For someone who understands the punk rock world so well, Alex Cox is very quick to tear the nostalgia shades off of the viewers to depict a meeting of two lovers that was so intense it resulted in an unfortunate murder. “Sid and Nancy” are often romanticized by music lovers even to this day, but Alex Cox who brought us the masterpiece “Repo Man,” looks behind the gloss, picturing two unbearable, but real individuals. Director Cox paints a brilliant picture of two people spiraling in to oblivion, with a remarkable drama that’s less a biopic and more a chronicle of two doomed lovers. Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen are a lot to drink in. From the moment we meet them, they’re loud, they’re parasitic and disgusting, but they form a relationship where they understand each other. In many ways they decided that they need each other to survive.
“The Room” has been celebrated a hundred times over, ad nauseaum, since it became a small midnight movie hit years after its initial release. Since then every critic and columnist far and wide has had their chance with it, and every respective movie buff has seen it, combed over it, and even read the book “The Disaster Artist.” Based on the film’s co-star Greg Sestero’s experiences with its eccentric director and working on the inexplicably demanding film, “The Disaster Artist” by director James Franco and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Webe, is a love letter to Wiseau’s ambition that asks why.
The preparation Jim Carrey undertook to play Andy Kaufman has often bee cited as a surreal experience that went oddly under reported and barely discussed. In 1998, Jim Carrey played iconic stand up comedian and performer Andy Kaufman for a biopic and embodied the man in every form, refusing to break character even between takes. For years the studio behind “Man on the Moon” hid the footage recorded of Jim Carrey on set of the Andy Kaufman film to avoid bad press for the actor. Nowadays with the man known as Jim Carrey shunning Hollywood, “Jim & Andy” is a glimpse at how he crossed that road, and how it began with Andy Kaufman.
From director Pablo Bryant, this documentary mixes interviews with a lot of visual material, giving a good idea of who Mr. Fish is, how he thinks, and how he creates. The film covers his life from childhood until now and shows not only how he works but also his home life which has an influence on his work and vice versa. This is done in a way that gives a good, unobstructed view of things and lets the viewer make their own mind as to if Mr. Fish is doing things right or not. Of course, the film does come at the subject from a specific angle and has its own agenda, but that does not keep it from having an openness about its subject.
Touko Laaksonen was an army officer and diligent brother who had a talent for drawing muscular men in various revealing outfits. Known as Tom of Finland, he was once arrested for his drawings before finding popularity and fame in the United States.
“44 Pages” isn’t just an important documentary, but it’s perhaps one of the most life affirming and entertaining made in a while. Centered on the “Highlights” magazine writing team as they prepare for the 70th Anniversary issue of the publication, “44 Pages” is a long overdue exploration of the classic children’s magazine. Director Tony Schaff brings us along to discover how the magazine was created, and how it’s created today. There’s also an interesting exploration in how the magazine has managed to stay alive in the age of digital media, and what it’s done to remain relevant and a key tool in educating children around the world.
Louis Black and Karen Bernstein’s Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny is a remarkable documentary and biography of one of the most acclaimed and innovative filmmakers working today. More of a tribute by Austinites to a hero from Austin Texas who made good and managed to claim success without sacrificing too much of his own artistic vision, Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny takes an interesting and new look at the work of one of my favorite directors working in film today. I’ve made no secret that Linklater is one of my personal film heroes and easily my favorite writer working in cinema right now, and I’ve found most of the documentaries and work surrounding his legacy and career to be absolutely entertaining and often times stimulating.
Written by Christopher Leeson and directed by Josh Wong, this documentary follows a band as they record an album in an abandoned home in the Canadian Prairies. One of them finds this place while driving and brings the rest back to record a more natural, organic album in terms of sound and how it comes to be. The film follows these men and looks into their lives through interviews and music. The men shown include Adam Naughler, Jon May, Blake Reid, Aaron Young, and Jason Valleau who all work on the album together and have their lives and hopes discussed by themselves and others.