Coming to theatres today, Friday, December 14:
LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE
Karlovy Vary 2017
DOC NYC, Toronto, IDFA, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Hamptons, Camden, San Sebastian, San Francisco, Docaviv, Encounters
A film about the director’s eccentric mother as she reacts to the loss of one of her dreams.
The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Spanish actor Gustavo Salmerón makes his directorial debut with a winsome, freewheeling family portrait. As a newlywed, his mother Julita made three wishes: she wanted lots of kids, a monkey, and a castle. She got them all with the help of a windfall inheritance. After an economic downturn, Julita is forced to sell the castle and unpack all its mysteries. Salmerón has created a boisterous, hilarious, and profoundly affectionate film.
Coming to National Geographic Wild tomorrow, Friday, December 14:
INTO THE OKAVANGO
Sheffield, Mountainfilm, Warsaw, Virginia, Los Cabos, Tahoe
An expedition through Botswana’s biodiverse Okavango Delta.
One of the last few areas of pristine wetland wilderness, the Okavango Delta is home to a diverse range of animal species. Concerned that the freshwater rivers that sustain the habitat are under threat, South African conservation biologist Steve Boyes gathers a team to explore the Cuito River over a 121 days. As shown in Gelinas beautifully lensed chronicle of their voyage, not all goes to plan, with obstacles of all types emerging, from a dried up river to an angry hippopotamus. Still, along the way, the group makes discoveries both promising and worrying, lending an urgent note to this well-made project.
Coming to select theatres and to VOD tomorrow, Friday, December 14:
THE INSUFFERABLE GROO
DOC NYC, Sydney Underground, Calgary Underground
A behind-the-scenes look at the life and work of a low-budget auteur.
I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Stephen Groo is a self-proclaimed auteur, narrowing in on his 200th film in 20 years. His oeuvre of outlandishly awful genre films has managed to attract admirers like NAPOLEON DYNAMITE’s Jared Hess and Jack Black, but the Utah-based director has never made a dime off of his work, leaving his wife to provide for their family of four small boys. As Groo attempts to make his latest opus, his narcissism threatens to prove his undoing in this entertaining look at low-budget guerrilla filmmaking.
Coming to theates today, Wednesday December 13 and next Tuesday, December 18:
NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI
Japanese TV (November 2016)
Nippon Connection, Singapore, SF Japan
A look at legendary Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki after his retirement.
Less than two years after announcing his retirement from filmmaking, the Studio Ghibli icon confesses to the filmmaker that he has a nagging desire to make something new. To this end, he meets with a group of young CGI animators to develop a short film about a caterpillar and finds himself revitalized and excited to create again. Arakawa goes behind the scenes as Miyazaki confronts the possibilities – and limits – of this new technology, facing inspiration, disappointment, and new realizations as the project transforms. The film captures the animation legend with candor at both his home and in the Studio Ghibli offices, and while its production values are better suited to broadcast than to theatres, it offers his legion of fans an insightful look at his creative process.
Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, December 11:
Karlovy Vary, Toronto, London, Busan, IDFA, CPH:DOX, True/False, Thessaloniki Doc, New Directors/New Films, Poland’s New Horizons, Palm Springs, Goteborg, Tokyo, Hamburg, Vienna
A young Congolese man embarks on a Sisyphean trek to sell charcoal.
I previously wrote about the doc here.
Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, December 11:
Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, and Amanda Stoddard
Frameline, BFI Flare, Portland QDoc, TLVFest
A tribute to the only medical professionals in Utah who would treat patients with AIDS in the early years of the epidemic.
My pre-Sundance profile may be found here.
Coming to Showtime this Wednesday, December 12:
THE GODFATHERS OF HARDCORE
DOC NYC 2017
Big Sky Doc, SF Doc, Florida, IFF Boston, In Edit, Sound Unseen, Raindance
A profile of the long-standing punk band Agnostic Front.
I previously wrote about the film DOC NYC’s program, saying:
The hardcore punk band Agnostic Front formed in 1980 and soon became synonymous with the New York punk scene. At its core were Vinnie Stigma and Roger Miret. Over 35 years later, the legendary guitarist, born and raised on Mott Street, and his Cuban-born vocalist bandmate are still going strong. Interweaving remarkable archival footage of the early days of Agnostic Front with present-day interviews and performances, Ian McFarland’s film captures the duo’s unmistakable personalities and their influential band’s enduring legacy.