Winehouse, Brando and Farley among the famous getting big screen treatment.
There are issue documentaries and personality documentaries-- and occasionally a combination of the two-- citizenfour being a prime example. Coming soon to theaters and TV screens are several of each kind of documentary which are entertaining, compelling and informative.
>Amy directed by Asif Kapadia. The film about the late singer Amy Winehouse is among the most buzzed-about documentaries of the year, winning strong reviews from Variety and Vanity Fair, among others. But the Winehouse family isn't pleased, releasing a statement "dissociating" itself from the production, which the family calls a "missed opportunity." Trailer here
>Cartel Land directed by Matthew Heineman. Donald Trump's recent comments notwithstanding, the catastrophic drug-related violence in Mexico has mostly slipped from US headlines in the past couple of years. Cartel Land will help remind you how desperate the situation is.
Heineman risked his life to go on the ground in the midst of the drug war, uncovering thick layers of moral ambiguity. His hero is Dr. Jose Mireles, a physician in the state of Michoacán, who forms a citizen militia, the "Autodefensas," to combat the drug cartels. Meanwhile, in Arizona, ex-army man Tim "Nailer" Foley forms a paramilitary operation of his own to police the cartels north of the border.
Dynamic and visceral filmmaking. Opens NYC July 3 and LA July 10. Trailer here
In "What Happened, Miss Simone?" Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus delves deeply intro the troubled star behind "Mississippi Goddam" and "I Put a Spell on You."
Is Is it possible to be widely considered brilliant, yet still be under-appreciated? Such is arguably the case with Nina Simone, a singer of worldwide renown but probably not among the names that come to mind when thinking of the greatest women singers of the 20th century (Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and even Aretha Franklin would rank ahead of her on most top five lists).
I have to live with Nina and that is difficult.
But the new documentary "What Happened, Miss Simone?", directed by Liz Garbus, paints a picture that may convince many that Simone was a musical genius and a vastly underrated talent. The film premieres on Netflix June 26 after making its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January.