documentary tagged posts

My Nazi Legacy

My-Nazi-Legacy-posterDirector: David Evans

Writer: Philippe Sands

Cast: Philippe Sands, Niklas Frank, Horst von Wachter

Cert: PG

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2015

 



What’s the story: Jewish international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands tours different countries with the sons of two Nazi war criminals. The men have very different opinions of their fathers’ wartime actions, which affects Sands personally when they travel to the Ukraine and the place where most of his family perished.

My-Nazi-Legacy---swastika-eyeMy-Nazi-Legacy---Horst-von-Wachter,-Niklas-Frank,-Philippe-Sands

What’s the verdict: Director David Evans, a veteran of such heavyweight shows as Whitechapel and Downton Abbey, keeps My Nazi Legacy visually simple, the camera held at a respectful distance from its subjects and rare family photos and archive footage providing a grim look into the recent past.

The complexity comes in t...

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Must-See Films at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival

Steve-Jobs---Michael-Fassbender,-glasses-reflection

The 59th London Film Festival runs Wednesday 7th to Sunday 18th October.

12 days.

240 movies and documentary features, plus hundreds of shorts from all over the globe.

Even the most rabid movie buff will concede defeat in trying to see all those films in less than two weeks. So what to watch?

In the best tradition of internet Top Lists, we proudly present the Top 10 movies we are most hotly anticipating. And then looked again and had to expand it to 15.

They may be great, they may exhilarate, hell they may even frustrate… The only guarantee is they will be memorable. Which is what makes the London Film Festival such an essential event year after year.

Enough of the preamble, let’s dive into the idiosyncratic Electric Shadows 59th London Film Festival Must-See list...

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The Nightmare (2015)

The-Nightmare-poster]Director: Rodney Ascher

Writer: Rodney Ascher

Cert: 15

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: Unnerving, disturbing and touching movie from Rodney Ascher, the director of the memorably bizarre Shining deconstruction Room 237. Here Ascher encounters eight people with sleep paralysis, a condition that leaves sufferers caught between consciousness and unconsciousness, plagued by terrifying visions. More shared experience than traditional documentary, like all nightmares early moments of unease escalate into genuine fear come the climactic scenes.

The-Nightmare---shadow-man-standing-over-womanThe-Nightmare---aliens

The full verdict: Whereas the opinions of contributors in Room 237 said more about them than The Shining, the sleep paralysis sufferers of The Nightmare appear to pinpoint fear archetypes hardwired into us all...

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Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD

Future-Shock-posterDirector: Paul Goodwin

Writer: Paul Goodwin

Cast: Pat Mills, John Wagner, Alan Grant, Kevin O’Neill, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Leah Moore, David Bishop, Alex Garland, Karl Urban

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2014




The lowdown: Long overdue account of Britain’s most punk comic, from its birth in the ashes of previous boys’ comics in 1977, the 1980s golden age, the rocky 90s and its rebirth in the noughties. Director Paul Goodwin presents the unvarnished truth recounted in colourful language and illustrated with gorgeous panels taken from hundreds of issues (or “progs” in 2000AD speak). Creator Pat Mills leads the charge, but the range of interviewees include Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Kevin O’Neill and recent Dredd movie writer and star Alex Garland and Karl Urban...

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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Going-Clear---posterDirector: Alex Gibney

Writer: Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright (book)

Cast: Paul Haggis, Sylvia “Spanky” Taylor, Jason Beghe, Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder, Lawrence Wright (interviewees), L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, John Travolta (archive footage)

Cert: 15

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2015

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The lowdown: Incendiary account of the Church of Scientology’s fascinating and disturbing history from Alex Gibney, who previously wrestled with the Catholic Church in Mea Maxima Culpa. Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology’s most famous members, are featured though predictably declined interviews. But, the talking heads, including Oscar winner Paul Haggis, suggest a dark centre in the superstar religion far from Travolta’s claim that “joy is the operative concept”...

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15 Five Star Movies You May Have Forgotten

Lady-Vengeance---feature-image
One of the nicer problems for the first world film fan is not only making time to watch all the movies now available, but also remembering them.

With all year round blockbusters dazzling the eyes it is easy to forget those movies that fired the brain cells and stimulated the imagination in the way the best cinema does.

So, in salute to those special movies that deserve the all five stars yet may have been clouded by a decade of sound and fury or simply slipped under the radar, here are 15 five star movies made since 2000 you may want to reacquaint yourself with.


In the Mood for Love (2000)
The plot: In Hong Kong, 1962 a man and woman living in the same apartment building discover their respective spouses are having an affair and begin a tentative relationship themselves.

Why 5 stars: Cin...

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Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Electric Boogaloo - box artDirector: Mark Hartley

Writer: Mark Hartley

Cast: Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus, Bo Derek, Richard Chamberlain, Cassandra Peterson, Luigi Cozzi, Sybil Danning, Franco Neri

Cert: 15

Running time: 106mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: If the names Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus evoke nostalgic memories guzzling down bad action movies, Electric Boogaloo is for you. If a warts n’ all look at the unbelievable ride of Hollywood’s last true hustlers gets you excited, Electric Boogaloo is for you. If you want the behind the scenes skinny on such great bad movies as Invasion USA, Breakin’, Enter the Ninja III: Domination, Over The Top and Superman IV, then Electric Boogaloo is for you. You’ll never look at Clyde the Orangutan the same way again…

Golan And GlobusElectric Boogaloo - Cannon Films logo

The full verdict: For some the Cannon logo is ...

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Finding Vivian Maier

Finding Vivian Maier - posterDirectors: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel

Writers: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 84mins

Year: 2014


 

The lowdown: Debut directors Charlie Siskel (producer of Bowling For Columbine, Religulous) and John Maloof offer up this tantalising tale of a private and austere nanny, now posthumously recognized as an acclaimed street photographer whose work is exhibited internationally. Their fascinating documentary is an excellent place to start searching for the truth surrounding the secretive shutterbug.

Finding Vivian Maier - nanny, childrenMJS Self-Portrait-1965.jpg

The full verdict: It’s almost inconceivable in these days of self-promotion and social media showboating that someone with obvious talent would conceal it from the world...

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I Am Divine

I Am Divine - posterDirector: Jeffrey Schwarz

Writers: Cast: Divine, John Waters, Frances Milstead, Mink Stole, Holly Woodlawn

Cert: 15

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2013


The lowdown: Funny, engrossing and poignant documentary account of Harris Glen Milstead, who stormed the world as Divine – “the most beautiful woman in the world”. Most famous and infamous for eating dog-do on camera for Pink Flamingos, director Jeffrey Schwarz reveals Milstead as a true professional with a Herculean work-ethic, a shy personality whose alter-ego was an inspiration to outsiders everywhere. Trash glamour never looked so good.

I Am Divine - Divine glamour shotI Am Divine - Pink Flamingos, gun

The full verdict: The life path of anyone who describes eating dog excrement as “the best and worst thing that ever happened to me” will not follow a well-trodden trail.

And Divine, drag queen extraor...

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The Armstrong Lie

The Armstrong Lie - quad posterDirector: Alex Gibney

Writer: Alex Gibney

Cert: 12

Running time: 122mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney turns farce into fascination with The Armstrong Lie. Originally a celebratory record of Lance Armstrong’s 2009 return to the Tour de France circuit, it was shelved when doping allegations reared once more and then utterly refocused when the disgraced cyclist admitted he had been illegally enhancing his performance all along. An Icarus like tale of hubris and corruption becomes a story for this “win at all costs” age, where the strong survive and how they became strong is ignored.

Lance Armstrong, Oprah WinfreyCourtesy of Alex Gibney

The full verdict: Alex Gibney likes focusing on big, problematic personalities. Enron CEO Jeff Skilling in Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room...

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