how much depth (er…) director Christina Voros and producer James Franco manage to capture in the film, but I’m hoping for the best. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 by Angie Han
In A Place at the Table, documentarians Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush look at the 46 million Americans who suffer from food insecurity, meaning that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Put another way, that’s about one in six Americans overall. Children are disproportionately affected, with one in four struggling with hunger. But there’s hope yet — there’s enough food to go around if only people could afford it, so with the right policies in place, everyone could get fed. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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