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Thompson on Hollywood

Sackler Talks Astonishing TIFF Doc 'Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus'

I learned a lot of things I did not know in Madeleine Sackler's astonishing documentary "Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus," which HBO Documentary Films scooped up before its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. (HBO will air the film in 2014.) The weird title starts to make sense when you see the movie, which chronicles the many hurdles placed in front of an underground theater troupe, the Belarus Free Theatre.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2013 2:25 PM
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RADiUS Snaps Up Mike Myers' Directorial Debut 'Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon'

Weinstein boutique label RADiUS has taken North American rights to Mike Meyers' directorial debut, "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon." The doc, which centers on longtime music manager Gordon's "legendary life in the uber fast lane," premiered at TIFF.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 20, 2013 12:40 PM
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Amid Racist Reactions to New Miss America, PBS Doc ‘The World Before Her’ Examines Pageants and Politics in India (TRAILER)

Last night, when Nina Davuluri became the first Indian-American to be crowned Miss America, Twitter erupted in hateful commentary. Hideous monikers -- “Miss Arab,” “Miss Al-Qaeda,” “Miss 7-11” -- and ugly rhetoric proliferated. “This is America,” some wrote, as if by way of explanation. But in Nisha Pahuja’s brilliant documentary “The World Before Her,” airing September 16 on PBS, the controversial politics of pageantry transcend borders, including those of India itself.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 16, 2013 2:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments

TIFF Review: Jay Z and Ron Howard's 'Made in America' (TRAILER)

There’s an enormous amount of what one might charitably refer to as self-affirmation expressed by the featured performers in “Made in America,” Ron Howard’s collaboration with Jay Z and an account of the Brooklyn rapper-mogul’s first-annual "Made in America" music festival.
  • By John Anderson
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  • September 6, 2013 8:58 PM
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WATCH: Exclusive Clip from Upcoming TIFF Doc 'The Dark Matter of Love'

In her new documentary about an American family and their adopted Russian children, director Sarah McCarthy examines the complex interplay of politics, family and love.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 30, 2013 1:32 PM
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WATCH: Exclusive Clip from Johnny Cash Documentary 'My Father and the Man in Black'

After his father committed suicide, Jonathan Holiff discovered an incredible secret in a storage locker: recordings of the elder Holiff's audio diary from his days as Johnny Cash's manager from 1960 to 1973. "My Father and the Man in Black" opens on September 6; check out an exclusive clip below.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 27, 2013 2:38 PM
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Robert Redford-Produced Doc on Pioneering Director Alice Guy-Blache, 'Be Natural,' Reaches Its Kickstarter Goal UPDATE

UPDATE: The Kickstarter campaign for documentary "Be Natural," on pioneering French female director Alice Guy-Blache, has reached its goal of $200,000. Co-directors Pamela Green and Jarik Van Sluijs have already interviewed a handful of big names for the project, including Robert Redford, Catherine Hardwicke, Julie Taymor, Ava DuVernay and Ben Kingsley.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 27, 2013 12:36 PM
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'WikiLeaks' Director Alex Gibney Reacts to Bradley Manning's 35-Year Sentence: "a perversion of justice"

Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney originally set out to profile WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but ended up devoting half of his recent documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" to an unknown whistleblower U.S. Army private named Bradley Manning. "It's more relevant now than ever, now we see why," Gibney says on the phone Wednesday, as the news was breaking of Manning's harsh 35-year prison sentence.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2013 4:07 PM
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Should There Be a Best Casting Oscar?

Just because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has added a new, 17th branch for Casting Directors doesn't mean there will be a Best Casting Oscar anytime soon.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2013 3:31 PM
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  • 2 Comments

In the Works: Documentary on Disney's Imagineers (TRAILER)

Disney has a documentary in the works that will go behind the scenes and into the history of its Imagineers, the division tasked with designing the studio's theme parks and rides. Lesley Iwerks, the granddaughter of Mickey Mouse co-creator Ub Iwerks, is set to direct. Check out the trailer for the film, introduced at last weekend's D23 expo, below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 16, 2013 1:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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