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Documentary
 

Searching for Sugar Man

A true story that's truly sweet.


Documentary

Phil Bacharach
This is a golden age of documentaries, and I don’t mean the propagandistic variety via Michael Moore or 2016: Obama’s America. Given the pervasive timidity and lack of imagination in Hollywood today, film buffs are well advised to take stock of documentaries, where the most gripping stories are being told.
 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Am Bruce Lee

They call him Bruce.


Documentary

Rod Lott
I was incorrect in thinking the documentary I Am Bruce Lee wouldn't reveal anything new about the screen's greatest martial artist. While not exactly earth-shattering, the facts I learned numbered many.
 
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Classic Albums: Peter Gabriel: So

The whole story behind the music, now ‘In Your Eyes.’


Documentary

Rod Lott
Peter Gabriel’s 1986 album, So, found the former Genesis vocalist at his commercial and critical peak. Now, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, it’s not only been reissued in a three-disc box set, but is the subject of the Classic Albums documentary series.
 
Friday, November 30, 2012

With Great Power ...: The Stan Lee Story

A not-quite-Marvelous look at a pop-culture giant.


Documentary

Rod Lott
There's a great story surrounding Stan Lee and Marvel Comics. I know because a month ago, I read all about it in Sean Howe’s new book about the very topic. As for the documentary With Great Power  ...: The Stan Lee Story, however, it's perfectly fine if the only portrait you care to see is superficial, self-laudatory and largely wart-free.
 
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Definitive Document of the Dead

It’s all messed up.


Documentary

Rod Lott
Significantly updated from his 1985 documentary, The Definitive Document of the Dead promises to be the last word director Roy Frumkes has to say on his subject of zombie godfather George A. Romero. If not, perhaps it should be.
 
Monday, November 26, 2012

Nitro Circus: The Movie

Wow! Ouch!


Documentary

Rod Lott
Granted only a limited theatrical release this summer, Nitro Circus: The Movie is like Jackass with more athleticism, more engineering know-how, more maturity, more corporate sponsors, and much less testicular trauma.
 
Friday, November 9, 2012

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

The definition of art is challenged — often with full nudity — in a dynamic documentary.


Documentary

Rod Lott
Is it art?
 
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

The truth hurts.


Documentary

Rod Lott
I can't believe — just. cannot. believe. — that Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory lost the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature this past spring. And to a football movie, no less! It's another case of the jocks running ragged over the outcasts, except these outcasts were able to effect something few docs achieve: change.
 
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live

Grab your things / I’ve come to take you home.


Documentary

Rod Lott
I'd say Peter Gabriel has aged wonderfully, judging from the concert film Secret World, but the performance is nearly two decades old, from 1993. Although far removed from his heyday as an MTV idol — the venue looks as if its audience were lifted from a BMW dealership super-sale — he still sounded great.
 
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Of Dolls & Murder

Who knew playing with dolls could help fight crime?


Documentary

Rod Lott
Susan Marks' Of Dolls & Murder is a rather straightforward documentary on an oddball subject: forensic pathologists teaching medical investigation skills to police officers via "nutshell studies."
 
Friday, July 13, 2012

Simply Red: Live at Montreux 2003

No longer holding back the years.


Documentary

Rod Lott
Don't tell anyone, but in my first year of high school, I owned a couple of Simply Red cassettes, purchased from Sound Warehouse. If you clicked on the link to read this review, it's likely you did, too.
 
Thursday, May 31, 2012

Racing Dreams

Vroom to grow.


Documentary

Rod Lott
How many pre-teens not only have a idea of what they want to do with their life, but actually already are doing something about it? The answer: At least three, based upon those you'll meet in Racing Dreams, a fun, fast-paced, feature-length documentary about kids competing for the national karting championship as they chase hopeful NASCAR futures.
 
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Swell Season

Lightning strikes ‘Once.’


Documentary

Rod Lott
Remember how joyous you felt at the end of 2006's excellent Irish indie Once? Well, The Swell Season is why there is no sequel. Hell, it practically is the sequel, only factual instead of fictional.
 
Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Story of Rock ’n’ Roll Comics

There’s another comic-book movie out now beside ‘The Avengers.’


Documentary

Rod Lott
I grew up reading comic books — and today, occasionally make some extra dough writing for them — but I must admit, I’ve never heard of Rock ’n’ Roll Comics, the underground sensation at the heart of this lo-fi documentary from Wild Eye Releasing. Turns out, not knowing matters not; hardcore comics fans — or those just into esoteric, DIY projects — should find it interesting, if told with a little true-to-spirit sloppiness.
 
Thursday, May 3, 2012

Urbanized

If you build it, they will watch.


Documentary

Rod Lott
In my next life, I'm going to be an architect. I knew that before watching Urbanized, the documentary on the magic of cities, but now it's solidified.
 
Monday, March 19, 2012
 
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