Maybe take these “historical” stories with a grain of salt.
Oscar winner Helen Mirren returns as the host for Season 53 (actually, the fourth season) of IFC’s “Documentary Now!” series, premiering October 19 on IFC and AMC+. “Stories that dare to tell the truth have never been more crucial to our culture,” Mirren says in the trailer. “Now, more than ever, the world needs ‘Documentary Now!'”
The “true” series will parody famed documentaries “The September Issue,” “Burden of Dreams,” “3 Salons at the Seaside,” “When We Were Kings,” “Gleaners and I,” and “Beaches of Agnes” across its six-episode season. A special sneak peek at the mock “My Octopus Teacher” entry stars “Fleabag” fan-favorite Jamie Demetriou as a filmmaker who “who forms a deep, emotional, and financially taxing relationship with a monkey” and gets shirtless in a moment of passion. Titled “My Monkey Grifter,” the spoof spans true crime and bestiality.
Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, “Succession” star Nicholas Braun, Alexander Skarsgård, and Jonathan Pryce additionally guest star, along with series creators Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas.
The two-part season premiere, titled “Soldier of Illusion,” is written by John Mulaney and stars Braun as a man who confused an arthouse cinema for a “porno theater,” among other adventures. Meanwhile, Blanchett is unrecognizable as a filmmaker, taking on a fictional role much like her turn as a composer in “TÁR.” This marks Blanchett’s second guest-starring role on the series.
“Documentary Now!” writer/directors Buono and Thomas previously told IndieWire that they have spent years trying to depict the iconic Space Race on the series. “We wanted to do a documentary about the fake moon landing, but we couldn’t crack it,” Thomas said. “We were basically going to take it for granted that it was faked and just do the story of the live television production.”
Buono added, “Kind of in the style of one of the many behind the scenes of ‘Saturday Night Live’ things that we see. The production manager’s like, ‘Oh, you have no idea. Just the catering alone! We had to get all those extras out there to Cape Canaveral!'”
“Documentary Now!” Season 4 premieres October 19 on IFC and AMC+.
Check out the trailer below.