Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
Near Penn Station, next to the Amtrak tracks, squatters have been living for years. Marc Singer goes underground to live with them, and films this "family." A dozen or so men and one woman talk about their lives: horrors of childhood, jail time, losing children, being coke-heads. They scavenge, they've built themselves sturdy one-room shacks; they have pets, cook, chat, argue, give each other haircuts. A bucket is their toilet. Leaky overhead pipes are a source of water for showers. They live in virtual darkness. During the filming, Amtrak gives a 30-day eviction notice. Written by
The soundtrack for the film was provided by DJ Shadow (aka Josh Davis), who is a critically-acclaimed producer and DJ. He is notorious, however, for being very protective of licensing his music for other venues or projects, having declined many other scoring offers in the past. When a friend of Singer's saw the footage assembled to a rough cut, he suggested Shadow for the soundtrack. Singer got hold of a couple of Shadow's albums, and loved the music so much, he began to cut the music into his film without any contact with the DJ. When fellow producer Ben Freedman told him he would need the rights to the music, the duo concocted a scheme whereby they would write a note to him and give it to an attractive female friend who would go backstage after a show and personally hand-deliver it. It worked. Weeks later, the two scheduled a flight to LA to coincide with a last-minute meeting with Shadow and his agent. According to Shadow, he was prepared to turn down the men's offer to use his music. But when they showed him a rough edit of the film with his music that Singer had already cut-in, Shadow was taken aback and completely impressed. He not only let them use existing titles, but even remixed some older tracks intercut with new audio samples recorded by Singer in the tunnels as a special score done for the film. See more »
I just came across this gem of a movie on cable last night. I'm not a social activist and I don't particularly have a soft spot in my heart for the homeless. I lived in San Francisco for a while and I got pan handled by at least 20 people a day walking back and forth to the train...usually much more then 20 people , so that made disillusioned pretty quickly. But watching this movie did exactly what Marc Singer set out to do...made me sympathetic to these individuals in the film regardless of my preconceptions about the homeless in the United States. Yes, most of the people in this film certainly didn't make the right decisions in life, some were openly smoking crack on camera and most definitely were not educated. But it made me realize that we all make some mistakes and it is possible for some of those mistakes to spiral into their situations.
The "characters" in the film were all much more articulate then I would have expected from some homeless people. They all told their individual stories but none of them tried to make any excuses for things they've done in the past to get them where they were which is what I think ultimately made me feel sympathetic to them.
But it was the style of this film that really sucked me in before the characters and subject matter did. It was beautifully shot on B&W film which was impressive considering the lighting issues inside the tunnel. The soundtrack from DJ Shadow was also excellent and really added to the mood of this film. Overall, a great doc. I recommend it to everyone.
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