The Playlist

Review: 'Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure' A Hilarious Exploration Of A Viral Sensation

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • August 23, 2011 8:57 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
If you don't think two belligerent, elderly men cursing out each other abrasively is hilarious, then "Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure" will leave you bored. Matthew Bate's movie on the audio-vérité craze that was "Shut Up Lil' Man" is such a celebratory love-letter that anybody who doesn't find the audio clips even remotely fascinating will get little out of the documentary's 90 minute running time. This writer, however, loves the furiously relentless barrage of insults that the pre-YouTube cult-celebrities Raymond Huffman and Peter Haskett would drunkenly hurl at each other daily. While the tapings of the two men fighting alone make an engrossing experience, the filmmaker instead finds the guys responsible for discovering Ray and Peter and delves into the history surrounding the craze, while also dissecting the moral ambiguities associated with these precious tapes.

Watch: NSFW Trailer For Frederick Wiseman's Latest Documentary 'Crazy Horse'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • August 23, 2011 3:51 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
No one takes their cabaret shows more seriously than the French -- taking off your clothes is pretty much an artform in the nation -- but documentaries about the subject seem to be few and far between. Enter master documentarian Frederick Wiseman whose unobstrusive, fly-on-the-wall approach now seems to be singular in a genre where some filmmakers have become the celebrities in their own non-fiction films. Continuing his tireless work ethic, the filmmaker is back with "Crazy Horse" and the first French trailer for the film has arrived.

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

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • August 4, 2011 4:18 AM
  • |
  • 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.

Watch: Button-Pushing Clip From Nick Broomfield's Documentary 'Sarah Palin - You Betcha!'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • August 3, 2011 9:08 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
No, you're not confused, a Sarah Palin documentary is already making its way around the country, the hagiographic, softball portrait "The Undefeated," a grassroots sensation -- or so the producers want you to believe -- though in actuality, no one really cares all that much. Nevertheless, despite what you may think of her, it's undeniable that Palin is an intriguing political figure, someone who has managed to rally a huge group of followers who do have some impact on the discourse of the nation, no matter how misinformed and ridiculous that discourse is. And while "The Undefeated" is being pitched right to her core, controversial filmmaker Nick Broomfield has teamed with Joan Churchill to offer a response.

Review: 'El Bulli: Cooking In Progress' Uses Simplicity To Achieve Quality

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • July 28, 2011 2:07 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Television has always made a great home for food. Various cooking shows populate the airwaves, either becoming a staple of one's TV-diet or the one station you linger on during a desperate channel-surfing session. It also wouldn't be worthy of the tube if it weren't processed through the vomit of reality TV, with shows like "Hell's Kitchen" and "Ace of Cakes" morphing people into exestuated personalities and following their bouncy, sometimes-quirky-sometimes-emotional (whatever gets more ratings) adventures in the eats biz. Still, people watch them, and despite the redundant programming, nobody is exactly screaming for a more realistic study of cuisine and all that makes it happen. It's unfortunate, too, because there's something very fascinating about making what is generally supposed to be only for nourishment artful. Forget something tasting good; there are many eateries that consider food an art form, hoping to stimulate taste buds in different ways while also paying close attention to the presentation of each dish.

Interview: Errol Morris Talks The Anxiety Of Making 'Tabloid' & Finding The Laughter In His Films

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • July 13, 2011 10:27 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
In a time where documentaries are made cheaply and are often no more than glossy, agenda-pushing propaganda bulleted lists, filmmakers like Errol Morris seem even more admirable. Starting in 1978 with the amusing "Gates of Heaven" (which followed a number of people who had beloved animals buried in a California pet cemetery), the man alternated between scrutinizing the weird and picking apart the political, triumphing in both camps due to both his respectful and prudent attitude. He even invented his own interviewing technique called the "Interrotron" which, using two-way mirrors in a similar way a teleprompter would work, allows both camps to see the face of who they are talking to while directly looking into the camera. Because of this intimacy, Morris' films not only avoid the dullness that many talking head flicks fall into, but it also constructs a very personal audience connection to each speaker. As he probes into each subject, he's never condescending, but often unearths uncomfortable truths and manages to portray each person as not just a tool to prove whatever point he's trying to make, but as a complicated human being.

Paul Rudd To Star In Errol Morris' Adaptation Of 'We Froze The First Man'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • July 12, 2011 9:55 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Steve Zaillian's Film Rites Producing; 'Stranger Than Fiction' Writer Zach Helm PenningNo sooner than we post about a new Errol Morris movie, "The Demon In The Freezer," than another big update comes in for one of the handful of other projects he's got brewing. The famed documentarian is currently doing the press rounds for his forthcoming film "Tabloid" and it looks like he's parceling out new info about some of his upcoming movies.

Exclusive: Errol Morris Adds Adaption Of Richard Preston's 'The Demon In The Freezer' To His Queue

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • July 12, 2011 3:56 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Updates On 'The End Of Everything' & 'We Froze The First Man' Known for both his chilling investigative documentaries ("The Thin Blue Line," "Standard Operating Procedure") and his jovial examinations of the weird and eccentric ("Gates of Heaven," "Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control"), Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris has consistently been able to uncover various truths in his non-fiction expeditions. But these movies also suggest a creative asset outside the usual documentary wheelhouse; a responsive soul that shouldn't be bound to a single type of filmmaking. Morris's flicks, absurdly fascinating tales related with the breezy charm of an assured storyteller and punctuated with expertly employed reenactments, are singularly paced to leave you on the edge of your seat. Most importantly, in addition to his knack for choosing captivating subjects, Morris' respectful treatment of these individuals results in rounded, three-dimensional, human portrayals.

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

  • By Sam Price
  • |
  • June 10, 2011 2:00 AM
  • |
  • 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.

Watch: Trailer For Errol Morris' Exceptional Documentary 'Tabloid'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 10, 2011 1:00 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
The theaters might be dominated at present by big, expensive action flicks, but for those after more thought-provoking cinema, it's looking to be an excellent summer for documentaries. Already we've seen the likes of "The Arbor," "Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff" and "L'Amour Fou," and even more exciting prospects are coming down the pipe, including "Page One," "Buck," "Project Nim" and "Beats, Rhymes & Life."

Email Updates

Recent Comments