16 items from 2014
HBO is readying a documentary that will take a penetrating look at the Church of Scientology and its influence in Hollywood. Going Clear, based on Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, is expected to air on the network in 2015, according to the Hollywood Reporter, with a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January if finished in time.
Wright's book features harsh revelations against the controversial religion courtesy of Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis, a longtime and high-ranking Church member who very publicly left Scientology in 2009. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, »
HBO apparently feels good about Mick Jagger‘s James Brown documentary. The premium cable channel has acquired the U.S. and Canadian television rights to the feature-length documentary “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,” which was produced by the Rolling Stones frontman. See video: ‘Get On Up’ Star Chadwick Boseman Performs James Brown's ‘Man's World’ on Letterman The documentary directed by Alex Gibney (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”), will debut on HBO on Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. Made with the cooperation of the deceased singer's estate, “Mr. Dynamite” features rare and never-before-seen footage of the “Living in America” belter, »
- Tim Kenneally
The ’90s was an interesting decade to say the least. Growing up, nothing was better to me, than sitting down to watch either a horror film or one of my favorite HBO programs, whether it be Tales From The Crypt or The Kids In The Hall, most of my nights were spent eating McDonald’s and being stuck to the TV. Once in a great while, HBO would premiere films exclusively on their channel, and sometimes those films would be just what I was looking for. Whether it be 1991′s Lovecraftian, Phillip Marlow meets Black Magic type of film Cast A Deadly Spell, or the subject of this A Look Back At article, the 1993 Werewolf Cop film Full Eclipse, HBO really did a hell of a job offering some fun programming.
- Jerry Smith
The names Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling and Andrew Fastow are not as prevalent in the media as they were in the last decade. These men, behind the success (such as it was) and severe failure of Enron, were eventually found guilty of fraud and other charges.
The 2005 documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is based on the book of the same name. Director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, The Armstrong Lie) interviews the book's authors, journalist Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, along with journalists, political figures and former Enron employees. Peter Coyote (E.T., Erin Brockovich), who could narrate practically anything and lend it a certain credence, talks of the bravado and bluff in the history of the energy-trading company based in Houston.
These interviews and Coyote's narration speak to the shenanigans going down at the once-praised company. The "macho culture" at the business is described, corraborated »
- Elizabeth Stoddard
Kino Lorber has released the first trailer to the documentary "Finding Fela," which made its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room"), the film was produced by Jigsaw Productions, Knitting Factory Entertainment, Okayplayer and Okayafrica. "Finding Fela" will begin its national theatrical run on August 1, with an exclusive Manhattan engagement at IFC Center; it's also scheduled to open in DC on August 8 (at Landmark’s E Street Cinema), as well as in Boston (at Landmark’s Kendall Square) and »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to the documentary Finding Fela, following the film’s world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), the film was produced by Jigsaw Productions, Knitting Factory Entertainment, Okayplayer and Okayafrica. Finding Fela will begin its national theatrical run on August 1, with an exclusive Manhattan engagement at IFC Center; the film is also scheduled to open in DC on August 8 (at Landmark’s E Street Cinema), as well as in Boston (at Landmark’s Kendall Square) and Atlanta (Landmark’s Midtown) »
- Tambay A. Obenson
The award salutes “masters of the non-fiction art form who inspire audiences by documenting and exploring the human experience,” according to an AFI press release. There will also by a symposium June 20 at the National Archives that will include a showing of Gibney’s work and a moderator-led discussion and Q&A with Gibney.
Gibney’s 2007 “Taxi to the Dark Side,” about the U.S. military’s torture of individuals during the last decade, won the Oscar for documentary feature and a Writers Guild of America award for screenplay. Gibney was also nominated by the Directors Guild of America for his work.
- Tim Gray
Wgn America is bringing out the big guns to start off your work week as another "The People of Salem" video has arrived to get you acquainted with the characters of the network's upcoming new series. Meet Mary Sibley, portrayed by Janet Montgomery, Salem's most powerful enchantress. Beware, heathens. Black magic is near!
In “Salem” witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem. The show, which centers on an epic romance wrapped around this explosive revelation, delivers a bold new vision of Salem – and an even bolder new vision of witches.
“Salem,” premiering on Sunday, April 20th, enters the world of the most notorious witch trials in history, a period steeped in fear, suspicion, and hysteria. On an expansive set in Shreveport, Louisiana, built to reflect volatile 17th century Massachusetts, “Salem” explores what really fueled the town's infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, »
- Debi Moore
While Amitabh Bachchan and the makers of his next film Bhoothnath Returns are engrossed in the throes of promoting their film, a social activist from Pune, Hemant Patil, has accused the actor of promoting superstitious beliefs, and filed a petition before a court seeking action against him.
In his petition, Patil has demanded a police complaint against Bachchan and others under the new Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. The reason behind this petition being, Bachchan's recent portrayal of a ghost in a TV commercial for a children's health drink. According to Patil, the said advertisement promotes the belief in the existence of ghosts and spirits while simultaneously pursuing the need for magic to ward them off. Apart from this, Patil also contends that the health drink company released the TV commercial without adding an appropriate disclaimer before »
- Bollywood Hungama News Network
Mumbai, March 27: A social activist from Pune has accused megastar Amitabh Bachchan of promoting superstitious beliefs, and filed a complaint before a court seeking action against the Bollywood actor.
Hemant Patil has demanded a police complaint against Bachchan and others under the stringent new Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013.
The immediate provocation for the complaint was Bachchan's portrayal of a ghost in a TV commercial for a children's health drink.
Mumbai magistrate Sita Kulkarni has placed the matter for hearing. »
- Shiva Prakash
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts: my favorite of the five films is the British “The Voorman Problem,” starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander in a hilarious and provocative bit of speculative fantasy [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] After Tiller: documentary portrait of abortion doctors in America looks at those who do important, compassionate work, but isn’t as engaging as it should be [at Amazon Instant Video] The Book Thief: the tone is oddly uneven, but this is a mostly charming story about the power of books and an unforgettable young girl who loves to read [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Homefront: Jason Statham teams up with another badass little girl… which makes him almost warm and charming as he kicks the crap out of villains [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Thor: The Dark World: think heavy-metal Lord of the Rings, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Late last night on The Super Channel, Reel One unleashed its new pitch black comedy, 24 Hour Rental upon an unsuspecting world. Described as a “no-holds-barred, deviant gangster satire” the series is produced and directed by George Mihalka, and stars Romano Orzari as Tracker, a gangster heavily in debt to the Russian Mob trying to make ends meet. He runs a seedy video store that serves as a front for petty crimes and soon gets caught up in a series of increasingly bizarre events involving drug addicts, surly video store clerks, mobsters, Satanists, rude customers and Black Magic murderers. 24 Hour Rental was written by former Sound on Sight contributor, Al Kratina, who just may have been inspired by his time working at the very same video store that gave birth to this website. I talked to Al recently and demanded that he explain himself.
For the benefit of some of our »
- Derek Gladu
So in this game of Bravely Default, you may be wondering, “If there are a whopping 24 jobs in this game, how might one get more of them?” So I will answer the question you may or may not be wondering.
In the beginning of the game, you have one class; Freelancer. A Freelancer is the jack-of-all trades class. They can learn helpful dungeoneering skills, and are pretty good with whatever weapon you can give them. They learn stuff like Examine, giving you the ability to look at how much health an enemy has (even works on bosses), what element, if any, they are weak to, and what family they are in (might have miscellaneous effects). The other classes you get by killing most bosses. I will list the class, then the name of the boss, and what the class specializes in. This will be in the order they show up on the job menu. »
- Gunnar Eastman
It is the first time in Writers Guild Awards history that a documentary has received the Selvin Award. The honor will be presented on Feb. 1 at the Jw Marriott in Los Angeles.
The award is named after the late WGA counsel and given to a WGA member whose script best embodies the spirit of constitutional and civil rights and liberties.
“Alex Gibney is one of the foremost documentary filmmakers of this generation,” said WGA West president Christopher Keyser. “His work has been a filmic conscience for our times. In ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,’ Mr. Gibney tackles issues arising out of us living, increasingly, in a surveillance state – from the public’s right to know and the press’ right to publish, »
- Dave McNary
Alex Gibney, the prolific documentary filmmaker behind We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, will be honored with the Paul Selvin Award at the 2014 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 1. Gibney, whose other films include Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and The Armstrong Lie, will receive the award at the event at the Jw Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live. Named after the late Paul Selvin, who served as counsel to the Wgaw, the award is given to a WGA member whose script best embodies the spirit of constitutional and civil rights and liberties.
- Rebecca Ford
We look back at the key films from the long career of the Hong Kong studio mogul credited with triggering the worldwide craze for kung fu
• Run Run Shaw, godfather of kung fu film-making, dies aged 106
Along with his brother Runme, Run Run Shaw set up shop in the south-east Asian film business, first experiencing success before the second world war by founding a chain of cinemas in Malaya. In 1957 the brothers moved their activities to Hong Kong, and they put themselves firmly on the map when their elaborate costume drama, The Magnificent Concubine, won a technical prize at the 1962 Cannes film festival, the first Chinese film to do so. It stars Li Li-hua as a senior emperor's concubine, whose position is threatened when a younger concubine appears on the scene. There's Li warbling a ditty in the clip above.
A decade later, along came The One-Armed Swordsman, which »
- Andrew Pulver
16 items from 2014