complete coverage of SXSW Film 2012
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Director: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
This documentary examines the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and introduces audiences to a dynamic group of real life superheroes who continue to fight the good fight both on and off the screen.
Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)
Who’S It For?: All movie fans, and comic book fans. You don’t have to be a big Wonder Woman fan before going in.
This documentary has a great structure, in which it uses the DC Comics superhero Wonder Woman as its central example of how important heroines can be to their followers, and also how said heroines are still powerless to image-conscious writers who manipulate their creations to better align with current cultural images. First and foremost, it provides a thoughtful background on the surprising history of Wonder Woman,
More often, it is the anniversary editions, special release, and, of course, The Criterion Collection that lives up to the true potential of the format. Critics Matt Fagerholm and Brian Tallerico have assembled their ten best of 2011, all of which should be added to your collection as soon as possible. Or ask Santa if you think you’ve been good enough this year.
Matt Fagerholm’s Five Best Blu-rays of 2011
5. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Photo credit: Paramount
The big score for this year’s edition is a special screening of Ralph Bakshi’s 1981 feature-length musical opus American Pop with the filmmaker in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. For this groundbreaking work, Bakshi utilized the innovative technique of mixing rotoscoping, water colors, computer graphics, live action shots, and archival footage. This screening and discussion will be a real treat for animation junkies.
But that’s not to say that the rest of the festival isn’t also filled with other amazing films.
Because, speaking of groundbreaking work, the fest kicks off with Brent Green’s simply astounding film Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, the first full-length film utilizing real-life actors in amazing stop-motion animation.
Bill Hicks was just a kid from Houston who, like so many teenagers, felt the need to rebel and do something different. So, instead of going to college like the rest of his family, Hicks knew at an early age he wanted to be a comedian. His career started at the tender age of 15 when he performed with popularity at a comedy club in Houston, Texas.
Before long, Bill Hicks found himself becoming a potential star, but that.s also about the time
Utilizing an array of animation, archival photographs, and a stockpile of never-before-scene video footage, directors Paul Thomas and Matt Harlock have crafted one of the most intriguing documentaries of the year with American: The Bill Hicks Story. Thicker than any biography could ever hope to be, we get a true sense of this groundbreaking comedian in ways we've never heard or seen before.
Paul Thomas and Matt Harlock track Bill Hicks from his meager beginnings, to his drug addiction and alcoholism, through his second coming as a clean comedian, and into his untimely death at the age of 33. This is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in the art of stand-up comedy, or the history of American originals.
We caught up with Paul Thomas and Matt Harlock as American: The Bill Hicks Story opens throughout the country.
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About the show …
Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider
Jeff Bayer and Eric D. Snider are movie critics, but not the stuffy,
elitist kind. They’re not the idiotic fanboy kind either.
There doesn’t seem to be anything revolutionary in the idea, but the truly riveting aspect is how the filmmakers tell the story through animating a wealth of photos accompanied with current voice over of the people who knew his story the best, including his family, his closest friends, and fellow comedians. This style, somewhere between cut-out dolls and Pixar movies, allows us to see
Heir to Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, Hicks was a hard-working club habitué who built his material from life experience — he was raised in a strict Southern Baptist home in Houston and was transformed head to toe by an experience with psychedelic mushrooms before he ever touched a drop of alcohol.
Funny as it is, "American: The Bill Hicks Story" is a deeply moving tragedy about the miserable luck of an absolute genius. And I don't use the word "genius" lightly here. Hicks was like the stand-up comedian version of a five-tool baseball player. He could do it all. He had great timing. He did great impressions. He had amazing physical gifts. His humor came from a distinctive and really unique perspective.
American: The Bill Hicks Story looks at the controversial funnyman's life and career.
Produced and directed for the BBC in 2009 by British filmmakers Paul Thomas and Matt Harlock, American: The Bill Hicks Story notably applies a unique cut-and-paste animation technique to a number of still pictures of Hicks — who once described himself as “Chomsky with dick jokes” — to document his life and career. The film also includes archival footage, as well as interviews with Hicks’ family and friends, including Kevin Booth, an American filmmaker and musician who was one of Hicks’ frequent collaborators.
The movie was well-received at Stateside film festivals and during its run in theaters last year in England,
Now Bill.s remarkable story is brought to life in American: The Bill Hicks Story, a feature-length documentary which combines live action with a stunning new animation technique manipulating 1,000s of photographs to uniquely immerse the audiences in his world, which is re-told from the point-of-view of the people who shared it with him.
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