Apple TV+ acquires Billie Eilish documentary for $25 million

Apple TV+ acquires Billie Eilish documentary for $25 million

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Billie Eilish’s big 2019 is culminating in a deal with Apple TV+ for a documentary that comes with a $25 million price tag, according to multiple sources.

The documentary, which has already been filmed, was directed by R. J. Cutler (“The September Issue,” “The World According to Dick Cheney”) and produced in collaboration with Eilish’s label, Interscope Records, for a budget that one source pegs as between $1 million and $2 million.

The film is expected to follow the 17-year-old singer-songwriter in the wake of the release of her album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” released in March 2019.  Cutler was allowed access to Eilish’s private moments with her family and to the behind-the-scenes of her public appearances.

The documentary will be available through Apple TV+ instead of Apple Music, which has previously released documentary projects such as Taylor Swift’s “The 1989 World Tour (Live)” and Ed Sheeran’s “Songwriter.”

The move signals a blurring of the lines between Apple’s $10 per-month music streaming service and its $5 per-month film and TV offering.

Apple TV+ has not announced a release date for the documentary.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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Cuban heavy metal heroes Zeus confront an uncertain future in “Los Ultimos Frikis”

Cuban heavy metal heroes Zeus confront an uncertain future in “Los Ultimos Frikis”

Source:  Rolling Stone

One of Cuba’s only heavy metal bands, Zeus grapples with shifting cultural tides in the teaser for the upcoming documentary, “Los Ultimos Frikis.”

Zeus formed in Havana during the 1980s when rock music was considered a capitalist threat and was effectively illegal inside Cuba.

It was common for “frikis” — or “freaks” — to be thrown in jail, and Zeus frontman Diony Arce spent six years in prison during the height of the band’s career.

In recent years, however, Cuba’s government has embraced Zeus.  The Ministry of Culture’s Agency of Rock now pays the band’s salaries and recently granted them permission to tour Cuba for the first time in their career.

Directed by Nicholas Brennan, who spent ten years with the band, “Los Ultimos Frikis” is centered around that tour.

But what should be a triumphant run for the long-ignored band instead forces them to confront their place in contemporary Cuban culture — as the outside world begins to filter in, and a younger generation embraces different styles of music.

“Los Ultimos Frikis” will make its world premiere on November 10 at DOC NYC.

Read the story at Rolling Stone.


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“QT8: The First Eight” dives deep into the films that turned Quentin Tarantino into a legend

“QT8: The First Eight” dives deep into the films that turned Quentin Tarantino into a legend

Source:  IndieWire

You know you’ve made it as a filmmaker when they’re making films about you.

After a big year bolstered by the release of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino has now become the subject of yet another film.  Tara Wood tackles Tarantino’s filmography, legacy, and influence in the wide-ranging “QT8: The First Eight,” which appropriately enough digs into the first eight films made by the American auteur.

The film’s zippy first trailer hints at some of the secrets and revelations to come, along with plenty of nods to the future of Tarantino’s filmmaking which he has long hinted would end after ten films, a concept that appears to be gently rebuffed by even his closest pals.

While “Hollywood” is not examined in the film, “QT8” has plenty of material to plow through, from Tarantino’s early days in the industry (at least one interview subject recalls thinking he was just a big film geek), to the successful screenplays he was never able to direct, to the current period, which finds Tarantino hailed as perhaps the best filmmaker of his generation.

“QT8: The First Eight” arrives On Demand on December 3.

Read the story at IndieWire.


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“Mountaintop” chronicles the making of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s new album “Colorado”

“Mountaintop” chronicles the making of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s new album “Colorado”

Source:  Variety

If you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall at a Neil Young recording session, his new film “Mountaintop” puts that desire to the test.

Or at least it severely tried the patience of any unsuspecting dates who were dragged along by Young fans to the film’s one night in North American theaters on Oct. 22, as they realized, possibly to their horror, that the entire film was going to consist of borderline-found footage picked up by stationary cameras in a recording studio where Young and his band Crazy Horse were recording their new album, “Colorado.”

Relationships have broken up under far less stress than the strain that “Mountaintop” puts on couples, when only one partner may think hearing Young yelling at his bandmates and engineers over the audibility of their monitor mixes counts as a fun night out at the movies.

Young is working again under his longstanding filmmaking pseudonym “Bernard Shakey,” a nom de plume that all but advertises that we should never expect what you would call a steady directorial hand at the helm.

In the ultra-vérité “Mountaintop,” Young assumes filmgoers knows why they’re there, so he doesn’t include any on-screen identifying credits or have anyone mention that this is the first album he’s recorded with Crazy Horse in seven years, and the first since old friend Nils Lofgren signed on as a new member.

“Mountaintop” will play for one night on November 28 in theaters in Europe and South America.

Read the story at Variety.


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“What’s Eating Ralphie May?” is a devastating look at the comedian’s final years

“What’s Eating Ralphie May?” is a devastating look at the comedian’s final years

Source:  The Playlist

Longtime comedian and “Last Comic Standing” runner-up Ralphie May gained fame by weaponizing his struggle with his size with his matter-of-fact, blue-collar presentation style.

He wasn’t known for being someone overtly serious with any of his material.  After all, the comedian didn’t make his living grappling with the ups-and-downs of life in such a way that left you crushed.  He made you laugh.

May looks positively exhausted through the new documentary “What’s Eating Ralphie May?” with the laughs growing lesser and lesser as reality begins to set in.

In what set out to be a much lighter, inspirational documentation of May’s life on the road as a major comic and ultimately-scrapped weight loss surgery, Cat Rhinehart’s “What’s Eating Ralphie May?” turns into something much darker, much more sobering and, ultimately, tragic.

May died in 2017 of cardiac arrest caused by hypertensive cardiovascular disease, with the documentary following him roughly two years or so before, as Lahna Turner, his wife and a fellow comedian, and those closest to him begin to realize that May’s fight with obesity and destructive tendencies with his lifestyle habits could finally be catching up with him for good.

“What’s Eating Ralphie May?” recently screened at the Nashville Film Festival.

Read the story at The Playlist.


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Watch Martin Scorsese’s long-lost 1970 documentary “Street Scenes”

Watch Martin Scorsese’s long-lost 1970 documentary “Street Scenes”

Source:  /Film

Martin Scorsese has “The Irishman” premiering at the New York Film Festival this week, but if you want to jump further back (much further back) into his career, you’ve come to the right place.

“Street Scenes,” a long-lost 1970 documentary the legendary filmmaker directed, has finally resurfaced.

The film documents two different protests against the Vietnam War, one in New York City and another in Washington, D.C.

Scorsese worked on the film with fellow NYU students, including Oliver Stone who was one of the camera operators.

Watch “Street Scenes” above or on YouTube.

Read the story at /Film.


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