documentary films

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON is a classic romance, only gay

Article: KEEP THE LIGHTS ON is a classic romance, only gay

Last year, Andrew Haigh’s WEEKEND proved to be a low-key drama about a gay hookup that lasted as long as the title, with bittersweet results. The film was sincere and likable and once again sent out the message that indie cinema bravely goes where Hollywood rarely dares.

"Think Before You Pink" warns new breast cancer doc

Article: "Think Before You Pink" warns new breast cancer doc

Does wearing a pink ribbon automatically help cure breast cancer? Well, a bold and moving new documentary argues that it might actually be detrimental to the cause.

Lea Pool’s PINK RIBBONS, INC. shows how the ribbon—which started decades ago as an activist gesture—became coopted by corporate America and was sold to the masses to instill them with hope and inspiration.

Sundance London: Rufus + Martha Wainwright meet Prince Charles

Article: Sundance London: Rufus + Martha Wainwright meet Prince Charles

Sundance Institute and The O2 announced today the programme of Special Events and panels that will take place at the inaugural Sundance London film and music festival, from 26-29 April at The O2. These events and panels were programmed by Sundance Institute, which annually hosts the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah – the premier independent film festival in the United States.

Cindy Meehl's BUCK

Article: Cindy Meehl's BUCK

Cindy Meehl’s BUCK is a horseman’s story. A character portrait featuring trainer Buck Brannaman – probably one of the best looking modern cowboys you’ll ever see (never mind his beautiful wife and daughter), BUCK is a story of self-realization. This coming-of-self angle may be why the film has been winning awards all over the place and crossing over to audiences who don’t give a lick about horses. That’s me, really (a rider I am not), but I have to say I wasn’t as charmed as I wanted to be. I took my son and had to explain beforehand that much of the movie was going to concern the fact that Buck had been mentally and physically abused by his alcoholic father. (“What’s abuse?” asked my son. When I told him some children are beaten he looked at me earnestly and said, “You and daddy don’t do that.”) Buck’s journey from foster child to world-class horse whisperer who revolutionized the way horses are trained is definitely interesting, but this is a case of slight overhype. “Much of the movie – too much of it – is just Buck in the corral, riding, working with ropes and flags, conditioning a horse to behave,” says Orlando Sentinal critic Roger Moore.

ORGASM INC will raise a stink

Article: ORGASM INC will raise a stink

I probably know less about female orgasms than anyone on the planet—even former boy band members–but Liz Canner knows a lot about them, even more than pharmaceutical companies do.

In fact, when she took on a job editing erotic videos for such a company’s drug trials in their attempt to market a female Viagra, Canner’s intellectual G spot was awakened and she realized the bizarre situation she’d landed in needed to be a documentary.

The strongly executed result, Orgasm Inc, is an alarming look at the way big business tries to manipulate the public by creating diseases, then marketing the supposed cure.

On the eve of the film’s February 11 opening in New York and Chicago (before it goes to L.A. and DVD), I spoke with Canner about her orgasmic achievement.

Why Didn't You Hear More About HOW TO DIE IN OREGON?

Article: Why Didn't You Hear More About HOW TO DIE IN OREGON?

The Sundance Film Festival jury obviously found much to admire about Peter D. Richardson’s HOW TO DIE IN OREGON, a documentary about physician-assisted suicide in a state where it is legal. After all, it presented the film with the festival’s Grand Jury Prize in the Documentary category on Saturday night. But audiences outside of Park City may not have heard a whole lot about the film.

Sundance Film Festival: Surveying the Documentaries

Article: Sundance Film Festival: Surveying the Documentaries

Many worthy non-fiction films are vying for attention at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, tackling subjects as wide-ranging as extreme environmentalism (Marshall Curry’s IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT), pre-Web viral culture (Matthew Bate’s SHUT UP LITTLE MAN!: AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE), terminally ill people who legally choose to end their…

Sundance Film Festival Documentaries That 'Expose and Inspire'

Article: Sundance Film Festival Documentaries That 'Expose and Inspire'

The filmmakers behind the more than two dozen documentary films being showcased at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival may have different reasons for being there, notes Reuters’ Christine Kearney. “Some are competing for prizes and aiming to score distribution deals, others are seeking media hype to gain traction with audiences, and still more simply want…

Sundance Film Festival: Chaz Bono Gets Standing O

Article: Sundance Film Festival: Chaz Bono Gets Standing O

“I was living life as a man trapped in a female shell,” Chaz Bono says in Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey’s documentary chronicling his gender reassignment, BECOMING CHAZ, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. “Now for the first time I’m living in my body.” Bono, who was greeted by a standing ovation…

Green documentary news

Article: Green documentary news

Just came across several interesting tidbits on green-themed documentary films currently in the works, so thought I’d share them all at one time.

  • Crowd funding green films: Tree Media Group, which produced THE 11TH HOUR with Leonardo DiCaprio, is trying out a different mechanism for raising money for two planned documentaries: crowd funding. If you check out the sites for URBAN ROOTS, which follows the growth of urban farming in Detroit, or INTO EDEN, which explores environmental crisis from the perspective of human consciousness, you’ll see NPR-like fund raising appeals. This is a model that’s currently being tried for all sorts of media — Spot.us is a great example of crowd funding for journalism, for instance — so we’ll be interested to see how well this works.
Festival Updates Spotlight: Documentary

Article: Festival Updates Spotlight: Documentary

Filmmakers discuss the importance of documentary films in the festival and the refreshing perspectives they reveal as a storytelling medium.

What's New In 2008

Article: What's New In 2008

For the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, 121 feature-length films were selected including 87 world premieres, 14 North American premieres and 12 U.S. premieres representing 25 countries with 55 first-time filmmakers, including 23 in the non-competition categories. These films were selected from 3,624 feature film submissions composed of 2,021 U.S. and 1,603 international feature-length films. These numbers represent an increase from last year when 1,852 U.S. and 1,435 international feature-length films were considered.