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Thompson on Hollywood

Is Documentary the Most Exciting Kind of Filmmaking? AFI Docs Fest and Cinedigm's Docurama Launch, Watch Greenaway's 'Act of God' (VIDEO)

Last week New York Magazine published film critic David Edelstein's assessment of current documentary as the most interesting and dynamic genre of cinema. His piece points to the currently unspooling Tribeca Film Festival, which champions documentaries and selected "Mistaken for Strangers" -- a doc about indie rock band The National -- for its opening night. Meanwhile the American Film Institute announced its Opening Night and Centerpiece films for the upcoming AFI Docs festival (June 19-23 in Silver Springs, MD), and Cinedigm is launching Docurama, a seven-week theatrical film series on April 22 in 15 national markets.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 22, 2013 2:15 PM
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WATCH: Exclusive Trailer for Ray Mancini Doc 'The Good Son'

Here's an advance peek at the TV spot for festival circuit fave "The Good Son," a documentary about boxer Ray Mancini. The Snagfilms release featuring Mickey Rourke, Ed O'Neil, and Sugar Ray Leonard, among others, will be released theatrically this summer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 20, 2013 4:08 PM
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Tribeca Review: 'Raw Herring' Is Miraculous Exercise in Single-Shot Cinema

Any cinematographer worth his salt is probably already aware of “Raw Herring,” which may not sound appetizing to everyone (with onions? serve ‘em up …) but is a miraculous exercise in the art of the camera. It may also serve as a breath of fresh air to audiences fed up with the sterile artifice of so much CGI-driven cinema.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 19, 2013 1:29 PM
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Tribeca Review: Banker White's 'The Genius of Marian' a Starkly Intimate Portrait of His Mother's Battle with Alzheimer's

The Tribeca Film Festival hasn’t exactly been synonymous with documentaries, even if they opened with one the other night -- “Mistaken for Strangers,” Tom Berninger’s off-beat take on his brother’s band, The National. But a special place should be reserved for “The Genius of Marian,” which is about a relatively obscure woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, and a movie that might have been the height of exploitative filmmaking.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 18, 2013 7:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Documentarian Ondi Timoner Hits Kickstarter for 'Total Disruption'

Playing the Kickstarter game is one of many skills today's filmmakers need in order to flourish. But that's only one of the things doc veteran Ondi Timoner wants her fellow filmmakers to learn: she's let the world know that Tuesday April 9 is the launch day for the Kickstarter campaign for "A Total Disruption."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 9, 2013 3:29 PM
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Documentary Filmmaker Les Blank Dies at 77

The great documentary filmmaker Les Blank, who no doubt visited many of your theaters to show films and waft garlic through the air, passed away peacefully Sunday morning after a battle with cancer that didn't keep him from holding on. (Here's the New York Times obit.) See film clips below.
  • By Gary Meyer
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  • April 7, 2013 4:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Cinedigm Announces Multi-Platform DOCURAMA, Simultaneous Screening Series and Streaming Service for Acclaimed Documentaries

Cinedigm announced today it will be elevating its Docurama Films independent label into a multi-platform 'DOCURAMA" brand with a series of national theatrical screening events and a streaming network service. For almost 15 years, Docurama Films has presented acclaimed documentaries, including Kirby Dick's "The Invisible War," Danfung Dennis' "Hell and Back Again," Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing's "Detropia" and genre classics such as D.A. Pennebaker's "Don't Look Back" and Robert Drew's "Primary."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 2, 2013 11:55 AM
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Ro*co Films Founder Annie Roney Talks to Sundance About Changes in Documentary Distribution

Annie Roney of ro*co films is interviewed by Sundance contributing blogger Chris Dorr on Adapting to Changes in Distribution: "The most significant change is the cultural and mainstream embrace of the documentary genre ..."
  • By Chris Dorr
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  • March 30, 2013 6:40 AM
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Watch: 'Voice' Contestant Judith Hill Talks Singing with Michael Jackson in Sundance Hit 'Twenty Feet From Stardom'

Check out this clip from must-see Sundance documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom," in which Judith Hill (a breakout from the most recent season of "The Voice") discusses her experience working onstage with Michael Jackson. Morgan Neville's film --which hits theaters 14 via June RadiusTWC-- spotlights the true stories of gifted talents who tried to build careers but stayed within arm's reach of the spotlight: backup singers.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • March 29, 2013 1:57 PM
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Tribeca Trailer Watch: 'Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia' Interviews the Iconic Writer, Essayist and Feisty Feuder

Check out the new trailer for documentary "Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia," set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival (April 17-28). Directed by Nicholas Wrathall, the film features candid interviews with the iconic American writer, essayist, intellectual and first-rate feuder. Also interviewed are David Mamet, Sting, Mikhail Gorbachev, William F. Buckley, Norman Mailer, Jodie Evans and Nina Straight. Commentary blends with footage from Vidal's legendary on-air career.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • March 29, 2013 12:50 PM
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