In Theatres: EATING ANIMALS

Coming to theatres today, Friday, June 15:
EATING ANIMALS

Director:
Christopher Quinn

Premiere:
Telluride 2017

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, IDFA, CPH:DOX, Docs Against Gravity

About:
An exploration of the impact of factory farming on our food production.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
America’s desire for cheaper, more convenient food has fueled the demise of traditional agriculture and the birth of factory farming. Based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer and produced and narrated by Natalie Portman, this unflinching exposé features hidden-camera footage exposing animal abuse and the toxic conditions under which our food is produced. Christopher Quinn’s film is an eye-opening look at the American food production industry and the devastating costs of our dietary choices.

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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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Frameline 2018: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 42nd Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

Dates:
June 14-24

About:
The longest-running LGBT festival in the world offers over 70 features, nearly half of them nonfiction. Continue reading

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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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Human Rights Watch 2018: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 29th Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Dates:
June 14-21

About:
This year’s edition of the long-running event explores vital human rights issues across 13 nonfiction and one fiction feature. Continue reading

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