Category Archives: Releases

In Theatres: BELIEVER

Coming to theatres today, Friday, June 15:
BELIEVER

Director:
Don Argott

Premiere:
Sundance 2018

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, Montclair, Miami, Outfest

About:
A Mormon rockstar advocates for inclusion and acceptance of LGBT people in the Church of Latter Day Saints.

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

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In Theatres: STRAIGHT INTO A STORM

New to theatres today, Friday, June 15:
STRAIGHT INTO A STORM

Director:
William Miller

Premiere:
Nashville 2017

Select Festivals:
Doc’n Roll, Reel Music

About:
A celebration of the Providence alt-rock band Deer Tick.

Filmed in conjunction with the band’s 10th anniversary in 2014-2015, which was marked by a series of shows in NYC, Miller’s film follows standard music doc conventions, blending extensive performance footage with behind the scenes, archival, and interviews reflecting on Deer Tick’s formation, lineup changes, life on tour, and its colorful band members. Tailor-made for existing fans, the doc is decidedly insider, chock-full of anecdotes often dependent on foreknowledge of bandmates’ histories and personalities, making this a slog to get through for a casual viewer unfamiliar with the band.

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On DVD: I CALLED HIM MORGAN

i called him morganRe-issued on DVD this week:
I CALLED HIM MORGAN

Director:
Kasper Collin

Premiere:
Venice 2016

Select Festivals:
Toronto, Telluride, New York, London, Vancouver, Mumbai, Philadelphia, In-Edit, Stockholm, Palm Springs, Thessaloniki Doc, Tempo Doc, CPH:DOX

About:
The story of the ultimately ill-fated relationship between jazz musician Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: SCRUM

New to DVD this week:
SCRUM

Director:
Poppy Stockell

Premiere:
Sheffield 2015

Select Festivals:
New Orleans, Montreal World, Frameline, Outfest, NewFest, LGBT fests in Sydney, Glasgow, Cardiff, Melbourne, and Copenhagen

About:
A portrait of a gay Aussie rugby team.

Stockell’s subjects are the Sydney Convicts, and specifically three players hoping to make the cut to compete in the annual Bingham Cup tournament, which draws participants from 15 countries. Overly artsy profiles of Aki, Pearse, and Brennan reveal familiar themes of exclusion and bullying of gay athletes in their youth and within mainstream sports teams, and the opportunity provided by gay leagues for players to find acceptance and camaraderie. Running at only about an hour, the well-intentioned doc feels underdeveloped, however, assuming audiences will have familiarity with rugby and its gameplay, as well as with the gay rugby circuit, making this most appropriate for an insider LGBT audience rather than a general one.

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On DVD: THE CAGE FIGHTER

New to DVD this week:
THE CAGE FIGHTER

Director:
Jeff Unay

Premiere:
True/False 2017

Select Festivals:
New Orleans, Sheffield, AFI Docs, Camden, San Francisco, Seattle, Palm Springs, Milwaukee, Sidewalk

About:
A man risks his family and safety to return to the mixed martial arts arena.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD/VOD: MY LETTER TO THE WORLD

Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, June 12:
MY LETTER TO THE WORLD

Director:
Solon Papadopoulos

Premiere:
Bermuda 2017

About:
A consideration of the life and writing of Emily Dickinson.

Made as a companion piece to Terence Davies’ Dickinson biopic, A QUIET PASSION, Papadopoulos’ project is an informative but workmanlike project that aims to dig deeper into the historical record of the poet’s life and work. Decidedly better suited to the small screen, given its heavy usage of expert talking heads, the doc could have benefited from more generous and creative usage of clips from Davies’ well-received drama. Actress Cynthia Nixon, who portrayed the poet in the latter, here resumes the role, voicing Dickinson’s poems and letters; while helping to enliven the affair, the result nevertheless feels a bit old-fashioned and cements the project as decidedly niche and unlikely to attract those not already ardent admirers of the poet.

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On DVD: THE GOOD POSTMAN

Being re-issued on DVD today, Tuesday, June 12:
THE GOOD POSTMAN

Director:
Tonislav Hristov

Premiere:
IDFA 2017

Select Festivals:
Sundance, Full Frame, Human Rights Watch, Docaviv, Zagrebdox, One World, Thessaloniki Doc, Encounters, Bergen, Dokufest, Flahertiana, Shanghai, Göteborg, Movies That Matter, Docs Against Gravity

About:
An exploration of Europe’s refugee crisis through the lens of a Bulgarian village’s mayoral election.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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