This Oscar-nominated documentary interviews the men and women who were at Los Alamos during work on the first atomic bomb. Includes the secrecy, lab alcohol-fueled social scene ("their average age was 29"), footage of the bomb, the tense final preparations in a lightning storm, scientists talking about the pride, horror and/or regret they felt in both 1945 and 1981, and more. At Criterion Channel and free on YouTube. [more inside]
The Found Footage Phenomenon is an independent documentary charting the origins of the found footage sub-genre, tracking it through to the technique's current form, and asking what the future is. [more inside]
In this documentary, filmmaker Penelope Spheeris captures the life of Los Angeles "gutter punks": homeless teenagers who prefer anarchy and chaos to organized society. Many of the film's subjects come from abusive households and have developed alcohol and drug problems. While living on the streets, they must panhandle, squat in abandoned apartment buildings, and fight off skinheads to survive. The film also includes performances by several notable Los Angeles punk bands. [more inside]
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]
In mid-1980s Romania, under the nose of the Securitate, Ceaușescu’s secret police, thousands of Hollywood films were smuggled into the country by an underground operative named Zamfir, and they were all covertly dubbed by Irina Nistor, a courageous translator whose distinct voice captivated the nation and became a symbol of freedom. Chuck Norris vs. Communism is a documentary, a thriller, and a comedy.
“Following a long fascination with the religion and with much experience in dealing with eccentric, unpalatable and unexpected human behavior, the beguilingly unassuming Theroux won't take no for an answer when his request to enter the Church's headquarters is turned down. Inspired by the Church's use of filming techniques, and aided by ex-members of the organization, Theroux uses actors to replay some incidents people claim they experienced as members in an attempt to better understand the way it operates. In a bizarre twist, it becomes clear that the Church is also making a film about Louis Theroux. Suffused with a good dose of humor and moments worthy of a Hollywood script, MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE is stranger than fiction.”