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Pop quiz. When was the last time that Alex Gibney did not bring a film to the annual snowflake friendly fest? Even in years where he hasn’t presented a film, it feels as if he has been a mainstay bringing docu items such as Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Casino Jack and the United States of Money, Magic Trip and We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks. Mentions of the project date back to 2012 and knowing Gibney’s breakneck work ethic, Finding Fela! is probably the next after his Lance Armstrong portrait. Since Park City’s Main Street music events are sometimes directly tied to a music-docu quota, this would certainly be a must have for the fest.
Gist: A look at the life and music of Nigerian singer Fela Kuti, in his own words, this looks »
- Eric Lavallee
Chicago – Lance Armstrong lied, we get it. He was busted in that lie, and he went to the nations confession facilitator – Oprah – and looked appropriately concerned when he did confess that he was dishonest. Alex Gibney’s further indictment, “The Armstrong Lie,” has the feeling of piling it on.
This is a dissection of the untruths that Armstrong perpetuated – through his entourage, through his sport of cycling – and does lend context to the circumstance of a bitter situation. But this is 122 minutes long, and it’s like sitting through 122 minutes of the trial scene from ‘JFK’ – “back, and to the left, back and to the left.” It’s overkill, and smacks of a personal hit job. Gibney was originally hired to chronicle Armstrong’s comeback in the Tour de France, but ended up feeling shafted by his own admission. This is comprehensive, but too much, and unless you have »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Black magic, Russian royalty, resistance to stabbing, rumors of a giant wiener: It's kind of shocking it took this long for someone to make a TV drama about Grigori Rasputin. According to Deadline, FX has finally stepped up to the plate, developing a limited series about the ill-fated adviser to the Romanovs with director Shekhar Kapur and writer Paul Scheuring. Leo DiCaprio is also currently working on a Rasputin biopic, which means we're already excited about complaining how the Rasputin trend just won't die. »
- Halle Kiefer
In 2009, cyclist Lance Armstrong wanted to prove his naysayers wrong. He came back from retirement, and touted that he’d win the Tour de France in order to prove to the world that his past seven wins were not boosted by any illegal enhancements. As with other chapters of his fascinating life, this comeback provided a great narrative, one made into a nearly-finished documentary project called “The Road Back,” which had director Alex Gibney and his crew following Armstrong around as he hustled for another Tour de France victory. Matt Damon was signed on to do voiceover, and the project was co-produced by Spielberg’s key producer Frank Marshall.
“The Road Back” was then remodeled into The Armstrong Lie when the truth about Armstrong’s doping began to make its way to the surface in 2012, both through teammate testimonies and a few select moments from Armstrong himself. Initially crafting what »
- Nick Allen
Gravity is a game-changer that makes a swath of films seem redundant. Here are seven earlier movies that broke the mould – and one that didn't
Every now and then a film comes along that totally changes everything: whether it is expensive new technology or a cute talking pig, nothing can be the same again. Gravity is the latest film that makes a whole swath of cinema look and feel redundant: its hard-won sense of documentary realism means everyone attempting to film a spacewalk or satellite explosion will have to raise their game massively. This is by no means a definitive, historical list – you would have to go back to the Lumière brothers for that – but we have narrowed it down to the seven films that have made the biggest impact on movies in their current form and obsessions.
The game: Superhero films were traditionally camp, trashy affairs – even Superman: The Movie, »
- Andrew Pulver
With The Armstrong Lie, documentarian Alex Gibney unpacks the psychology of one of sport's most notorious cheaters. And the Oscar-winner is no stranger to mendacity – his previous credits include Taxi to the Dark Side (about the CIA's use of torture), Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer. But unlike those other projects, Gibney was actually welcomed into Armstrong's web of deceit. Gibney's first take on the subject, which was going to be called The Road Back, followed the racer during »
Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is known for going after big fish such as the Catholic Church (“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”), Enron (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”) and the United States Military (“Taxi to the Dark Side”), but when he was tapped to make a film on Lance Armstong, it wasn’t supposed to be like the exposés he’s known for. At the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this fall, he sat down with Thompson on Hollywood’s Anne Thompson to talk about the personal journey that “The Armstrong Lie” took him on. Below are the highlights. (Sony Pictures Classics opens "The Armstrong Lie" in select theaters this Friday.) The film he was supposed to make and the story that followed it “It started out as an inspirational comeback story when Lance Armstrong decided to come back to cycling in 2008 after being in retirement. »
- Noah Taylor
Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer") has quickly evolved as a filmmaker synonymous with rise and fall character portraits.With the Lance Armstrong career-crumbling lying spree still lingering in the public spotlight, Gibney's latest film "The Armstrong Lie" is that perfectly-timed addition to his body of work. The film, which had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong from a cycling superstar to a professionally-bankrupt liar. With the documentary's limited theatrical release just a week away, the latest trailer offers a story that is both overwhelmingly public and personal. Unlike his previous films, Gibney's "The Armstrong Lie" holds the filmmaker partially in the limelight as Gibney confronts Armstrong for lying to him in previous interviews. "The Armstrong Lie" will receive a limited theatrical »
- Ramzi De Coster
In recognition of the "trick" side of the Halloween tradition, Indiewire's latest curated selections for Hulu's Documentaries page highlights films that expose corruption, lies, and the manipulation of truth. Watch these and other docs now for free!Alex Gibney's "Casino Jack and the United States of Money," focuses on notorious DC conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his central role in the 2006 corruption scandal that implicated powerful members of Congress.Gibney's also contributes another film to the list with his Oscar-nominated "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," exploring the rise and fall of the infamous corporation.Corporate malfeasance is also at the core of Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes' "We're Not Broke," an investigation into corporate tax shelters and the government collusion that allows profits to trump civil society.Vikram Gandhi's "Kumare" finds the filmmaker taking on the role of a fictional Indian guru to expose the absurdity of blind. »
- Basil Tsiokos
Rocksmith 2014 Edition, the sequel to the self-teaching guitar experience from 2011, is being released next Tuesday and it’ll be armed with 55 songs. Ubisoft released the entire tracklist ahead of the October 22nd launch today and Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC gamers will be treated to the likes of Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Queen and The Police, among other top artists from the golden years of rock.
Ubisoft also announced that downloadable songs purchased for the first game will be compatible with Rocksmith 2014 Edition. There will also be the option to import the disc-based songs from the original Rocksmith to play in the new sequel, but there will be a nominal fee charged for the privilege.
Rocksmith 2014 Edition allows gamers to learn how to play a real guitar or bass guitar by plugging an instrument in to their gaming console. The game determines the skill level of the player and adjusts the difficulty of lessons accordingly. »
- Rory Young
Are you one of those people who walked around for years wearing one of those yellow bracelets after cyclist Lance Armstrong came back from cancer to win a jillion Tour de Frances, only to feel duped once the truth came out that he was a great big steroid monster the whole time and had been lying to everyone’s faces about it? Then probably you’re looking for an explanation from the smug jerk, and Alex Gibney’s new documentary, The Armstrong Lie, is at least giving off the impression that it has one. Gibney is the guy who brought us a handful of other newsworthy docs covering current events, like Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, and the story here seems to be that Gibney initially started following around Armstrong to do a doc about his big comeback to racing, but »
- Nathan Adams
It’s like a normal documentary about Lance Armstrong, but on steroids. The Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney has been responsible for some of the best documentaries to hit cinemas in the last decade. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side and Mea Maxima Culpa were all stunning pieces of work, and now we have the first trailer for Gibney’s Lance Armstrong project, The Armstrong Lie. »
★★★☆☆ Julian Assange must have wept with joy when news broke about Edward Snowden's controversial Nsa security leak. Or perhaps he was green-eyed at how Snowden's disclosure truly characterised the poisoned chalice that the internet has become - as equally free and open as it is mass-monitored. Alex Gibney, veteran of the political doc, couldn't have picked a more opportune and red-hot topic for a documentary, as he reviews the history of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and the diplomatic maelstrom that followed the website's many incendiary revelations. Sadly, We Steal Secrets (2013) is a film which gets lost in its data.
The first half pulls at many interesting strands, such as how the Us and other digital superpowers now rely on acne-blighted whiz-kids to perform the most complex of hacks, yet ultimately these are the same kids who can tear down political institutions with the click of a button. This constant double-edged sword, »
- CineVue UK
Hollywood already has at least two dramatised biopics in development focusing on disgraced cyclist and drug cheat Lance Armstrong. However, acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney – the man behind the outstanding Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room – may just have something even more fascinating with The Armstrong Lie. The fact-chasing filmmaker wanted to follow the champion sportsman during his epic comeback from Cancer a few years ago but soon found a whole new shocking series of events rear their head when Armstrong was eventually outed for doping after years of denials.
The Sony Pictures Classics production seemed dead after those revelations and subsequent admission of guilt but Gibney refused to give up and pushed on to finish his story. Forcing the seven-time (now stripped) Tour de France winner to face his future as a fraud.
The full trailer has now hit for The Armstrong Lie and is looking another fascinating watch, »
- Craig Hunter
“I didn’t live a lot of lies. But I lived one big one. You know, it’s different I guess. Maybe it’s not. But yeah, it’s… And what I said in there with just how this story is all over the place and there are these two… you know, these just complete opposite narratives. You know… The only person that can actually start to let people understand what the true narrative is, is me. And you should know that better than anybody else to the get into the… the real nature and the real detail of the story. Because we haven’t heard it yet is the truth.”
– Lance Armstrong; January 14, 2013
In 2008, Academy Award® winning filmmaker Alex Gibney set out to make a documentary about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to the world of competitive cycling. Widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in the history of sports, »
- Melissa Thompson
Alex Gibney, Laura Poitras and Geralyn Dreyfous will receive awards at the International Documentary Association’s 2013 Ida Awards, the organization announced on Wednesday. Gibney, whose work includes the Oscar-winning “Taxi to the Dark Side” as well as “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” the recent Emmy-winner “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” and this year’s “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” and “The Armstrong Lie,” will receive the Ida’s Career Achievement Award. In the past, that honor has gone to Errol Morris, Michael Moore, »
- Steve Pond
Between being on set of Nasty Baby with Kristen Wiig, animating videos for and playing with his new project Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band (they begin a residency at Union Pool in October), and, you know, being the lead singer of TV on the Radio, Tunde Adebimpe doesn’t have much time to slack off. That wasn’t the case with his first job, which he told us during his interview for Daily Intel’s 21 Questions. In fact, it was pretty much the opposite. We couldn’t fit his whole gem of an answer in the column, but we also couldn’t let it go without sharing. See it for yourself, below, and read the full 21 Questions here.What was your first job in New York? I was a ticket taker and usher at Film Forum. It was actually great because I got to see any film I wanted to »
- Vanita Salisbury
By Søren Hough
* * *
“Never capture what you can’t control.”
So says the tagline for Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s muckraking new documentary — currently being distributed in select art-house theaters by Magnolia Pictures — which is a stunning indictment of the manner in which SeaWorld has captured and treated wild orca whales over the years. The film could have an enormous impact on tourism and revenue for the theme park chain — but the ramifications of this exposé will extend beyond the director’s intended target.
Blackfish has been welcomed with open arms by critics. With an 84 on Metacritic and a 98 on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is being hailed as a well-crafted documentary that has brought about a paradigm-shift in terms of the public’s thoughts about show animals. And it is also generating some serious awards buzz — see our own Scott Feinberg‘s latest forecast over at The Hollywood Reporter — with »
- Søren Hough
Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is known for going after big fish such as the Catholic Church (“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”), Enron (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”) and the United States Military (“Taxi to the Dark Side”), but when he was tapped to make a film on Lance Armstong, it wasn’t supposed to be like the exposés he’s known for. Here at the Toronto International Film Festival, he sat down with Thompson on Hollywood’s Anne Thompson on Tuesday to talk about the personal journey that “The Armstrong Lie” took him on. Below are the highlights. The film he was supposed to make and the story that followed it “It started out as an inspirational comeback story when Lance Armstrong decided to come back to cycling in 2008 after being in retirement. Folks at Sony, Frank Marshall and Matt Tolmach, wanted to see »
- Noah Taylor
Theme parks are awesome. Theme parks dressed up for Halloween are friggin' outstanding. This time of year, Knott's Berry Farm becomes Knott's Scary Farm, and has a parked jammed full of tricks and treats.
The biggest event of this season stands to be "Trapped: The New Experiment." Going into its second year, "Trapped" is Knott's reservation-only maze that promises a bigger and more intense experience filled with puzzles that you must solve in order to escape.
The most important parts of any haunted theme park are the mazes. With 10 mazes this year, we will get old favorites like "Trick or Treat," "Pinocchio Unstrunt," and "Uncle Willy's Slaughterhouse." New for 2013 are "Black Magic," in which you tour one of Houdini's demonic seances; "Forevermore," which imagines the twisted worlds of Edgar Allan Poe; "The Gunslinger's Grave," a ghost town inhabited by real ghosts; and "Mirror Mirror," where mentioning the "skeleton key" can »
- Alyse Wax
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