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Movie Review: The Public Image Is Rotten
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By DougVThem

The Public Image Is Rotten John Lydon

The Public Image Is Rotten (2018)
Documentary
Featuring John Lydon (The Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd)
Directed by Tabbert Fiiller
Abramorama
Release date: September 14, 2018 (New York)

I could never be willful on a farm. The only things you can antagonize are the cows. – John Lydon (Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, 1994)

It was in San Francisco on January 14, 1978 when John Lydon uttered the off the cuff remark that would become the proverbial eulogy of his intentionally sensationalized punk rock band, The Sex Pistols.

“You ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?,” Johnny Rotten snarled at the Winterland Ballroom audience, while his band unceremoniously petered out behind him. Soon after the break up, Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren legally stripped Lydon of his stage name “Johnny Rotten.” After fronting a rock and roll media phenomenon, Lydon soon found himself broke and his public image confiscated.

Talbert Fiiller‘s documentary The Public Image Is Rotten is structured around a series of interviews with the now 62-year-old Lydon recalling, with some uncharacteristic openness, the rises, demises, and ultimate resurrection of his post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Limited (PiL). It’s a complicated tale that spans four decades and features an all-star roster of notable line-up changes.

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Interview: Steve Mitchell, Writer & Director Of ‘King Cohen’
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Interview with Steve Mitchell

King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen is a fantastic new documentary written and directed by Steve Mitchell that covers the life and career of maverick filmmaker Larry Cohen and it opened in NYC this week. Larry Cohen began his career writing TV noir and westerns in the late 1950s and early 1960s before building up a filmography in the 1970s, writing, directing, and producing such genre classics as Black Caesar (1973), It’s Alive (1974), Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), and The Stuff (1985). While Cohen hasn’t directed a feature film since 1996, he has written some popular genre films such as Phone Booth (2002) and Cellular (2004). His IMDb page features over 80 writing credits with over 20 in the director’s chair. I recently got to speak with Mr. Mitchell, who co-wrote the 1980s horror film Chopping Mall, about his new documentary, his goals for the project, and his relationship with the film’s subject.

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Movie Review: King Cohen: The Wild World Of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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King Cohen movie poster banner

King Cohen
The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Written and Directed by Steve Mitchell
Featuring Larry Cohen, Martin Scorsese, J.J Abrams, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, John Landis, Fred Williamson
Dark Star Pictures
Release date: August 3, 2018 (NYC premiere)

Who is Larry Cohen? If you don’t recognize his name, I promise you’ll recognize his films. The now 77-year old has been working in the industry since the late 1950s and evolved from writing noir and western television to become a prolific genre filmmaker. His most prominent works include Black Caesar (1973), It’s Alive (1974), God Told Me To (1976), Q (1982), The Stuff (1985), and Phone Booth (2002). In all he has over 80 writing credits and 20+ directorial efforts. But more than his films was his renegade and rogue filmmaking style. A writer who became a director and producer, Larry Cohen was the consummate hustler and true triple threat. His life and career are now the subject of a phenomenal documentary, King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen, written and directed by Steve Mitchell and put out by Dark Star Pictures.

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Movie Review: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Mr. Rogers Doc Be My Neighbor Review

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Director: Morgan Neville
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, Betty Aberlin, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Negri, David Newell, Junlei Li, François Scarborough Clemmons, Jim Rogers, John Rogers, Betty Seamans, Nick Tallo, Margaret Whitmer
Studio: Focus Features
Rated PG-13 | 94 Minutes
Release Date: June 29, 2018

My family and I went to see “that Mr. Rogers movie.” It’s sad when things like kindness and empathy are considered “weird,” isn’t it? My son incredulously asked, “Was he really that way in real life?” In the documentary, Won’t You be my Neighbor, that question is addressed, and the simple answer is yes. Fred Rogers was that way in real life. He was more as well. In a world of CGI space lords and blockbuster action movies, Fred Rogers is the biggest and best hero of any film in 2018.

More below.

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Movie Review: Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Love and Bananas: An Elephant Story

Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story
Written by Ashley Bell, John Michael McCarthy III, Fernanda Rossi
Directed by Ashley Bell
Featuring Ashley Bell, Lek Chailert, and Noi Na the Elephant
Documentary | 75 Minutes
Abramorama
Release date: April 27, 2018

“You don’t need a bull hook to control an elephant. You can guide an elephant with love… And bananas” – Lek Chailert, Founder of Save Elephant Foundation

You may know Ashley Bell from her roles in 2010’s The Last Exorcism or 2016’s Carnage Park, but her most important role to date by far is bringing to light the true story of Asian elephants in her new documentary Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story. The film saw a small theatrical run during Earth Day week last week and is being released in more theaters on April 27, 2018. Produced, written, directed by and starring Bell, the documentary details the awful treatment of the declining elephant populations in Southeast Asia and her attempts to help in the rescue of one particular elephant, the 70-year-old blind Noi Na.

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Movie Review: Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story banner

Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story
Directed and Produced by Jon Brewer
Documentary featuring David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Angie Bowie, Ian Hunter
Voiceover by David Bowie
Emperor Media Ltd
101 Minutes
Theatrical Release date: September 1, 2017 (Limited)
Blu-ray Release (via Mvd Visual): October 13, 2017

A new documentary on Mick Ronson, the late guitar player who was one of the key figures in the early success of David Bowie when he became a superstar in the early 1970s, has been recently released called Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story. The film, which includes voiceover by Bowie (who passed away in early 2016), attempts to give more of a spotlight to a man who in essence lived in Bowie’s shadow, something which unfortunately also happens here in this documentary, whether it was intentional or not in its presentment.

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Indiegogo Spotlight: Stephen King’s ‘IT’ Documentary ‘Pennywise: The Story Of IT’
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Pennywise Stephen King's IT

If the look of the new movie adaptation of Stephen King’s IT isn’t quite doing it for you and you’d prefer to stick with the 1990 TV miniseries adaptation starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the clown, a new documentary is on the way you’ll be interested in learning about.

The documentary is titled Pennywise: The Story of IT, and aims to dig into the story behind the TV miniseries’ creation. The makers of the doc have obtained over two hours of previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage for the project, and have already set up over 20 interview guests, including the great Tim Curry himself.

Read more about the project and check out the pitch video below.

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Trailer For Documentary ‘I Am Heath Ledger’ Released
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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I Am Heath Ledger Trailer

Believe it or not, in less than a year it will be one decade since Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose in New York. Later that year his unforgettable performance as the Joker was seen by the world when The Dark Knight was released, a performance that would lead to Ledger’s second Academy Award nomination (his first nomination being for his work in Brokeback Mountain), and eventually his first Oscar win.

As part of their “I Am” series, Spike has released a trailer for the upcoming documentary I Am Heath Ledger. The doc looks at the far too short life of the actor through a mixture of videos he filmed of himself, clips of his performances, and interviews with those who knew him.

Continue below to read a synopsis and watch the trailer.

...continue reading »
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Movie Review: Disneynature’s Growing Up Wild
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Disneynature Growing Up Wild

Disneynature’s Growing Up Wild
Digital HD | VOD
Directed and produced by Keith Scholey and Mark Linfield
Narrated by Daveed Diggs
Disneynature | 77 minutes
Release date: December 8th, 2016

Back in 2008, Walt Disney Studios launched Disneynature, a unit of their studios to produce nature documentaries. They have released 8 films on a wide variety of animals, narrated by big name stars such as Meryl Streep and Samuel L. Jackson. Just arriving for the holidays is Growing Up Wild, covering five animal families ranging three continents. The documentary is narrated by Daveed Diggs (Black-ish/The Get Down).

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Movie Review: Borderline
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Borderline Header

Borderline
Directed & Prodeuced by Rebbie Ratner
Cast: Regina, Barbara, David, Charlotte, Christine Foertsch, PhD, John Gunderson, MD, Marsha Linehan, PhD, Antonia New, MD, Mary Zanarini, EdD, Gina Pulice, MSW, Alex F., Leslee G., Rachel J., Elyse K., Terry Lim, Baily M., Monica P., Michelle S.
Produced by Suzanne Mitchell
Exec. Produced by Barbara Kopple
Runtime: 88 minutes
Release date: November 11th, 2016 (NYC Premiere)

“I guess you can say I had a relapse. I threatened to kick a girl’s ass,” are the first words of the film, as one powerful tear rolls down her face. We’ve all done that, but there was much more to that story.

The question she has is: “Do you think only someone borderline would have acted the way I did?”

Borderline is a powerful documentary about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), one that can be characterized by self-harm, outbursts, violence, suicidal thoughts and attempts, and substance abuse. As a result, it is often hard to find diagnosis and treatment. The director, Rebbie Ratner, set to bring this disorder into the light. She “aims to help pull it out of the closet,” having suffered from BPD herself.

More below.

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