“20,000 Days on Earth” (Nov 18) (Film Page)
This doc details 24 hours in the life of Aussie musician Nick Cave, more specifically, Cave’s twenty thousandth day on earth. The film garnered positive reviews when it premiered at Sundance and is more than just a biographical film. It’s a docudrama to be sure, featuring reenactments and dramatizations. Keep your eyes peeled for cameos from some of Cave’s unexpected musical collaborators, such as pop star Kylie Minogue.
“ABCs of Death 2” (Nov 1) (Film Page)
The follow-up to the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived features segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. The film is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet, beginning with the letter A and ending with the letter Z. The directors were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and at times confrontational, “ABCs of Death 2” is another global celebration of next generation genre filmmaking.
“Amor Cronico” (Nov 4)
In Jorge Perugorria’s musical drama, the filmmaker chronicles Grammy nominated, Cuban-born singer CuCu Diamantes as she embarks on a whirlwind tour of her home country. Interweaving glamorous live performances with a fictional romance, the film pays tribute to the history of cinema in surreal fashion. Backed by a high energy Latin soundtrack, including songs from rumba legends Munequitos de Matanzas, new trumpet virtuoso Alexander Abreu and the world renowned Samuel Formel & Los Van Van, Cucu’s journey is a visual love poem to the sites, sounds and people of Cuba.
Based on the 2013 Academy Award-winning short film “Curfew.” At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year-old niece, Sophia, for a few hours.
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“Elsa and Fred” (Nov 7) (Film Page)
Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer defy romantic comedy tropes in Michael Radford’s latest film. The film is an adorable English remake of Marcos Carnevale’s popular 2005 Argentinian romance. “Elsa & Fred” tells the story of two older individuals who fall in love with each other late in their lives. It’s a refreshing message — that love is possible between anyone who isn’t a millennial or isn’t Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.
“Harmontown” (Nov 4) (Film Page)
“Harmontown” is a documentary film starring TV writer and producer Dan Harmon (NBC’s “Community”, Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty”) as he takes his popular podcast of the same name on a calamitous cross-country tour. Much more than a comedy-tour documentary, the film directed by Neil Berkeley uncovers Harmon’s public persona to reveal his complex character and his equally complex personal relationships. The supporting cast includes Jeff B. Davis (“Whose Line is it Anyway?”), Erin McGathy (“This Feels Terrible”) and Spencer Crittenden.
“Life Partners” (Nov 6) (Film Page)
A comedy about friendship in the vein of “Frances Ha,” but with more mainstream appeal. Starring Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs as two best friends, everything is going great until Jacobs’ character meets new love interest (played by Adam Brody). The Playlist cuts right to what makes the film relatable in saying “[The two friends don’t] seem to have much of a lifestyle beyond junk food binging…and talking over ‘America’s Next Top Model.'”
“The Sleepwalker” (Nov 21) (Film Page)
This explosive family drama tells the story of a young couple named Kaia and Andrew. While they are renovating Kaia’s family estate, they receive unexpected visitors: Kaia’s unstable sister Christine and her fiancé Ira. Soon, with the past dredged up, tensions erupt and family drama unfolds. Things get real when one of the four principal characters goes missing, and the rest are left to solve the mystery.
Claude Lanzmann’s landmark Holocaust documentary, “Shoah” uses survivors’ first-person accounts, rather than archival footage, to examine how the horrors of the past are always present. The non-fiction feature currently ranks as Sight & Sound Magazine’s second greatest documentary of all time and has never been available online before. SundanceNow Doc Club will stream an impressive 4k HD restoration of the documentary in its original 1:37:1 aspect ratio beginning on Sunday, November 9. While there may be some trepidation in viewing a nine-hour documentary about the Holocaust, the film is as close to a definitive statement about the event as we’ll ever get, and the fact it’s On Demand means viewers can take in the feature at their own pace, a huge bonus for such an emotionally exhaustive documentary. “Shoah” is essential viewing for cinephiles, historians and anyone with even the vaguest desire to understand the enormity of the Holocaust. Don’t miss it.
“The Babadook” (Nov 28) (Film Page)
The film follows the story of a widow and her son with a behavioral disorder. When the son finds a mysterious book entitled “Mister Babadook,” he invites an evil spirit into their home and horrific chaos ensures. It’s made top horror lists on both Indiewire and The Playlist, which listed it among the best horror films of this century (so far).
“Find Your Way: A Busker’s Documentary” (Nov 11) (Film Page)
Spanning three years, the film documents the lives of five Seattle musicians. Filmmaker Brian Nunes profiled the artists, curious about the Seattle scene and the artists’ specific quirks and processes. Interviewees include Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gene Weingarten and 90’s rocker Chris Ballew from The Presidents of the United States of America.
“21 Years Richard Linklater” (Nov 7)
Interesting is certainly an adjective that fits Linklater’s career. He’s as well known for his experimental films like “Boyhood” and “A Scanner Darkly” as he is for the more mainstream “School of Rock.” The documentary follows the first the first 21 years of Linklater’s career through a series of in-depth interviews with his collaborators including Jack Black, Zac Efron, Julie Delpy, Matthew McConaughey and Keanu Reeves.
“Escobar: Paradise Lost” (Nov 5) (Film Page)
This drama stars Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro as the infamous Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar. However, the drama pushes its eponymous villain to a supporting role as it tells the story of young surfer (Josh Hutcherson, showcasing his talents outside of “The Hunger Games” franchise) who falls in love with Escobar’s niece (Claudia Traisac).