Built upon a 14 hour interview, MCKELLEN: PLAYING THE PART is a unique journey through the key landmarks of McKellen's life, from early childhood into a demanding career that placed him in the public eye for the best part of his lifetime. Using an abundance of photography from McKellen's private albums and cinematically reconstructed scenes, a raw talent shines through in the intensity, variety and devotion to that moment in the light.
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Written and directed by Julien Faraut and narrated by Mathieu Amalric, JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION revisits the rich bounty of 16-mm-shot footage of the left-handed tennis star John McEnroe, at the time the world's top-ranked player, as he competes in the French Open at Paris's Roland Garros Stadium in 1984. Close-ups and slow motion sequences of McEnroe competing, as well as instances of his notorious temper tantrums, highlight a "man who played on the edge of his senses." Far from a traditional documentary, Faraut probes the archival film to unpack both McEnroe's attention to the sport and the footage itself, creating a lively and immersive look at a driven athlete, a study on the sport of tennis and the human body and movement, and finally how these all intersect with cinema itself.
Wasted Talent is a gritty documentary where director Steve Stanulis and producer Noel Ashman together examine the temptations and struggles many young celebrities go through on their rise to stardom. It focuses on the story of actor Lillo Brancato who was once considered to be the next Robert De Niro, after his huge success starring in the films A Bronx Tale(De Niro's directorial debut), Renaissance Man, Crimson Tide and the classic TV show The Sopranos. However, Brancato got trapped in the underworld of Hollywood instead becoming a drug addict culminating in his arrest for the murder of a new York city police officer on a drug excursion gone horribly wrong. Though Brancato was cleared of the murder charge, he still did eight and a half years in jail on an attempted burglary conviction. During his time in prison, the young actor was finally able to get clean and sober and is now struggling to redeem himself in the fickle world of entertainment.
This documentary profiles Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, the two artists responsible for the Disney style of animation. The two close friends are responsible for making 23 feature during their 40 years at Disney. Films include Snow White, Bambi and Pinnochio. Together they were a perfectly complimentary pair. Frank was analytical and Ollie intuitive. It is also interesting that their personal lives closely paralleled each other.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara is the sole focus of documentarian Errol Morris' The Fog of War, a film that not only analyzes McNamara's controversial decisions during the first half of the Vietnam War, but also his childhood upbringing, his education at Berkeley and Harvard, his involvement in World War II, and his later years as president of the World Bank. Culling footage from almost 20 hours of interviews with the Secretary, Morris details key moments from McNamara's career, including the 1945 bombing of Tokyo, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and President Kennedy's suggestions to the Secretary that the U.S. remove itself from Vietnam. Throughout the film, the 85-year-old McNamara expounds his philosophies on international conflict, and shows regret and pride in equal measure for, respectively, his mistakes and accomplishments.
Friends and colleagues discuss the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, legendary host of the long-running children's television show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Among the cast includes former "Neighborhood" puppeteer Susan Linn, journalist Tim Russert, NPR's Susan Stamberg, and photographer Beverly Hall, a real-life former neighbor of Rogers.
Using actual footage from the event seamlessly mingled with new re-enactments, filmmaker James Marsh masterfully recreates high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit's 1974 stunt: performing acrobatics on a thin wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Plotting his feat like a master cat burglar, Petit enlists the help of a motley group of friends as he calculates every detail, from acquiring building access to stringing up the wire, and manages to pull off an astounding crime.
In January 2013, Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) was several years into making a film about surveillance in the post-9/11 era when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as "citizen four," who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes. Executive Produced by Steven Soderbergh.
"Tyson" is acclaimed indie director James Toback's stylistically inventive portrait of a mesmerizing Mike Tyson. Toback allows Tyson to reveal himself without inhibition and with eloquence and a pervasive vulnerability. Through a mixture of original interviews and archival footage and photographs, a startlingly complex, fully-rounded human being emerges. The film ranges from Tyson's earliest memories of growing up on the mean streets of Brooklyn through his entry into the world of boxing, to his rollercoaster ride in the funhouse of worldwide fame and fortunes won and lost. It is the story of a legendary and uniquely controversial international athletic icon, a figure conjuring radical questions of race and class. In its depiction of a man rising from the most debased circumstances to unlimited heights, destroyed by his own hubris, "Tyson" emerges as a modern day version of classic Greek tragedy.
Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner Eugene Jarecki's new film takes the King's 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. In this groundbreaking film, Jarecki paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American Dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here. A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and non, join the journey.
Over four decades, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister has registered an immeasurable impact on music history. Nearly 65, he remains the living embodiment of the rock and roll lifestyle, and this feature-length documentary tells his story, one of a hard-living rock icon who continues to enjoy the life of a man half his age. Shot on a combination of High Definition and Super 16mm film, "Lemmy" includes interviews with friends, family, bandmates past and present and such admirers/peers as Metallica, Slash, Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters), Ozzy Osbourne, Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order), actor Billy Bob Thornton, wrestling superstar Triple H, Alice Cooper, Mick Jones of The Clash, and many more. Called "pure gold" by WIRED, "Lemmy" made its world premiere in March 2010 at the South by Southwest Film and Music Festival, and has since collected rave reviews at film festivals around the globe. Variety remarked "'Lemmy' rocks," and The Hollywood Reporter noted, "You don't have to be a metalhead to love 'Lemmy.'"
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story is the official documentary about maverick Manchester comedian Frank Sidebottom, and the life and art of his hidden creator Chris Sievey. Frank Sidebottom, remembered fondly as the man with the papier-mâché head, was the court jester of the Manchester music and comedy scene for over 25 years, but only a privileged few knew the man inside. Being Frank tells a twisted tale of split personalities - a suburban superhero with a fanatical desire to preserve the myth he created, and eventually having to battle against being consumed by his alter ego.
After the 2016 election, people all over the world woke up to find that Donald J. Trump, New York real estate billionaire and reality TV star, succeeded in pulling off one of the greatest political upsets in history to become the 45th President of the United States. One man who wasn't shocked--political consultant Roger Stone. A longtime Trump confidante and advisor, Stone said he always knew his celebrity pal was "prime political horse flesh." Get Me Roger Stone traces the monumental shifts that Stone, the youngest person called before the Watergate grand jury and a self-described "dirty trickster", has made on modern GOP history--connecting Nixon, Roy Cohn and Reagan with SuperPACs, lobbying, the 2000 election, all the way to the nation's first reality star President. A master of creating controversy and manipulating the media, Stone's career is a window into the last 50 years of politics that led to this pivotal moment in history. The Netflix original documentary chronicles the high-living, low-down, self-proclaimed agent provocateur and the seismic changes he's wrought in a political system.
Elvis Presley's evolution as a musician and a man. A two-part profile of Elvis Presley begins with his early life in Mississippi; his first encounter with Sun Records Sam Phillips; tours of the South; and his decision to sign with a national label after his manager, Col. Tom Parker, bought out his contract.
Tom Volf's MARIA BY CALLAS is the first film to tell the life story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer completely in her own words. Told through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and unpublished memoirs-nearly all of which have never been shown to the public-the film reveals the essence of an extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time. Assembling the material for the film took director Volf four years of painstaking research, which included personal outreach to dozens of Callas's closest friends and associates, who allowed him to share their personal memorabilia in the film. When recordings of Callas's voice aren't available, Joyce DiDonato, one of contemporary opera's biggest stars, reads her words.
HONDROS follows the life and career of famous war photographer Chris Hondros by exploring the poignant and often surprising stories behind this award-winning photojournalist's best-known photos. Driven by a commitment to bear witness to the wars of our time after the events of 9/11, Chris was among the first in a new generation of war photographers since Vietnam. HONDROS explores the complexities inherent in covering more than a decade of conflict, while trying to maintain a normal life. It also examines the unknowable calculus involved in making split-second life and death decisions -- before, during and after his photos were made. Chris was killed in Libya in 2011, but he left a lasting impact on his profession that is still felt today.
From his famous motorcycle trips to his historic role in the Cuban Revolution, Argentinean revolutionary Che Guevara is profiled in a documentary produced to explore the life of the man whose visage has become an iconic symbol of hard left politics.
This man, who ordered the execution of countless human beings while in charge of the notorious La Cabaña prison in Havana, who terrorized Cuban society and who denied freedom to thousands of citizens whom he considered "deviants" or "anti-revolutionaries" can never be accepted as a hero, martyr or -- the shock of it -- a saint.
Its a good documentary in the fact that it brings to light other people in the revolution, and it has this kind of new way of presenting the man, with lots of hard guitar in the background to make him seem "radical" i guess. Jon Anderson the author of one of the best bio's on him is interviewed many times, also there are interviews with American soldiers who fought in the revolution,which is very interesting to get to see them. Overall it is one of the better documentaries.
Filmmaker Liz Garbus (The Farm: Angola, USA) documents the extraordinary story of Edith Hahn in The Nazi Officer's Wife. Using old newsreel footage, personal photos, and interviews with Hahn, her daughter Angela, and various acquaintances, with narration by Susan Sarandon and Julia Ormond (who reads excerpts from Hahn's autobiography), the film explores how Hahn, a Jewish woman living in Vienna during the Nazi takeover of Austria, survived.
The film begins the tale with Hahn's childhood, including her education, the death of her father, and her college romance with a half-Jewish intellectual. As the Nazis grew in power, and Hahn's sisters fled for Palestine, he insisted that they would be safe in Vienna. Soon, Hahn, a law student, found herself in a slave labor camp. By the time she returned to Vienna, her mother had been sent to a concentration camp in Poland.
Certain to be deported herself, Hahn chose instead to remove the yellow star from her clothing and go into hiding. Finding help from the unlikeliest of sources (including two prominent members of the Nazi party,) Hahn took on a new identity as a young Aryan woman, and left Vienna, traveling to Munich, in the heart of the Third Reich, where she got a job working as a nurse's aide for the Red Cross.
There, visiting a museum, she met a bright and well-spoken Nazi, Werner Vetter, who approached her. Soon, against Hahn's better judgment, the two had started a romance, which eventually led to an unlikely marriage and a child.
Albert and David Maysles, pioneers in the cinéma vérité movement of documentary filmmaking, chose for their subjects of this film a mother and daughter with celebrity connections. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie (or, as they are called by the brothers, Big Edie and Little Edie) are aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
In the early '70s, their 28 - room mansion in Long Island's tony community of East Hampton was found to be a health hazard, and the two women, in their seventies and fifties, were threatened with eviction. Jacqueline Onassis paid for the house to be put in good order, and two years later, the Maysles paid the ladies a series of follow-up visits. This is not fly-on-the-wall filmmaking; the brother are sometimes shown on camera, and both women talk directly to them.
Big Edie reminisces about her husband (from whom she has long been separated) and her youthful singing career, Little Edie ruminates over memories of her thwarted romances and confides that she has to get out of Grey Gardens (the name of their estate), although she has been living there since 1952, and the two women pick at each other for transgressions past and present.