documentary film

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Katie Couric Accused of Deceptive Edit in Guns Film

She and documentary maker stand by the final cut

(Newser) - Katie Couric is taking serious flak over the edited version of an interview with gun supporters in a documentary. In Under the Gun, Couric asks the group, "If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?" As this... More »

India Bans Incendiary Rape Documentary

Leslee Udwin had appealed to PM Narendra Modi against 'kneejerk hysteria'

(Newser) - A rapist's utter lack of remorse provoked no small amount of controversy over a coming documentary, and India swiftly responded today by banning India's Daughter outright, reports the New York Times . India won't "allow any organization to leverage" the 2012 gang rape of a woman on... More »

Filmmaker's Interviews With Indian Rapists Horrify

Documentary on murder of Indian woman reveals men's shocking attitudes

(Newser) - Two years ago, medical student Jyoti Singh was brutally gang-raped on a bus in Delhi, India; she died from her injuries almost two weeks later. Now an Israeli-born filmmaker's documentary about the attack, set to air on BBC4 on Sunday and at a New York screening on March 9,... More »

Woman Watching TV Learns of Her Home's Violent Past

Her landlord is the mother of an alleged serial killer, and it only gets worse

(Newser) - When Catrina McGhaw signed a lease on a house in Ferguson, Mo., she didn't think to ask whether she'd be living in a former torture chamber. But when a family member told her to watch a documentary about serial killers on A&E, there was her house—including... More »

Gadhafi Ran School Rape Dungeon, Film Says

Documentary describes late Libyan leader's barbaric ways

(Newser) - Late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's diet of rape and torture is well-documented , but a new film delves deeper into his sexual predilections and habit of keeping dead enemies on ice—literally, the New York Post reports. Mad Dog: Inside the Secret World of Muammar Gaddafi, slated for Showtime this... More »

Forgotten Story of 9/11: World's Biggest Boatlift

Documentary recounts rescue of 500K by water

(Newser) - A 12-minute documentary tells a remarkable but overlooked story from 9/11—the evacuation by water of an estimated 500,000 New Yorkers, reports the Washington Post . The film, Boatlift, recounts how panicked residents made their way to the waterfront in Lower Manhattan and boarded a flotilla of ferryboats, Coast Guard... More »

Pro-Palin Movie Has Too Many Curse Words

... by her critics; director will tone it down before national release in July

(Newser) - A full-length film that paints a halo around Sarah Palin will be released nationally in AMC theaters in July, reports Politico . Palin herself wasn't involved with production of The Undefeated, but director Steve Bannon is an unabashed fan who says he wants to balance Palin's negative coverage—sort... More »

Ken Burns Turns Camera Next to Vietnam

10- to 12-hour documentary will air in 2016

(Newser) - Ken Burns' next project will wade into the quagmire known as America's "war of lost illusions:" Vietnam. PBS announced the project, already in production, yesterday, reports Time, and expects to air it in 2016. Burns mentioned a Vietnam project in 2007 when promoting The War, but said he... More »

Energy Group to Academy: No Oscar for Gasland!

Film includes 'outright falsehoods:' letter

(Newser) - It's not uncommon for industries to try and discredit documentaries that harm their image, but this time, an energy group is appealing directly to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Energy in Depth wants to make sure the Academy knows that Gasland should not be considered for an... More »

Nature Films a Fraud: Producer

They involve rented animals, M&Ms

(Newser) - Swimming with sharks, camping with wolves, blazing through the Everglades—nature documentaries get us so close to the animal kingdom they seem unreal ... and they often are, according to a new tell-all book. Chris Palmer, an executive producer who has spent more than 25 years in the wildlife film industry,... More »

See Alleged Cabbie Attacker's Videos

Some wonder if he had PTSD himself

(Newser) - Michael Enright filmed a lot of videos, none of which gave the slightest hint that he might be the kind of person accused of brutally attacking a cab driver with a knife. But his YouTube shorts (see them in the gallery) do have an interesting through-line—they all deal with... More »

Oliver Stone, NYT Critic Feud Over Bad Review

Filmmaker issues rebuttal, and critic issues his own

(Newser) - Oliver Stone and a New York Times movie critic are feuding over a scathing review of Stone's documentary on Hugo Chavez, South of the Border. It began when the Times' Larry Rohter wrote this piece , in which he accuses Stone of "mistakes, misstatements, and missing details." Stone fired... More »

Babies Big on Cute, Short on Insight

Documentary follows four infants in four countries

(Newser) - Critics are generally won over by Babies, a documentary that follows four infants' first years in San Francisco, Mongolia, Tokyo, and Namibia. Some samples:
  • Wesley Morris, Boston Globe : "As an advertisement for the wonders of figuring out how to be alive, the movie is an engaging proposition."
  • Betsy
... More »

Cove Oscar Winners Stage Sting at LA Sushi Joint

Filmmakers go undercover to find illegal whale meat

(Newser) - The makers of The Cove, the Oscar-winning documentary about dolphin killing in Japan, have aimed their cameras closer to home in a sting to expose illegal whale meat served at a California sushi joint. The operation began in October, when they heard rumors that the Hump, a Santa Monica restaurant,... More »

BET's Michael Vick Project a Little Too Redemptive

Redemption is there in spades, but little talk of horrid crime

(Newser) - Critics agree BET's The Michael Vick Project is conveniently focused more on the NFL star's comeback than on the horrid crime that laid him low in the first place. Still, some find the 8-episode "quasi-documentary" appealing:
  • Vick presents himself as reformed, Robert Lloyd writes in the Los Angeles Times
... More »

By the People Has Access, Little Else

Critics split on virtues of Obama doc with little dish

(Newser) - Critics agree the HBO's By the People, a record of the Obama campaign produced by Edward Norton, offers behind-the-scenes access but no real scoops. But what some see as a heartwarming tale of triumph, others find fawning. A sampling:
  • The naivete of the filmmakers shows through for Hank Stuever . "
... More »

Jacko Rules the World

'This Is It' wears crown as 'Paranormal Activity' heads for $100M

(Newser) - This Is It lived up to its name at the weekend box office, raking in $21.3 million domestically and $101 million internationally. The Michael Jackson documentary's strong showing prompted distributor Sony to extend its original 2-week run by 3 weeks, through Thanksgiving weekend, reports Variety . The sleeper sensation Paranormal ... More »

Michael Moore Attracts His Own Gadflies

Veritable 'cottage industry' of negative docs on documentarian

(Newser) - Michael Moore makes a living speaking truth to power, and an assortment of other filmmakers are lining up to speak truth to him. “There's actually more films made attacking me than films I've made,” he tells the Wall Street Journal. They include Fahrenhype 9/11, Celsius 41.11, Michael ... More »

Good Hair Has a Few Knots

Chris Rock shines as interviewer, but social issues get lost in the weave

(Newser) - Chris Rock is a natural and hilarious interviewer, critics agree. But watchers are split on whether the substance of a rather complicated debate shines through in Big Hair, his documentary on black women and their coifs. A sampling:
  • Rock has helped craft a film with "much good feeling and
... More »

Autistic Surf Pro 'Becomes One With the Wave'

Documentary shows raves, and difficulties, for Clay Marzo, 20,

(Newser) - That a 20-year-old Hawaiian might be among the world’s best surfers isn’t a surprise—but Clay Marzo has Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Just Add Water, a documentary out next month, juxtaposes Marzo’s inability to handle everyday social situations with a seemingly innate mastery... More »

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