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This is the first part of a two-part post that seeks to examine four recent documentaries about the war in Afghanistan: one for cinema, Restrepo; two for TV, HBO’s The Battle for Marjah, BBC Three’s Young Soldiers; and a nine-minute ‘mini’ doco made just for the web.
As a sort of preface, some Sos readers may welcome some background on these.
First, three were filmed before ‘green on blue’, the euphemism for attacks on Us, British, Canadian, Australian and other Coalition soldiers by men wearing uniforms like those worn by the Afghan National Army, became a phrase known to the media and to the public.
Second, each clearly was filmed with the total co-operation of the junior and middle-ranking officers of the Us and British army units involved – and presumably with that of the more senior officers immediately above them.
Third, none of these documentaries could, I believe, »
- Roger Bourke
Portrait of Apple co-founder, jOBS, in lineup for event, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut also set to feature
Joshua Michael Stern's drama will span three decades of the entrepreneur's life and is described as "a candid, inspiring and personal portrait of the one who saw things differently" on the Sundance website. The festival has also released the first still from the film, which shows Kutcher in character as the Apple co-founder at work. A 1977 Apple II computer sits in the background, near a poster that reads "Think" – presumably a nod to Apple's "Think different" advertising campaign of the late 1990s.
jOBS is one of a clutch of high-profile releases added to the lineup announced last week. Among the films joining it in Park City, Utah, will be Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut, »
- Henry Barnes
Sundance is really loading up on docs this year – a section that contained eight or so offerings in 2012 now holds almost a dozen and from awrd0-winning documentarians who’ve populated the fest in the past. R.J. Cutler moves from the pages of Vogue with The September Issue to exploring Dick Cheney. After Restrepo, Sebastian Junger returns without his docu-filmmaker partner Tim Hetherington with a doc film on Hetherington’s behind the scenes life as a war journo. Alex Gibney who has been pretty much on a two doc film a year pace is not surprisingly coming to Sundance with his Wikileaks doc, while Lucy Walker returns with a portrait on half-pipe specialist, Kevin Pearce. Here’s the slew of new docu title offerings:
Anita / U.S.A. (Director: Freida Mock) — Anita Hill, an African-American woman, charges Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment in explosive Senate hearings in »
- Eric Lavallee
Sundance Film Festival 2013 is becoming more and more promising seemingly with each passing day.
Then came the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier line-ups, which included Sightseers’ Us premiere, S-vhs, and We Are What We Are.
And tonight the festival has announced its line-ups in the Premieres and Documentary Premieres category, and they are somewhat amazing.
Topping the list is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s feature directorial debut, Don Jon’s Addiction, which is all but guaranteed to be one of the best films of next year.
Also heading to Utah will be Zal Batmanglij’s The East, starring Ellen Page, Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, and Toby Kebbell, seeing the director re-team with Marling once more following the success of Sound of My Voice. »
- Kenji Lloyd
"Witness," HBO's recent documentary series about photojournalists working in conflict zones around the globe, premiered the final of its four installments on Monday, with an hour spent following photojournalist Eros Hoagland as he explored the battles between favela gangs, police and monied forces making land grabs in Rio de Janeiro. The series offers an unsettlingly beautiful and intriguingly subjective viewpoint on a set of complicated contemporary struggles, from the cartel-fueled violence in Ciudad Juárez to the battles with the Lord's Resistance Army in South Sudan and internecine warring in Libya. Executive produced by filmmakers Michael Mann and David Frankham (who directed three of the four episodes), the "Witness" docs are haunted by the death of the late photojournalist and "Restrepo" co-director Tim Hetherington, whom Mann met during the 2010 awards season and who was slated to direct and serve as the on-camera »
- Alison Willmore
"Witness," HBO's recent documentary series about photojournalists working in conflict zones around the globe, premiered the final of its four installments on Monday, with an hour spent following photojournalist Eros Hoagland as he explored the battles between favela gangs, police and monied forces making land grabs in Rio de Janeiro. The series offers an unsettlingly beautiful and intriguingly subjective viewpoint on a set of complicated contemporary struggles, from the cartel-fueled violence in Ciudad Juárez to the battles with the Lord's Resistance Army in South Sudan and internecine warring in Libya. Executive produced by filmmakers Michael Mann and David Frankham (who directed three of the four episodes), the "Witness" docs are haunted by the death of the late photojournalist and "Restrepo" co-director Tim Hetherington, whom Mann met during the 2010 awards season and who was slated to direct and serve as the on-camera...
- Alison Willmore
Relativity Media has optioned the rights to Sebastian Junger's 2007 Vanity Fair article "Blood Oil," an account of the Niger Delta oil saboteurs and how the militants may have sparked a U.S. recession by playing havoc on world oil prices. This isn't journalist Junger's first time in film. He co-directed the 2010 Oscar-nominated doc "Restrepo" with the late journalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in an attack last year while covering the Libyan civil war. Junger's book "A Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea" was made into a film of (almost) the same title starring George Clooney in 2000. For "Blood Oil," Junger spent a period of time in Nigeria, the fifth largest supplier of oil to the U.S., researching four decades worth of corruption. »
- Beth Hanna
The Internet may be taking its toll on print journalism, but war photography is alive and well. Last week, Michael Mann (The Insider, Ali, Heat) and documentary director David Frankham launched a four-part documentary series on HBO called Witness, which follows seasoned war photographers through some of the most dangerous conflict zones on earth. Eros Hoagland, whose father was killed during his own work as a war photographer, takes viewers to Juarez, Mexico, and the favelas of Rio de Janeiro; French photojournalist Veronique de Viguerie, notorious for embedding with the Taliban, leads us through the jungles of South Sudan; and Michael Christopher Brown, »
- Josh Stillman
The historically significant work of groundbreaking war photographers like Roger Fenton, Alexander Gardner, Robert Capa and Joe Rosenthal has been widely documented, but the names of their modern-day counterparts are less well-known. The exceptions tend to be photoreporters killed in action, like Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who lost their lives in a 2011 attack in Misrata, Libya. That incident provides the background for one of the four episodes in Witness, a visceral HBO Documentary miniseries executive produced by Michael Mann and David Frankham. Directed by Abdallah Omeish, Witness: Libya premiered and was reviewed this summer at the
- David Rooney
Nominations for the 6th annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced November 2 at an AFI Fest reception at the Roosevelt Hotel. Honoring nonfiction filmmaking, the Cinema Eye Honors will announce ten feature film nominees as well as Outstanding Short Film. They recognized filmmakers Steve James ("The Interrupters"), Tim Hetherington ("Diary") and Mike Mills ("Beginners"), among others, for their work in 2011. This is the first time Cinema Eye is partnering with AFI Fest, and also the first time the announcements have been made in Los Angeles. Cinema Eye is changing the way its nominations are determined. This year, nominees for Best Feature Documentary will be chosen by votes from their Nominations Committee, consisting of 25 top international film festival programmers specializing in docs, as well as from votes by over 60 of this year's eligible filmmakers who were asked to name their favorite doc of the past year. The shorts were »
- Sophia Savage
Cinema Eye names the ten finalists for its 2013 Outstanding Short Film Award, as chosen by a committee of international film festival programmers. The nonfiction films are listed below. Five of the finalists will be announced as nominees in October, prior to the 6th Annual Cinena Eye Honors in January. This will be the third year Cinama Eye recognizes nonfiction shorts with an award. Past recipients of the award include Tim Hetherington's "Diary" and Vance Malone's "The Poodle Trainer." The ten finalists are: Aaron Burr, Part 2 (USA), directed by Dana O’Keefe CatCam (USA), directed by Seth Keal Cutting Loose (Scotland) directed by Finlay Pretsell and Adrian McDowall Family Nightmare (USA), directed by Dustin Guy Defa Fanuzzi’s Gold (USA) , directed by Georgia Gruzen Good Bye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima) (Switzerland), directed by Robert-Jan Lacombe »
- Sophia Savage
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Passion Pictures and Red Box Films are proud to announce their new feature documentary Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story Of 007 directed by Stevan Riley (Fire In Babylon), produced by John Battsek (One Day In September, The Tillman Story) and Simon Chinn (Man On Wire, Project Nim) to coincide with the 50th anniversary of James Bond films on October 5. Country specific release plans to be announced shortly.
Everything Or Nothing focuses on three men with a shared dream . Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and author Ian Fleming. It’s the thrilling and inspiring narrative behind the longest running film franchise in cinema history which began in 1962. With unprecedented access both to the key players involved and to Eon Productions’ extensive archive, this is the first time the inside story of the franchise has ever been told on screen in this way. Director Stevan Riley »
- Michelle McCue
The Newsroom, Season 1, Episode 5: “Amen″
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Airs Sundays at 10:00 Pm Et on HBO
Journalism can be a dangerous profession. Trying to cover the news in, or tell the story of, volatile or war-torn regions, especially, can be downright fatal, the most obvious example in recent years being Tim Hetherington, who lost his life in 2011 whilst trying to cover the Libyan uprising. With the accelerated timeline that The Newsroom has been following, the Middle East revolutions were bound to come across Will McAvoy’s desk sooner rather than later, and with their emphasis on reporting the news at all costs, it would be interesting to see how they chose to tackle this story. The episode most certainly did not disappoint on that front, not only giving us a better glimpse of how news producers scramble to get the full story, but also »
- Deepayan Sengupta
England's Sheffield Doc/Fest, which concluded yesterday, announced the winners of its seven award categories and the addition of a new award for its 2013 season. The Tim Hetherington Award, presented by Dogwoof, will join the Inspiration Award, Special Jury Award, Sheffield Innovation Award, Sheffield Green Award, Sheffield Youth Jury Award, Student Doc Award, and the Eda Best Female-Directed award (presented by Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc.). The slain photojournalist's mother, Judith Hetherington, will be among one of the judges for this award, which will include a cash prize. Hetherington is best known for 2010's documentary "Restrepo." The winner of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Audience Award will be announced later today. The full list of 2012 Sheffield Doc/Fest winners: Inspiration Award: Penny Woolcock Special Jury Award: "Marina Abromović: The Artist is Present" »
- Srimathi Sridhar
Article by Dan Clark of Movie Revolt
Welcome to the first installment of Streaming for Your Pleasure where I highlight interesting and unique films now available on Netflix streaming. In each segment I will focus on one major overall category – this first time round I am looking at some intriguing documentaries that are worth checking out.
Directed By Lincoln Ruchti
Synopsis: At the unassuming Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa, early gamers fought for bragging rights at the 1982 Video Game World Championships. See how competitive gaming started, and meet arcade owner Walter Day, who still oversees scoring.
Why You Should Check It Out: There is just something about that arcade experience that I really miss. Today’s online gaming world is full of foul mouth preteen kids mocking you in almost every turn. Back in the day those kids were standing right next to you »
A frantic 911 call was placed after Monkees singer Davy Jones suffered a massive heart on Wednesday in Florida.
The distressed woman who dialed the emergency number pleaded for an ambulance to "hurry," before suggesting it might be faster to put Jones in a car and drive to the nearest hospital -- which was 27 miles away.
Jones had complained of breathing trouble early in the morning, and was later taken to a hospital in the town of Stuart, »
Hell and Back Again [Blu-ray] Movie: Disc: Click here to read the dvd review! "Like the late Tim Hetherington, Dennis is a brave man, somehow capturing absolutely gorgeous footage despite bullets whizzing past his head, bombs going off around him, and soldiers going down in front of him. His subject in the unfortunate sergeant, is a charismatic born leader shown at both the top of his game, and his weakest moments." »
R&B great Etta James, best known for her classic song "At Last," has died from chronic leukemia. She was 73.
James had been struggling with the disease for several years. She died at a hospital in Riverside, Calif. with her husband of 41 years, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side.
Etta's longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, said, "This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world. »
The backlash against the Academy’s recent changes to its nomination policies for documentary films contrasted with the casual atmosphere of last night’s Cinema Eye Honors. In an intimate theater at the Museum of the Moving Image, the pillars of the documentary community gathered to celebrate the breadth and diversity of their craft. In attendance were Frederick Wiseman, Al Maysles, Steve James, Alex Gibney, Michael Moore, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky and many more. Founder and co-host Aj Schnack spoke of the Cinema Eyes evolution prior to the awards:
“Some things about Cinema Eye are the same as they were that first time that we gathered together at the IFC Center in 2008 – that sense of community, a feeling that we are honoring our community’s values of respecting artistic craft and recognizing the entire collaborative team. What’s changed is that instead of just a couple of us making the event happen, »
- Daniel James Scott
On Wednesday night the Cinema Eye honors were presented, recognizing the likes of Steve James' "The Interrupters" (Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking and Direction), the late Tim Hetherington's short "Diary" (Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking), Mike Mills' "Beginners" (Heterodox Award for Narrative Filmmaking; a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production) and Clio Barnard's "The Arbor" (Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film). The first ever Hell Yeah Prize was awarded to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky for their »
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