On August 3, 1964, a month after “A Hard Day’s Night” helped the world fall even more in love with the Beatles, the BBC offered their rabid fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Fab Four’s film debut with “Follow the Beatles.”
The Robert Robinson-narrated documentary showed off even more of the Beatles’ charming and witty personalities, and revealed some interesting insights and perspectives on the making of the film classic.
“I have always felt that time passes more slowly in Chile,” says Patricio Guzmán early in “The Cordillera of Dreams” (La Cordillera de los Sueños), which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The latest film by the Chilean-born, Paris-based director is positioned as the final installment in a trilogy that also includes his late-career triumphs “Nostalgia for the Light” (Nostalgia de la Luz, 2010) and “The Pearl Button” (El Botón de Nácar, 2015).
Like them, “The Cordillera of Dreams” uses Chile’s natural beauty as a starting point for a reflection on the country’s past and present, including the scars of Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship and its attendant murders, disappearances, and forced exiles.
Working with an essayist blend of original and archival footage, interviews, and voiceover, the film is explicitly concerned with the passage of time, and how such distance serves to both forestall justice for the crimes of the past and risk supporting their reemergence.
“The Cordillera of Dreams” is currently awaiting theatrical release. “Nostalgia for the Light” and “The Pearl Button” are available on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.
An alternative reading of French rock history is given in “Oh les filles” (“Haut les filles”), from French journalist-turned-director Francois Armanet, and as the title suggests, it tells the story from a female point-of-view.
The non-fiction feature posits that rock-and-roll history did not start with Elvis Presley in the early 1950s but with Edith Piaf’s heart-rending rendition of Hymne a l’Amour in late 1949, on the day her lover, middleweight boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, died in a plane crash.
It’s an audacious alternative that launches this documentary portrait of ten female singers active from then until now, with names interviewed including chanteuse and style icon Francoise Hardy, avant-garde music icon Brigitte Fontaine, and actress-singers Charlotte Gainsbourg and Vanessa Paradis.
“Oh les filles” (“Haut les filles”) recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Chernobyl disaster has been brought back to the forefront of people’s minds in recent weeks, thanks to the success of HBO series, “Chernobyl,” which provided a much-lauded dramatized account of what happened on April 26, 1986.
While the series did paint quite an accurate depiction of what happened in Chernobyl, Sky News’ “The Real Chernobyl” digs a little deeper.
The documentary recently premiered on Sky TV and is available to watch for free above.
The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of its kind in Europe – but the story of its inhabitants has always been told using Nazi footage, until now.
Never-before-seen footage shot by amateur Polish filmmaker Alfons Ziolkowski in 1941 shows what life was like for Jews inside the ghetto – from children smuggling food, to a dying man on the sidewalk, to Nazi guards dishing out beatings.
The 10-minute film is the only known footage of the ghetto that was not recorded by Nazis, and provides an invaluable historical record of the Jewish experience there.
The rare footage is included in Eric Bednarski’s hour-long documentary “Warsaw: A City Divided.”
“I don’t run away from nothing, I run to it,” says Gemma, the quietly resilient teenager at the center of “Scheme Birds.”
Few would blame her for doing the reverse, having been abandoned in infanthood by her parents in the harsh projects of Motherwell, a deprived, lusterless Scottish town a few miles outside Glasgow.
It’s a home that does little to reward her loyalty, yet at the outset, at least, there’s nowhere Gemma would rather be. Admitting that she expects to spend her whole life in this deprived corner of Motherwell, she then breaks sunnily with glum kitchen-sink tradition by saying she hopes never to leave.
That will change, as will many aspects of her life, by the end of Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin’s superb documentary, an alternately lyrical and gut-punching coming-of-age study in which girls like Gemma become women — and wounded women at that — altogether too soon.
“Scheme Birds,” recently won the top prize in the Best Documentary Feature category at the Tribeca Film Festival.