“The story of Cuba, told by one filmmaker over five decades.” Netflix has released the trailer for the new documentary titled Cuba and the Cameraman, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year. This is made by filmmaker Jon Alpert, who has spent more time documenting and filming in Cuba than just about anyone else. Compiled from more than a thousand hours of footage and filmed over 45 years, Alpert follows three families and Fidel Castro to tell the story of modern Cuba. He was one of the last Americans to see Castro before his death. But the doc is also all about the people of Cuba, and the country itself, all the history is has gone through and the culture that has remained intact despite all of this. “He documented how these families and the Cuban leader dealt with the serious challenges gripping their country.” Check it out. ›››
“Something’s way off, all over the country…” Netflix has revealed a trailer for the documentary Saving Capitalism, based on Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s book of the same name. His book attempts to provide a more focused concept of how America save itself, fix its economy, and maintain capitalism as the financial system of the country. “As income and wealth go to the top, more Americans are left behind. Now it’s up to those ordinary Americans to change the rules.” This seems like one of those nice economics documentaries, kind of like Freakonomics, that attempts to take the big ideas and present them in a way that’s understandable and digestible. I’m honestly not fully supportive of the idea of “saving capitalism”, but I do support Netflix docs, so I’m featuring this anyway. It’s always good to hear all the different arguments. ›››
An official trailer has arrived for a documentary titled Along for the Ride, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year. Along for the Ride profiles the life and career of actor Dennis Hopper, who you will recognize from all kinds of different movies over the years. Hopper passed away in 2010, but earned two Oscar nominations over his long career. “Method actor, filmmaker, photographer, fine artist, art collector, and all-American madman.” The doc includes a score by Gemma Thompson of the critically acclaimed band Savages, along with plenty of interviews with his friends and colleagues including Wim Wenders, Dwight Yoakam, David Lynch, Michael Madsen, Dean Stockwell, and many others. “Through the triumph of Easy Rider, the magnificent career suicide of The Last Movie, the overlooked masterpiece Out of the Blue, and a midlife comeback after plenty of booze and brawling, Along for the Ride is a vivacious work of film biography with a freewheeling style that’s only appropriate to its anarchic subject.” Watch the trailer below. ›››
HBO debuts the trailer for the Steven Spielberg documentary
HBO today revealed the trailer for Spielberg, a feature-length Steven Spielberg documentary that aims to pull back the curtain on his remarkable career more than ever before. The documentary examines Spielberg’s filmography in depth, revealing how his experiences fed his work and changed it over time. Directed and produced by award-winning documentarian Susan Lacy, this unprecedented chronicle debuts Saturday, October 7, exclusively on HBO. Spielberg will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
Steven Spielberg has built an unrivaled catalogue of groundbreaking films over the course of his nearly 50-year career. Charting the evolution of this iconic figure, Lacy draws on nearly 30 hours of exclusive interviews with the director, who opens up about his bittersweet childhood and lifelong obsession with moviemaking, his precocious early work as a TV “wunderkind,” his rise to fame through an incredible string of blockbusters, his later forays into more serious dramatic films, and the personal and professional relationships he’s cultivated through the years.
The Spielberg documentary also includes insights from members of Spielberg’s family, as well as friends and colleagues, plus clips and behind-the-scenes footage from many of his milestone films, including Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Bridge of Spies and many more.
Lacy interviewed more than 80 subjects for the film, ranging from A-list celebrities, to directors and producers, to industry insiders, including J.J. Abrams, Christian Bale, Drew Barrymore, Cate Blanchett, Francis Ford Coppola, Daniel Craig, Daniel Day-Lewis, Brian de Palma, Laura Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Dreyfuss, Ralph Fiennes, Harrison Ford, David Geffen, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Holly Hunter, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ben Kingsley, Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, Liam Neeson, Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey and Robert Zemeckis.
Susan Lacy is the creator and former executive producer of the celebrated WNET series American Masters, which is shown on PBS nationwide. She has won countless awards, including ten Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Documentary Series and 12 Peabody Awards. As executive producer of American Masters, Lacy produced a library of 250 films exploring the lives of America’s most enduring cultural icons.
An HBO Documentary Films presentation, the Steven Spielberg documentary is directed and produced by Susan Lacy; produced by Emma Pildes and Jessica Levin; edited by Deborah Peretz.
“He doesn’t really filter himself, and I think that’s why people are drawn to him.” Submarine has debuted an official trailer for a documentary titled Gilbert, telling the story of the legendary “comedian’s comedian” Gilbert Gottfried. Most will recognize Gottfried’s voice first and foremost, along with his famous roles in big films like Aladdin and Beverly Hills Cop II, but he’s so much more than just a funny voice. This new documentary takes a peek “behind the larger-than-life persona at a more personal story about growing up in Brooklyn and becoming a husband and father late in life.” Surprisingly it also “strips the comedic character away to reveal the man behind it.” There’s some great footage in this trailer, and tons of other comedians talking about him, which is wonderful to see. I’m looking forward to watching this doc at some point soon. ›››
“Everybody wanted more…” “The chandeliers happened as an accident.” The New York Film Festival has unveiled an official trailer for the documentary The Opera House, which is getting a special premiere at the festival this October. The Opera House is a profile of the world-renowned, iconic Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City. The film examines its history and development, beginning as the old opera house on 39th Street, before being rebuilt at Lincoln Center in 1966. This iconic building is known around the world, and has featured in many movies, TV shows, and is also the home of the Metropolitan Opera Company, and the American Ballet Theatre during the summer. I very much enjoy documentaries like this, they’re so totally fascinating with such extensive historical details and information. I’d love to see this. ›››
Are you gaga for Gaga? Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary called Gaga: Five Foot Two, an inside look at the life of Lady Gaga filmed over eight months. Directed by the filmmaker of Banksy Does New York and Me at the Zoo, the film goes behind the scenes with “pop provocateur” Lady Gaga as she releases a bold new album and prepares for her Super Bowl halftime show. It’s premiering at Toronto Film Festival starting this week, which is why this trailer is hitting now. Even if you thought you knew everything about her and have seen other films about her, this seems to be a very definitive inside look at her kooky, crazy, wild life and all that drives her to be so bold and innovative. I’m especially intrigued to see how she is involved in the creative process beyond just her music, with concerts and more. Might as well check this out. ›››
“I don’t want bad cops here, period.” Kino Lorber has revealed the first official trailer for the documentary titled The Force, examining the police crisis in America at the moment. The film actually focuses on the police themselves, going inside an “embattled urban police department struggling to rebuild trust in one of America’s most violent yet promising cities.” The police they’re profiling is the Oakland Police Department, and the storyline in the doc follows three different threads – one about the young police chief, another about new recruits in the Academy, and another about officers in the field facing increased hostility. The Force won Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival, and won Best Bay Area Documentary at the San Francisco Film Festival. This is an excellent trailer for a doc, really pulls you in and makes you feel for what’s at stake. ›››
“There’s a tactile satisfaction that, I think, is part of our humanity.” Gravitas has released an official trailer for a documentary titled California Typewriter, a “meditation on creativity and technology” focusing on the beloved typewriter. The titled “California Typewriter” is actually one of the most well-known typewriter stores, still surviving today as one of the only repair shops dedicated to the mechanical machines. Directed by Doug Nichol, the documentary is also a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters. It features discussions / interviews with Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, David McCullough and others. This doc first premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and it looks like a fascinating doc that goes beyond just the mechanics of these everlasting writing machines. I’m actually very excited to see this. ›››
“Well, go on… impress me.” Magnolia Pictures has debuted an official trailer for a fun documentary titled School Life, formerly known as In Loco Parentis when it premiered at film festivals last year/this year. From filmmakers Neasa Ní Chianáin & David Rane, the documentary profiles two inspirational teachers at Headfort, the only primary-age boarding school in Ireland. “Long careers are drawing to a close for John and Amanda, who teach Latin, English, and guitar at a stately home-turned-school, where they are legends with a mantra: ‘Reading. ‘Rithmetic. Rock ‘n’ roll!’ But leaving is the hardest lesson.” I haven’t seen this yet, but it seems like I need to catch it when it opens. This looks seriously charming and inspirational, indeed a “heartwarming look at youth” and the fearless teachers who help shape them into good people. Have a look. ›››