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Documentaries

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    Oprah's OWN Mother's Day Programs: Judds, Extraordinary Moms, No Woman, No Cry, Shania Twain

    Oprah Winfrey's OWN network is celebrating Mother's Day weekend with brand new specials and series May 7 & 8. The schedule, listed below, includes Extraordinary Moms (executive produced and hosted by Julia Roberts; Time interviews her and Hillary Clinton about their participation here. ), No Women,...

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    LA Film Fest 2011: Programmers Talk Lineup for Downtown Festival, June 16-26 UPDATED

    Film Independent has made its first round of selections for the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, running June 16-26, returning to downtown's L.A. Live. Over 30 countries will be represented by the 200-plus features, shorts and music videos. Special events, galas, the tentpole opening and closing nigh...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Ten: Dog Day Afternoon, Cinema Komunisto, James Woods, Making Friends with Books

    On day ten of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Meredith Brody talks Dog Day Afternoon, sees and loves Cinema Komunisto, digresses on James Woods (among other things) and makes friends via Bossypants and Chekhov's short stories:I start the day by watching as much of the program honoring Frank Pierson with the Kanbar Award for screenwriting as I can before dashing off to see Love in a Puff. The clip that Pierson showed in his Master Class, the afternoon before, reminded me that (a) I know Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon -- the movie they’re going to show as part of the tribute -- very well indeed, (b) yes, the 70s were a golden a...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Eight: The Redemption of General Butt Naked, Sound of Noise, Pink Saris, Master Critic

    San Francisco cinephile Meredith Brody continues to cut a swath through the SFIFF programme: Cheerful way to start the day: watching a famed “General” of the unbelievably brutal 14-year Liberian civil war, known as General Butt Naked for the attire (or lack thereof) of himself and his followers, metamorphize – or is it re-brand? – into Joshua Milton Biahyi, an evangelic preacher seeking forgiveness for his unspeakable crimes. I’m not much fonder of organized (or disorganized) religion than I am of war – noting in passing that many wars are fought on religious grounds. I’m repulsed by both of the General’s incarnations. What I think he’s mostl...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Seven: A Useful Life, Oliver Stone Tribute, The Last Buffalo Hunt, Attenberg

    Meredith Brody's diary entry for SDIFF day seven: The film-going day begins with inserting a DVD into the player, which I guess means staying rather than going. It’s A Useful Life, a film directed by a former employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya, Federico Veiroj, about a longtime employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya in Montevideo (which occasions a notation in the opening credits that the movie does not reflect the actual Cinemateca Uruguaya in any way shape or form). Said rather sad-sackish employee (played by an Uruguayan film critic with the young/old face of an obsessive) has spent a quarter-century doing all that’s necessary in showing fil...

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    Cave of Forgotten Dreams' Herzog Likes All-Purpose Title for All His Films: Gazing into the Abyss

    In this AV Club Cave of Forgotten Dreams Q & A, director Werner Herzog admits that the title Gazing into the Abyss would work for just about any of his films. It's true. Here's our exclusive clip from Cave.

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    SFIFF 54 Day Five: Time Travel, from Cave of Forgotten Dreams to Children of the Princess of Cleves

    Meredith Brody reports on the latest festival screenings from San Francisco:The Frenchwoman who introduced Children of the Princess of Cleves gave us an invaluable bit of information that cast the film in an interesting light. President Nicolas Sarkozy said that reading the required “Princess of Cleves,” published in 1678, made no sense for a high school student who would be working as a cashier in two years. Many in France were incensed by the comment, big surprise -- as am I – wasn’t Sarkozy, despite a wealthy background, posited as “l’homme du people” when he ran for President? Here’s real-time news: when I Google Sarkozy, the news pops ...

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    Trailer Watch: HBO Doc Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour

    Pop sensation Lady Gaga -- No. 12 on the Time 100 poll -- talks fame in this excerpt from upcoming HBO documentary (Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden, May 7), in which she shows her human side. Of her fans, she says: "I just want to be a queen for them and sometimes ...

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    Trailer Watch: Life In A Day Releases July 24, Will Tug Your Heartstrings

    Check out the new trailer for Life In A Day, which premiered at Sundance in January (and simultaneously on YouTube). The documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald, produced by Ridley Scott and shot by people all over the world on July 24, 2010, is not to be missed. National Georgraphic is releasing t...

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