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Tag: Documentaries (1-10 of 10)

'Nas: Time is Illmatic' tells the story behind an iconic album

In 1994, a relatively unknown hip-hop artist named Nas released his debut album Illmatic to mediocre sales. Over the next seven years, the album rode a surge of critical acclaim to platinum status in 2001—cementing itself as a landmark in East Coast hip-hop. Twenty years later, Nas is telling fans old and new the story of his creative roots in the documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic, out this week.

Today, the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival opener is in limited release in New York City and Los Angeles.  The doc, directed by One9, is described as “a thrilling account of Nas’ evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC.” The 71-minute film offers an intimate narrative of the forces in Nas’ early life that shaped him as a music artist—from his childhood in Queensbridge N.Y. to his young adult years on the ’80s hip-hop scene—as well as firsthand insight into the time and place that bore Illmatic. “We knew we couldn’t tell the story of Illmatic without telling the culture around it,” One9 explained to Vice.

Time is Illmatic features interviews with Nas’ biggest influencers, including his brother, the father who left his family, and the producers on Illmatic: Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier. The filmmakers (mostly Nas’ friends) also spoke with the people that now count Nas as a profound influencer, like Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams. Time is Illmatic will screen tomorrow night only in a number of other cities. It will be available for download on iTunes/OnDemand on Friday Oct. 3.

 

Nick Cave talks to EW about his new movie '20,000 Days on Earth' and why he doesn't like meeting his heroes

Over the course of a nearly four-decade music career, Nick Cave has been one of music’s most reliably inscrutable rock stars. The forthcoming documentary 20,000 Days on Earth (in theaters September 19) does a bit to shed some light on Cave’s dark spirit, but it does it with a twist.

Although many of the day-in-the-life conversations aren’t scripted (or very loosely so), and everybody in Cave’s life—from bandmate Warren Ellis to former Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld to Kylie Minogue—plays him- or herself, a lot of the film is built on artifice. The office where Cave undergoes a therapy session, the “archive” where he goes to review old photographs—they’re all built sets and faked scenarios, and constructed to try to wring some truth out of something inherently fake.

20,000 Days on Earth splits its time between those scenes and in-the-studio footage from the sessions that led to Push the Sky Away, Cave’s 2013 record with the Bad Seeds. It’s a remarkable movie, existing in the unique dimension between fiction and reality straddled by filmmaking greats like Werner Herzog and Errol Morris: READ FULL STORY

HBO announces new Bruce Springsteen documentary 'High Hopes'

Attention Springsteen fans: HBO just announced a documentary on the making of the Boss’s 18th studio album, High Hopes.

Bruce will be reuniting with filmmaker Thom Zimny, who previously directed The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ in 2010. The film will feature behind-the-scenes studio and rehearsal segments, exclusive E Street Band tour footage, and interviews with Springsteen and album collaborator Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. The two discuss their artistic choices for the project and explain how Morello brought a distinctive twist to Springsteen’s material. When High Hopes was released in January, it sold 99,000 copies in its first week, bumping it to No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

The film will run on HBO on Friday, April 4th at 9:30pm EST; read EW’s take on High Hopes here.

M.I.A. finds more controversy, this time with her label over her documentary -- watch the trailer here

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Musically, M.I.A. has lived up to her name — at least as it pertains to her forever-delayed new album Matangi.

The album has been bumped from a number of planned release dates, and at the moment it doesn’t have a place on the calendar. Which is strange, especially considering she’s a critically-beloved artist who had two major culture-jamming singles in “Paper Planes” and “Bad Girls.”

But it seems as though the delay may be because she’s on the outs with her label, Roc Nation (who, according to M.I.A., do not approve of positive jams). Along with Matangi, M.I.A. has been working on a documentary about her life with director Steve Loveridge.

The doc has been similarly delayed, and over the weekend Loveridge put up a five minute teaser for the flick on his Tumblr. YouTube pulled the video based on a copyright claim that came from the label; shortly thereafter, Loveridge published this vividly worded e-mail exchange between himself and a representative from Roc Nation.

The teaser was re-uploaded to Vimeo, and you can watch it below.  READ FULL STORY

Eminem in 'How to Make Money Selling Drugs': 'My name is Marshall, and I'm an addict' -- VIDEO

Clearly, a man who calls his albums Relapse and Recovery is pretty forthright about his struggle with addiction, but Eminem opens the book even further in the new documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs.

In a two-and-a-half-minute confessional, the hip-hop megastar explains how he fell into his addiction to prescription painkillers and cheated death. “I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem, I just remember liking it more and more,” he says.

And when he was at his worst, he refused to listen to anyone who tried to stop him — after all, he was just taking legal pills. “People tried to tell me I had a problem. I would say, ‘Get that f—ing person out of here. I can’t believe they said that sh-t to me. They know nothing about my f—ing life. Are they out of their f—ing mind? I’m not out there shooting heroin. I’m not out there putting coke up my nose. I’m not smoking crack.'”

Check out the clip below:
READ FULL STORY

The National: Frontman Matt Berninger talks about their acclaimed new album and documentary, and why failure was good for the band

For years, the National were one of a thousand little-engine-that-could indie bands, living in Brooklyn and (barely) getting by on small-room tours and local gigs.

Until 2007, when the indelible piano anthem “Fake Empire” helped make their fifth album, Boxer, a critical and popular smash. Letterman came calling, and so did the Obama campaign, which used the song as one of its musical signatures.

Now, with a new album, Trouble Will Find Me, their biggest tour yet, and a new documentary that was the toast of the Tribeca Film Festival, the National is poised to make another leap — this time to a level of fame that actually cements the name, while subverting the original intention of a band that actually chose its name because it had no real meaning. This is the year the National becomes The National.

Ask frontman Matt Berninger, and he’ll tell you that the group’s rise has been built on a foundation of failure. A literal band of brothers — the lineup includes twins Bryce and Aaron Dessner on guitar, and Bryan and Scott Devendorf on drums and bass, respectively (we’ll get to Berninger’s own brother later) — the quintet has struggled, bickered, and come thisclose to breaking up since teaming up in the late 1990s. Success hasn’t mellowed them, exactly, but there is a confidence that comes from winning on their own terms, and from knowing that when they step on the stage, they’re one of the best live bands in the business. “You’re not a real band unless you go out and play shows, for whoever, whenever,” says Berninger.

With Trouble Will Find Me out this week (they’ll play The Colbert Report tonight to celebrate), the band is already booked on the road through November. Berninger spoke to EW about the sound of the new album, being a “Brooklyn band,” and how the rock doc Mistaken For Strangers morphed into something not at all standard issue. READ FULL STORY

Rodriguez, from Oscar-nominated doc 'Searching for Sugar Man,' books Coachella

It just goes to show: When you have an acclaimed feature documentary made about you that goes on to be nominated for an Academy Award, you’re suddenly much more in demand. Rodriguez, the musician at the center of the Oscar-nominated Searching for Sugar Man, has joined the line-ups of three major music festivals: Coachella (in Indio, Calif. this April), Primavera (in Spain this May), and Glastonbury (in the U.K. this June), Billboard reportsREAD FULL STORY

HBO teases Beyonce doc with fierce trailer -- VIDEO

The countdown to B’Doc’Day 2013 has officially begun.

On Feb. 16, 2013, HBO will air an “intimate feature-length” documentary directed by Beyoncé, about Beyoncé, and for Beyoncé superfans. (The film was originally supposed to air Feb. 13, but clearly Bey wants to give you the option of watching it while eating discounted Valentine’s chocolate.)

And while this newly released, 25-second teaser doesn’t really reveal anything explosive about the movie — did you suspect B would dance and wade through crowds of adoring fans? — it does give us a taste of some very Sasha Fierce-ian narration: “I always battle with, how much do I reveal about myself?” Beyoncé intones over footage of one of her eyes slowly opening. “If I’m scared, be scared. Allow it. Release it.” Then you and your boo and your boo boo can go ridin’. Watch the clip below:

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HBO gives 'intimate' Beyonce documentary a 2013 air date

Game of Thrones, meet Throne of Bey.

News broke today that Beyoncé’s self-directed documentary about her own life and times has found a home on HBO. The “intimate feature-length” movie, which first came to light over a year ago, is set to air on Feb. 13, 2013. That puts it just ahead of Valentine’s Day and, probably not coincidentally, a mere ten days after her slated Super Bowl performance.

“HBO has a history of pushing every boundary with class and authenticity,” Beyonce said in a press release from HBO. “Some of my favorite shows are on HBO, so I am excited that my film will be part of its bold programming. This film was so personal to me, it had to have the right home.”

Kurt Cobain documentary in the works, but Courtney Love isn't working on it

Brett Morgen, director of HBO’s new Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, is in the process of putting together a Kurt Cobain doc. But, contrary to widespread reports, Courtney Love isn’t involved in the process.

The New York Post quoted Morgen as saying, “Courtney is the one that brought me into this… We’ve been trying to find the right time to put this film together and the time is now.” Added Morgen, “We are going to do the movie sort of like a third-person autobiography — [as] if Kurt was around and making a film about his life.”

Courtney Love’s rep, however, denies Love’s role in the project, telling EW that while she herself isn’t working on the film, she’s “very happy” Morgen’s making it. “She thinks he’s a great director,” Love’s rep said.

Morgen confirmed this, explaining that his widely reported comments in the Post were taken out of context.

“Back in 2007, I had a meeting in L.A. with Courtney Love to discuss my possible involvement in a Kurt Cobain documentary,” he told EW in a statement. “She had seen my film, The Kid Stays in the Picture, and thought that I had the right vision and passion to bring Kurt’s story to life. Since that time, I have been speaking exclusively with Kurt Cobain’s estate, who have given me their full cooperation in order to make the film. Courtney isn’t currently involved with the project in any capacity. The estate and I will be releasing more information about our plans in the coming weeks. Production on the film will begin in the coming months and we are aiming for a 2014 release.”

READ FULL STORY

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