Jewtopia
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Jewtopia (2012) More at IMDbPro »


2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

8 items from 2017


How ‘Icarus’ Turned a Standup Comic Into an Investigative Journalist With a Netflix Deal

4 August 2017 4:17 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Actor-turned-documentarian Bryan Fogel literally delivered the print of “Icarus” to Sundance 2017 at 8:00Am; the film premiered at 10:00Am. By the end of the screening, “Icarus” was in the midst of a bidding war that was eventually won by Netflix for $5 million.

Fogel is an unexpected documentarian, to say nothing of an investigative journalist. He started out in Hollywood as a standup comic and actor, but found early success as the creator of a hit Coast Playhouse and Broadway play, “Jewtopia,” which he grew into a touring company, a book, and a movie. He eventually came up with the “Icarus” documentary as his next career move.

As a racing cyclist, Fogel thought he could create a “Super Size Me” movie about doping in sports — injecting himself in the butt with steroids to prove how easy it is to evade detection, as Lance Armstrong did for years. Instead, he stumbled »

- Anne Thompson

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How ‘Icarus’ Turned a Standup Comic Into an Investigative Journalist With a Netflix Deal

4 August 2017 4:17 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Actor-turned-documentarian Bryan Fogel literally delivered the print of “Icarus” to Sundance 2017 at 8:00 am; the film premiered at 10 am. By the end of the screening, “Icarus” was in the midst of a bidding war that was eventually won by Netflix for $5 million.

Fogel is an unexpected documentarian, to say nothing of an investigative journalist. He started out in Hollywood as a standup comic and actor, but found early success as the creator of a hit Coast Playhouse and Broadway play, “Jewtopia,” which he grew into a touring company, a book, and a movie. He eventually came up with the “Icarus” documentary as his next career move.

As a racing cyclist, Fogel thought he could create a “Super Size Me” movie about doping in sports — injecting himself in the butt with steroids to prove how easy it is to evade detection, as Lance Armstrong did for years. Instead, he stumbled onto »

- Anne Thompson

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Icarus review – Netflix doping scandal doc is flawed but fascinating

4 August 2017 11:04 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Filmmaker Bryan Fogel stumbles upon state-sponsored doping in a sometimes clunky, but unquestionably revelatory documentary

Few filmmakers have stumbled upon documentary gold in quite as fortuitous a fashion as Bryan Fogel, the man behind this revelatory account of Russia’s state-sponsored doping program. Primarily a playwright (he wrote an off-Broadway comedy called Jewtopia), Fogel is also a keen amateur cyclist and, in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal, set out to prove just how easy it was to evade cycling’s creaking testing system by competing chemically enhanced in the same prestigious amateur race that he had struggled in the year before. The plan was to boost his best time, pass with flying colours through the urine tests required of all competitors and broadcast the results in muckraking documentary form.

Related: Icarus film finds more than Greek tragedy in Russia doping scandal | Sean Ingle

Continue reading »

- Gwilym Mumford

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Movie Review: In Icarus, a filmmaker injects himself into the shady world of sports doping

2 August 2017 10:00 PM, PDT | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

Bryan Fogel’s Netflix documentary Icarus tells such an eye-opening story that it almost doesn’t matter when the storytelling itself gets a little sloppy. An actor and playwright best known for the comedy Jewtopia, Fogel is trying his hand at feature-length non-fiction filmmaking for the first time with Icarus, and he just happened to stumble onto the kind of relevant, ripped-from-the-headlines scandal that investigative journalists spend years trying to dig up. What starts out as a Super Size Me-esque stunt—with Fogel injecting himself with performance-enhancing drugs to compete in an amateur cycling race—becomes a wider-ranging exposé of doping in organized sports. And then it takes a darker but in retrospect inevitable turn, as the filmmaker’s foray into the shady world of PEDs brings him into contact with a network of Russian scientists who’d rather not get caught on camera.

There is at least one »

- Noel Murray

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‘Icarus’ is an Alarming Look at Russia’s Secret Doping Operation — Sundance Review

20 January 2017 1:57 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Icarus” starts out as one kind of movie, and then becomes a much better one. At first, director Bryan Fogel seems intent on making the sporting world’s answer to “Super Size Me,” by subjecting himself to performance-enhancing drugs to see if he can avoid detection. But then he stumbles into shocking revelations about Russia’s massive doping conspiracy and the scenario gets dark, gripping, and altogether more important.

The jarring shift doesn’t quite rescue the movie from uneven storytelling and murky research, but “Icarus” undoubtedly succeeds at emphasizing the shocking nature of Russia’s cover-up — and the dangerous reverberations it has for a key whistleblower.

That would be Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the antidoping laboratory chief who eventually fled to the United States and leaked information about Russia’s tactics for burying its athletes’ use of performance-enhancing drugs to a group of New York Times reporters in early 2016. Fogel »

- Eric Kohn

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'Icarus': Film Review | Sundance 2017

20 January 2017 12:30 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Playing like a gonzo Laura Poitras film, Jewtopia star and co-writer Bryan Fogel's first documentary pulls back the curtain on the man who was both the facilitator and whistle-blower of Russia's massive sports doping program. Having the good doctor front-and-center to reveal how he pulled off the staggering deception (just as two of his former colleagues happened to die “unexpectedly”) is the kind of major “get” that occasionally transforms a documentary into an event. But while Icarus technically doesn't break any news, it certainly scores many points by showing a diabolical wizard so surprisingly laying his secrets on »

- Todd McCarthy

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‘Icarus’ Sundance Documentary Director Was Scared When Exposing Russian Olympic Doping Scandal

19 January 2017 11:09 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Bryan Fogel had created a nice cottage industry when he wrote, directed, and performed in the romantic comedy “Jewtopia.” He took the stage play from Los Angeles to New York, then directed the feature film version released in 2013.

Admittedly “desperate not to go through the rest of life as the ‘Jewtopia’-guy,” though, Fogel turned to his youthful passion of bicycle racing for his next project. Now he’s the force behind the documentary film that helped break one of the biggest sports stories of recent years, even before becoming one of the buzziest titles at the start of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Icarus,” set to screen Friday morning as part of the U.S. documentary competition, started as a kind of “Super Size Me” for athletes. Amateur cyclist Fogel planned to explore the impacts of performance-enhancing drugs, by doping himself, and use film to tell about how the chemicals changed him. »

- James Rainey

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Bring On the Bidding Wars: 14 Movies That Could Sell Big at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

18 January 2017 7:19 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Bidding wars have already begun for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Buyers snapped up six titles in the days leading up to the fest, including one that A24 purchased sight unseen: David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Other movies acquired in the past two weeks are “Berlin Syndrome” (Netflix), “Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Casting JonBenet” (Netflix), “Cries From Syria” (HBO for television rights) and “Long Strange Trip” (Amazon).

Read More: Sundance 2017: Netflix, Vertical Acquire ‘Berlin Syndrome’

With 120 features playing at Sundance, there are plenty of hot titles remaining for acquisition executive, though it will be tough for any film to exceed last year’s $17.5 million purchase of “The Birth of a Nation” by Fox Searchlight, the biggest deal in the festival’s history.

Which movies are likely to have buyers lining up in the cold this year? Here are 14 hot »

- Graham Winfrey

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2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

8 items from 2017


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