It’s a movie-going experience that’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t previously seen one of nonfiction filmmaker Sam Green’s live documentaries.
In his latest piece, a collaboration with the Kronos Quartet titled “A Thousand Thoughts,” the big screen plays home to interviews and archival images that audiences would expect to see in a traditional documentary. On stage, the Kronos Quartet appear live to perform the film’s score, while Green himself narrates the film.
Green has made traditional documentaries like “Weather Underground,” but his live projects have been entirely conceived and executed as purely live events.
Not only will “A Thousand Thoughts” never be available on Netflix or anywhere else, it’s the nonfiction streaming boom that inspired Green to create these unique theatrical events.
Coachella turned 20 this year, but prior to 2018, no African-American woman had headlined the arts and music festival’s main stage.
It feels appropriate that Beyoncé, quite possibly the biggest artist in the world today, was the one to make history, and in doing so, she metaphorically took the festival’s 250,000 ticket holders to school.
Featuring a song list peppered with empowering quotations from black intellectuals and a set designed to look like the most elaborate NCAA halftime show of all time, Ms. Knowles-Carter celebrated historically black colleges and universities — and black identity and excellence — in a space, and to an audience, that no one had before.
“Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village.
The film sounds earnest and touching in a minor, twilight-of-the-1960s way. Yet the beauty of the film as directed by documentary veteran Ron Mann (“Comic Book Confidential,” “Grass,” “Altman”), is what a stubbornly off-the-beat concoction it is.
If Jim Jarmusch ever made a documentary, it might look exactly like this one. Actually, Jarmusch has made a documentary, the 2016 Iggy Pop and the Stooges profile “Gimme Danger” (a solid film, though surprisingly conventional), but rather if Jarmusch ever made a documentary as delectable and eccentric in its minimalist vibe as his fiction features.
In “Carmine Street Guitars,” the characters are characters, the way they were in Errol Morris’s “Gates of Heaven.” You react to them as if they’d stepped out of a folk fable, and that’s the film’s quiet intoxication.
The official trailer for Oscar-winner Ron Howard’s biographical documentary “Pavarotti” begins with an off-camera voice asking the titular singer how he wants to be remembered in 100 years.
Though the Italian opera legend pauses and the footage cuts before he can answer, what follows makes the case for him—celebrating his rise to prominence as a world-renowned vocalist who sold over 100 million records, as well as highlighting the personal anxieties that humanized him behind the scenes.
From the same filmmaking team behind “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years,” “Pavarotti” includes intimate footage from several of the late singer’s live performances as well as interviews and never-before-seen footage filmed prior to his death in 2007.
One day after whipping Beyoncé fans into a frenzy with a mysterious tease on social media for a new project titled “Homecoming,” Netflix leveled up and released the official trailer for a documentary on the singer’s celebrated 2018 Coachella set.
Per Netflix, “Homecoming” presents an intimate look at Beyoncé’s historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities. Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, “Homecoming” traces the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement.”
The comparatively small but — in musical terms — hugely important geographical area called Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles is profiled in the documentary, “Echo in the Canyon.”
Directed by Andrew Slater, the film details how the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, and the Mamas and the Papas birthed the still influential “California sound” there in the mid-1960s.
The film features contributions from Brian Wilson, Michelle Phillips, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Roger McGuinn, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, and the late Tom Petty in his final on-camera interview.
“Echo in the Canyon” opens in Los Angeles on May 24 and New York City on May 31.