The Playlist

5 Films About Real-Life Sporting Controversies

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 5, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment
5 Films About Real-Life Sporting Controversies
It will surprise exactly no one to learn that few of us here at the Playlist ever sat at the jocks’ table in high school and only a very few of really count ourselves as major sports fans. However there are aspects of modern sporting culture that, whether or not we find ourselves transfixed by the swing of a bat or the call of a line judge, we can’t avoid becoming caught up in. With sportsmen and women become uber-celebrities off the pitch/field/court/lawn as well as on, there’s an unavoidable tendency to make them into mythic symbols of how talent and application can indeed bring everything our society defines as success: wealth, fame, respect and glory.

Venice Review: Alex Gibney's Lance Armstrong Documentary 'The Armstrong Lie'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2013 11:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
The Armstrong Lie, Gibney
The last few years have seen sport of all kinds haunted by the specter of doping, with everyone from Barry Bonds to Alex Rodriguez linked to the use of banned substances. But the name that is likely to forever be linked with drugs cheating in sports is Lance Armstrong. Thanks to his seven victories at the Tour De France, the cyclist would have been a hero even if he hadn't also recovered from a near-death battle with cancer, and subsequently raising millions and millions of dollar for research against the disease thanks to his Livestrong brand.

New Films From Terry Gilliam, Hayao Miyazaki, David Gordon Green & Jonathan Glazer Top 70th Venice Film Festival Line-Up

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 25, 2013 5:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments
After a weighty first announcement for this year's TIFF earlier in the week, eyes turned across the Atlantic this morning to the reveal of the line-up for the 70th Venice Film Festival, which precedes Toronto by about a week. We already knew the festival was opening with Alfonso Cuaron's hotly-anticipated 3D space adventure "Gravity," and an educated guess at the line-up could be made from looking at which films among the TIFF announcement weren't world premieres, but the official roster was revealed at a press conference in Rome this morning, and it's once more, a doozy.

Review: Provocative Doc 'We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks' Is Essential Immediate Viewing

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 22, 2013 11:35 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Titles can be sticky, none moreso than “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” The “we” mentioned could be speaking in first-person perspective in regards to the muckracking online collective, which helped power the biggest security breach in government history. Then again, is the story of WikiLeaks anything other than our story? The story of anyone online who’s ever wanted to know more, who ever wanted to remove the veil of secrecy? If anything, director Alex Gibney might have shot himself in the foot: he could never begin to grasp the magnitude of our collective societal curiosity that has helped bring down walls during the current administration.

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."

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