There’s a lot that the American people don’t get to see when it comes to the responsibilities of the President of the United States of America. But Pete Souza has seen more than most as official White House photographer, capturing the Commander-in-Chief at nearly every turn. Souza served for two very different administrations, that of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, and now a new documentary called The Way I See It introduces the man who hasn’t mixed words about the differences between these two presidents from different sides of the aisle and the corrupt, pathetic, shell of a man currently in office. Read More »
“To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful.”
The dedication to the lyricist behind some of Disney’s most beloved animated hits that runs in the closing credits of Beauty and the Beast is brief but beautiful — which is a fitting description of the life of Howard Ashman, whose amazing life was cut short by AIDS in 1991, right on the cusp of what would be his greatest and most lasting achievement. It’s a fitting description too for Howard, the Disney+ documentary directed by Ashman’s friend and colleague, Beauty and the Beast producer Don Hahn. Featuring never-before-seen archival footage of Ashman working on soon-to-be Disney classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, Howard is an all-too-fleeting snapshot of one of the greatest lyricists in musical history, the tragic circumstances of his death lending an air of melancholy and depth that is rare in a Disney-affiliated documentary.
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In the ’80s, David Blech was dubbed the “King of Biotech” by the New York Times, a pioneer investor in a rapidly growing industry whose very touch (dubbed “The Blech Effect”) seemed to promise vast fortunes and success. But 30-something years later, Blech is $11 million in debt and awaiting a possible jail sentence, the “Blech Effect” taking on a dramatically different meaning. In David Greenwald‘s The Blech Effect documentary, the disgraced tech investor looks for a way to reverse his fortunes by developing a potential cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.
/Film has the exclusive first look at The Blech Effect trailer, along with key art for the documentary, which can be seen below.
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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: Love on the Spectrum
Where You Can Stream It: Netflix
The Pitch: Originating in Australia, Love on the Spectrum is a reality dating series following a variety of singles on the autism spectrum who are looking for love. What could have easily been a series that looks upon its subjects with pity, this documentary series instead shows that people on the spectrum often have the same struggles that non-autistic people have while finding love. Though there are naturally complications that come with being autistic, the series illustrates how broad the spectrum is and simultaneously destigmatizes the common misconceptions made about autism.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Reality dating shows are a dime a dozen, but few of them feel as genuine and eye-opening as Love on the Spectrum. By following a group of Australian singles on the autism spectrum as they try to find love, we get a glimpse into the lives of those who have constantly been portrayed as a challenge to overcome or a disability that only comes with woes. Read More »
There’s a chance that you might have already heard about the cult NXIVM. Smallville actress Allison Mack was charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy stemming from her participation in the organization’s nefarious activities. But soon you’ll get the full story about NXIVM thanks to The Vow, a new documentary series from HBO that aims to uncover exactly what this organization was all about. Watch The Vow trailer below to see for yourself. Read More »
The political landscape delivers us a fresh hell from which there seems to be no escape. Thankfully, we don’t always have to engulf ourselves in the nightmare that is American government, because we can turn off the news. But there are those who don’t have that luxury because it’s their job to report on the events unfolding from within the political circus everyday, and a new documentary film coming to HBO Max will show how insane the scene truly is.
On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries follows a mix of veteran journalists and intrepid first-time reporters as they cover the lead-up to the presidential election where Democrats and Republicans determine who will be their presidential candidate this year. Watching it unfold as a citizen and spectator was grueling enough, and it looks like being in the thick of it was even worse. Watch the On the Trail trailer below to get a glimpse of the madness. Read More »
Ren & Stimpy was a groundbreaking cartoon from Nickelodeon that helped put the kids cable network on the map. But when you look back at the animated series created by John Kricfalusi, you’re left wondering how this was something kids were ever allowed to watch at all. Because of the show’s unique nature, the history of Ren & Stimpy is an interesting one to say the least, and soon you’ll be able to learn all about it thanks to the new documentary, Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story, and the first trailer has arrived to provide a sneak peek. Read More »
In the history of unusual Hollywood combinations, this one may take the cake. Luca Guadagnino, known for arthouse movies like Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria, is teaming up with funnyman duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who gave us raunchy comedy hits like Pineapple Express, to make a narrative film based on the documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. Guadagnino is set to direct this Scotty Bowers biopic, about the legendary bisexual male hustler, while Rogen and Goldberg will write the script.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
I may not remember precisely when I rediscovered board games, but I do remember the moment I knew I was hooked. In January of 2016, a friend invited me to join his much-anticipated playthrough of Twilight Imperium, a super-complicated game centering around galactic exploration and conquest. The only catch? The group was meeting three states over, requiring an hours-long drive through terrible weather – and a quick turnaround if I were to be back at work on Monday morning.
I made the drive and was eliminated in hour nine of what would become a twelve-hour game.
Over the intervening years, I’ve found that board games have become an increasingly important part of my relationships with others. They are a common thread that can pull together disparate friend groups. They are also an analog experience that helps me unplug – at least metaphorically – from my responsibilities as a full-time marketer and freelance film critic. Finally, board games serve as a perfect synthesis of my creative and analytical selves, marrying these disparate elements of my personality into one cohesive experience.
Thanks to the new documentary Gamemaster, board game fans have a film that can appreciate both the art and the economics of this billion-dollar industry. I had an opportunity to talk with director Charles Mruz before his Gen Con panel, “Making the Documentary Gamemaster,” which takes place this weekend during the conference’s online experience. In our interview, we discussed his film’s complexity and his willingness to confront some of the challenges of the board game industry head-on.
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Werner Herzog‘s next documentary is heading straight to Apple TV+. Apple announced that it has landed the rights to the new Herzog documentary, Fireball, which it will debut on its Apple TV+ platform. The documentary will explore how shooting stars, meteorites, and deep impacts on Earth have shaped human mythology.
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