Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Director Leaves Marley

Bad news for Bob Marley enthusiasts, it seems director Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Neil Young: Heart of Gold) is parting ways with the upcoming documentary Marley. According to the NY Post, producer Steve Bing was unimpressed with the first round of editing and most likely asked the talented director to leave the project. Demme is the second director to leave Marley after the originally attached Martin Scorsese left due to scheduling conflicts.

Marley is still scheduled for a February 6th release date (the anniversary of the Jamaican musicians birthday), but there now seems to be a huge void in the production team that Bing may have a difficult time replacing. Yes, a documentary on such a renown musician should easily attract top talent, but having two high profile directors leave the project might indicate a lack of artistic expression. Granted, this is all my personal opinion and I'm truly hoping whoever ultimately is attached to the project can live up to the expectations I once had for a Scorsese/Demme film.

Head over to the NY Post to read the whole story.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gibney's Health Care Bill

As the battle for health care rages throughout the United States, Oscar-Award winning director Alex Gibney has decided to drop in his two cents worth.  No, he's not speaking at a town hall meeting, nor is he introducing a legislative bill.  Instead, he's doing what every filmmaker does when he feels there needs to be a change: he makes a documentary.

Money Driven Medicine is not necessarily a film choosing one side of the health care debate, or the other, but it is the about director's desire to see some sort of change.  Based off award wining journalist, Maggie Mahar's book of the same name, the film uses countless interviews with doctors (not ordinary citizens) to state their case. Gibney told the Chicago Tribune, "We went out and photographed a lot of doctors and, indeed, doctors who had opted out of the system to become spokespeople for a new idea, to say, 'You know what? Our system is not the best in the world.'"

Both Gibney and Mahar have hit the media tour touting the new film (including a recent interview on Nightline), so it is safe to say their film could be released in the near future.  However, the distributor for Money Driven Medicine (Newsreel) seems quite mum on a potential theatrical run at the moment. Let's hope that changes as a health care reform film may be quite topical as the debate rages throughout the country.

Head on over to the film's current website or ABC News for more on Money Driven Medicine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Hughes Documentary

So it's gotten to the point that whenever a celebrity dies, I expect a documentary to be made about them.  Sony is putting together a film on Michael Jackson using previously unused footage, Billy Mays suddenly finds himself in a reality TV series and now it seems the late John Hughes is getting the documentary treatment after his recent death.

Canadian based Alliance Films recently purchased the distribution rights for Matt Austin-Sadowski's documentary, Don't You Forget About Me.  The documentary is the actor's (famous for such roles as the Green Power Ranger) quest to seek out the then-reclusive writer- director that inspired him to enter the profession.  Interviews include Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Mia Sara and others- though sadly Hughes' starlet Molly Ringwald refused to participate.

I've yet to find a specific release date for Don't You Forget About Me (which incidentally, is a great 80's song too), but head on over to Variety for more information.  And if you are unsure who John Hughes is, do yourself a favor and rent Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, or Planes, Trains and Automobiles- just three of the many great films he either wrote or directed.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Doc Rock with Your Socks Off

Later this week marks the 30th Anniversary of Woodstock and the first recorded proof of a hippie-stoner actually organizing something. With anniversary events and 'best of' lists coming out left and right this week, we couldn't help but admire Bob Tremblay (from the Daily News Tribune) and his attempt to list the top rock documentaries of all time. And in true "Barry from High Fidelity" fashion, he's listed his top ten in alphabetical order.

Head on over to the Daily News Tribune to read the complete article and Tremblay's justification for his picks then come back here and let us know what your list would include.

side note: does anyone else just love the 'intellectual battles' the gang from High Fidelity waged on screen? Because I sure do.