With September a week away, we wanted to capture those last days of summer as part of iW‘s regular curation of Hulu’s Documentaries page: indieWIRE at Hulu Docs. Stave off the season’s end with these paeans to the warm weather months.
Two of this week’s picks are part of SnagFilm’s SummerFest: JL Aronson’s “Last Summer At Coney Island” and Jeffrey Levy-Hinte’s “Charlotte.” Aronson’s film follows the story of the proposed redevelopment of NYC’s legendary seaside amusement district, once one of the city’s biggest summertime attractions. Levy-Hinte takes the viewer to another vacation spot, Massachusetts’ famed Martha’s Vineyard, for his loving look at a boatyard and the seafaring community around it.
Another storied summertime getaway, the Hamptons, are the backdrop to a pair of documentaries by the legendary Maysles brothers. Together with Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, the Maysles 1975 “Grey Gardens” (available on Hulu Plus), capture the Edith Bouvier Beale and her 56-year-old daughter Edie, close relatives of former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, at their dilapidated East Hampton mansion, dubbed Grey Gardens, whose better days were long ago. Just over 30 years later, “The Beales of Grey Gardens” shed more light on the two Edies, using previously unused footage of the complex relationship between the mother and daughter.
Sean White’s “Never Ending Thermal” travels the world to explore paragliding – from Venezuela to Nepal and Italy, Morocco to Slovenia. While the sport is not restricted to the summer months, the film emerges as a spiritual cousin to Bruce Brown’s landmark surfing documentary, “The Endless Summer.”
Finally, Stuart A Goldman explores a watershed moment in Elvis Presley’s life in “Elvis: Summer of ’56.” The 21-year-old experienced his first major romance with a girl named June from Biloxi, MS, just as he became a household name, and includes rare home movie footage from their time enjoying the summer together.
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 typically appear in the carousel at the top of the page and under “Featured Content” in the center. Be sure to check out the great non-fiction projects available to watch free of charge. Disclosure: Some of the selections are titles provided to Hulu by SnagFilms, the parent company of indieWIRE.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).