Category Archives: Releases

On DVD: LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY

New to DVD this week:
LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY

Director:
Frank W Chen

Premiere:
Los Angeles Asian Pacific 2018

Select Festivals:
NY Asian American International, San Francisco CAAMFest

About:
A former NY Yankee and Taiwanese hero attempts a comeback.

Celebrated as the first Taiwanese NY Yankee, earning him national praise in his homeland as “the Pride of Taiwan,” Chien-Ming Wang had a successful, if short, stint with that team before injuries derailed his path. Though he bounced between other teams after the Yankees, Wang’s injuries largely kept him from major league play, forced instead into instructional or minor leagues. Chen’s portrait picks up as he struggles to return to the majors, facing the challenges of competing against younger players, separation from his family, and the disappointment and fear of being a hasbeen. While sympathetic to its subject, the doc unfortunately is overlong and never digs particularly deeply into Wang’s motivation in the face of little reward and seemingly little chance of success, but should still resonate with diehard baseball fans.

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On TV: GARRY WINOGRAND: ALL THINGS ARE PHOTOGRAPHABLE

Photograph by Judy Teller | Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

Coming to PBS’s American Masters tomorrow, Friday, April 19:
GARRY WINOGRAND: ALL THINGS ARE PHOTOGRAPHABLE

Director:
Sasha Waters Freyer

Premiere:
SXSW 2018

Select Festivals:
San Francisco, New Zealand, Thin Line, Vancouver, Haifa

About:
A history and appreciation of acclaimed street photographer.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: JOSEPH PULITZER: VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

New to DVD this week:
JOSEPH PULITZER: VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

Director:
Oren Rudavsky

Premiere:
Mill Valley 2018

Select Festivals:
Cleveland, Hot Springs Doc, Thin Line, Sedona, Sebastopol Doc, Atlanta Jewish, New York Jewish

About:
The rags-to-riches story of the Hungarian immigrant turned American media giant.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD/VOD: STANDING UP

New to DVD and VOD this week:
STANDING UP

Director:
Jonathan Miller

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2017

Select Festivals:
Galway, DocuWest, AmDocs, Jewish fests in Toronto, Silicon Valley, Vancouver, and Washington

About:
A profile of three aspiring stand-up comics in NYC.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
So an Egyptian lawyer, a couch-surfing custodian, and an Orthodox Jew walk into a comedy club… and end up in a documentary. This appealing film follows these three unlikely aspiring stand-up comics, willing to risk everything in pursuit of their dreams of making it in comedy. Director Jonathan Miller tells their story with warmth and humor, taking us into the heart of New York City’s downtown open-mic scene, where would-be comics put it all on the line for laughs.

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In Theatres: HAIL SATAN?

Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, April 17:
HAIL SATAN?

Director:
Penny Lane

Premiere:
Sundance 2019

Select Festivals:
Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, Full Frame, San Francisco, What The Fest!?, Salem, Boston Underground, Freep, Sidewalk

About:
A provocative exploration of the separation of church and state through the unlikely rise of the Satanic Temple religious movement.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On DVD/VOD: ANOTE’S ARK

Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, April 16:
ANOTE’S ARK

Director:
Matthieu Rytz

Premiere:
Sundance 2018

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, Vision du Reel, Docs MX, Black Nights Tallinn, Human Rights Watch, Big Sky Doc, Thin Line Doc, Washington DC Environmental, Movies That Matter, Cleveland, Minneapolis, LA Asian Pacific, DocLands, DOXA, Docs Against Gravity, Doc Edge, Mountainfilm

About:
An intimate chronicle of the consequences of climate change on a disappearing island nation.

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

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On DVD: SEALAB

Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, April 16:
SEALAB

Director:
Stephen Ives

Premiere:
American Experience (February 2019)

About:
The story of the pioneering US Navy project which expanded the limits of deep sea diving.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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