Here’s a first look at Ken Burns’ “Country Music”

Here’s a first look at Ken Burns’ “Country Music”

Source:  The Tennessean

Through his lens, Ken Burns has made epic explorations into “Baseball,” “Prohibition,” and several wars.

Next year, the documentary filmmaker will take audiences on a 16-hour journey through “Country Music.”

The eight-part film is set to premiere on PBS in the fall of 2019 and has been in the works for six years.

It’s only the second Burns project to center on a musical genre, following 2001’s “Jazz.”

Read the story at The Tennessean. 

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HBO announces premiere date for Mr. Rogers doc “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

HBO announces premiere date for Mr. Rogers doc “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Source:  Deadline

HBO will premiere Morgan Neville’s critically acclaimed Fred Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” on February 9.

In addition, HBO will honor Rogers’ contribution and commitment to public television with a special presentation of the film on PBS’ Independent Lens on the same day.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Fred Rogers. The documentary tells the story of the soft-spoken minister, puppeteer, writer, and producer whose show was beamed into homes across America daily for more than 30 years.

In his beloved television program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues in a simple, direct fashion.

There hadn’t been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before, and there hasn’t been since.

Read the story at Deadline.

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New documentary explores the DIY metal scene inside the Navajo Nation

New documentary explores the DIY metal scene inside the Navajo Nation

Source:  Revolver

“There’s a lot of bands, heavy metal bands, on the Navajo reservation. And for some reason this music, this subculture, seems to permeate with the youth,” says Jerold Cecil, manager of Arizona act I Dont Konform. “What Rez Metal is — ‘rez’ is sort of an inside word for ‘reservation.’ Our brand of metal is different than anybody else … it’s blowing up.”

For one week this summer, the Everything Is Stories creative team traveled to the southwest United States and Navajo Nation territory to document the originators of the DIY Rez Metal scene, and profile the bands that are now carrying the torch, including I Dont Konform, Mutilated Tyrant, and Born of Winter.

Watch short documentary, “Metal From The Dirt,” at Revolver. 

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“Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché” tells the story of the world’s first female filmmaker

“Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché” tells the story of the world’s first female filmmaker

Source:  Deadline

Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber has acquired the North American rights for Pamela B. Green’s documentary, “Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché.”

Narrated by Jodie Foster, the film centers on the life and accomplishments of the world’s first female filmmaker and had its world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The film plays like a detective biopic in tracing the career and legacy of the pioneering Guy-Blaché and could not be more timely in this era of women finally beginning to get their due in the movie industry.

The French filmmaker and film executive started in the movie business in 1894 as a secretary at Gaumont Studios for inventor Léon Gaumont and rose to become Head of Production.

In 1896 she wrote, directed, and produced one of the first narrative films ever made, “La Fée aux Choux” (The Cabbage Fairy).

Guy-Blaché directed over a thousand comedies, westerns, dramas that touched on women’s empowerment, child abuse, race, immigration, and sexuality and later owned her own production company, Solax, in New York.

Read the story at Deadline.

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The Most Feared Song in Jazz, Explained

The Most Feared Song in Jazz, Explained

Source:  Vox

John Coltrane, one of jazz history’s most revered musicians, released “Giant Steps” in 1959. It’s known across the jazz world as one of the most challenging compositions to improvise over for two reasons – it’s fast, and it’s in three keys.

Braxton Cook and Adam Neely give Emmy-nominated producer Estelle Caswell a crash course in music theory to help understand this notoriously difficult song, and she’s bringing us along for the ride.

Even if you don’t understand a lick of music theory, you’ll likely walk away with an appreciation for this musical puzzle.

Read the story at Vox.

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“Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams” is a movie both fans and haters will appreciate

“Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams” is a movie both fans and haters will appreciate

Source:  IndieWire

“Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams” is so charming and sincere that it will make you feel bad about mocking the band’s music for the last 16 years (aside from intermittent appreciation for what Brian Eno got out of them on “Viva La Vida,” of course).

Mat Whitecross’ film is more than just a look inside the third-highest grossing concert tour in history, or an intimate portrait of one of the 21st century’s most successful rock bands; it’s also an infectiously upbeat biography of four blessed friends (five, if you count their manager; six if you count Whitecross himself), who conquered the world on the strength of their belief in themselves and each other.

In other words, this feature-length victory lap should be utterly insufferable from start to finish. It isn’t.

Read the story at IndieWire.

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