6 items from 2015
Park City - When you cover film and pop culture for 17 years, you end up writing about an incredibly broad spectrum of topics. Even so, there are things that are obviously more important to you or that you care about more, and for me, one of the things that I have always felt strongly about is stand-up comedy. I took a shot at it early on in life, and very quickly realized that it wasn't for me. As much as I admire the craft, the lifestyle was simply not something I would have survived. There were a number of reasons, but it was a very basic decision when it came down to it. I had something else I loved more, and I can't imagine putting yourself through everything it takes to become a truly great stand-up if you don't love it above and beyond anything else. I'm still friends, though, »
- Drew McWeeny
"I want to prove F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong," Bobcat Goldthwait told me, "that there are no second acts." Not only has he directed seven films over the past decade, but he's also having a blast directing "Community." "Call Me Lucky," his third Sundance debut and first documentary, is a profile of standup comic Barry Crimmins. Goldthwait's last fiction film "Willow Creek" was a found footage Bigfoot movie with the filmmaker "interviewing actual folks in a town and putting them in a suspense scary buffet movie." So it was natural that he should go full documentary for "Call Me Lucky," which started with Goldthwait's best friend of 33 years, Robin Williams (he still gets teary when his name comes up), who was trying to make a scripted narrative movie about Crimmins. "It seemed like it was hard to get going that way," said Goldthwait. "So Robin suggested we make it as a documentary. »
- Anne Thompson
The Sundance premiere of Bobcat Goldthwait's documentary "Call Me Lucky" at the Library Theater this afternoon was bound to be a powerful experience, since the movie chronicles the defiant struggles of outspoken political activist and comedian Barry Crimmins, who was raped during his childhood decades ago. In the movie, Crimmins is seen continuing his furious agenda, which includes a desire to "overthrow the U.S. government" and "close the Catholic church." It also chronicles his triumphant efforts to trap child molesters using AOL chatrooms in the mid-nineties, a feat that ultimately led to changes in U.S. policy. But even before the movie started, Goldthwait—another veteran comedian whose career has taken on new dimensions, with his ongoing efforts as an independent filmmaker—had the room in tears. It was the first time he had presented a new movie in the wake of Robin Williams' suicide last year. »
- Eric Kohn
Call Me Lucky is Bobcat Goldthwait’s documentary portrait of fellow comedian Barry Crimmins, who is not as famous as he should be for his barbed political satire — and whose outsider activism led him to dark places, as this documentary reveals. To visually capture Crimmins on and off stage, Goldthwait turned to his frequent cinematographer Bradley Stonesifer, who previously screened at Sundance with Lee Toland Krieger’s dramatic feature, The Vicious Kind. Below Stonesifer answers questions about that collaboration and doing big theatrical lighting on a shoestring budget. Call Me Lucky premieres January 27, 2015 in the Sundance Documentary Competition section […] »
- Scott Macaulay
While political and eco-themed documentaries are once again prevalent at Sundance, portrait docus dominate this year’s nonfiction lineup.
Kurt Cobain, Barry Crimmins, Marlon Brando, Tig Notaro, Robert “Evel” Knievel, Warren Jeffs and Nina Simone are among the many famous and infamous figures being explored by Sundance veteran directors including Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Berg, Liz Garbus and Brett Morgen.
Like last year’s Sundance hit “Life Itself” (one of 15 docs on the Oscar shortlist) this year’s crop of profile-driven pics veer away from the standard chronological bio
doc and delve into lives using impressionistic techniques.
In assembling HBO’s “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” director Morgen used new and previously unseen archival footage — including Cobain’s Super-8 movies, his spoken word poetry and autobiography, his sculptures, his photography and his sound design pieces — to reveal a more “humanistic portrait” of Cobain.
The overarching goal of the doc, Morgen told Variety in November, »
- Addie Morfoot
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Laika's latest stop-motion film is about a kiddo named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) who is raised by a gaggle of trolls under the streets of Cheesebridge. It got pretty good reviews, as well as an Oscar nomination, and while it hasn't snatched up as many eyes and hearts as "Coraline" or "ParaNorman," it's still a solid kid's movie. The Blu-ray includes audio commentary from directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, as well as a few other extra goodies.
Scarlett Johansson's actioner has been available digitally, but now you can snag it on Blu-ray.
Guy Maddin's wonderfully weird ode to his hometown is finally on Criterion. In addition to your typical Criterion updates -- a high-def digital video transfer, »
- Jenni Miller
6 items from 2015
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