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The Bootleg Files: The Compleat Beatles

BOOTLEG FILES 606: “The Complete Beatles” (1982 documentary).

LAST SEEN: It can be found via online video sites.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS and LaserDisc.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The cute Beatle kiboshed it.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Yeah, yeah, yeah…not!

In the aftermath of the December 1980 murder of John Lennon, there was a huge outpouring of nostalgia for all things Beatles. Record sales of the classic albums spiked, and a wave of news coverage recalled the legendary band’s impact on music and popular culture.

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Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle (2017) [Toronto International Film Festival 2017]

Julita’s lifelong dream was to have lots of kids, a monkey, and a castle. She achieved all of these. Now, her son, actor Gustavo Salmerón has made a documentary on her life showing how she got to getting her dream realized, how the castle became cluttered with all kinds of mementos and things, and how things changed once she had to move out of the castle.

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44 Pages (2017)

“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.

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American Masters: Richard Linklater — Dream is Destiny (2017)

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.

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No Roads In (2017) [Oceanside International Film Festival 2017]

No Roads In is a music documentary but also one about how music can transform lives.

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.

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My Father’s House: A Journey of Love and Memory (2017)

Hannah Reimann’s nonfiction short is a video diary of the final four years in the life of her father, Dr. Peter Reimann, whose life was slowly weakened by dementia.

The German-born Dr. Reimann served as a medic in the German Army during World War II – the film briefly states he was anti-Nazi, but never goes into depth on his war record. He married Korean psychoanalyst Dr. Myunghee Kim in 1957, eventually settling in New Jersey. Dr. Kim’s death in a car accident during a 1996 vacation in Chile was an emotional loss from which Dr. Reimann never truly recovered, and the sense of melancholy resonates throughout his on-camera footage. When asked during a birthday what it means to turn 89, he responds, “You didn’t die at the right time.”

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