Writer and musician Nick Cave marks his 20,000th day on the planet Earth. . . . Read more at IMDB or buy it now at Amazon.
BY PETE HAMMOND
One of the highlights of the recent Toronto Film Festival (and sure to be at the upcoming New York Film Festival) was the premiere of the extraordinary National Geographic documentary Jane which is based on 100 hours of recently discovered 16MM film footage of Jane Goodall’s first foray into the world of chimpanzees in 1962. Long thought lost, the footage shows a brave young woman at the beginning of what would become a remarkable lifelong journey with these amazing creatures.
Goodall, now 83, is considered the foremost expert on chimpanzees, and this film takes us back to the first expedition of a then-untrained 28-year-old Jane whose research revolutionized our understanding of the animals. She has been at it ever since. The images are so crisp and beautiful it looks like it was all filmed last week, and her new narration provides insight that is absolutely fascinating.
With a thrilling musical score from Oscar nominated composer Philip Glass this film from director Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck, The Kid Stays In The Picture) should be a prime Oscar contender not only for Documentary Feature, but also Original Music Score, and perhaps Film Editing for the sensational work in assembling the recently uncovered footage filmed by the great Hugo van Lawick, the National Geographic filmmaker who met, fell in love with and eventually married Goodall. In fact their very first meeting is chronicled and seen here.
“The film is very much a love story, except the love is not between man and woman. The love is between a woman and her work, and a man and his work,” Morgen said. National Geographic Documentary Films will be opening the film on October 20. Before that, Glass’s score will be performed live to picture on October 9 at the Hollywood Bowl, with Glass, Goodall and Morgen in attendance.
Morgan said he wanted Jane to be “like a cinematic opera” which is what led him to Glass in the first place. Watch the trailer above.
BY JILL STEIN
On 6 June 2013, the Guardian broke the news National Security Agency (NSA) had ordered Verizon to provide it with the phone records of its customers. As the story developed it became clear that the two other major telephone networks as well as credit card companies were doing the same thing; and that the NSA and FBI were being provided with access to server systems operated by Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Skype.
On 11 June the Guardian reported the source as Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old who had been working at the NSA for four years.
Snowden believed it was important for him to publicly acknowledge his role in order to provide a human face to the story. He knew he was putting his life at risk and exposing himself to decades of incarceration. “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” he explained. Snowden hoped to trigger a debate “about the kind of world we want to live in”. The US government began an immediate campaign to track, harass and silence him.
Three elite climbers struggle to find their way through obsession and loss as they attempt to climb Mount Meru, one of the most coveted prizes in the high stakes game of Himalayan big wall climbing. . .
With unprecedented access, CARTEL LAND is a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.
In the acclaimed documentary “The Look of Silence,” Joshua Oppenheimer explores the after effects of the 1965 genocide in Indonesia. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker throws light on the human condition in a persistent climate of fear and silence caused by the unanswered killings of between 500,000 and 1 million people. The murderers have not faced justice for half a century because the political regime still protects them. The camera follows protagonist Adi Rukun, an Indonesian optometrist, as he confronts the men who murdered his brother, Ramli, two years before Adi was born. Read more at IMDB or support this site and the filmmaker by buying it at Amazon.
This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband’s assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own. . . .
Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the ‘Singing River’ as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals changed the world and sold millions upon millions of copies, at its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, he brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations while giving birth to the ‘Muscle Shoals Sound’ and ‘The Swampers’. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Bono, and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism, mystery, and why it remains influential today. Only the genre’s most studious followers will be able to watch Muscle Shoals without being regularly astonished: Even if it sometimes gets lost in its byways, Greg “Freddy” Camalier’s documentary tells an extraordinary story.
An exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. With Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Ashley Judd. Read more at IMDB or support this site and the filmmaker by buying it at Amazon.
Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we’ve had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now. Read more at IMDB or support this site and the filmmaker by buying it at Amazon.
The life and career of the legendary Hollywood insider, Shep Gordon. Read more at IMDB or support this site and the filmmaker by buying it at Amazon.
A documentary on how water shapes humanity. . . . .
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. . . . .
A filmmaker puts out a casting call for young adults, aged 15- to 23. The director wants to make a film about growing up in her home country, Georgia, and find commonalities across social and ethnic lines. She travels through cities and villages interviewing the candidates who responded and filming their daily lives. . .