Friday, October 9, 2009

Theatrical Releases

Every Friday we will update you all with the week's theatrical documentary releases. Now, this will not be a perfect process as our beloved genre prefers the limited release schedule instead of a big nationwide or international-wide release. So apologies if a film isn't out in your area, or if you are a filmmaker and we missed the boat on announcing your documentary's big day (if that is the case, please let us know as we try to refine and hone this weekly post).

Now, with that introduction out of the way, here's this weekend's releases with their current rating on the amazing website

Good Hair - (92% rating) - In the movie School Daze, Spike Lee staged a dance number in which two bands of African-American college students debated the merits of "Straight and Nappy" hair in song, and now comedian Chris Rock and filmmaker Jeff Stilson have extended the conversation to a full-length film in this witty documentary with serious undertones. Rock says he was inspired to make the film when his young daughter asked him, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" and he and Stilson examine black America's obsession with their hair (

Yes Men Fix The World - (82% rating) - Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are two guys who just can't take "no" for an answer. They have an unusual hobby: posing as top executives of corporations they hate. Armed with nothing but thrift-store suits, the Yes Men lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate targets in ever more extreme ways - basically doing everything that they can to wake up their audiences to the danger of letting greed run our world (

The Heretics - (No rating provided) - The Heretics reveals the inside story of Heresies, a feminist art collective that was at the epicenter of the 1970s art world in lower Manhattan. Director Braderman, who joined the group in 1971 after moving to New York to become a filmmaker, charts the collective’s story for the first time in a feature-length film or video, revealing its pivotal role in the “second wave” of the Women’s Movement (

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trailer: Act of God

Though I'm sure I've already mentioned this film, I'm just so blown away by the idea that I need to mention it again. Director Jennifer Baichwal's most recent documentary, Act of God, has one hell of a trailer posted over at and it's hard not to think her film could be up for an Oscar.

Short and sweet, Act of God is a documentary about the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. Exploring seven stories from around the world, it raises and responds to questions about chance, fate and the meaning in life.

Baichwal's film hits theaters at the end of this month, so plan your Halloween activities around this documentary, because you certainly want to miss this visually impressive display. If you're having doubts, head on over to to peak at the trailer.

Brazilian Film Portrays the Heart of Rio's Violence

Rio's annual film festival is happening this week and one of the more intriguing documentaries debuted this past Sunday. Dancing with the Devil follows the lives of three men caught up in the Brazilian city's violence: drug lord, a police officer and an evangelical pastor.

British Oscar-winning documentary director Jon Blair (Anne Frank Remembered) followed these men for a year to create an intimate and honest look at the drugs and violence that plague Rio. Obviously, a film on this subject is not exactly what the city hoped for after learning they will be the host of the 2016 Olympics, but this documentary may transcend merely finger pointing. After all, Blair was able to gain the trust of drug smugglers and gang members (who actually let him film their faces).

Outside of Blair, I really know very little about this film, but the scenes described by Reuters and the quotes taken from the movie definitely pique my interest. Hopefully, Blair has plans to release Dancing with the Devil worldwide. Read the full article over at Yahoo and you'll be just as interested as I am.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

'Good Hair' Nets Chris Rock a Major Lawsuit

It's only a few days before Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair hits theaters nationwide, but the producer/writer/narrator isn't celebrating much after being hit with a $5 million lawsuit.

Regina Kimball is a documentary filmmaker who released her own hair film, My Nappy Roots, in 2006. According to her, Chris Rock's documentary copies several scenes and ideas from hers- specifically the scenes dealing with hair export to India, the Jheri Curl controversy and the toxicity of chemicals used in hair relaxing treatments. Additionally, it seems both Rock and Kimball claim they were inspired to make their movies because of their daughters' questions about their own hair.

With these similarities and Kimball's accusations that Rock and others viewed her documentary before working on their own, it seems the lawsuit has some legitimate weight to it. Ultimately, these things will work themselves out in court, but this is certainly not the type of press HBO Films wanted right before a major release.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Love the Beast Trailer

Recently reviewed by one of our newest writers, Eric Bana's documentary, Love the Beast, now has a trailer over at It's definitely worth a watch. Who knows, you may love it as much as our writer!

In case you're a little confused, Love the Beast follows Eric Bana as he explores the meaning of a 25-year-long relationship with his first car, “The Beast”. Filmed over 2 years, this is partly for grease monkeys and partly for those who place their stock in family and friends.

So head on over to to see what your missing and then check out the review to really get excited about one of this year's surprise documentaries.