tue 01/12/2020

documentary

Leap of Faith review – Alexandre O. Philippe examines ‘The Exorcist’

“Films are about the mystery of fate or the mystery of faith,” proclaims director William Friedkin in Alexandre O. Philippe’s latest documentary, Leap of Faith. At 84 years old, Friedkin proves himself to be a master of storytelling, not only behind...

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Offended by Irvine Welsh, Sky Arts review - are we seeing the end of free speech?

Do we have a right not be offended? It's a question that’s growing bigger and uglier, thanks to the censorious “cancel culture” which has become such a disfiguring aspect of social media.Leith’s notoriously profane and scabrous novelist Irvine...

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David Crosby: Remember My Name, Sky Arts review - a rock icon looks in the mirror

Rock documentaries are so often disappointing, the result less a portrait than a whitewash. A J Eaton’s 90-minute rock doc David Crosby: Remember My Name, which premiered on Sky Arts, was an unflinching close-up, utterly absorbing and all the more...

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Billie review – new documentary captures the rebel

Listen to "The Blues are Brewin", "You Better Go Now", or even "I’ll be Seeing You", and you can hear the hurt reverberate in every note Billie Holiday sang. Her voice rang with the wisdom of experience – perhaps too much experience. She lived a...

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Filmmaker Bassam Tariq: 'Great cinema doesn't need to be perfect - embrace the imperfections'

After Bassam Tariq's feature debut These Birds Walk was released at SXSW 2013, things seemed to slow down. The documentary about a runaway boy in Pakistan garnered strong reviews, but soon Tariq was working in a New York butchers pondering his...

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One Man and His Shoes review - beautifully crafted, fast-paced documentary

“Black people, since the beginning of time, have always made things cool. Jazz, rock ’n’ roll… pick anything from a cultural standpoint and we have always been the arbitrators of cool,” says sports journalist Jamele Hill. “And it was really no...

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Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins review - a fitting tribute to a political hellraiser

It’s a brave film distributor who releases a documentary about an American journalist in the UK at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic, so first salute goes to Eve Gabereau at Modern Films for giving Raise Hell a...

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Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You, Apple TV+ review - his new album is a matter of life and death

Towards the end of this new documentary, an account of how he recorded his new album Letter to You at his home studio in New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen delivers a eulogy to the E Street Band. “The greatest thrill in my life is standing behind that...

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Ronnie's review – fascinating story of the fabled Soho jazz club

Ronnie Scott was a remarkable man: “Jazz Musician, Club Proprietor, Raconteur and Wit, he was the leader of our generation,” reads the memorial to him at Golders Green Crematorium. Oliver Murray’s documentary film Ronnie’s is an affectionate and...

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Being A Human Person review - enter the surreal world of Roy Andersson

It’s fair to say that the idiosyncratic, surrealist films of Roy Andersson are not everyone’s cup of tea. Whether you find his films impregnable or incisive, it’s impossible to argue with the artistic imprint the Swedish auteur has had on European...

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Time review - a stunning portait of enduring love

Sometimes in fictional cinema, a character can seem so strong, so righteous, that you begin to doubt the reality of the piece. How can anyone be that good when faced with such hardship? Perhaps these thoughts make us feel better about ourselves, and...

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Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson, BBC Two review - ambitious history of the slave trade falls short

Enlisting Hollywood giant Samuel L Jackson to host a series about the history of slavery, his own ancestors having been trafficked from West Africa to the Americas, was a headline-grabbing move, and scenes where we travelled with Jackson to the...

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