8 items from 2015
"Armstrong Lie" director Alex Gibney dropped his latest bomb on Sundance in January with "Going Clear," a documentary exposé of the Church of Scientology that dragged him through the gauntlet to get made. HBO, no stranger to scandal-making with its ever-broadening documentary slate, commissioned Gibney's adaptation of Lawrence Wright's "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief" just after the nonfiction book was published in January 2013. The book analyzes the history of L. Ron Hubbard, and of Tom Cruise and John Travolta's various, and wildly public, relationships, among others. Wright gained notoriety in 2011 when he profiled screenwriter/director Paul Haggis—who broke from the Church in 2009 in the wake of its startling pronouncements about Prop 8—in The New Yorker. Anticipating legal and religious retaliation, HBO President Sheila Nevins has said that some 160 lawyers looked at the film, which premieres on HBO »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Veteran documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney returned to Sundance this January with his latest powder keg of a documentary, "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief." Like the book on which it's based by Lawrence Wright, it offered up shocking claims about the Church of Scientology sure to rock the public when HBO Documentary Films releases the film. The extensive and scathing exposé digs into the history of founder L. Ron Hubbard, the real reason behind the breakup of Scientology member Tom Cruise and his now ex-wife Nicole Kidman, what goes on behind the closed doors of its Los Angeles Church and much more over the course of its two-hour running time. HBO will debut the documentary on Sunday, March 29 at 8pm, with an encore the next night, Monday March 30 at 9pm. Watch the first trailer below: Read More: Sundance: Alex Gibney Premieres His Scathing Exposé on the Church of »
- Nigel M Smith
Danny Masterson has a message for all those Scientology haters. In a new interview with Paper magazine, the "That '70s Show" star opens up about his controversial religion on the heels of the premiere of "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief." "I heard about that documentary; the documentary where they interviewed eight people who hate Scientology. Should be pretty interesting. I wonder if Sundance would allow a documentary of, like, eight people who hate Judaism. But you know, my religion's fair game, I guess, 'cause it's new," he tells the mag. "There's basically like 200 lies in the book and so therefore he couldn't even publish that book [in Canada or the UK because the libel laws],” he adds, referring to Lawrence Wright’s book, which inspired the movie. Masterson also touches on fellow Hollywood star Paul Haggis' decision to leave the church on account of gay marriage. "Paul was just mad that, as a religion, we're »
- tooFab Staff
It’s not that I don’t like Alex Gibney. The Oscar-winner has done yeoman’s work exploring modern problems so large that we tend to ignore them instead of face them head-on. He digs into the dirt, especially American dirt, that we’d rather not see on our own hands, and he does it all without the bombastic agenda sales of Michael Moore. All good things. My problem is that I’m not particularly interested in Scientology. Those who believe praise it wholesale, opponents claim that it’s responsible for murder, but overall it seems like another bit of antique hokum polished up with a Hollywood shine. As soon as you demand payment for having faith, my ears turn off. But consider them back on. After reading Kate’s review of Gibney’s new doc, Going Clear, based on Lawrence Wright’s book, she hooked me by talking about how unsettling it is. Then »
- Scott Beggs
Doc reminds viewers of the insidious power of L. Ron Hubbard’s church that has long focused on Hollywood
“Going Clear,” the much-anticipated documentary about Scientology by veteran filmmaker Alex Gibney, caused a ruckus at Sundance on Sunday, resurfacing the most damaging accusations against the religion including a campaign to break up Tom Cruise’s marriage to Nicole Kidman.
Since the defection from the church in recent years by prominent members like Paul Haggis and investigative work including the book by Lawrence Wright on which the film is based, the worst of Scientology is already out there.
Also Read: Tom Cruise »
- Sharon Waxman
Though the lid was blown off the Church of Scientology long ago, Alex Gibney’s powder-keg documentary, “Going Clear,” should certainly rattle the walls, if not shake them to their very foundations. Gibney had an excellent blueprint to work from in Lawrence Wright’s exhaustively researched 2013 nonfiction bestseller (from which the film takes its title), but he’s also added much fascinating material here, including new interviews and proprietary Scientology video footage that has to be seen to be disbelieved. A hot ticket at Sundance, “Going Clear” should have no trouble maintaining its must-see buzz through its HBO premiere in March and beyond.
The prolific Gibney (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”) excels at untangling complex systems and institutions, and at showing us the human faces behind scandal-making headlines. Unsurprisingly, “Going Clear” is weighted toward candid, impassioned interviews with ex-Scientologists »
- Scott Foundas
Alex Gibney returned to Sundance this afternoon with his latest powder keg of a documentary, "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief." Like the book on which it's based by Lawrence Wright, it offered up shocking claims about the Church of Scientology that are sure to rock the public when HBO Documentary Films releases the film later this year. The extensive and scathing exposé digs into the history of founder L. Ron Hubbard, the real reason behind the breakup of Scientology member Tom Cruise and his now ex-wife Nicole Kidman, what goes on behind the closed doors of its Los Angeles Church and much more over the course of its two-hour running time. Gibney was joined onstage following the screening by Wright, some of the filmmaking team and a number of former Scientology members who were profiled in the film, all of whom received a warm standing ovation."The »
- Nigel M Smith
The film takes an in-depth look at Sinatra's life and storied career, with Gibney utilizing hours of archived interviews, as well as new commentary from those closest to the singer. All or Nothing at All will also incorporate plenty of music and pictures from Sinatra's life, and specifically revolve around rare footage from his 1971 "Retirement Concert" in Los Angeles. »
8 items from 2015
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