Montgomery Clift’s Uncompromising Life Takes Center Stage In New Documentary

Making Montgomery Clift aims to take an altogether different look at one of cinema’s finest talents, as directors Robert Clift (Monty’s nephew) and Hillary Demmon diligently scoured through family archives to gain a deeper understanding of the Oscar nominated actor. Though there were tons of phone conversations (recorded by Monty and Robert’s late father Brooks) that spotlight the humor and meticulous nature of Clift, the actor’s life isn’t a question that holds a clear cut answer.

“I don’t think we were really setting out to do something comprehensive about Monty,” said Demmon. “I think we both can recognize that we were never going to know everything about Monty. We weren’t going to be able to have this comprehensive (and) definitive idea. I think in some ways it’s maybe more respectful of his legacy and of him as a human being to let some of the questions about him stay open. And to let him be read in many ways”.

Click on the media bar to hear Robert Clift talk about putting himself into the documentary, an aspect that he felt was the most challenging aspect he faced during Making Montgomery Clift.

Making Montgomery Clift is now out on Digital, On Demand, and DVD.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Morgan Spurlock Explores “Big Chicken” Business With ‘Super Size Me 2’

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock explored the unhealthy aspects of solely eating McDonald’s for one month in Super Size Me, and with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken he continues his exploration of the fast food industry.

This time out Spurlock takes on the seemingly impenetrable business of “Big Chicken.” In the documentary we witness Spurlock attempt to open his own fast food restaurant (named Holy Chicken) as well as grow his own chickens in the process. The plight of the chicken farmers (the subjects interviewed are heavily in debt) as well as the manipulative ways corporations promote their fried chicken sandwich are among the subjects tackled buy Spurlock. If you’re a fan of Spurlock’s filmmaking, then Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken should definitely be up your ally.

“I think a lot of people are shocked when they learn about the chicken farmers and I think a lot of people are also shocked when they learn about the chicken industry in general,” said Spurlock, whose other directing credits include Freakonomics and Mansome. “When they start to see the labeling practices of Big Chicken. When they start to understand how misleading things like all natural or hormone free, or free range actually is to them, people get angry. People get taken aback. They want to go out and do something. I think that type of motivation is what you hope comes out of a film like this. You hope people come out of the movie instead of feeling meh or nonchalant, you hope that they are motivated in some way to activate some change.”

Click on the media bar to hear Spurlock discuss the secrets to collaboration as a filmmaker.

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken is available On Demand.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

California Sound Documentary ‘Echo In The Canyon’ Hits Blu-ray And DVD In September

Echo In The Canyon, a documentary that spotlights folk rock in 1960’s Los Angeles, hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 10 via Greenwich Entertainment.

Dubbed as the California Sound, folk rock was a fixture in the Los Angeles music scene thanks to the work of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas. Musician Jakob Dylan serves as the interview for the Andrew Slater directed project. Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Michelle Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas), Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield), David Crosby, Eric Clapton, Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) and Tom Petty (the musician’s last filmed interview) are among the artists who took part in the project.

Contemporary artists interviewed include Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones. The documentary, which amassed $3 million at the box office, also features a soundtrack which has Dylan covering tracks from the California Sound with various artists from the film. One of the songs include Dylan’s interpretation of The Beach Boy’s “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” which features Neil Young on vocals.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Santana Live At US Festival’ Lands Blu-Ray And DVD Release In September

Watching guitar god Carlos Santana perform live is a seminal experience, and Shout! Factory will release Santana Live At US Festival on Blu-ray and DVD come September 6.

Santana hit the stage back in 1982 on Labor Day Weekend and performed such signature hits as “Black Magic Woman,” “Gypsy Queen,” and “Oye Como Va.” Herbie Hancock also made an appearance at the concert to perform on “Incident at Neshabur.”

The festival was conceived by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and music legend Bill Graham. The disc also comes with a performance of “Searchin” (one of my favorite Santana tunes) with Alex Ligertwood serving as the lead vocalist.

Special features include three featurettes (“Santana Reflects On His Career,” “Explaining His Signature Sound,” “The Theory of Santana’s Music”) and an interview outtake with Carlos Santana.

 

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

HBO Documentary ‘Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge’ Hits Blu-Ray In September

Though its bread and butter has been covering the music landscape, Rolling Stone has also been an iconic publication thanks to its dedication to hard hitting and culture defining journalism. HBO Documentary Films’ Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge, hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 11 via Shout! Factory.

Narrated by Jeff Daniels and directed by Alex Gibney (Zero Days, The Armstrong Lie), the six part documentary features performances from The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin, and The Clash. Chance the Rapper, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon are also spotlighted on the project. Co-founder Jann Wenner described the documentary as a “love letter to the magazine.”

Special features include deleted scenes with extended interviews with Cameron Crowe, Ice-T, Gus Wenner, Jane Wenner, Janet Reitman, Matt Taibbi, and Victor Juhasz.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Is A Riveting Nature Vs. Nurture Mystery

Three Identical Strangers

Three Identical Strangers is the true story of triplets (Eddy Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran) who, at the age of 19, realize that they are triplets. Separated at birth and raised by three parents from different socio-economic backgrounds, the guys have a ton of catching up to do.

Their 1980 discovery immediately catapults them to fame, as they became the toast of New York and were featured in various news articles and television program (their talk with Phil Donahue is featured in the documentary. The trio even opened up their own restaurant some years later.

Finding your literal blood brothers had its drawbacks, especially when they discovered their respective adoptions were part of a bigger research study on the “nature vs. nurture” theory. While attempting to explore if individuals can expand beyond their genetic makeup thanks to their environment is intriguing, this research was absolutely inhumane.

To give further plot details on Three Identical Strangers wouldn’t do justice to the documentary, as director Tim Wardle (One Killer Punch) keeps us guessing on the inevitable fate of these tight knit siblings. You can find out their fate with a requisite google search, but that would be doing Three Identical Strangers a disservice.

An incisive and at times heartbreaking look at how lives can be changed by a simple decision, Three Identical Strangers is a compelling mystery that will keep you intrigued (and understandably distressed) until the film’s closing moments.

Three Identical Strangers opens in select theaters June 29.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi