Internationally known graffiti artist, Banksy, left his mark on San Francisco in April 2010. Little did he know that this act of vandalism would spark a chain of events that includes one of his rats being removed from a wall, Museums ignorantly turning down a free Banksy street work, and a NY gallerist who has made it his business model to remove Banksy street works from all over the globe doing whatever it takes to get the rat in his possession.
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With the original intention of empowering a citizenry’s ability to defend themselves against a corrupt or tyrannical government, the concept today may seem farfetched or the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. However, it has happened throughout U.S. history. And long before gun control was positioned as a “common sense measure” to combat violence, it was used as a means to oppress certain minority groups. Presently, the growing trend in gun control favors the wealthy and privileged, who leverage their connections to ensure their Second Amendment rights and safety, while those of lesser means struggle. Informative and emotionally charged, “Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire” is an eye-opening look at the genesis of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, leading the audience to rethink the issues surrounding gun control, and the effect on civil rights and liberty. After all, what you don’t know can kill you.
“Trinity and Beyond” is an unsettling yet visually fascinating documentary presenting the history of nuclear weapons development and testing between 1945-1963. Narrated by William Shatner and featuring an original score performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, this award-winning documentary reveals previously unreleased and classified government footage from several countries.
We live at a moment in time when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now more than a century old, continues to be of overwhelming international political and societal importance. From its inception, that conflict has also, of course, had powerful and deeply troubling consequences for Israelis and Palestinians themselves. The story at its most basic level is one that involves two peoples struggling for national recognition and expression in a small but richly significant piece of land. The tragedy of this history, as both the Israeli novelist, Amos Oz, and the Palestinian scholar, Sari Nusseibeh, have each pointed out, stems from a conflict between the rights of two peoples with equal and legitimate aspirations to nationhood and self-expression in a single small territory to which they can both lay claim.
With exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive including hundreds of hours of audio recorded over the course of his life, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Charting his exceptional career as an actor and his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen with Brando himself as your guide, the film will fully explore the complexities of the man by telling the story uniquely from Marlon’s perspective, entirely in his own voice. No talking heads, no interviewees, just Brando on Brando and life.
Oil Sands Karaoke is a documentary about five oil patch workers vying to win a karaoke contest in one of the most controversial places on the planet – Northern Alberta’s infamous Oil Sands. These five characters know they’re at the center of a global controversy and yet they continue to work there under extremely arduous physical conditions for long hours for extended periods without a single day off. Why? Obviously for the high wages. But what could motivate a person in this situation to sing karaoke, let alone take it seriously? A documentary unlike any other, Oil Sands Karaoke will make us laugh, sing along, and perhaps re-examine our biases
Music fans know Maynard James Keenan as the frontman of such bands as Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, but in this documentary filmmakers Christopher Pomerenke and Ryan Page offer a closer look at one of the prolific rocker’s more unexpected hobbies — winemaking. Along with his business partner Eric Glomski, Keenan has managed to transform an arid stretch of Arizona desert into a lush vineyard that yields some particularly tasty grapes. Through unguarded conversations with Keenan and Glomski, Pomerenke and Page discover just what got the pair interested in winemaking, and why they chose such a hostile natural environment to serve as the site of their winery.
Arguing With Myself, a recorded live performance of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, portrays a comedian whose revival of an old-fashioned art has made ventriloquism more relevant to modern societal concerns. Starring his six main characters, from Bubba Jay, a Nascar-obsessed hick, to Peanut, a flamboyant gay monkey, Dunham’s puppets have dirty but relatively inoffensive senses of humor that mock the American Dream. His skills as a ventriloquist alone make him a fascinating entertainer, and anyone interested in how puppetry and ventriloquism has progressed over the decades would benefit from watching Dunham bring life to his wooden friends.
James Brown changed the face of American music forever. Abandoned by his parents at an early age, James Brown was a self-made man who became one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, not just through his music, but also as a social activist. Charting his journey from rhythm and blues to funk, MR. DYNAMITE: THE RISE OF JAMES BROWN features rare and previously unseen footage, photographs and interviews, chronicling the musical ascension of “the hardest working man in show business,” from his first hit, “Please, Please, Please,” in 1956, to his iconic performances at the Apollo Theater, the T.A.M.I. Show, the Paris Olympia and more.