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Documentary

You probably haven’t been thinking about libraries a lot recently, what with all the politics and genocide and hurricanes. But then, you may not have been thinking about the University of California, Berkeley, or London’s National Gallery or the northwestern Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights much either, unless you’re one of the small but growing number of devoted fans of documentarian Frederick Wiseman. His run of late-period docu-epics “At Berkeley,” “National Gallery” and “In Jackson Heights” continued in Venice last week with the premiere of his latest, “Ex Libris: New York Public Library,” which is already out in limited release. Continue reading Frederick Wiseman’s Intensely Rewarding, Humane ‘Ex Libris: New York Public Library’ [Review] at The Playlist.

Remember when “truth is stranger than fiction” used to be a thing that boring people said to fill awkward post-anecdote gaps at dinner parties and before it became the literal truth of every waking moment living in the Western world in 2017? Yeah, us neither. But of all cinematic forms perhaps it’s our appreciation of documentary filmmaking that has been most affected by the experience of living in such unsettled times — with only a few exceptions the docs we’ve been most impressed by this year have commented on the state we’re in right now, even when they ostensibly have done nothing of the sort. Continue reading The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2017 So Far at The Playlist.

Remember when “truth is stranger than fiction” used to be a thing that boring people said to fill awkward post-anecdote gaps at dinner parties and before it became the literal truth of every waking moment living in the Western world in 2017? Yeah, us neither. But of all cinematic forms perhaps it’s our appreciation of documentary filmmaking that has been most affected by the experience of living in such unsettled times — with only a few exceptions the docs we’ve been most impressed by this year have commented on the state we’re in right now, even when they ostensibly have done nothing of the sort. Continue reading The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2017 So Far at The Playlist.

You don’t have to have had his face as your avatar since you joined Twitter, like a certain @jessicakiang we could mention, to believe that Cary Grant is possibly the greatest movie star that cinema has ever produced. But nor does choosing to have Roger O. Thornhill from “North By Northwest” grimace out from your every tweet mean that you’re unaware of the actor’s rumored checkered personal history or that you uncomplicatedly embrace his mythos. Continue reading Showtime’s ‘Becoming Cary Grant’ Is A Disappointingly Depthless Doc [Review] at The Playlist.

Two Danish guys shoot for the stars, by attempting to home-build a craft capable of space travel, on a partially crowdfunded budget six orders of magnitude smaller than NASA’s, in Max Kestner‘s engaging doc, “Amateurs In Space,” which plays as part of the Transilvania Film Festival‘s documentary sidebar. It’s a film that feels immediately ripe for a narrative feature remake, if only Hollywood can work out which formula to follow: should it be a gentle comedy starring Ben Mendelsohn, that follows the wacky adventures of an odd couple of Danes and their David-and-Goliath story? Continue reading In Space, No One Can Hear You Whine: Tragicomic Doc ‘Amateurs In Space’ [Transilvania FF Review] at The Playlist.

Amid all the moreish dramas, single-cam comedies, limited event miniseries and true-crime investigations that define our era of Too-Much-TV™, the Netflix documentary “Five Came Back,” about five classic Hollywood film directors and their experiences of filming for the War Department during World War II, is an unexpectedly refreshing change of pace. Unflashily presented, and surprisingly — for want of a less off-putting word — scholarly, it is cleverly, compactly written by Vulture film critic and author Mark Harris (it’s based on his book of the same name), directed by Laurent Bouzereau who is probably the highest profile “Making-of” and “Behind the Scenes” featurette director, and runs to a manageably bingeable 3 hours 15 minutes in total, broken into three distinct but complementary, roughly chronological chapters. Continue reading 3-Part Doc ‘Five Came Back’ Is A Compellingly Intelligent Slice Of Film History [Netflix Review] at The Playlist.

If you watch the trailer below and end up being caught off guard, rest assured, you’re not alone. “Drib,” written and directed by Kristoffer Borgli, and slated to debut at the SXSW Film Festival, is a surreal documentary and fictional hybrid. Starring Amir Asgharnejad, Brett Gelman, Annie Hamilton and Adam Pearson, the film takes is a harshly skewering look at consumerism culture and the advertising world that works hard at making sure it sells buyers products that are at best ineffective, and at worst deadly. Continue reading SXSW Exclusive: Trailer & Poster For Wild Energy Drink Film ‘Drib’ at The Playlist.

Climate change is one of the more hotly contended topics in the world today, even if it hasn’t been a popular subject during the current nightmare of an election season (which thankfully ends next Tuesday). But to make sure people don’t forget about this important issue, National Geographic has teamed up with producer Leonardo DiCaprio […] The post Watch Leonardo DiCapario’s Clime Change Doc ‘Before the Flood’ For Free On YouTube appeared first on /Film.

You didn’t really expect Michael Moore to just sit out the madness of this presidential election cycle, did you? The filmmaker and activist has announced a late-breaking October surprise in the form of Michael Moore in Trumpland, based on his own one-man play. The movie will have its world premiere in New York City tonight (Tuesday, […] The post Surprise! Michael Moore Made a Donald Trump Movie and It’s Opening This Week appeared first on /Film.