The doc alleges that the actor had his then wife Nicole Kidman’s phone tapped.
Directed by Alex Gibney, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, has become the most talked about film to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Claiming to lift the lid on the famously secretive religion, the doc also includes allegations about famous follower Tom Cruise and the church’s founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Tom Cruise is one of Scientology's most famous followers
Based in part on the book of the same name by Lawrence Wright, the film features interviews with former church members and never before seen footage, including some of Tom Cruise stage at a Scientology gala.
Fela Kuti was an phenomenally influential Nigerian musician, a pioneer of the Afrobeat musical genre and, to many people, a dangerously rebellious political revolutionary. His band The Afrika '70 became a platform for unleashing unrelenting protests against the oppressive military rule of his home country of Nigeria and he fearlessly pushed his way through life determined to bring a sense of rebellion and liberation on his fellow Africans. Even despite being beaten, jailed and slandered throughout his career following the release of politically charged albums such as 1977's 'Zombie', he kept pushing until policies regarding democracy were finally re-evaluated. This remarkable man may have caused a lot of trouble in his country, but it arguably wouldn't be what it is now without him.
Five years after the Broadway musical 'Fela! On Broadway', Oscar winning director Alex Gibney ('Taxi to the Dark Side', 'The Armstrong Lie', 'We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks') presents a new documentary based on this extraordinary musician's life and career. Featuring archival footage of interviews and performances from the man himself as well as new interviews with his relatives and those who have been inspired by him, 'Finding Fela' is scheduled for release on September 5th 2014.
There are three films in the pipeline, telling the story of the doping cyclist.
Ben Foster will play the part of Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frear’s biopic, and he will be joined by Chris O’Dowd, who’ll play journalist David Walsh, who campaigned tirelessly to expose the biggest cheating scandal in the world of sport, Deadline report.
Ben Foster and Chris O'Dowd will both star in the untitled biopic
Foster, while bearing a resemblance to the disgraced cyclist, has seen his reputation grow of late with performances in Kill Your Darlings – alongside Daniel Radcliffe - and Lone Survivor, which also stars Mark Wahlberg. The Irish actor O’Dowd has become a household name stateside due to his performances in Bridesmaids and the popular sitcom, Girls.
"He lied to me. Straight to my face. All throughout 2009" - Gibney.
Lance Armstrong’s story is an implausible, unbelievable, incredible, but none of those adjectives would be applicable if the following wasn’t: it’s true. In The Armstrong Lie, Gibney admits to rooting for the shamed cyclist, before discovering – along with the rest of the world – that he’d been cheating.
Lance Armstrong tells his side in The Armstrong Lie
Famed for his insightful, thought-provoking documentaries that explore some of the biggest happenings in culture, sport, politics and crime – even though those spectrums often collide – the route that lead Gibney to his Armstrong piece wasn’t typical.
It's Friday and the barbecue smoke plumes of the not-so-distant weekend beckon, but if you fancy going to see a film this weekend here's what's just been released.
Friday 12th July has been quite the launchpad for a host of new and exciting films, showcasing the genre spectrum. From action blockbusters to indies, political thrillers to kids animation films, there'll be something to suit all tastes and ages as the summer of film gets hotter.
Well, we'll start off with Trap For Cinderella first because it's the underdog erotic thriller indie with an interesting premise. The Iain Softley film will star young, up-and-coming British actresses Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach as vivacious Micky and shy Do: two girls who are reunited after years apart and reignite a secret passion despite the disapproval they are faced with.
Tuppence Middleton & Alexandra Roach In Trap For Cinderella.
Just what exactly happened between Gibney and Assange?
Alex Gibney is one of his generation’s finest documentary makers, and amidst the flurry of WikiLeaks films, documentaries and books that are set to document the very real thriller that is Julian Assange’s life, he was first to cover it – but where is Assange’s interview?
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses a crowd from the Ecuadorian Embassy
We Steal Secrets: the Story of WikiLeaks is not only the first WikiLeaks documentary, but it’s generally considered to be the best, but, as Gibney confirms, Assange’s absence from the film isn’t due to his busy schedule, or constantly seeking asylum in different countries. Rather, it’s a financial dispute. "Here's this tremendously romantic figure travelling the world with a laptop in his knapsack, exposing abuses of power," says Gibney. "That sounds like a pretty good story to me."
Continue reading: How Julian Assange's $1m Request Drove Alex Gibney Away
Controversy surrounds Alex Gibney's new documentary.
It was only a matter of time before the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks got adapted for the big screen. The idea of one man taking on the world’s government with the aid of thousands of anonymous informers seems to capture the zeitgeist of the 21st century so well, that it is perfectly suited for a movie adaptation – or several. Director Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is only the first of several – Laura Poitras, Ken Loach, Craig Ferguson, even Steven Spielberg are all working on documentaries or adaptations of the story, with Spielberg’s The Fifth Estate having just wrapped. Some have the blessing of Assange himself, while others do not.
Alex Gibney did not have Assange's backing.
We Steal Secrets falls in the second category. While Gibney worked in cooperation with Assange initially, the working relationship broke down when the WikiLeaks founder asked for $1 million for his interview. Gibney, however, doesn’t pay his subjects. He explained for the Guardian: "[Assange] then came up with an outrageous idea: 'How about you spy on the other interview subjects and report back to me, because I want to know what they're saying.' I said, 'No. I can't do that for you. I don't work for you.' [Assange] said in a huff, 'I don't work for you, either.'"
There's a reason this expertly shot and edited documentary is skimming under the radar: no one wants you to see it. The hugely skilled Gibney is taking on the world's biggest corporation, the Vatican, with a lucid, personal exploration of child abuse in the Catholic church. And while a first-person approach draws us in, it's the wide-ranging evidence against the top echelons of the church that takes us aback. This film is exposing one of the biggest ever conspiracies without ever shouting about it.
The main focus here is four men (Kohut, Smith, Kuehn and Budzinski) who were abused by a priest while they were students at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee. One of them blew the whistle in a 1972 letter, but the priest was never brought to justice for his crimes. It seemed like the local diocese was covering up his actions, but an investigation showed that the orders to stay silent came right from the Holy See in Rome. And as years passed, similar stories emerged from Boston, Ireland and Italy itself. In each case, the Vatican ordered the churches not to report the abuse to the police.
Yes, this conspiracy goes all the way to the top, although Pope Benedict has tried to remain outside the fray even though his previous job was to investigate these cases. And in looking at this careful outline of the events, it's clear that the real problem stems from the Catholic church's insistence that priests should never answer to earthly powers, which is why parents are so reluctant to believe their children's accusations against a holy man. In other words, the church is more concerned for the office of the priesthood than the victims of abuse.
Continue reading: Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God Review
Having exposed institutions like Enron, the U.S. Army, and Congress, Academy Award winner Alex Gibney now tells the gripping story of what happens when an incredibly small group of people decide to break open the intelligence vaults of the most powerful nation on the planet.
We Steal Secrets is set for its premiere at The Sundance Film Festival, which opened its doors on Jan 17th, and finishes up on Jan 27th, in Utah. Robert Redford founded the film festival in 1985 as an offshoot of his Sundance Institute that offers professional support to indie filmmakers. That first year, the festival showed a couple of dozen films. This year, Sundance is playing 119 feature films from 32 countries, culled from about 4,000 that were submitted. "It's gotten pretty overwhelming," Redford said. "I never dreamed when we started -- we didn't even know that we would last -- and then when it lasted and grew, it became huge. I never anticipated that it would get to this size."
Continue reading: We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks (Clip)
Julian Assange shot to fame in 2010 after using his already controversial website WikiLeaks to publish secret documents from the US military. More recently, he has been under a European arrest warrant following charges of sexual assault on two women in Sweden. Over fears that the UK will send him over and that he subsequently will be extradited to the US and possibly face charges surrounding his releasing of classified American diplomatic cables in 2010, he has fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has diplomatic asylum. 'We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks' tells his story of computer hacking, public rights to government-classified information and the real ethical nightmare surrounding both issues.
This is a documentary focusing on the real intentions of WikiLeaks and raising various moral issues about its use. It has been directed by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney ('Taxi to the Dark Side', 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room') who co-produced the film with Marc Shmuger ('Dead of Winter') and Alexis Bloom ('Frontline/World') and features founder Julian on his rapid journey to global fame. It is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 with UK release dates yet to be announced.
Director: Alex Gibney
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God is the new movie by Oscar winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, examining the abuse of power in the Catholic Church through the story of four courageous young men. In the first known case of public protest of its kind, they set out to expose the priest who abused them.
It's a gripping tale and their quest takes the group from Milwaukee to the churches of Ireland, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican. Though big-budget Oscar bait dominates this week's movie releases, it is Mea Maxima Culpa that holds the most positive set of reviews. Revered critic Roger Ebert said in the Chicago Sun-Times, "To someone who was raised and educated in the Catholic school system, as I was, a film like this inspires shock and outrage." Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com as equally complimentary, writing, "Partly an inspiring saga of growing "deaf power" and human resilience, and partly a murky and fragmentary drama about an immense, closed-minded bureaucracy with paranoid and conspiratorial tendencies that finds itself unable to adjust to the modern world." The New York Times' A.O Scott congratulated Gibney on another superb documentary, writing, "There is something to be said for a clear and unblinking recitation of facts, and thankfully Mr. Gibney does a lot of that."
Gibney has sensational form with documentaries; Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room was nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2005, while Client 9: The Rise of Fall of Eliot Spitzer was shortlisted in 2011. Taxi to the Dark Side also won the award in 2007, focusing on an innocent taxi driver who was tortured and killed at Braham Air Force Base in Afghanistan in 2002.
Continue reading: Mea Maxima Culpa: A Murky Tale With A Bright Future
Girl Rising, a documentary focusing on female education and featuring narration from Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, will kick-start CNN's feature-length documentary series, the network announced on Monday (October 8, 2012). The movie, directed by Richard E. Robbins, follows seven girls around the world who seek to overcome obstacles and follow their dreams.
The new documentary division - CNN Films - will develop features that "examine an array of political, social, and economic subject matters," with deals already in place for documentarians Alex Gibney and Andrew Rossi to develop original features for the network. Its looks to be a pretty sweet gig for the pair - getting paid to go out and make documentaries without the need to find financial backing, or a distributor is pretty rare, though they know all about that. Both are Oscar-winning documentary makers, Gibney is best known for 'Taxi To The Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room and Client 9, while Rossi's credits including Page One: Inside The New York Times and Fall Of Eliot Spitzer.
Girl Rising will air in the spring of 2013 with other movies following shortly afterwards. While the films will initially air on CNN, the network has plans to enter them in international film festivals and distribute them to theaters, according to TVGuide.com.
Inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Kesey and the Merry Pranksters decided to drive a colourfully painted schoolbus, christened Further, from California to the New York 1964 World's Fair to get a feel for what was happening in America. They made it there after two weeks of free-wheeling craziness with amusing small adventures every step of the way. But they also get so lost in dropping acid that everything starts getting rather chaotic, sending their relationships into soap-opera territory. Which makes the drive back home a bit surreal.
Continue reading: Magic Trip Review
Back in 1964, Author of classic novel 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', Ken Kesey, set off on a famous road trip across the USA to the New York World's Fair. He was accompanied by what came to be known as 'The Merry Band of Pranksters', a rebellious group of truth-seekers, one of which was Neal Cassady, an icon celebrated in Kerouac's 'On the Road', and the man in charge of decorating and driving their transport - the Magic Bus.
Continue: Magic Trip Trailer
As New York's attorney general, Spitzer was "the sheriff of Wall Street", determined to force bankers to operate within the law. He fearlessly went after the biggest firms, standing up for people who were in danger of losing their hard-earned savings to fat-cat executives. This earned him a reputation that propelled him into the governor's seat and was grooming him to be president.
But it also gave him several formidable enemies. Then the news broke that he was a regular client of a high-priced prostitution firm. And Wall Street celebrated his fall.
Continue reading: Client-9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer Review
Along with the more personal documentary Breakfast with Hunter, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson stands as a seminal work of talking head biography. It tracks down many of the important people in the Kentucky-born bad boy's life, and lets them wax poetic and profound for almost two hours. Within the reminiscences we learn of his initial love of writing, his time as part of the notorious outlaw motorcycle gang, his experiences with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, a run for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado, his eyewitness account of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and his various run-ins and affiliations with members of both the counterculture and Establishment.
Continue reading: Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Review
It's for those people in particular that Alex Gibney's deeply unsettling documentary Taxi to the Dark Side should be required viewing, though just about any citizen should feel the film worthy of their time. Gibney, who did a smart job of untangling the tortured and headache-inducing mess that was the Enron case with 2005's Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, does similarly swift work here cleaving through the morass of obfuscation and half-truths that have veiled the country's involvement in torture and extralegal detention since 9/11.
Continue reading: Taxi To The Dark Side Review
Why anyone would want to win this contest remains a concept outside the actual narrative provided by filmmaker Marc Levin. With access to the actual figures fictionalized in Scott's crime drama, as well as an unusual amount of openness from said participants (most have done their time and are ready to rewrite history), we get the seedier side of the Me Decade in the Big Apple. Barnes describes his own pretend professionalism, taking credit for turning drug dealing into an "above board" case of supply and demand. His associates discuss their designer clothes, outlandish jewelry, and the lovely ladies that hung from their arms like erotic accessories. Thanks to some incredible archival footage, we witness the actual nude dope factories, bare-ass biz-natches cutting and bagging the killer powder.
Continue reading: Mr. Untouchable Review
As a chronicle of stupidity, Ferguson's film is nearly beyond compare. Acting as sort of a Cliff Notes version of many of the better books on the many blunders in planning and leadership prior to the 2003 invasion -- particularly The Assassin's Gate by George Packer (who provides some of the best soundbites for the film) and Thomas E. Ricks' Fiasco -- the film lays out in no uncertain terms what went wrong, whose mistake it was, and what the results were. Fortunately for the film, but unfortunately for the world at large (not to mention thousands of Iraqis and Americans), those mistakes were legion, and hard to comprehend.
Continue reading: No End In Sight Review
However, regarding actual legal action against Kissinger the film isn't convincing beyond a reasonable doubt mainly because there are so many other men (especially Nixon) who could equally take the blame. But unlike Hitchens' book it isn't full of contempt for its subject nor does it have the feeling of a smoking gun conspiracy. The evidence is presented straightforwardly and best of all there are numerous interviews by the likes of the aforementioned Hitchens and Hirsch as well as New York Times writes Elizabeth Becker and William Safire who have studied Kissinger's actions closely. There are also interviews by a good number who worked alongside Kissinger in those years - many of whom were wiretapped by Kissinger in the 1970s.
Continue reading: The Trials Of Henry Kissinger Review
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