A documentary chronicling late-night comic Conan O’Brien’s time between getting booted from the Tonight Show and landing on TBS. Looks like a winner, check out the trailer: (continue reading…)
The Asylum’s newest film, 8213 Gacy House (Set for release on 28-September-2010) is a horror film gleamed from the actual footage shot by a group of filmmakers who died in the house built over the site on which John Wayne Gacy’s house once stood. Gacy had killed 33 boys and young men, and since most of the bodies were buried in his crawl space the house was demolished to exhume them. A new house was built on the spot, but apparently the restless and evil soul of the mass murderer still resides there. The victims probably deserved what was coming to them – they were producing yet another show in the vein of Ghost Hunters. Yes, they saw an already over saturated market and said “me too”. The film itself would never have seen the light of day, however the footage fell into the hands of the new owners of the house who were looking to profit on the misfortune of these folks. Honestly, I couldn’t wait for the psychic to die, but the camera guy got a raw deal. (continue reading…)
This film was viewed as part of the 2010 Charlotte Film Festival. We are lucky enough to cover this event for the second consecutive year, our complete coverage of last years festival can be found here.
This years Charlotte Film Festival (the fifth annual) started off with a documentary called Soundtrack for a Revolution, which was written and directed by documentary film makers Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman. It tells the story of the civil rights movement in America through the protest songs that activists sang throughout the struggle. Artists such as The Roots, Wyclef Jean, Joss Stone and John Legend (to name just a few) give warm, intimate performances of the songs which are interspersed which footage of the activists themselves telling the story of the movement and singing the songs. People such as Harry Belafonte, John Lewis and Rev. Edwin King give first hand accounts of the horrors as well as the triumphs they witnessed firsthand.
Where the movie really excels is it’s ability to portray through the artists performances and the interviewees singing the beauty and power of the songs without taking away from the powerful story, and without minimizing the events of the movement. (continue reading…)
Editor’s note: This is one of the reviews we posted last year covering the 2009 Charlotte Film Festival.
The Heart Is a Drum Machine is a documentary by Christopher Pomerenke which explores the question What is Music? To start off, the film was very enjoyable if only for the numerous musicians and actors who were interviewed. I was particularly excited to see musicians such as John Frusciante, Matt Sorum and the always entertaining Juliette Lewis. Also interesting was the fact that many of the most lucid explanations of what music is came from Bijou Phillips which was something in the order of “Music is a way of letting another person feel what you are feeling”. I think anyone who has ever given a mix tape (yes, I understand that phrase dates me) will understand that sentiment.
Although the film was interesting and full of great interviews, it have one flaw which was the editing. Cuts were jumpy and the pacing was not very good. The movie starts off with a (continue reading…)
It was a slow night of television, and while browsing the program guide on my Tivo I came across the wonder that is The Natural History of the Chicken. I was promised that director Mark Lewis would attempt to bring dignity to the chicken in this film. How could I not watch. I put down the remote. I stared in amazement…
Before I get in to this film, I just want to say that I am no expert in documentaries. Mark Lewis has made quite a few, including such films as Animalicious (1999), The Floating Brothel (2006), and Cane Toads: The Conquest (2010) so I am willing to bet that he must be doing something right or people wouldn’t be paying for these. That makes sense, doesn’t it? I think so, but what do I know. Anyway, the film is a series of vignettes centered around chickens, interspersed with film of the mass farming of chickens. These were at times unsettling, as I got to see baby chicks on conveyor belts being dropped into boxes for shipping, going peep peep peep all the way. Not that it will stop me from eating tasty chicken nuggets. No, I am afraid there is nothing that could tear me from them. (continue reading…)
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