Friday, October 16, 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

Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution - (70% rating) - For the first time ever, our children are growing up less healthy than their parents. As the rate of cancer and childhood obesity climbs ever upward each year, we must ask ourselves, why is this happening? Food Beware takes a look at a small village in the mountains of France, where the town's mayor has declared that the school lunchroom will serve mostly local food, grown by organic methods. Featuring interviews with children, parents, teachers, health care workers, journalists, farmers, elected officials, scientists and researchers, we learn about challenges and rewards of their stand - the abuses of industry as well as the practical solutions at hand (

One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur - (no rating provided) - In 1957, on the heels of the triumphant debut of his groundbreaking novel, On The Road, Jack Kerouac was a literary rock star. But along with sudden fame and media hype came his unraveling, and by 1960, Kerouac was a jaded cynic, tortured by self-doubt, addiction and depression. Desperate for spiritual salvation and solitude, he secretly retreats to a cabin in the Big Sur woods. But his plan is foiled by his own inner demons, and what ensues that summer becomes the basis for Kerouac’s gritty novel, Big Sur. The film takes viewers on an unflinching look at the compelling events the book is based on. The story unfolds in three ways: through the narrative arc of Kerouac’s prose (voiced by John Ventimiglia); through first-hand accounts and recollections of Kerouac’s contemporaries; by the interpretations and reflections of writers, poets, actors and musicians who have been deeply influenced by Kerouac’s unique gifts (

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monty Python Documentary?!?!

Thank you to NPR for highlighting this great upcoming series.

And luckily for all you American audiences with premium cable channels, beginning this Sunday (October 18th), the IFC (Independent Film Channel) will present a six night, six-hour documentary titled Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyers Cut). This newest film is timed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking British TV series and comedy troupe and gawd am I excited!

This new documentary is chock full of interviews with all the surviving members, footage from their movies, TV series and Broadway shows and, most importantly, full of the odd humor we've all come to know and love. Let's face it, this comedy group can't help but mock the documentary form.. even just a little.

Though I haven't seen the documentary yet, I can point out that each individual hour sports hilarious titles like "The Not-So-Interesting Beginnings" and "The Much Funnier Second Episode". And each hour has its own theme song- sung with increased frustration over the familiarity of the material and how endless the documentary is.

But why are you taking my word for anything. Head on over to NPR to read the brilliant description or check out IFC' website to learn more about when it will air in your area.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trailer: Not Evil, Just Wrong

Well we've had our Michael Moore documentary rebuttals and with more and more conservative activists realizing the power of documentary films, it's about time a rebuttal to An Inconvenient Truth came out. Not Evil, Just Wrong, is that anti-Gore film.

Phelim McAleer's film has a trailer up on it's site and is quickly positioning itself to attract an audience base. I'll be honest, I'm a bit intrigued by this film, but am worried (based solely on the trailer) that it may not have as many facts prepared as some would like. Then again, my doubts have been proven wrong many times before.

McAleer has already made headlines with his recent verbal confrontation with Al Gore. So to say this once unknown documentary has created some buzz is a bit of an understatement. But, as we've seen, conservatives don't rally around films as much as liberals so it will be interesting to see how Not Evil, Just Wrong fares (especially when it's by passing theaters and going direct-to-download format). The film becomes available in less than 5 days, so I'd definitely jump at the trailer if this sounds interesting to you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

PBS/BBC - 4 part series "Latin Music USA"

Ask any non-Hispanic American what he or she knows about Latin music and they'll probably exhaust their knowledge in two short phrases: La Bamba and Salsa. And it's true, outside of its community, the rich heritage and influence of Latin music is rarely given proper respect. That is until now.

The BBC and PBS have combined on a joint venture to air a 4 part documentary series titled Latin Music USA. Filmmakers Elizabeth Deane and Adriana Bosch are the main influences behind this series that attempts to make mainstream audiences more aware of Latin culture, specifically its music.

The series not only highlights the history of Latin music, but also how it has influenced major bands from the Rolling Stones to the Beatles to even Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. More interestingly is how this music has been influenced since coming to America, including how German polka bands in Texas influenced one particular singer.

The series begins tonight on most PBS stations (no known BBC programing that I can find, sorry Brits!) and should be quite engaging. And, at an hour a piece, should be easily accessible to those with a rather hectic weekday lifestyle.

The New York Times has a great article about the series and its filmmakers, but if you want the facts, head on over to PBS' website.