During a ceremony honoring legendary TV producer Norman Lear, comedian Amy Poehler says, “It’s hard to make people laugh, tackle big issues and get big ratings. That’s why no one does it anymore.” Indeed, in the relatively short history of television, no one has had as big of an impact on the medium as Norman Lear, the creator of classic shows such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude and more.
The documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You dives into the life and career of this man who changed TV forever with those shows, and it makes for a surprisingly touching, charming and intimate profile. Read More »
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we remember what it was like to be 11, enjoy the pop hit “True” in a completely unironic way, create good TV, leave this earth behind, and understand our economy before falling asleep.
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Magnolia Pictures has acquired the domestic distribution rights to the big screen adaptation of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner‘s bestselling book Freakonomics.
Like the book, the film examines human behavior with provocative and sometimes hilarious case studies, bringing together a dream team of filmmakers responsible for some of the most acclaimed and entertaining documentaries in recent years: Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Casino Jack and the United States of Money), Academy Award® nominees Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp), Academy Award® nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight) and Seth Gordon (The King of Kong).
The film is set to premiere as the closing night film of the Tribeca Film Festival in early May. No release date has been announced. You can read the whole press release after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010 by David Chen
Documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have previously demonstrated their ability to present controversial issues and people in an even-handed way. Their 2006 film, Jesus Camp, which documented a Pentacostal summer camp for children, was praised for the way it revealed the indoctrination of children by the religious right. But that film’s subjects actually stated that they had no problems with they way they were depicted, a testament to Grady and Ewing’s efforts towards verisimilitude.
The pair had a new film at Sundance this year called 12th & Delaware, which chronicles the people who work at an abortion clinic in Florida and the local religious members that try to thwart them (the title refers to a street corner where the abortion clinic and a church clinic are located opposite each other). The footage that Ewing and Grady were able to get is remarkable, and while they successfully capture the fervor on both sides of 12th & Delaware, it’s the footage of the clients that is truly stunning, as they were able to film people in the process of making one of the most potentially important decisions of their lives. As with their previous films, 12th & Delaware is illuminating and infuriating in equal parts, but always a movie that feels both well-made and fair.
After the break, my interview with Grady and Ewing, in which we talk about how they made 12th & Delaware, the reception of Jesus Camp, and their exciting next project.
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