April 29, 2011 |
Blockbuster comedy director Tom Shadyac ("Ace Ventura, Pet Detective," "Liar, Liar" "The Nutty Professor") was on top of the world in 2007. And down in the dumps. His extravagant lifestyle wasn't making him happy, and he pondered scaling back to find a new balance in his life. That decision was fast-tracked after a mountain bike crack-up. Sidelined from the rat race during months of painful isolation, he realized the trappings of wealth were genuine traps. Healed, he grabbed his camera and set up interviews with scientists, spiritual leaders and progressive social critics.
December 14, 2012 |
"THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE" makes the sardonic point that exoneration rarely gets the same frenzied publicity as conviction, and takes a small step toward redress. Its documentary subjects are the five boys-turned-men (Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray) railroaded in 1989 for the beating and rape of the so-called Central Park jogger, and of course there is much shame to be conferred in this story on police and prosecutors. They buried evidence, coerced confessions, and proceeded with prosecution even when it must have been obvious to them (the DNA didn't match)
March 8, 2012 |
Five movies in six years is no small feat. Five movies in six years when you're based in Philadelphia and dealing with the hard realities of indie filmmaking - money, time, distribution, marketing - is no small feat, either. And here Don Argott, Demian Fenton, and Sheena Joyce are happy to say they've had "a little bit of success. " They are the collaborative team behind Last Days Here, a wonderfully strange and affecting portrait of a heavy metal demigod's fall into the abyss, which opens Friday.
October 19, 2012 |
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - In the thick of the presidential campaign, a documentary about a political wife wouldn't seem to offer respite from the clatter. But that's exactly what Ethel , an intimate, affectionate look at Ethel Kennedy by her youngest child, manages to do. It's a heartfelt reminder of public service's rewards and heaviest demands, elements that can be lost in the moment's rough-and-tumble. It also honors a rarely interviewed Kennedy wife who was eclipsed by her more glamorous sister-in-law and sister in tragedy, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
January 6, 2013 |
On the first day of 1863, as the Civil War raged on, President Lincoln proclaimed all the slaves in the rebellious Confederate states to be "forever free. " With his Emancipation Proclamation, whose 150th anniversary the United States celebrates this week, Lincoln made the end of slavery a Civil War goal. As PBS's ambitious documentary miniseries The Abolitionists shows, Lincoln's words came at the end of a decadeslong antislavery campaign led by a tiny group of activists whose fervor alienated them from the mainstream of American life.
March 15, 2013
* THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DICK CHENEY. 9 p.m. Friday, Showtime. YOU'D HAVE to have strong feelings about Dick Cheney to spend two hours on Friday night watching a documentary about him. Fortunately for Showtime, where "The World According to Dick Cheney" makes its TV premiere this week, plenty of people have strong feelings about Cheney, whose vice presidency made him a lightning rod for controversy. And a willing one, at that. In the excerpts from several days of interviews with documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler ("The War Room," "The September Issue")
April 26, 2011 |
Sam Katz may not have been able to win the mayor's office or the governorship, but he has done something maybe even more difficult: Pry a half-hour of time out of the 6ABC schedule for a show he has produced. And not just any half-hour. Tuesday, instead of Wheel of Fortune, which on some nights gets higher ratings than any of the ABC network offerings on 6ABC, the channel will present the pilot episode of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, at 7:30 p.m. It's the first step of what Katz hopes one day will become a seven-hour series on the 400-year history of the city.
March 27, 2013 |
For former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, an Irish prince, the story was supposed to end with him in the Oval Office. Instead, he is in and out of jail in Hudson County. Not as a prisoner, but working as a spiritual counselor to a group of incarcerated women - and, at the same time, on what he calls his own journey of redemption. In 2004, McGreevey fell from grace with a thud, resigning office as he famously declared, "I am a gay American. " The married governor quit because an ex-lover - a man McGreevey hired as a top security aide in the wake of 9/11 - was blackmailing him with a threatened sexual harassment suit.
August 18, 2012 |
The film director Ron Howard and his frequent producer partner Brian Grazer will be shooting a documentary when the Made in America music festival takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Labor Day weekend, the New York Post reported. Grazer told the Post he was producing the film with hip-hop exec Steve Stoute and artist Jay-Z. "It is going to be born through Jay-Z's perspective," Grazer said. "He is a phenom, like a musical Michael Jordan. " Budweiser marketing vice president Paul Chibe will share executive producer credit with Jay-Z, according to Advertising Age. Budweiser is sponsoring the event.
March 15, 2013 |
IN THE documentary "The Waiting Room," a rookie physician gets advice on how to inform parents their teen son is dead of gunshot wounds: Tell them he didn't suffer while we were working on him, says the veteran. Don't tell them he's gone to "a better place. " Though, any place would seem to be better than the waiting room of this Oakland, Calif., clinic, ground zero for treating the uninsured and the sick. Standout moment: A man with kidney failure seeking dialysis has been bounced around so long he declares that he'd rather be dead than endure any more red tape, and we believe him. So does the treating physician, who watches, speechless, on the other side of any known protocol.