Friday, April 23, 2010

Theatrical Releases

Every Friday we update you all with the week's theatrical documentary releases. Now, this is not a perfect process as our beloved genre prefers the rolling/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 and we'll correct the mistake).

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

Oceans - (80% rating) Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and Oceans boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud dive deep into the very waters that sustain all of mankind—exploring the harsh reality and the amazing creatures that live within. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan and featuring spectacular never-before-seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies, Oceans offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea in a powerful motion picture. (

Behind the Burly Q - (77% rating) the behind-the-scenes stories of the men and women of burlesque as told by the performers themselves. For the first time ever, the performers from the golden age of burlesque relate their heartbreaking, triumphant stories of life on the road performing in the burly circuit. Many were ashamed of their past and had never talked about their experiences. Just as many had never been asked. Amongst those interviewed were former musicians, strippers, novelty acts, club owners, funny men and women, authors and historians assembled together for the first time ever to tell you just what really happened in a burlesque show. (

Best Worst Movie - (92% rating) the acclaimed feature length documentary that takes us on an off-beat journey into the undisputed worst movie in cinematic history: Troll 2. In 1989, when an Italian filmmaker and unwitting Utah actors shot the ultra-low budget horror film, Troll 2, they had no idea that twenty years later they would be celebrated worldwide for their legendary ineptitude. Two decades later, the film’s now-grown-up child star (Michael Paul Stephenson) unravels the improbable, heartfelt story of the Alabama dentist-turned-cult movie icon and the Italian filmmaker who come to terms with this genuine, internationally revered cinematic failure. (

One Peace at a Time - (No rating provided) Building on critical and audience acclaim for his film, Nobelity, Turk Pipkin is continuing his global journey of knowledge and action with the feature film, One Peace at a Time. While Nobelity deals with global problems, One Peace at a Time will focus on specific solutions. The goal is to create a virtual roadmap to a better future. One Peace at a Time is an opportunity for individuals, businesses and foundations to reach out and change the world. (

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trailer: The Oath

A documentary about Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver doesn't exactly sound like a film with 'market appeal' here in the United States, but a quick read of the summary for Laura Poitras' The Oath makes it sound like a fascinating investigation into a complex situation.

The trailer itself is captivating and will make you want to see this documentary. Unfortunately, it appears The Oath is currently only slated for appearances at film festivals, but hopefully that changes for all of us interested in a film that will spark debate.

Head on over to to see the trailer for yourself and read more about The Oath and why it's worth seeing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Haikus Abound over Palin-Discovery Series

So if you've been keeping up with your documentary news, you're well aware Sarah Palin signed a contract with Discovery Communications to host an 8-part series on Alaska. Environmentalists and those of the more liberal persuasion immediately voiced their complaints over the decision, believing Palin to be less than ideal for promoting the beautiful Alaskan wilderness.

Fearing they would get lost amongst all the uproar, the Friends of the Earth organization decided to break away from the angry emails and protesters- asking their supporters to send in haikus expressing their outrage (Ok, technically the short poems are called senryus, but as an American I'm entitled to simplify complex cultural practices into something I already know).

The site took the top ten submissions and are now asking people to vote for their favorites before they send the entire compilation (said to be in the thousands) to the Discovery Communications headquarters.

Can all forms of protests be submitted in this way from now on?

Editors note: here at Documentary Film Online we try to avoid political tit-for-tat because we are trying to appeal to documentary film fans across the entire political spectrum. However, every once in awhile, there's a story so good it just can't be ignored. This was definitely one of those stories.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trailer: 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless

Ever seen a trailer for a film and simultaneously wonder what the heck is going on and be fully convinced you had to see it no matter what? Admit it, you can't forget the first time you saw the Matrix trailer: when you had no clue what it was about, but just knew you had to see it.

Well Chris Malloy 's upcoming documentary 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless sorta fits that bill. No, Keanu Reeves doesn't make an appearance flashing kung fu moves (I don't think), but this is certainly a film I'm not entirely sure I can explain, I just know I want to see it.

Here's what I can tell you about Malloy 's documentary: it follows Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, Jeff Johnson and their motley crew as they journey to Patagonia. The group is chock full of hippie adventurists and looks like a South American rendition of Into the Wild... only with a more positive ending.

So if you're one of those men or women who secretly desire to run off into the woods and just live off the land, I suggest heading over to and learn about this film and the cast of characters involved.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tribeca 2010 Film Guide

For you New York City documentary fans (or those willing to travel to the Big Apple for a great film festival), it's probably wise to start investigating what movies you want to see during the Tribeca Film Festival. I mean, for Pete's sake the festival begins in 3 days!

But don't panic, there's plenty of time and information at to help answer all your questions. Though the festival isn't exclusively for documentaries, it does offer some excellent films for our beloved genre.

I suggest checking all the films out for yourself, but some personal recommendations are:
- The Two Escobars - drug cartels, murder and soccer... hmm, one of these is not like the others
- Thieves By Law - think Eastern Promises, but in real life.
- Freetime Machos - rugby meets the Bad News Bears.

There, by only selecting three I fully angered and ignored numerous other awesome documentaries playing at the festival. But again, why listen to my opinion? Head on over to and see the complete list of wonderful films that will be playing.