One death is a tragedy, and a million deaths is a statistic. If that is true, states narrator Dylan Mohan Gray in his directorial debut Fire In The Blood, then this is a story about statistics - the shocking, and shockingly recent, statistics regarding the unjust provision of AIDs medication around the world, and the incomprehensible number of deaths that could have been prevented in Africa were it not for the questionable values of the profit-driven West.
The teaser trailer for Morgan Spurlock's 1D3D documentary has arrived, bringing with it hysterical teenagers, generic pop songs and more than a little incredulity.
Two years ago Senna, which profiled the Brazilian F1 champion, far exceeded box office expectations when it captured the imagination of people with absolutely no interest in racing. McCullin similarly profiles an extraordinary talent who is not as well-known to the general public as he should be and the film deserves to reach as big an audience.
Following a number of thematically similar documentaries (see: Deliver Us From Evil, Hand of God), Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God delves into the root of the Church sex abuse scandal to the first known public protests in the US. Director Alex Gibney not only exposes the sickening abuse of power seen in the priesthood but also reveals the twisted and utterly astounding ways in which the highest echelons of the Vatican protect and abet its criminals.
As a film fan, it is always heartening to know that great cinema is being protected. The great, lost films of history are a real sticking point for any connoisseur of the art form, so this is why I love The National Film Preservation Board so much.
The organisation has made its annual selection of 25 films to join the National Film Registry, with prints to be housed and preserved in the Library of Congress, recognised forever as important works of American film.
It sounds, to say the least, like an unlikely mix – a young Swedish filmmaker, a cast of South African music geeks, and an obscure Detroit singer-songwriter of Mexican descent. But that's not the half of it, because this acclaimed documentary tells a tale that absolutely boggles the mind. It's like The Truman Show with acoustic guitars.
I'm not from round these parts and, I’ll be honest, I knew nothing about Status Quo. I wasn’t even sure if I knew any of their songs or what they looked like. I was vaguely aware of their existence and was pretty sure they were a rock band and that’s all I had going in to this. Coming out? I definitely know who Status Quo are and nearly everything about them and that’s the issue I had with this documentary. For a diehard fan this is a treasure trove of interviews, facts, anecdotes and anything you would ever want to know about the band and their long history together. For the uninitiated it drags on too long, from their early beginnings right up to the present day. It clocks in at over 150 minutes and by the end of it I was just pleased it had finished.
Samsara is a Sanskrit word seen in various Asian religions referring to the perpetual cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Through glorious 70mm film, Fricke transports his camera far and wide to find the connections, sometimes abstract and sometimes less so, that link humanity and its life cycle to that of the natural world.
Fifteen to twenty years ago there was a music news show on the BBC called the Ozone. One episode featured an interview with Bjork where she confessed to having a huge crush on David Attenborough from listening to his voice on nature documentaries. Awww, that's sweet isn't it?
NO! It's not. Fast forward to 2012 and that innocent crush has developed into a worrying obsession.
Lost at the Multiplex had the good fortune to be part of a roundtable with Malik Bendjelloul and Rodriguez, director and star of the feature length documentary Searching for Sugar Man. Scooping up awards all around the world (including the Sundance People’s Choice) Bendjelloul’s feature debut follows the story of a 1970s Detroit musician simply known as Rodriguez and the impact of his two albums on white liberal South Africans of the Apartheid era. Bendjelloul is a slim Swede full of nervous, happy energy and he makes an interesting contrast with the star of his film. Dressed in a tuxedo suit without a neck tie, Rodriguez pushed his ever present sunglasses up into his dark hair and was as enthusiastic as Bendjelloul for the documentary about his life and 'death.'