The Playlist

Hot Docs Review: 'Detropia' A Beautiful & Affecting Portrait Of A City In Decline

  • By Samantha Chater
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  • May 8, 2012 12:57 PM
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  • 2 Comments
"Detropia" is more than just a portrait of a city. The latest film from "Jesus Camp" filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady is ultimately a moving and powerful micro-portrait of a hurting nation.

Hot Docs Review: 'Bones Brigade' Another Winning Look At Skateboarding Culture From Stacy Peralta

  • By Samantha Chater
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  • May 6, 2012 11:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Most people don't have enough happen in their life to make one documentary, but it turns out Stacy Peralta has enough to make at least two. Eleven years after he delved into his own adolescent history with “Dogtown And Z-Boys,” Peralta has made another skateboarding doc about the next phase of his career after the Z-boys. When Peralta founded his skateboard company Powell Peralta in the late '70s, he brought together a bunch of unknown amateur skaters, cherry picked from around the USA -- including Steve Caballero, Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain and Rodney Mullen, among others -- and created a skate team called the Bones Brigade. In case you know less about skating than me, these guys pretty much all grew up to be the top competitors of the 1980s, and went on to inspire and shape the next generation of skaters and their culture -- in short they are skate legends.

Hot Docs Review: 'The Final Member' Is Fascinating Phallic Fun

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 2, 2012 10:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There are few movies this year where you'll see a man get the stars and stripes of the American flag tattooed on the head of his penis. But then again, there are few documentaries like "The Final Member," a warm look at a quirky subject that gets to the human story behind it.

Hot Docs Roundup: 'Despite The Gods' Fascinates, 'Beauty Is Embarrassing' Is Heartwarming & 'About Face' A Fun Look At Fashion

  • By Samantha Chater
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  • May 1, 2012 11:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Aussie filmmaker Penny Vozniak's "Lost in La Mancha"-esque documentary “Despite The Gods," following director Jennifer Lynch and her experiences making her third film in India, is a low budget docu-delight. Lynch is the beating, empathic heart of the film, an endearing combination of raw emotional honesty and self-deprecating humor. After surviving a critical flogging at 19 for her first film "Boxing Helena," and enjoying the relative success of her second film "Surveillance," Lynch still had a lot to prove with her third film. However it is clear from day one this will not be the film she envisions it to be. The film in question is "Hisss," a Bollywood action tale of a snake that turns into a woman, and then back again

Hot Docs Review: 'Big Easy Express' A Rambling, Affectionate Tour Documentary That Should Make Fans Happy

  • By Samantha Chater
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  • May 1, 2012 10:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Director Emmett Malloy has returned with an excellent follow up to 2009’s “Under Great Northern Lights” with another winning concert documentary titled "Big Easy Express." In a tight 60-odd minutes, the film follows three bands, Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Old Crow Medicine Show, as they travel from San Francisco to New Orleans, Louisiana, on a sold-out 6-stop tour, aboard the most beautiful-looking train you've ever seen. From the opening tracking shot that follows 'Magnetic Zeroes' singer Jade Castrinos as she walks through the various rustic train cars, past Mumford and Sons playing in one, 'Old Crow' in another and right down the back to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Malloy's film is not only beautifully soundtracked, courtesy of all three bands, but is also dreamily captured.

Hot Docs Review: Le Tigre Doc 'Who Took The Bomp?' Is A Must For Riot-Grrrl Fans

  • By The Playlist
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  • May 11, 2011 11:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The documentary "Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour" is simple in that it captures what Le Tigre does best, and that was the furious bombast that was their live shows. Seeing them on stage in film format is, for fans of the queer-core female trio at least, bittersweet, since they’ve been on indefinite hiatus since 2006, but we suppose it's better than not seeing them at all.

Hot Docs Review: 'Carol Channing: Larger than Life' Is Surface-Skimming, But Sweet

  • By The Playlist
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  • May 9, 2011 4:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Director Dori Berinstein is clearly a devoted Broadway fan having already directed one critically acclaimed documentary on the business we call “show.” In fact, it's no surprise that Berinstein has made a film about the life of Broadway icon Carol Channing - "Carol Channing: Larger than Life" is a marriage of two people with a genuine love of live musical theater which giveth to the movie as much as it taketh away.
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