A look at one of Chicago’s more troubled South Side neighborhoods from the point of view of two young boxers and their families.
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Michael Winterbottom, celebrated director of 24 Hour Party People, The Road to Guantanamo, and The Trip, joins forces with actor, comedian, and provocateur Russell Brand for that most unlikely of documentary approaches: an uproarious critique of the world financial crisis. Building on Brand’s emergence as an activist following his 2014 book Revolution, where he railed against “corporate tyranny, ecological irresponsibility, and economic inequality,” The Emperor’s New Clothes pairs archival footage with comedic send-ups conducted in the financial centers of London and New York. Brand spotlights not only how the crisis affected the working class around the world, but also how the uber-wealthy benefited from the downturn. With Winterbottom providing his signature ingenuity and pinpoint directorial control, they generate a riveting, boisterous, and, at times, cathartic riff on the extreme disparities between the haves and have nots in contemporary society.
As society tackles the problem of feeding our expanding population safely and sustainably, a schism has arisen between scientists and consumers, motivated by fear and distrust. Food Evolution, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, explores the polarized debate surrounding GMOs. Looking at the real-world application of food science in the past and present, the film argues for sound science and open-mindedness in a culture that increasingly shows resistance to both.
The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites. But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era.
The growing obsession of parents in the scholastic athletic competition of their children is the focus of this first installment in HBO Sports innovative new documentary series. Each new edition spotlights a topic or person whose impact on the sports world is undeniable, opening with a brief overview, followed by a verite documentary and a roundtable discussion.
In 2001 Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first director of photography in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Honorary Oscar. But the first time he clasped the famous statuette in his hand was a half-century earlier when his Technicolor camerawork was awarded for Powell and Pressburger’s Black Narcissus. Beyond John Huston’s The African Queen and King Vidor’s War and Peace, the films of the British-Hungarian creative duo (The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death too) guaranteed immortality for the renowned cameraman whose career spanned seventy years.
Skatopia is an Appalachian farm where hardcore skating, punk rock and hillbilly culture collide in one anarchistic, unique community. Mad-Max style demolition derbies and spontaneous car burning accompany all-night skate sessions. Pain is a badge of honor. Tony Hawk calls Skatopia a “rite of passage” for hardcore skaters. Skatopia’s owner, Brewce Martin, dreamed of a place where he could live and breathe skating… a place where people forget their “outside” lives by plunging into high-energy craziness.
When 35 year old stand-up comedian Steve Mazan learned he was dying of cancer, he dedicated the rest of his life to making his dream come true: performing comedy on The Late Show with David Letterman. This documentary chronicles his five-year journey, as he races his own ticking clock to achieve a nearly impossible goal. Hilarious and heart-breaking, Steve brings a brand-new perspective to living with cancer. This is a story that proves it’s not how much time you have, it’s what you do with it. As Steve says, ‘If you stop chasing your dreams, you’re already dead.’
The Arab Spring in Egypt: From a dictator to free elections, back to a dictatorship. One comedy show united the country and tested the limits of free press. This is the story of Bassem Youssef, a cardiologist turned comedian, the Jon Stewart of Egypt, and his show “The Show”.