A documentary on the life of Amy Winehouse could easily have been done in a conventional manner a long the lines of A&E’s “Biography” series and still been plenty compelling. Winehouse was an enigma whose tempestuous relationships with people and drugs made for ideal tabloid fodder as well as a fascinating character study. But Asif […]
What is the distance between fame and obscurity? “20 Feet from Stardom” filmmaker Morgan Neville not only shines a spotlight on the world of backup singers, but in doing so, also uncovers the mysterious set of laws that seem to dictate fame in our world.
The story being told in “Searching for Sugar Man” is 15 years old, yet it didn’t become a documentary until 2012. Seeing as the film centers on a man who never received the fame he deserved until long after the fact, that’s quite fitting.
The transformation of San Diego’s Comic-Con International is fascinating. What was once a small comic-book convention intended to connect comic creators with their fans has evolved into an annual celebration of geek culture that validates and rewards those who have dived deeper into the pop-culture pool than most.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” might be the only documentary where the documentarian is more fascinating than the film — and the film is quite fascinating. A documentary about street art and the shadowy enigmatic figures that create it sounds interesting; a documentary about street art made by one of those shadowy figures sounds captivating.
With a subject as delicate, personal and even as controversial as religion, the wisest choice “Jesus Camp” filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady make is to keep their voice and presence out of the film and let their subjects tell the story. Documentaries are always better with some kind of guiding force and a hint […]
It would be an insult to call “The Cove” the dolphin and porpoise version of a “Save the Whales” documentary. It is a documentary thriller filled with wildlife education, thorough journalism and top-notch espionage as much as it sheds light on an environmental/animal rights issue as deserving of our attention as anything else.
Renowned guitarist Slash helps open Sacha Gervasi’s documentary on the band Anvil saying they helped inspire the metal movement in ’80s rock, but he also ends it by noting that despite Anvil never achieving the fame expected of them, that they’ve stayed together — which a lot of bands can’t say they have. That’s the […]
The American public is no stranger to the MPAA ratings system and its inherent flaws. Everyone has his or her own opinion about the level of censorship that goes on in Hollywood and what is appropriate for what age group and so on. But you don’t really know what it’s about until you watch Kirby […]
I saw this back at Columbia, Missouri’s True/False film festival in February 2009. Now it’s Oscar-nominated. I wrote up a short review at the time. The Western world concerns itself with issues like that of bias in the media. In Burma, journalism is illegal. The impact of “Burma VJ” is pretty straightforward. These VJs, living […]
Robert Kenner’s documentary “Food, Inc.” sounds like something you’ve heard of before. When Eric Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation” first woke America up to the horrific way that fast food meat is processed and Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Super Size Me” exposed the deadly health concerns of too much fast food, most Americans began to associate […]