“Horror Noire” is the film you have to see right now. If you fancy yourself a horror aficionado, a film buff, or just a lover of history, “Horror Noire” is essential viewing that is long overdue. For a long time we’ve garnered some amazing documentaries that have covered a lot of overlooked chapters in horror cinema, and “Horror Noire” touches upon the most important era, exploring the history of African Americans in horror cinema, and how they evolved from being demonized, to becoming props, right up to becoming genuine heroes.
BOOTLEG FILES 672: “Who’s Out There?” (1975 documentary short hosted by Orson Welles).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On a public domain label.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Produced for the federal government, hence the absence of a copyright.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: One public domain label carries it, but a full-throttle digital restoration is unlikely.
During the 1970s, a great deal of attention was being paid to outer space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) kept people focused on the sky with its various lunar missions and probes into the deepest corners of the galaxy. But many people insisted that space traffic was a two-way endeavor, and sightings of UFOs along with various claims of personal encounters with intergalactic visitors became headline news throughout the decade.
BOOTLEG FILES 671: “Kokoda Front Line!” (1942 Australian newsreel).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived commercial value for the U.S. market.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It can be found on Australian DVD, but it is not likely to be released on a U.S. label.
If you are an Academy Award trivia buff, you will recognize “Kokoda Front Line!” as the first Australian film to win an Oscar. If you are World War II history buff, you will be familiar with the importance of “Kokoda Front Line!” in covering an important battle in the Pacific combat. But if you are not up to speed on either your Oscar factoids or your World War II knowledge, then hopefully you might come away from this week’s column with something worth learning.
I wasn’t aware of the idea of the fan campaign until 1999 when the quest to save the science fiction show “Farscape” made a ton of headlines. I soon realized that what happened wasn’t an isolated incident, especially as “Firefly” earned a ton of fan support. While fan campaigns like petitions and mail in campaigns have become common place on the internet, fan campaigns reach far back before even home computers were ever made available. “United We Fan” is an original and quite fantastic look at the birth of fan campaigns, how the entire concept represents the best of fandom and the fan community, and the destruction of stereotypes that’s followed the concept of fan campaigns for years.
“Tungrus” is a short documentary that you’ll likely never see anywhere else. It’s a documentary about family, about living in confined spaces, and yes, it explores the idea that the possible to answer to a problem is eating the family pet. No seriously. “Tungrus” centers on the large Bharde Family, in Mumbai that lives in a cramped apartment with one another and their pets. After the father brings home a baby chick, the chick manages to survive and grow in to a large rooster.
Director Heidi Yewman does a lot to conjure up awareness of gun violence and has contributed to injecting the reality of gun violence in the public consciousness. With ”Behind the Bullet” she continues that tradition for better and for worse. While “Behind the Bullet” is a documentary that everyone should watch, it’s a documentary people will only be able to see once, as it’s often difficult to endure. It shows us the stark reality of gun violence in four forms, but it’s also so incredibly depressing and soul crushing, and at rare times feels like its intent on shocking us more than informing us.
BOOTLEG FILES 669: “Report from the Aleutians” (1943 U.S. Army documentary directed by John Huston).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube and other online video sites.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There was no copyright filed.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Stuck in public domain hell, but it would be great if this little was digitally restored.
Everyone knows that the Japanese bombed the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. But few people seem to know that the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands in June 1942, which marked the only section of North America was taken over by the Axis forces in World War II.
In 2017, Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule promoted what was promising to be an expensive but highly attended music festival called Fyre. After promising patrons would be given luxury suites and hob knob with models and music stars, news broke when festival goers met with less than accommodating conditions. Chaos would soon ensue as lives were put at risk and public safety became a major concern spawning one of the biggest scandals of the year. The Fyre festival debacle was an event that was begging to be turned in to a film and director Chris Smith chronicles the creation of what promised to be one of the most elite and luxurious music festivals.