“Apollo 11” is a Masterpiece

“Apollo 11” is a Masterpiece

Source:  Rolling Stone

It’s easy to think that there’s nothing left to be said, and even less to be seen, about the flight that took place on July 16th, 1969 — one that took three men hundreds of thousands of miles away from earth and let two of them step foot on the moon.

You don’t have to have seen the Oscar-nominated “For All Mankind” (1989), or any other documentaries about the space race to recall the sight of our big blue earth as seen from the Apollo 11’s passenger-side portal.

You don’t even need to have sat through last year’s biopic “First Man” to picture Neil Armstrong shuffling across the Sea of Tranquility.

Some 50 years after that fact, these sounds and images are permanently burned into our collective consciousness.  What can be gained by revisiting them for the gajillionth time?

You can’t be blamed for thinking any of this going into “Apollo 11,” filmmaker Todd Douglas Miller’s chronicle of the landmark event.

By the time you leave the theater 93 minutes later, however, you’ll wonder how we were ever able to properly consider this historical occasion without this film.

“Apollo 11” doesn’t just feel like a movie. It gives you the sensation that you’ve been transported right into the middle of history.

Visit Fandango for theater locations and times.

Read the story at Rolling Stone.

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A new Smithsonian Channel documentary tells the history of the real Green Book

A new Smithsonian Channel documentary tells the history of the real Green Book

Source:  Business Insider

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, “Green Book” has been a focus for critics and audiences this awards season — for both negative and positive reasons — but a new Smithsonian Channel documentary aims to focus the conversation on the real Green Book, a pre-civil-rights-era travel guide for African Americans throughout the U.S.

“The Green Book: Guide to Freedom” recounts the history of the Negro Motorist Green Book, a history that the movie only briefly references.

Created in 1936 by Victor Green, a postal worker from Harlem, the Green Book originated as a guide to businesses in New York City that welcomed African Americans customers.

In the years that followed, it evolved into a country-spanning travel and vacation guide that ultimately included over 900 locations (only one third of which are still standing, according to the documentary).

“The Green Book: Guide to Freedom” premieres on the Smithsonian Channel on February 25.

Read the story at Business Insider.

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Stunning trailer for “Apollo 11” provides a first look at never-before-seen footage of the 1969 moon landing

Stunning trailer for “Apollo 11” provides a first look at never-before-seen footage of the 1969 moon landing

Source:  Gizmodo

Last year, the filmmakers behind “Apollo 11” were discussing making a documentary to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, when an archivist informed them that extensive, unseen 70mm footage of the mission existed at the National Archives.

The footage became the basis for “Apollo 11,” and now we’re getting our first look at the film with a new trailer.

In December, “Apollo 11” director Todd Douglas Miller told Vanity Fair that Dan Rooney, an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration, knew the footage was boxed up in a vault somewhere, but he had no idea what kind of treasure he was sitting on.

As NASA was preparing for the Apollo 11 launch, it made a deal with MGM Studios to film the mission’s preparations and its aftermath.

MGM set up a crew to film it all using the same epic Todd-AO 70mm treatment it gave to blockbusters like “The Sound of Music.”

Six weeks before the launch, MGM lost interest, but NASA wanted to go through with it anyway and managed to get the crew filming.

Some of the footage was used in a short documentary, but most of it was locked away. Now it’s coming to the big screen along with audio culled from 11,000 hours worth of uncatalogued recordings.

Read the story at Gizmodo.

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“Who Will Write Our History” is a vital Holocaust documentary

“Who Will Write Our History” is a vital Holocaust documentary

Source:  The New York Times

“Who Will Write Our History” recounts a bold story of Nazi resistance. And inside that one story are countless others, each immensely important.

After German forces imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a band of writers and scholars code-named Oyneg Shabes (The Joys of Shabbat) began a mission to smuggle reports of atrocities to the outside world, and to document their lives and culture in the hope that they would be remembered.

Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum, the men and women recorded eyewitness accounts and collected items — drawings, posters, poems — from daily life during the Holocaust.

They sealed thousands of pages in containers, which they buried beneath buildings not long before the ghetto was burned and almost everyone there murdered.

Read the story at The New York Times.

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New two-part documentary series traces the history of American fashion. Premieres tonight on CNN.

New two-part documentary series traces the history of American fashion. Premieres tonight on CNN.

Source:  The Washington Post

A generic gray flannel suit epitomized the tradition-bound 1950s. The 1940s war effort was made personal by women’s stingily crafted dresses — cut so as to leave ample fabric for uniforms, parachutes, and everything else needed during World War II.

Fashion has always reflected social change. But over the last few years, its symbolism, its intellectual resonance, and its joyous verve have been enjoying newfound respect.

Now, fashion gets its own four-part docuseries on CNN. “American Style” begins tonight with two episodes and concludes Jan. 20. The cable news channel has turned its attention to fashion as a way of exploring the decades from the 1940s to now.

“American Style” zips through fashion history, pausing along the way to draw connections between zoot suits and racism, miniskirts and sex, Sunday bests, and the Civil Rights movement.

Read the story at The Washington Post. 

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Peter Jackson’s WWI doc “They Shall Not Grow Old” set for wider release after initial box office success

Peter Jackson’s WWI doc “They Shall Not Grow Old” set for wider release after initial box office success

Source:  Paste

Peter Jackson’s acclaimed new World War I documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” has been lighting up the box office in limited release.

Released by Fathom Events, which specializes in one-day releases such as opera performances and live Rifftrax performances, the film has made a rather incredible $5.4 million in only two days of screenings.

Suffice to say, for a historical documentary these are pretty eye-popping figures, and they more than justify a wider release for the film.

As such, Warner Bros. will launch a limited theatrical release of “They Shall Not Grow Old” in NYC, L.A. and Washington D.C. beginning on January 11, with plans to expand into 25 more markets on Feb. 1.

Read the story at Paste.

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