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The Playlist

Documentarian Alex Gibney Planning Feature Film About Accused WikiLeaks Source Bradley Manning

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • December 21, 2012 3:50 PM
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  • 2 Comments
There’s no doubt that the whole WikiLeaks scandal and the fallout from their major information releases ever since has been nothing short of fascinating. Well, Hollywood seems to think so anyway, and they’re seeing a whole load of storytelling potential in it, with both dramatic features and documentaries on their way. Among them, there’s the Australian TV movie “Underground: The Julian Assange Story,” which played at TIFF (our review here); Bill Condon’s as-yet-untitled movie that will star Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange; a delayed project at HBO; a possible drama from Mark Boal (“Zero Dark Thirty”) based on a New York Times article; and a documentary titled “We Steal Secrets” all at various stages of development.

Review: 'Mea Maxima Culpa' A Provocative, Emotive, Dogged Investigation Into A Landmark Clerical Sex Abuse Case

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 14, 2012 12:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
By turns moving, absorbing and downright rage-inducing, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” is celebrated documentarian Alex Gibney’s account of sexual abuse in St John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee during the '60s and '70s, which he then uses as a launchpad to follow the chain of culpability up the hierarchy of the Catholic Church right to the Vatican and the Papacy itself. As topics go, it doesn’t get much more incendiary, but Gibney’s (“Taxi to the Dark Side,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”) native intelligence and tendency to (mostly) downplay, means the film emerges as much more than the torch-and-pitchfork affair it could have been.

Review: 'Magic Trip' A Pleasant But Unremarkable Trip Down A Druggy Memory Lane

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • August 4, 2011 4:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Best known for his forward, concise, and unyielding documentaries attacking big business, the government, and the media, filmmaker Alex Gibney takes a brief sabbatical from the "heavy issues" and partners up with frequent editing partner Alison Ellwood for the Ken Kesey LSD-extravaganza "Magic Trip." The two cobble together footage and audio recordings from a free-wheelin' cross-country jaunt to the World's Fair in New York lead by the "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" scribe, the end result feeling something like a cross between Gibney's own "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" and last year's enjoyable "Lennon NYC." However, much like those examples, those who are uninterested in Kesey and his generation (or worse, can't even stomach it) won't find much to bark about.

Viva Assange! 'The American' Writer Rowan Joffe To Pen One of Several Hundred Wikileaks Projects

  • By Sam Price
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  • June 10, 2011 2:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Ah, Julian Assange. Aside from the interminable line-up of Snow White projects threatening to engulf the entire Western seaboard, he’s become the most in-demand bleached blond belle of the ball. With so many competing film projects about the prurient leaker of state secrets clamoring for our attention, it’s hard to keep track of them all. One project in particular, though, just got a healthy kick up the posterior. Deadline reports that the HBO-BBC co-production adaptation of last year’s New Yorker article, ‘No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency’, has recruited producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall to its cause and bagged a screenwriter, Rowan Joffe.

Trailers & Clips: The 'Zookeeper,' 'Super 8,' 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon' & 'Good Neighbors'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 19, 2011 2:37 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Also Alex Gibney's Ken Kesey-Centered Documentary, 'Magic Trip'Alright, a whole slew of new trailers and clips have arrived. Lets do this. Hold your nose.

Oscar Winning 'Inside Job' Director Charles Ferguson To Direct HBO's Julian Assange Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 29, 2011 1:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Alex Gibney Already Four Months In On His Assange Project For UniversalWhile he may have fallen off the front page of newspapers around the world -- at least for now -- there hasn't been a character as fascinating as Julian Assange in quite a while. The man behind Wikileaks has singlehandedly caused government leaders to sweat by leaking classified cables and documents that in many cases have shown politicians bending the truth, lying or covering up facts about a number of diplomatic issues. Hardly surprising. But in an era when fewer journalists seem willing to kick down doors and more complacent to simply report what's handed to them by Washington PR teams, the actions were a severe wake up call. The fact that as a personality, Assange is equally as interesting certainly didn't hurt and as the heat around the shadowy figure grew, so did Hollywood executives' interest, with a number of competing projects now in the works. And two of them are now pulling ahead with documentary filmmakers at the helm.

Universal Picks Up Doc On Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange To Be Directed By Alex Gibney

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 21, 2011 8:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Enron, Eliot Spitzer, Jack Abramoff, Hunter S. Thompson, Guantanamo Bay and now Julian Assange. Documentary director Alex Gibney has found the subject for his next film and he's lined up a major studio to back the production.

Exclusive: Oscar Winning Documentarian Alex Gibney's Top Films Of 2010

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 20, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments
2010 was a particularly compelling year for documentaries, even if there wasn't a break-out, "March of the Penguins"-type success story in there. We got stories about street art ("Exit Through the Gift Shop"), Facebook ("Catfish"), the financial crisis ("Inside Job") and the general fucked-up-ness of the American educational system ("Waiting for 'Superman'"). All of these stories are amazing, for sure, but one of the more incredible stories of the year, in terms of documentaries, was that one filmmaker, the Oscar-winning Alex Gibney, created two of the year's very best - "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" and "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer."

'Client 9' Director Alex Gibney Talks The Psychology Of Denial, His Approach To The Financial Crisis

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 13, 2010 5:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Prodigious Oscar-Winning Documentarian Talks The Hubris Of Politicians & Says His Lance Armstrong Doc Is Next2010 has been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to documentary films. Between Banksy's gonzo "Exit Through the Gift Shop," Charles Ferguson's financial crisis breakdown "Inside Job," and everything in between ("Catfish," which might not even have been a documentary at all, was still pretty entertaining). One of the best, and most unfairly overlooked, it seems, is Alex Gibney's blistering "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer." A multi-pronged take on the disgraced Governor of New York, who went from cracking down on Wall Street's most egregious creeps to being taken down for his own personal foibles, it's a fascinating look at the intersection of sex, money, and power. And it's outrageously entertaining, too, with Gibney getting to interview a whole host of characters on either side of the Spitzer divide.

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