Category Archives: Film Festivals

On DVD/VOD: METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER

metallicaComing to DVD and VOD today, Monday, November 24: METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s portrait of a metal band in therapy had its world premiere at Sundance in 2004. It went on to screen at Nashville, Philadelphia, Sydney, Ptown, Transylvania, Thessaloniki Doc, Athens, and Jerusalem, among many others, and to be released theatrically, winning the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary in 2005. Recently screened as part of DOC NYC’s Docs Redux section, this DVD re-release commemorates the film’s 10th anniversary, and also marks its debut on VOD platforms.

In 2001, as heavy metal rock icons Metallica set out to record a new album, they invited filmmakers Berlinger and Sinofsky to document the process. When band group therapist Phil Towle is introduced, it becomes clear that this will deviate from the standard behind-the-scenes, studio-focused rockumentary approach. After nearly two decades together, the band has to face serious communication and anger issues – not to mention individual struggles with drugs and alcohol, which soon remove lead singer James Hetfield from the scene for months. When he returns, his carefully controlled and limited schedule leads to increasing tensions between Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, manifested not in the stereotypical aggression of out-of-control rockstars, but in unexpected discussions of hurt feelings that lend a distinct air of couple’s counseling to the proceedings. As a result, Berlinger and Sinofsky engender curiosity in their film beyond the band’s existing fanbase, crafting an intimate and honest look at middle-aged performers trying to make their musical marriage work.

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Special Screening: THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS

measure of all thingsComing to NYC’s The Kitchen tomorrow, Friday, November 21 and Saturday, November 22: THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS

Sam Green’s live documentary rumination on mankind’s desire to make sense of itself debuted at Sundance at the beginning of the year. Performances followed at Hot Docs, Planete+ Doc, Sheffield, and at Mass MOCA, among other venues.

I profiled the project before Sundance here.

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In Theatres & On VOD: HAPPY VALLEY

happy valleyComing to theatres today, Wednesday, November 19 and to VOD this Friday, November 21: HAPPY VALLEY

Amir Bar-Lev’s look at the community most affected by the Penn State scandal had its world premiere at Sundance this year. It has gone on to screen at Nantucket, DOC NYC, Hamptons, Camden, Traverse City, Indie Memphis, BAMcinemaFest, Philadelphia, Sarasota, True/False, Nashville, and Little Rock, among several others.

My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.

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IDFA 2014: Overview, Part Two

idfa_logoI covered IDFA‘s competitions yesterday, while today’s looks at the fest’s non-competitive programs. The festival’s 27th edition begins tomorrow evening, and runs through Sunday, November 30. Continue reading

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On VOD: 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

20000 daysComing to VOD today, Tuesday, November 18: 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s Nick Cave docufiction debuted at Sundance this year, where it won the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award. Screenings followed at Berlin, Sydney, True/False, Seattle, San Francisco, and IFF Boston, among others, before a limited theatrical release earlier this Fall.

I profiled the film before Sundance here.

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IDFA 2014: Overview, Part One

idfa_logoThe 27th edition of the world’s premier nonfiction event, IDFA, begins this Wednesday, November 19, and presents approximately 175 new feature documentaries, plus dozens of retrospective screenings, shorts, transmedia, and more, before it wraps up on Sunday, November 30. I’ve greatly enjoyed traveling to Amsterdam for this event in the past, but will unfortunately be missing it again this year. The fest’s programming traditionally travels widely over the next year, so doc lovers should be sure to keep an eye out for the highlights noted below. Given IDFA’s size, I’ve split them up into two posts – competitions today, followed by the non-competitive sections tomorrow: Continue reading

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On DVD/VOD: ALIVE INSIDE

alive insideComing to DVD and VOD tomorrow, Tuesday, November 18: ALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC & MEMORY

Michael Rossato-Bennett’s exploration of the impact of music on memory had its world premiere at Sundance this year, where it won an audience award. The doc went on to screen at Nantucket, Seattle, Big Sky, RiverRun, deadCenter, Nashville, Ptown, and Cleveland, among several others, before a limited theatrical release this Summer.

I profiled the film before Sundance here.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Releases, Sundance