Coinciding with this Friday’s release of the extended US cut of The Shining, Room 237 delves into the puzzles, patterns and riddles found in Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece. By turns insightful, hilarious and (literally) out of this world, Rodney Ascher’s documentary is a cinephile’s dream. Or nightmare, depending on how deep you’re willing to dig.
Vogue‘s most intriguing editor-in-chief, Diana Vreeland, was the sort of person who said things like ‘never fear being vulgar; just boring’ and genuinely meant them. Exploding from the pages of vintage issues of Harper’s Bazaar onto the contemporary big screen in a cacophony of castanets and razor-sharp witticisms, one of fashion’s most inimitable superstars comes forward to take a bow in a sensitive, graceful and indeed, never boring documentary created by her granddaughter-in-law Lisa Immordino Vreeland.
“If you think football builds character, you’re dead wrong. Football reveals character”. This is just one of the absolutely pitch-perfect messages this Oscar-winning football documentary manages to hammer home. Inspiring and uplifting in a way that never feels saccharine, Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin step back and allow their stellar cast of hyper-real individuals do all the talking. And you know what? We listened.
It’s horrendously risky, being a documentary filmmaker. Sometimes, if you’re Ondi Timoner, you’re lucky – or smart – enough to be around when a humdrum subject becomes something more vital: case in point, a documentary about the LA rock scene becoming the ultimate study in self-destruction and ego, DiG! But it can’t always work out that way. Sometimes, you start off making a documentary about the resurgence of interest in electric cars, and you very, VERY nearly end up with the ultimate study on the futility of hope.
The 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games were virtually eclipsed by an extraordinary image, one which has stood the test of time to become an instantly recognisable symbol of the civil rights battles of the 60s – two black athletes giving the infamous Black Power salute from the winners’ dais. But who was the white man standing beside them? Salute offers a truly fascinating insight into the greatest humanitarian you’ve never heard of.
As sweet a story as you’d expect for the origins of the World’s Nicest Puppet, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey just about manages to win you over with its saccharine rags-to-expensive-felt tale. Sure, it’s more of a celebration of the golden days of Jim Henson Productions than anything else, but with Elmo at the helm it was fairly unlikely this documentary was ever going to explore the back alleys of Sesame Street…
A documentary focused around two young men charged with terrorism offences in the midst of the 2008 Republican National Convention, Better This World uses a combination of thoroughly gathered interviews and written record to provide a startling look at America’s escalated approach to internal security. Gripping viewing.
Argh! Climate change, we’re all gonna die! Well, actually some people in the Maldives might. Sorry to make it all gloomy but if, like me, you thought that climate change was just another thing happening in the world, then you should watch this; an insightful documentary about a man determined not to give in to the potential catastrophes of global warming.
After following menswear designer Ozwald Boateng around for twelve years, you’d think that at the very least Varon Bonicos might have a good bit of fashion gossip to share with us. Sadly not. A slightly stuffy, rose-tinted documentary about an evidently talented man; though its grounding is in clothing creation it never quite manages to cut to the chase.