Our curation of Hulu’s Documentaries page this week is the first of two weeks inspired by Halloween. While the holiday will feature more prominently next week, the films selected this week are a bit more playful – literally, as most of them feature a performative element as they portray individuals involved in different subcultures.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “indieWIRE @ Hulu Docs” is a regular column spotlighting the iW-curated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. iW selections appear in the carousel at the top of the page and under “Featured Content” in the center. Be sure to check out these great non-fiction projects each week.
Directors Luke Meter and Andrew Neel follow a group of fantasy role players in Baltimore who dress up in medieval outfits to populate the alternate world of “Darkon.” Acting out elaborate scenarios based on complex rules and group generated customs, the participants escape from their ordinary lives each weekend to become the heroes they always dreamed of being. The film premiered at SXSW, where it won the audience award.
Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and the Hulk open up about their hopes and dreams in “Confessions of a Superhero,” or at least the aspiring actors playing them on Hollywood Boulevard do. Capturing the lengths to which people will go to achieve fame and success, the film highlights the struggles of the life of an actor. Director Matthew Ogens also brought his film to SXSW for its premiere.
The subjects profiled in Josh Koury’s “We Are Wizards” take their cue from “Harry Potter,” with fans inspired to create musical acts themed around the young wizard or to otherwise engage creatively with JK Rowling’s fantasy world beyond the printed page or film adaptation. Continuing an apparent mini-theme, the film also had its premiere at Austin’s SXSW, which may fittingly acknowledge the subcultural roots of that event.
Music also figures prominently in the remaining selections. Dianna Dilworth’s “We are the Children” focuses on the die-hard Michael Jackson fans who stuck by the beleaguered performer through the media circus of his very public 2004-2005 child molestation trial.
Hip hop meets geek culture in Civia Tamarkin’s “Nerdcore for Life,” which looks at the rise of the music genre from its humble Internet origins to a burgeoning underground scene. Over the course of two years, the film charts the transformation of anonymous, unknown nerds to music performers embraced by their own community and beyond.
Finally, “Towncraft,” directed by Richard Matson, shows the grassroots power of local indie music scenes by focusing on Little Rock, AR. Through the dedication of its musicians and fans, these local subcultures are able to develop innovative and successful contributions to the ever-changing music world.
As a new, occasional feature of our curation, we’ve taken a cue from last week’s article to curate a special collection of War Documentaries (see the bottom right columns of the Hulu Docs page). In addition to the four films spotlighted last week, we’ve added six additional titles which all deal with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance, consults with documentary filmmakers and festivals, and recently co-produced Cameron Yates’ feature documentary “The Canal Street Madam.” Follow him on Twitter @1basil1 and @CanalStMadamDoc and visit his blog what (not) to doc.