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“Meet the Patels,” a documentary directed by first-generation Indian-American siblings Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel about the latter’s attempt to find a wife through traditional Indian means, is often riotously funny. It’s also, in its own modest way, an often sharp microcosmic treatment of the conflicts and compromises that all culturally nebulous families must navigate, even if it sometimes wrings them for all they’re worth. Shot through with a breezy sort of intimacy and enlivened by sporadic animated sequences (and the filmmakers’ equally animated parents), “Meet the Patels” should be a natural fit for fests — it won an audience award at the Los Angeles Film Festival — and it wouldn’t be out of the question to see indie distribs come courting.
Ravi, 29 when the film starts, is an actor living in Los Angeles with older sister Geeta (frequently heard from behind the camera, but rarely »
- Andrew Barker
By Don L. Stradley
I remember a kid in my old neighborhood who owned a Ken doll. Ken, you may remember, was the sexually ambiguous boyfriend of the infinitely more famous Barbie. If that wasn’t weird enough, this kid kept his Ken doll in a state of near nudity, stripping off his safari gear until poor Ken was down to a pair of bright red swimming trunks. The kid would walk around the neighborhood with his near naked Ken doll tucked under his arm, and occasionally visit my yard, where I and my Neanderthal pals were having fun with our far more manly “action figures,” which included the likes of GI Joe, and Stretch Armstrong. Ken wasn’t a natural fit – he was too small, his hair too perfect, and he was always smiling. The kid claimed that if you left Ken in the sun for a while, he’d actually get a tan. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
“You gotta have some strange to make life worth living,” Morgan Spurlock says. And his darkly comic Showtime docuseries 7 Deadly Sins, premiering Aug. 7, certainly celebrates that idea. Get an exclusive first look below.
You’ll spot “cougar hunter” Kyle Jones, the 31-year-old who made headlines last month for dating a very satisfied 91-year-old. But the teaser previews how exec producer/host Spurlock will explore each of the seven deadly sins—lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, pride, wrath, and greed—one per episode. »
- Mandi Bierly
Some solid performances from its original series have helped CNN gain on its primary news competition in the ratings.
During the second quarter, according to Nielsen estimates, CNN leap-frogged MSNBC in total-day viewership (344,000 to 337,000) as well as the 25-54 demo (106,000 to 104,000) — the first time it has placed second among the news networks since the second quarter of last year (a particularly heavy news period). Fox News Channel remained the leader in both categories.
In primetime, MSNBC still rated ahead of CNN in total viewers for a third straight quarter (569,ooo to 472,000), but CNN tied with MSNBC in adults 25-54 (162,000). The Turner network also was runner-up to Fnc in dayside (9-4 p.m.) averages in both total viewers (378,000) and the demo (93,000).
CNN’s newest original series, “The Sixties,” averaged about 1.1 million total viewers and 297,000 adults 25-54 with its first five Thursday 9 p.m. premieres, placing second among news networks in the timeslot, »
- Rick Kissell
Kent Jones with Life Itself director Steve James and Chaz Ebert on Roger Ebert at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New York premiere: "He wanted cinema culture to be shared with everybody." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Not often can you find J.C. Chandor (director of the upcoming A Most Violent Year, starring Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo and Alessandro Nivola), Jonathan Demme, Paul Haggis, Terence Winter and Denis Leary sitting in the same cinema and overhear Morgan Spurlock in the lobby saying that Prospect Park in Brooklyn is his favorite place, while Amy Irving looks on.
Before the New York premiere of Life Itself with Martin Scorsese as co-executive producer, I spoke with the director Steve James, Chaz Ebert and Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom narrator Bob Balaban, who will be on Broadway this fall in »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Ebert became famous for the long-running “At the Movies” program with Gene Siskel, where the two Chicago-based reviewers popularized their “two thumbs up” style of approach to film criticism as they butted heads over the latest releases. He died last year at the age of 70 after a lengthy struggle with cancer.
The film is based on Ebert’s autobiography of the same name and chronicles his impact on major filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Michael Moore, his alcohol addiction, his love affair with his wife, Chaz Ebert, and the illness that cost him much of his jaw and left him unable to speak or eat solid foods in his final years.
The way he dealt with his illness »
- Brent Lang
Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s “Seven Deadly Sins” docuseries will premiere on Showtime Thursday, Aug. 7, at 11 p.m. It was originally scheduled to debut on June 19.
Exec produced and hosted by Spurlock, the docuseries will take an in-depth look at each of the seven deadly sins — gluttony, sloth, envy, pride, wrath, greed and lust — highlighting one per episode.
- Nikara Johns
Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (2005's "Super Size Me") and exec producer Paul G. Allen of Vulcan Productions have announced a new partnership to produce and distribute a series of 20 short films that will investigate the current state of the Us economy. Directors on board thus far include Catherine Hardwicke ("Twilight," "Thirteen"), Mary Harron ("American Psycho"), Akiva Goldsman ("Winter's Tale"), Jessica Yu ("Last Call at the Oasis") and Spurlock, currently host of CNN's "Inside Man" and co-founder of production/distribution outfit Cinelan. The films will be produced over the next four months in anticipation of a multi-platform premiere slated for Fall 2014. The release will span day-and-date online distribution, VOD, broadcast and mobile. Educational curriculum will accompany the series in tandem, along with festival and university screenings. Economic advisors are "Empire of Wealth" author John Steele Gordon, and Dean Baker, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock's Cinelan have partnered to produce and distribute a series of 20 short films aimed at raising awareness of the U.S. economy. Well known directors such as Mary Harron ("American Psycho"), Catherine Hardwicke ("Thirteen"), Akiva Goldsman ("Winter's Tale"), and Jessica Yu ("Grey's Anatomy"), along with Spurlock ("Super Size Me") himself, will be among the contributing filmmakers attempting to educate the public on the state of today's economy. The full roster will be announced later this summer. "We're thrilled to partner with Vulcan Productions, this incredibly talented group of directors, and several top economic minds to create accessible, impactful short films that not only break down the subject matter in a more digestible format, but also share the unique human stories behind the inner workings of the economy," said Spurlock. "It's an important opportunity to create something that will have a lasting. »
- Melina Gills
Morgan Spurlock's empire continues to grow. The documentarian, who has a CNN show and two film companies, is partnering up with Paul Allen to produce 20 short films that will help “demystify” the economy. Spurlock's Cinelan and Allen's Vulcan Productions have tapped top economists and filmmakers to join in the effort, including “Twilight” helmer Catherine Hardwicke, Akiva Goldsman, and “American Psycho” director Mary Harron. Also read: Maker Studios Offers Advertisers a New Video Site and Shows From Morgan Spurlock, Key & Peele “We're thrilled to partner with Vulcan Productions, this incredibly talented group of directors, and several top economic minds to create accessible, »
- Jordan Zakarin
Few media figures have felt more conspicuously ahead of their time than George Plimpton, who brought a mix of journalism, hucksterism and showmanship together in one aristocratic package — like Anderson Cooper, Morgan Spurlock and Johnny Knoxville all rolled into one. PBS does the man justice with “Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself,” a 90-minute “American Masters” documentary devoted to the perpetual amateur who popularized the term “participatory journalism,” and seemed to cram several lives into one. Interesting on its own terms, the doc echoes more loudly, considering how perfectly suited to today Plimpton’s style feels.
After a few obligatory biographical tidbits (his father, for example, being a rather disapproving jerk, based on Plimpton’s narration), George essentially stumbled into his job at the Paris Review. Quickly, he embarked on a string of participatory stories designed to establish him as a surrogate for the reader — providing an idea of what »
- Brian Lowry
Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson of 1D are filming a 'This Is Us Sequel.' The superstar boy band One Direction are currently on their 'Where We Are' world tour, and it has been confirmed they are being recorded for a sequel. Director Morgan Spurlock told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: ''Yes, there will be a follow-up to 'This Is Us'. ''At this moment Ben Winston is with the band on their world tour filming what happens. He worked with me and is a great producer.'' The first movie missed out on the Oscar for Best Song, and Morgan has revealed Simon Cowell would love them to be given a prize this time round. He added: ''I know Simon Cowell wants the band to get awards for this and was upset when they missed out on being nominated in the music category for an Oscar on our film. »
He was a surprise choice to direct the first One Direction concert movie, This Is Us. Now documentary maker Morgan Spurlock has revealed he will helm the follow up, which has recently started shooting.
In 2010 One Direction became one of The X Factor‘s major success stories and you won’t go far without seeing either a music video of theirs or a tiny figurine with an abnormally-sized head. Spurlock achieved fame and some notoriety with his 2003 debut Super Size Me, where he ate his way through McDonald’s meals morning, noon and night for 30 days and recorded the effects. He followed that with Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?, a part-comedic journey into Islamic fundamentalism.
Spurlock began his career treading the path of controversy – while his decision to direct This Is Us was anything but, it could be seen as a left field decision in some ways. »
- Steve Palace
This Is Us director says his team are following the band on their current world tour and reveals that Simon Cowell wants the boys to get an Oscar this time round
This is Us - review
This is Us - trailer
Spurlock told The Mirror a second film had been greenlit and said members of his team were following the boy band on their current Where We Are world tour.
Continue reading »
- Ben Child
London, May 12: One Direction is all geared up for the new sequel to their movie 'This Is Us'.
At the moment members of the boy band, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne, are on their 'Where We Are' World Tour, which is supposedly the plot of their next movie, Metro.co.uk reported.
Morgan Spurlock, 'This Is Us' director, said that there will be a follow up to the band's previous film and right now producer Ben Winston is with the band on their world tour capturing all the events of the tour.
Previously, 'This Is Us' DVD release broke UK records by selling over 170,000 copies on Blu-ray and DVD during the first day. (Ani) »
- Abhijeet Sen
The world's biggest boy band, One Direction, are currently shooting a sequel to their 2013 documentary film "This Is Us".
Morgan Spurlock, who helmed the first film, has confirmed that the sequel will follow the UK lads as they embark on their 'Where We Are' world tour.
The previous feature film covered the group's hometown beginnings and combined it with concert footage of their O2 Arena concert.
The DVD release of "This Is Us" smashed UK records, selling over 170,000 copies on Blu-ray and DVD during the first day.
Source: The Mirror »
- Garth Franklin
One Direction are currently shooting a sequel to their 2013 documentary film This Is Us.
The boyband's previous feature film covered the group's hometown beginnings and included concert footage of their O2 Arena concert.
"Yes, there will be a follow-up to This Is Us," he said. "At this moment, Ben Winston is with the band on their world tour filming what happens. He worked with me and is a great producer."
Spurlock continued: "I know Simon Cowell wants the band to get awards for this, and was upset when they missed out on being nominated in the music category for an Oscar on our film.
"It was a good song, and I was surprised that they weren't even considered. This time, he will want them to try again. »
Maker Studios is living up to its last name: studios. The company has long been managers, agents, and brand-brokers for the 1 percent of social media personalities that can generate financially viable traffic. But now amid its nearly $1 billion acquisition to Disney, Maker is turning its focus to the creation of original content, not just shepherding and marketing their talent's self-produced creations. First up, a lifestyle series about millennials in Los Angeles called “Oh, You Pretty Things.” (No relation to the 1971 David Bowie song.) Also read: Maker Studios Offers Advertisers a New Video Site and Shows From Morgan Spurlock, Key & Peele Playing. »
- Mikey Glazer
Ten years ago, Morgan Spurlock’s super-sized diet showed audiences just how drastically fast food could affect one’s physical, physiological and psychological well-being. Around the same time, Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation exposed an industry at the helm of a nation’s obesity epidemic. Now, in 2014, news anchor Katie Couric and An Inconvenient Truth producer Laurie David have served audiences another portion of healthy, thoughtful subject matter about the food we eat and what it is doing to us.
Fed Up is a sometimes effective, sometimes questionable doc that wants to figure out why a nation filled with low-calorie options and raised on exercise videos still has trouble losing weight. The results are hardly revelatory, but that does not mean Stephanie Soechtig’s film is worthless viewing, especially for students and families. Even if there are oversights throughout, the doc raises some important concerns.
Over montages of alarming news reports, »
- Jordan Adler
Online video network Maker Studios is best known for managing its partner channel, but Maker has recently extended its services by producing a growing crop of original web series. At its first ever Digital Content Newfronts presentation, Maker teased eight new web productions, most of which will include the network's talent. Several of Maker's upcoming originals come directly from the minds of its talented creators. For instance, Chester See will star in a scripted series called Over The Top, which is loosely based on his attempt to make it as an independent musician in Los Angeles. Maker co-founder ShayCarl is producing a web series with Maker, too; it's called ShayLife and "is all about finding the next Epic Rap Battles of History." Original productions will extend to new channels as well. Joseph Garrett Aka Stampy Cat attended the event to discuss Stampy School, his educational Minecraft channel. Also in attendance was Morgan Spurlock, »
- Sam Gutelle
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