mon 06/12/2021

documentary

The Beatles: Get Back, Disney+ review - 1969 revisited in Peter Jackson's three-part documentary

A caption tells us that while filming the Beatles at Twickenham Film Studios in January 1969 for a planned TV broadcast, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg and his crew amassed 60 hours of film and 150 hours of audio recordings. Some of it was seen in...

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The Velvet Underground review - Todd Haynes tunnels through band history

Todd Haynes’ documentary about the Velvet Underground has to be one of the better uses of time by a film-maker during the Covid pandemic. He spent lockdown putting the film together with a team of archivists and editors working remotely. It’s a...

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Oliver Sacks: His Own Life review - a complex portrait of a complex man

It’s well worth tracking down one of the September 29 special cinema screenings of Ric Burns' lovingly made documentary portrait of the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, or seeking it out online. Famous for his vivid, insightful descriptions of...

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Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Born in 1840, Thomas Hardy lived a life of in-betweens. Modern yet traditional, the son of a builder who went on to become a famous novelist, he belonged both to Dorset and London. When he died, his ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey, but his...

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Misha and the Wolves review - tricksy documentary about a child survivor

It has become so hard to find funding for non-fiction films that many documentary makers now feel compelled to sell their stories as racy detective yarns, larded with dramatic scores and sneakily obfuscating narratives. There’s a piece of deception...

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El Father Plays Himself review – a roller coaster ride of mixed emotions

A young film director writes a script based on his father’s life story and invites his dad to play the part. It’s an interesting gambit, given that the son, Jorge Thielen Armand left Venezuela with his mother at the age of 15 and has not returned...

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Reclaiming Amy, BBC Two review - Winehouse family and friends remember

“My worst fear? What am I scared of?” Amy Winehouse ponders. She pauses thoughtfully: “Myself.”Ten years to the day since she died, Reclaiming Amy, Marina Parker’s documentary, remembers and celebrates the singer, revealing the truth as her parents...

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Carlos Ghosn: The Last Flight - Storyville, BBC Four review - the tycoon who fell to earth

The extraordinary story of motor industry executive Carlos Ghosn is a heady combination of power, money, corruption and international politics, with a Mission: Impossible-style ending that carries it over the finishing tape in dramatic style. It...

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Ghislaine Maxwell: Epstein's Shadow, Sky Documentaries review - the iniquitous fall of the tycoon's daughter

Last year, Netflix released Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, a four-part documentary about the notorious financier and convicted sex offender. Now, here’s a Ghislaine Maxwell: Epstein’s Shadow (Sky Documentaries), a three-parter about the woman accused...

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The Reason I Jump review - compelling and controversial

Back in 2017, a non-speaking autistic teen, Naoki Higashida wrote and published The Reason I Jump. He hoped it would offer some insight into the minds of people with autism. The book was subsequently translated by Keiko Yoshida and her husband,...

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Some Kind of Heaven review - a Florida retirement community yields its secrets

In the UK, we usually get a peek inside The Villages in Florida every four years, when intrepid reporters take to their golf carts in the retirement community to test the water in presidential elections among its 132,000 residents. Their views...

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Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation review - genius dogged by disappointment

Kindred literary spirits who overlapped in any number of ways make for riveting stuff in Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation. Filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland folds archival footage of the legendary writers together with...

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