When the 57 residents of Arizona border town Sangre de Cristo are massacred in a single night in 2011, the sole survivor, a Mexican immigrant, is quickly arrested, charged, and convicted of single-handedly murdering all of them. In 2015, a documentary examines the case and raises questions: Why doesn't the evidence seem to implicate him? Why were people so eager to blame him, no matter how implausibly? And do the horrors captured on the roll of film he shot that night provide a more plausible explanation for the killings? [more inside]
From writer/director Kier-La Janisse (author of House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films comes "a seductive mega-text" (Indiewire) through the history of folk horror. Exploring the rural roots, occult creeds and cultural lore that continue to shape international cinema, this SXSW Audience Award winning documentary features clips from over 200 films and interviews with more than 50 filmmakers, authors and scholars. Severin Films presents this "astounding achievement" (Screen Anarchy) that Rue Morgue calls "an unprecedented journey into where folk horror has been, where it's going and ultimately what it says about humanity." [more inside]
The story of Mugur Călinescu, a Romanian teenager who wrote chalk graffiti messages of protest against the regime of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and was subsequently apprehended, interrogated, and ultimately crushed by the secret police. Radu Jude's film is a bold hybrid, combining archive documentary with a highly theatrical staging of a ‘documentary play’ by Gianina Carbunariu. [more inside]
Fake or Fortune?: Back at the gallery, the plot thickens Season 0, Ep 0
True detective TV brimming with mystery, suspense, and art history. British art dealer and historian Philip Mould pairs with journalist and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce to examine the provenance and attribution of questioned works of art. [more inside]
Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years old, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle-which to date has resisted all of modern science's efforts at cultivation. [more inside]
In 2008, a few of the world's most distinguished Leonardo Da Vinci experts gathered around an easel at the National Gallery in London to examine a mysterious painting: an unassuming Salvator Mundi (Latin for Savior of the World), found in a shady New Orleans auction house, that a select few believed to be a long-forgotten masterwork by Leonardo Da Vinci. That day, Salvator Mundi was authenticated as being the creation of Da Vinci himself, and thus, one of the most beguiling and perplexing stories of the 21st century was set into motion. [more inside]
A documentary about Anthony Bourdain and his career as a chef, writer and host, revered and renowned for his authentic approach to food, culture and travel. (Trailer) [more inside]
"Traces the roots and history of this iconic musical legend with rare live and studio performances of Beefheart, interspersed with contributions from virtually all members of The Magic Band along with a panel of esteemed experts." - Amazon description
From Eric Idle, Neil Innes, George Harrison, and more, came the Rutles: an affectionate parody of Beatlemania, and a musical legend that will last a lunchtime. They were discovered by their manager, Leggy Mountbatten, in a lunchtime disco. Their first album was made in 20 minutes. Their second album took even longer. [more inside]
Musical documentary reimagines the narrative of Baltimore, a city rising above social and economic turmoil to develop a vibrant and close-knit community for the arts through its homegrown sound, Baltimore club music. [more inside]
A career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band. - IMDB
Exterminate All the Brutes: Part One Season 1, Ep 1
Exterminate All the Brutes, from acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro, HBO’s Sometimes in April), is a four-part hybrid docuseries that provides a visually arresting journey through time, into the darkest hours of humanity. Through his personal voyage, Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism — from America to Africa and its impact on society today. Trailer [more inside]
First-time filmmaker and award-winning photographer Sam Jones documents the recording of Wilco's album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." - IMDB
This film is a documentary about the personalities in, and the music of, the early 1980's Los Angeles punk band X. - IMDB
A look at the final moments of a Las Vegas dive bar called 'The Roaring 20s'. Currently available on Kanopy.
A celebration of the musical work of a group of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", a band that provided back-up instrumentals to such legendary recording artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby. - IMDB
"A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded."
The making of Fleetwood Mac's album Rumours in 1976 - 77.
"The tale of the formation, journey and end of the seminal Punk/Reggae band The Slits." - IMDB
An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.
"The film follows Twisted Sister from their beginnings as a cross-dressing glam band, playing cover songs for 4 shows a night, 6 nights a week – from New Jersey bowling alleys and Long Island beach bars, to the suburban mega-clubs of the late 70s/early 80s, and on to their bust-out appearance on the UK rock TV show, 'The Tube'. Through it all, Twisted stood ready to do or die, not just for the music, but also 'the show'. They refused to play the usual bar band role of 'human juke box for drunk and horny teens'. Every night, the band would give their all to the crowd, and mounted a full frontal attack on anyone not participating. They were going to force you to pay attention – and you were going to have fun whether you liked it or not."
A documentary about the Japanese rock band X JAPAN. Content warning: there's a lot of talk about suicide in this film.
An exploration of the history of the Bee Gees, featuring revealing interviews with oldest brother Barry Gibb, and archival interviews with the late twin brothers Robin and Maurice. - IMDB. Trailer at HBO, YouTube, and Amazon. [more inside]
A woman walks into a New York gallery with a cache of unknown masterworks. Thus begins a story of art world greed, willfulness and a high-stakes con. [more inside]
The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears Season 1, Ep 6
Britney Spears hasn't been able to fully live her own life for 13 years, stuck in a court-sanctioned conservatorship. A new documentary by The New York Times examines what the public might not know about the pop star's court battle with her father for control of her estate. It also explores the fervent fan base that is convinced Spears should be liberated from the conservatorship, and re-examines the media's handling of one of the biggest pop stars of all time. "Framing Britney Spears' premiered in the US on FX and Hulu.
After a tragic fire in the Romanian club "Colectiv" in 2015, burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life threatening, and the resulting public outrage topples the government. This documentary follows the investigative journalists (from a sports daily) and a young pro tem Health Minister as they work to uncover fraud and reform the health care system, even a little bit. [more inside]
Putting out a global call, documentarist Kevin Macdonald asked people to document their lives on July 25th and send him the footage. [more inside]
A behind-the-scenes look at the New York rare book world. Official site, trailer. Trailer on YouTube. Streaming on Amazon Prime and elsewhere. [more inside]
Season 6's "Episode 15" is a sweet coda to the series: "This special celebrates 'Schitt's Creek' and gives fans an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the final season including never-before-seen footage of table reads, auditions and celebrity interviews." The special originally aired after the series finale in April; now on Netflix, Amazon, elsewhere, and uploaded to YouTube.
Digging through the vast collection of his father's home videos, a young man reconstructs the unthinkable story of his boyhood and exposes vile abuse passed through generations.
A year in the life of a dying shopping mall. [more inside]
Frontline: The Choice 2020: Trump vs Biden Season 39, Ep 5
The latest in Frontline’s biographical specials has premiered before the upcoming election. If you missed its television premiere you can watch the 2 hour special on the PBS website or on YouTube. A text transcript is available. [more inside]
A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.
Pushed to his breaking point, a master welder in a small town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains quietly fortifies a bulldozer with 30 tons of concrete and steel and seeks to destroy those he believes have wronged him. [more inside]
A documentary focused on Gilberto Valle AKA "the Cannibal Cop" and the legal issues involved in his case [more inside]
A new documentary covering the world's most infamous amusement park, through the eyes of guests, staff, and others finding themselves in the orbit of both the park and its larger than life owner. [more inside]
A team directed by activist and artist Ai Weiwei films inside the hospitals, homes, and quarantine sites of Wuhan, the first city hit in the global COVID-19 pandemic. (Trailer; viewable via Alamo or Vimeo.) [more inside]
Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything: Full Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
Science journalist and RadioLab's Latif Nasser investigates the surprising and intricate ways in which we are connected to each other, the world and the universe. [Netflix] [more inside]
Fear City: New York vs the Mafia: Full Limited Series Season 1, Ep 0
Five Mafia families ruled New York with a bloody fist in the 1970s and '80s, until a group of federal agents tried the unthinkable: taking them down. [Netflix]
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: Murder Habit Season 1, Ep 1
A look at author Michelle McNamara's investigation regarding a violent predator she dubbed the "Golden State Killer," who terrorized California in the 1970s and '80s. (HBO miniseries) [more inside]
An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. [more inside]
A UFC fighter's world is turned upside down when he discovers an elite group of world-renowned athletes and scientists who prove that everything he had been taught about protein was a lie. [more inside]
Chronicle of the ups and downs of four Indian-American students as they compete to realize their dream of winning the iconic tournament. [more inside]
In Cracked Up, we witness the effects adverse childhood experiences can have across a lifetime through the incredible story of actor, comedian, master impressionist and Saturday Night Live veteran, Darrell Hammond. [more inside]
Michael Moore's 2018 documentary explored two questions of the first Trump Era: How the fuck did we get there, and how the fuck do we get out? It's good/bad! to look back at the beginning of this cluster. A lot of his usual stuff, plus some original / new POV's, for those who didn't watch tv during that time.
Falling in love in 1947, two women -- Pat Henschel and pro baseball player Terry Donahue -- begin a 65-year journey of love and overcoming prejudice. [more inside]
In 1976, Karen and Barry Mason had fallen on hard times and were looking for a way to support their young family when they answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times. [more inside]
Home: The First Season Season 1, Ep 0
A documentary series about dwellings that break the mold, from the Naturhus movement in Sweden that puts homes inside greenhouses to a reconfigurable tiny apartment in 344 square feet of Hong Kong. [more inside]
Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement. (Sundance 2020 award winning documentary, now on Netflix) [more inside]
Pamela B. Green's energetic film about pioneer filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation. [more inside]