Eric Dow’s “Behind the Mask” should be seen by every aspiring filmmaker out there as a course on how to navigate Hollywood and how to basically approach any kind of endeavor involving the Hollywood system. Sandy Collora is a consistently fascinating and interesting artist who has been making waves online for years thanks to his amazing special effects and consistent efforts to get a movie made. He’s also one of the forefathers of the fan film who helped make fan films not only legitimate works of cinematic art, but also a cause for Hollywood to take notice. Sandy Collora, for those unaware, is a brilliant and talented special effects artist who spent years hoping to emulate his favorite creators including Batman artist Neal Adams.
This documentary shows the rise to fame of The Alarm member Mike Peters, the slowdown of his career, his fight with cancer, and how he turned all it around by helping the cancer cause and getting back into performing.
Documentary filmmaker Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself), began this nonfiction feature as his UCLA thesis project and finished it a decade later; it was rejected by the Los Angeles PBS station that helped finance the project, but later had a brief theatrical release before mostly vanishing from circulation until its 2013 restoration and 2015 inclusion on the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.
Kristi Jacobson’s HBO-aired documentary goes inside the segregation units at Red Onion State Prison, a supermax facility located in rural Virginia. The convicts incarcerated here are among the most violent in the penal system – and while they initially come across as articulate and charismatic in their on-camera interviews, the insouciant manner in how they detail the carnage that landed them behind bars is more than a little unsettling.
In Cleveland, a murderer and rapist is accumulating victims while people do not seem to care about the missing women. This documentary explores his victims, through surviving family members and, most importantly, through surviving victims. This is done with interviews, court footage, and information written on the screen.
Brooke Guinan is the first transgendered woman firefighter in the FDNY, something that has come with challenges beyond her transitioning and her private struggles. Now seen as an example of a courage and tenacity, she tells her story through showing her life and interviews.
For the first time since the sport has been played around the world, the World Box Lacrosse Championships were held on an Indian Reservation. Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation explores the road to these championships, the sport’s history, and what it means to the Indian nations.
BOOTLEG FILES 591: “Afrique 50” (1950 French documentary short by René Vautier).
LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never officially released in the U.S.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It would be welcomed.
In 1949, a newly-minted film school graduate named René Vautier received his first big break when the Ligue de l’enseignement commissioned him to create a nonfiction film highlighting its educational mission in France’s West African colonies. Upon arriving in the French African colonies, the 21-year-old Vautier did not find evidence of French benevolence in Africa. Instead, he witnessed a degree of economic exploitation and repressive rule over people who were slowly simmering in their resentment of colonial occupation. As a decorated member of the French Resistance during World War II and a Communist Party member, he was not about to sit back and just tsk-tsk this situation.