Hoping to ride the cash cow of Game Change, the mini-series adaptation of the Mark Halperin and John Heilemann book that proved an Emmy-sweeper, HBO decided to pay Martin Scorsese a bunch of cash to make a documentary about the world’s most charismatic politician, Bill Clinton.
music and movies
Foo Fighters’ David Grohl, who was once in this band called Nirvana, will be directing a feature-length film called Sound City, an L.A. recording studio infamous for being the place where many rock legends were born. Sound City was also the place were the tracks for “Nevermind” were first put down. “Nevermind” was an album by Nirvana.
Are we all on the same page here?
As New Yorkers, there’s nothing that we love more than bagels, being mean to tourists, and Woody Allen. Yet for some reason we had our dates mixed up (damn you, TiVo!) and forgot to record Robert Weide‘s 2-part “definitive” documentary of the prolific director for PBS. We haven’t been this mad since Netflix lost our DVD of Bill Moyers’ interview with Joseph Campbell at George Lucas’ ranch!
Lucky for us (and you!) PBS is now screening the two parter Woody Allen: A Documentary from its American Masters series. On the Internet. Thanks to that $20 pledge we made last year. Now go, put on your headphones, and pretend like you’re doing something work-related.
Always intriguing and never less than polished or self-assured, Charlotte Rampling is an actress of great dignity and sloe-eyed reserve worthy of her own documentary, and as she ages gracefully, she just ages gracefully and keeps getting better. Those almond-shape, sea green eyes reflect the chlorophyll of life as she sees it. But they can turn gray as dirty rain when her animal instinct and querulous intelligence sense there’s something rotten in Denmark. Her photos are rarely air-brushed, her skin is almost never cosmetically enhanced. At 65, she’s aging like Jeanne Moreau—lines and dewlaps intact, her mouth a slash of pale sensuality untouched by lipstick. No wonder the British-born, multilingual star of so many varied and controversial film classics is often labeled provocative and sexual. I used to see her every year in Cannes, promoting everything from dark, disturbing dramas (Luchino Visconti’s The Damned, Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter) to randy comedies such as The Knack and Georgy Girl. I found her friendly and intense, but difficult to access. She’s never been a touchy-feely cream puff. Now, after seeing the personal but emotionally chilly documentary Charlotte Rampling: The Look, I know why.
In April 2002, police and immigration officers arrested Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti’s at his Queens apartment, launching a two-year legal saga that—according to Enemy Alien, a documentary about his case–saw him placed in solitary confinement for eight months, beaten, denied crucial thyroid medications, and threatened with deportation. Ordering his release in 2004, a judge called his treatment “Kafkaesque.”
The film, screened last night at Anthology Film Archives before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, chronicles the struggle of activists, friends, and lawyers to free Abdel-Muhti. It is part of an ongoing project by Third World Newsreel, which aims to bring attention to the mistreatment of minorities and immigrants in the wake of 9/11, and was shown following a series of related shorts.
“I would like to say I am,” said the actress Cheryl Hines when asked if she was as big an environmentalist as her Curb Your Enthusiasm character. “I’m learning.”
Ms. Hines was walking the carpet at an Upper East Side screening of The Last Mountain, a new documentary prominently featuring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. as Read More