Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recent Docs: Conan, Cunningham, Cardiff, and Hicks

With all of the brouhaha over the current state Netflix and online streaming in general, I think it is time for me to re-boot the IVFF.  Over the next few days once again I'll start posting recommendations based on what I have seen or what I have put in my queue.  I'll ease into a more regular schedule soon and I'll update the schedule page.

Meanwhile, the recent addition of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop inspired this short entry of recent doc recommendations.

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (Rodman Flender, US, 2011, 88 minutes)
Following his unplanned and highly publicized departure from NBC, exiled talk show host Conan O'Brien decides to take his show on the road. This documentary captures that uproarious tour as well as O'Brien's dramatic break with his ex-employers. Netflix link.

Bill Cunningham New York (Richard Press, US, 2010, 84 minutes)
Netflix: Living simply and using a bicycle to get around New York, 80-year-old photographer Bill Cunningham tirelessly records what people are wearing in the city -- both out on the sidewalk and in the salons of the wealthy. Through his "Evening Hours" and "On the Street" photo columns in the Sunday New York Times, Cunningham has faithfully chronicled the city's fashions and sparkling nightlife while maintaining his own unassuming charm. Netflix link.

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (Craig McCall, UK, 2010, 86 minutes)
Netflix: In this fitting documentary tribute, director Craig McCall toasts the legendary career of Oscar-winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff, best known for his groundbreaking work on big-screen classics such as The African Queen and The Red Shoes. Highlights include film clips and interviews featuring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Martin Scorsese, Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Alan Parker, Moira Shearer and, of course, Cardiff himself. Netflix link.


American: The Bill Hicks Story (Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas, US, 2010, 101 minutes)
Netflix: Since his tragic death from cancer at age 32, comedian Bill Hicks's legend and stature have only grown, and this unique documentary tells his story, blending live footage, interviews and animation to fill in the details of a life cut short. A comic's comic and unflagging critic of hypocrisy and cultural emptiness, Hicks was one of a kind, a Lenny Bruce for the late 20th century, and few are more deserving of this in-depth biographic treatment. Netflix link.

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