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31 Great Documentaries on Netflix Streaming

  • Moviefone
Whether you want to immerse yourself in the world of birds, bees, baseball or backup singers, Netflix has a documentary for you. Missed "Man on Wire"? It's on there.

Here are films that changed the world, righted wrongs, pinpointed a moment in history, or simply shone a light on a previously unknown subset of society. (Availability subject to change. Films are unrated, except as noted.)

1. "20 Feet from Stardom" (2013) PG-13

This Oscar-winning doc shines a spotlight on the relatively unknown backup singers behind such superstars as Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger, and Stevie Wonder.

2. "The Act of Killing" (2012)

The director invited killers -- men who took part in the horrific purge that left more than 500,000 dead in Indonesia in the 1960s -- to reenact their crimes on film, resulting in a bizarre look inside the mind of men capable of mass murder.

3. "The Battered Bastards of Baseball" (2014)

Two filmmakers pay homage to their grandfather,
See full article at Moviefone »

Brittany Maynard's Loved Ones Recount Her Harrowing, Heartbreaking Medical Journey

  • PEOPLE.com
When Brittany Maynard first started having mysterious headaches off and on in the spring of 2013, she went to see a neurologist. "He said, 'You're having migraines,' " Debbie Ziegler, Maynard's mother, told People in an interview Oct. 11, "and sent her home" - without doing an Mri. That initial reaction by her doctor - while heartbreaking - is not that uncommon with brain tumors, experts say. "A young woman with migraine syndrome, you wouldn't think about a malignant brain tumor," Sean Grady, chairman of the neurosurgery department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, tells People. Elizabeth Wilson,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

‘The Calling’ can be read as commentary on contemporary Christianity

  • SoundOnSight
The Calling

Directed by Jason Stone

Written by Scott Abramovitch

2014, USA

Canadian culture has long been a topic of discussion among intellectuals simply because there are those who argue that it doesn’t really exist. Obviously there is a culture that those of us living in Canada experience, but it is difficult to ascribe a distinct Canadian nature to that culture since so much of it is almost directly adopted from our neighbors to the south.

There is one piece though, that does differ significantly between Canadians and Americans, religion. It doesn’t really matter what faith one practices in Canada, it is generally a very private thing. Popular culture is almost universally secular with the exception of the occasional political discussion. But even then, the rhetoric in discussions around abortion, same gender marriage, and physician assisted suicide never reach the same heights that they do in the Us.

That
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Sundance 2014: Rossi, Belzberg, Soechtig Among 16 U.S. Docu Comp Invites

  • ioncinema
Of the sixteen titles that are listed here there are at least more than half that will be talked about throughout the calendar year up until award season in 2015. It speaks volumes about the quality offerings from American Documentarian filmmakers, but it also says a lot about Sundance programming team David Courier, Caroline Libresco et al. exquisite taste for the form. As is the norm for the Sundance doc-comp, there is plenty of socially conscious films on offer, from Andrew Rossi’s film on the insurmountable rise of student debt, Ivory Tower, to government backed food campaigns that have resulted in massive amounts of American health problems in Stephanie Soechtig’s Fed Up, with plenty of diversity within the program as a whole.

Though our non-fiction guesses have never been stellar, the films themselves look auspicious as all get out. Of this year’s promising batch of American docs, we
See full article at ioncinema »

Sundance Winners: Will "Fruitvale" and "Blood Brother" March On to Oscar Glory?

Here is Amanda Seyfried with some paparazzi at Sundance. Amanda is great at being a celebrity. 

So even if Lovelace didn't exactly light the world on fire, she still wins.

But I suppose we should discuss actual festival winners, now that the fest has wrapped and the journos have all exited the snowy peaks of Park City, Utah. Before we list the winners, let's look at the context of how well they usually fare come Oscar time the following year. Are there any patterns?

2012 Beasts of the Southern Wild & The Sessions split the jury & audience prizes for drama, respectively. Beasts went on to major Oscar nominations and The Sessions (which also won a prize for its ensemble acting held on for one Oscar nomination in the form of the title character played by Helen Hunt (back then it was called "The Surrogate" remember?). The House I Live In and The Invisible War
See full article at FilmExperience »

'Armadillo,' 'Better This World' and 'Enemies of the People' Nominated for News and Doc Emmy Awards

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 33rd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards this morning. Among the nominees are docs "Armadillo," which received four nods and "The Battle for Marjah," "Better This World" and "Enemies of the People," which each received three. With 43 nominations overall, CBS is on top this year thanks in large part to "60 Minutes," while PBS came in a close second with 37. NBC, ABC and HBO also received double-digit nominations. The awards ceremony will take place Monday, October 1 at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. Select categories are listed below -- for the full list of nominees, check out the Emmy Awards site. Best Documentary HBO Documentary Films (HBO): "How to Die in Oregon" Producer/Director: Peter Richardson Executive Producers: Melody Korenbrot, Sheila Nevins Pov...

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See full article at Indiewire Television »

'Armadillo,' 'Better This World' and 'Enemies of the People' Nominated for News and Doc Emmy Awards

  • Indiewire
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 33rd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards this morning. Among the nominees are docs "Armadillo," which received four nods and "The Battle for Marjah," "Better This World" and "Enemies of the People," which each received three. With 43 nominations overall, CBS is on top this year thanks in large part to "60 Minutes," while PBS came in a close second with 37. NBC, ABC and HBO also received double-digit nominations. The awards ceremony will take place Monday, October 1 at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. Select categories are listed below -- for the full list of nominees, check out the Emmy Awards site. Best Documentary HBO Documentary Films (HBO): "How to Die in Oregon" Producer/Director: Peter Richardson Executive Producers: Melody Korenbrot, Sheila Nevins Pov...
See full article at Indiewire »

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

SXSW 2012 film review

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.

(World Premiere)

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.

Overall

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,
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Compliance

SXSW 2012 film review

complete coverage of SXSW Film 2012

Compliance

Director & Screenwriter: Craig Zobel

When a prank caller convinces a fast food restaurant manager to interrogate an innocent young employee, no one is left unscathed. Inspired by true events.

Cast: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp, Phil Ettinger, Ashlie Atkinson, James McCaffrey

Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)

Who’S It For?: If you like your thrillers incredibly restrained, with a very strong aftertaste.

Overall

Compliance is a daytime nightmare that you aren’t soon to shake off. A slow-burning thriller, this movie serves super-size questions about the power of authority with a micro concept. A large chunk of it takes place in the back room of a fast food restaurant (which is expertly shot). Conversations usually happen over the phone, and characters never handle their problems with shouting matches. And yet this movie is really, really disturbing.
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Extracted

SXSW 2012 film review

complete coverage of SXSW Film 2012

Extracted

Director & Screenwriter: Nir Paniry

A scientist is trapped in the memories of a criminal and must solve a crime in order to get back home to his family.

Cast: Sasha Roiz, Dominic Bogart, Jenny Mollen, Nick Jameson, Brad Culver

(World Premiere)

Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)

Who’S It For?: Fans who are perfectly satisfied by science fiction television shows.

Overall

Extracted has a concept that is perfectly sexy for the lower standards of a cable TV series. With its simple story and lack of magnetic tension, it’s a reminder of the lower attention span asked for by most TV shows compared to any theatrical experience. Most TV shows (especially the ones that look like Extracted) feel like they’re meant to amuse viewers in-between commercial breaks. Viewers can move about their rooms while full episodes play out.
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Somebody Up There Likes Me

SXSW 2012 film review

complete coverage of SXSW Film 2012

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Director & Screenwriter: Bob Byington

Thirty-five years in the life of Max, his best friend Sal, and a woman they both adore. A deadpan fable about time sneaking up on and swerving right around us.

Cast: Keith Poulson, Nick Offerman, Jess Weixler, Stephanie Hunt, Kevin Corrigan

(North American Premiere)

Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)

Who’S It For?: If you like quirky humor but hesitate when said quirk becomes overly cute, this is the perfect refresh for you. Fans of Nick Offerman should give this one a whirl to see what kind of comedic magic he can pull within a feature-length film. If you simply like funny movies in general, keep this one on your radar.

Overall

In a way that feels similar to a first experience with The Royal Tenenbaums, Bob Byington’s hilarious gem
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Killer Joe

SXSW 2012 film review

complete coverage of SXSW Film 2012

Killer Joe

Director: William Friedkin | Screenwriter: Tracy Letts

A garish, Southwestern tale – a violent black comedy about a desperate Texas debtor (Hirsch) who plots to kill his mother with help of his family (Haden Church, Gershon). They hire a crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer (McConaughey) to do the job, but Killer Joe asks for their teenage daughter (Temple) as a retainer. The film is based on Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts’ (August: Osage County) award winning play.

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church

(U.S. Premiere)

Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)

Who’S It For? It’s dark, uncomfortably sexual, intensely violent and definately worth your time (unless this sentence scares you away).

Overall

When at a film festival you’ll constantly hear the question, “What have you liked so far?
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Rec 3: Genesis

SXSW 2012 film review

complete coverage of SXSW Film 2012

Rec 3: Genesis

Director: Paco Plaza | Screenwriters: Luiso Berdejo & Paco Plaza

Koldo and Clara’s wedding is horrifically interrupted when some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness. Before they know what’s happening, the bride and groom find themselves in the middle of a hellish ordeal, as an uncontrollable torrent of violence is unleashed on the wedding.

Cast: Leticia Dolera, Diego Martin

(World Premiere)

Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)

Who’S It For? If you’re scouring VOD for something to keep you occupied and amused in the late hours of the night, pick this one. Even if zombie movies feel tiresome, this one will engage cynics if just during its swift running time.

Overall

Rec 3 is a nifty little zombie movie that provides a satiable dosage of madness for midnight viewing. It’s bloody and usually funny,
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Thale

SXSW 2012 film review

complete coverage of SXSW Film 2012

Thale

Director & Screenwriter: Aleksander L. Nordaas

The film revolves around huldra, a mythical, tailed creature, found by two crime scene cleaners in a concealed cellar. Someone’s been keeping her down here for decades, for reasons soon to surface.

Cast: Silje Reinåmo, Jon Sigve Skard, Erlend Nervold, Morten Andresen

(North American Premiere)

Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)

Who’S It For? It’s a nice piece of minimalist horror/fantasy.

Overall

Less is more with Thale, and starting with a dead guy ain’t too shabby either. The crime scene cleaners are Leo (Sigve Skard) and Elvis (Nervold). They could easily be described as the old pro and the reluctant new guy. You know Elvis is reluctant to clean up blood because he vomits a lot. A new job takes them to a remote location. Elvis decides to explore and that
See full article at Scorecard Review »

DVD Review: How to Die in Oregon

How to Die in Oregon Movie: Disc: Click here to read the dvd review! "The conundrum of not wanting to die while desperately wanting the pain to be over is a hard idea to wrestle with, but thanks to the unimaginable courage of Cody and many others, this contemplation is thoroughly explored with a lucid perspective and a humane handle on what it means to deal with a terminal illness with the option to opt out."
See full article at ioncinema »

Why 'How to Die in Oregon' Tops This Week's 5 Best DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Why 'How to Die in Oregon' Tops This Week's 5 Best DVD/Blu-ray Releases
This week on DVD/Blu-ray: The deserving winner of the Grand Jury Prize (Documentary) at last year's Sundance Film Festival; the film that put Lena Dunham on the map; a documentary that delves into the life of one of America's most beloved filmmakers; the sequel to one of the sickest films of all time; and a period musical drama.   1. Critic's Pick: "How to Die in Oregon" (DVD) No matter where you stand on the legalized physician-assisted suicide debate, there's no denying the power of last year's Grand Jury Prize Winner (Documentary), "How to Die in Oregon." Peter D. Richardson's fearless documentary tackles the controversial subject head-on by opening with a home video recording of one man's last breath. From there on in, Richardson opens his film up to people in Oregon who, for their varied reasons, chose to take advantage of the state's Death With Dignity Act. "Despite assuming a one-sided.
See full article at Indiewire »

In His Own Words: Peter Richardson Shares a Scene from His Sundance-Winner, 'How to Die in Oregon'

In His Own Words: Peter Richardson Shares a Scene from His Sundance-Winner, 'How to Die in Oregon'
Below Portland-based filmmaker Peter Richardson shares a scene from his second feature documentary, "How to Die in Oregon," winner of the Grand Jury Prize (Documentary) at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The HBO release comes out on DVD February 14. Why I Made the Film “How to Die in Oregon” was born out of a rather serendipitous moment in 2006. I was departing Portland for Sundance with my first documentary, “Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon” and, as I left my airport hotel room that morning I saw the USA Today that had been delivered to the door. One of the above-the-fold headlines announced that the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, had upheld Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law -- the law had been challenged by the Bush Administration under the Controlled Substances Act. It was clear to me in that moment that this would be the topic of my next film.
See full article at Indiewire »

The Top 10 Documentaries of 2011

  • The Film Stage
2011 has been a fantastic year for documentaries. In fact, you might see more than one on our best films of 2011 list. But in order to give the genre the recognition it deserves, we wanted to highlight all those that missed the cut. These films often provide more engaging drama with their veracity and technique than most narrative features and it killed us to skip over some we loved.

Just to mention a few that didn’t make the cut in no particular order: Tabloid, Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, Public Speaking, George Harrison: Living In The Material World, Self Made, Project Nim, The Swell Season, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, Page One: Inside the New York Times and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. But we’ve narrowed it down to just ten with write-ups from our own John Fink, unless otherwise noted. Check them out
See full article at The Film Stage »

Your Complete Guide to 2011-2012 Awards Season! Winners, Nominees Take the Awards Avenue!

As we walk down towards the Super Bowl of the movie awards season aka the Academy Awards aka the Oscars, all the various critics associations and guilds release their own kudofest. It can get confusing and beguiling, so I created a nifty package for you -- I compiled all the nominees, winners of various award-giving bodies so you can make informed decision when it comes to predicting the Oscars.

Come and take the Awards Avenue with me!

And here we go (click on each link):

AFI Awards

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards

British Independent Film Awards

Cinema Eye Honors

Critics' Choice (Broadcast Film Critics Association)

Detroit Film Critics

European Film Awards

Gotham Awards

Houston Film Critics Awards

Ida Awards

Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Indiana Film Critics

Las Vegas Film Critics

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

National Board of Review

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

New York
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

International Documentary Association picks doc winners, PGA shortlists nominees

  • Hitfix
International Documentary Association picks doc winners, PGA shortlists nominees
Two weeks after the Academy advanced 15 films in the race for Best Documentary Feature, the non-fiction awards circuit is showing further signs of life. Last night, the International Documentary Association held its annual awards gala. None of the nominees happened to be on the AMPAS shortlist, but "Nostalgia for Light" came out on top, besting "Better This Workd" (one of the surprise Academy omissions), "How to Die in Oregon," "The Redemption of General Butt Naked" and "The Tiniest Place." One of last year's Best Documentary Short Oscar nominees, "Poster Girl" -- a fantastic portrait of a female Iraq veteran grappling with...
See full article at Hitfix »
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