Joe Berlinger

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Joe Berlinger - 'Boyhood' New York premiere at Museum of Modern Art - Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 8th July 2014

Joe Berlinger

Whitey:United States Of America V. James J. Bulger Trailer


James 'Whitey' Bulger is one of America's most notorious organised crime figures having been responsible for a string of brutal murders over the course of his gangster career. In the 1970s, he was enlisted as an FBI informant which largely meant that a large proportion of his criminal misdeeds were left ignored by the Bureau in exchange for priceless information. Whitey boasted that he had contacts with officials from several police departments as well as the FBI itself, which was the reason he managed to avoid prosecution repeatedly. When it came out that the FBI had not been doing their job and protecting the public from Whitey's alarming dominance, they faced one of their most embarrassing scandals since they began. When he eventually appeared on the FBI's most wanted list, he was on the run for 16 years before his arrest in 2011 at the age of 81.

'Whitey: United States Of America V. James J. Bulger' is a gritty documentary about the real-life crimes of gangster Whitey Bulger. The film has been put together by Oscar nominated director and producer Joe Berlinger ('Metallica: Some Kind of Monster', 'Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills', 'Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2') and is due for release on June 27th 2014.

 

Guest and Joe Berlinger - 2013 Tribeca Film Festival - 30th anniversary restoration of 'The King of Comedy' - Festival Closing Premiere - New York City, NY, United States - Saturday 27th April 2013

Guest and Joe Berlinger

Under African Skies Review


Excellent
This beautifully assembled documentary traces the creation of Paul Simon's seminal 1986 album Graceland, focussing on the political controversy the recording sessions sparked because South Africa was under a cultural boycott at the time. It's a skilful film that entertains as it reveals something important about history.

In 1985, Simon quietly travelled to South Africa to record tracks for his next album, invited by local musicians. But he and was shocked by racial tension he saw between blacks and whites there, and afterwards was caught off-guard by criticism from anti-Apartheid leaders who said his visit violated the boycott.

Simon argued that he wanted to avoid politics and collaborate with fellow musicians. For them, working with a world-class artist was a chance in a million. And Ladysmith Black Mambazo leader Shabalala says Simon was the first white man he'd ever hugged.

Continue reading: Under African Skies Review

Joe Berlinger Monday 10th October 2011 49th Annual New York Film Festival premiere of Paradise Lost 3:Purgatory - Red Carpet New York City, USA

Joe Berlinger
Joe Berlinger
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky and Jason Baldwin
Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky and Jason Baldwin
Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky and Jason Baldwin

Crude Review


Very Good
This intense documentary tells a hugely important story that's packed with compelling characters and situations. Although a repetitive structure and a sense of agonising futility conspire to undermine the vital lessons it has to teach us.

Starting in the early 1960s, Texaco began drilling for oil in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, displacing indigenous groups with polluted rivers and causing health problems for generations. In 1993, the poor residents of this area filed a class-action suit against Texaco (now owned by Chevron), which has been dragging through the courts ever since, delayed by lawyers and Ecuador's political instability. Chevron denies all blame, pointing the finger at PetroEcuador, the nationalised company that assumed ownership of the drilling sites in the 1990s. But human rights activists and lawyers argue otherwise.

Continue reading: Crude Review

Joe Berlinger Tuesday 12th January 2010 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street - Arrivals New York City, USA

Joe Berlinger

Joe Berlinger and Cameron Sinclair - Joe Berlinger, Cameron Sinclair New York City, USA - Grey Goose Entertainment celebrates the new season of the original series 'Iconoclasts' on Sundance Channel Tuesday 7th October 2008

Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster Review


Excellent
Metallica's St. Anger - the legendary metal band's first album of new material since the touchy-feely twin horrors Load (1996) and Re-Load (1997) - is a dense, sonically messy one-note return to their speed metal roots. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's documentary about the trials and tribulations surrounding the making of that comeback album, however, is a full-blown opera of metallic drama, passion, and misery. Filled with the torment and rage that fuels the band's finest work, it's a piercing vision of an iconic band teetering on the brink of collapse, and a fascinating portrait of the creative process as explosive, potentially destructive, and, ultimately, cathartic.

Berlinger and Sinofsky's film began as a simple record label-financed project to help promote the band's new record, yet soon morphed into a marathon three-year venture as the group - reeling from the departure of its long-time bassist Jason Newsted, and with the remaining members struggling to cope with newfound adult responsibilities and long-held bad habits - began to fray at the edges. Forced to attend group sessions with therapist-to-the-stars Phil Towle after Newsted's sudden exit, the band's remaining three members seem thoroughly fed up with each other - diminutive drummer and band spokesperson Lars Ulrich refuses to see eye to eye with singer (and struggling alcoholic) James Hetfield, who exasperatedly rolls his eyes at Towle's "Metallica Mission Statement" and ignores guitarist Kirk Hammett's pleas to make nice with Ulrich. A dysfunctional family with Ulrich as the band's de facto mommy, Hetfield as the controlling, liquored-up daddy, and Hammett as the timid child trying to stop the fighting, the group seems ready to explode. Then, with inter-band relationships at their most strained, Hetfield unexpectedly leaves for rehab, bringing an abrupt halt to sessions for the new album and awkwardly placing his band members' professional lives on indefinite hold.

Continue reading: Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster Review

Brother's Keeper (1992) Review


Extraordinary
Brilliant documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky collaborated for the first time on this enthralling documentary about the "Ward boys" of rural Munnsville, New York. The four Wards were farmers, living in the same run-down shack where they were born, some 60 years earlier.

And then one morning, Bill Ward didn't wake up. And the state decided that Delbert, who always slept beside his brother, had smothered him in the night, taking mercy on his ailing brother and simply killing him.

Continue reading: Brother's Keeper (1992) Review

Gray Matter Review


Excellent
Gray Matter began when writer/director Joe Berlinger (Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) read of the Austrian government's decision to bury the brains of children who were maltreated and perished in a mental hospital during World War II. Experiments were done on these children, from infants to pre-teens, to apparently track the genesis of behavior and developmental dysfunctions. Once they died, their brains were taken out and put in jars for further research.

In 2002, these organs were finally put in canisters and laid to rest. Berlinger joined an international team of journalists to the ceremonies and meetings that were taking place to explore the situation. In the process, he discovers that the doctor in charge of the hospital at that time, Heinrich Gross, is still alive and was practicing as a doctor and expert court witness until only a few years before. He proceeds to unearth a series of events that protected Dr. Gross from criminal repercussions.

Continue reading: Gray Matter Review

Paradise Lost 2: Revelations Review


Very Good
Paradise Lost 2 picks up where the original left off: five years after the controversial conviction of Damien Wayne Echols and two friends for the murder of three young boys in a rural Arkansas. While the sequel is less effective emotionally, it does introduce new evidence and points are very heavy finger at John Mark Byers (father of one of the deceased) as the alleged killer (the original speculated that Byers might have been the culprit but also focused on a mysterious wanderer who passed through town, covered in blood). Still, things aren't going so well for Damien's defense, and five years on death row have not been overly kind to him. Most curious is the introduction of the argument that making of the original film, documenting the trial, somehow tainted the trial itself. It's a fascinating, if less-realized follow-up.

Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Review


Weak
The cinematic event of 1999 desperately wants you to make it the cinematic event of 2000, as the (first) sequel to The Blair Witch Project is rushed into theaters just in time for Halloween. Alas, it's not to be, and soon the original will become regarded as a one-hit wonder and a footnote in the annals of independent film.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is clearly Made In Hollywood, but it's still trying to pretend to be a documentary. The story this time? In Book of Shadows, the original Blair Witch was "just a movie," but this time it's for real -- this is what happened after all those tourists descended upon Burkittsville, MD, believing the woods to be genuinely haunted.

Continue reading: Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Review

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills Review


Excellent
Paradise Lost is a haunting and tragic documentary about three Arkansas teens enamored with wicca and paganism, who find themselves headed for death row and/or life in prison after three local pre-teens are mysteriously murdered and mutilated. Fingers are pointed, blame is laid, but the only apparent truth to come out of the film is that the three kids doing time are almost undoubtedly not the ones responsible for the murders. Why are they convicted? It's a long story, but one of the three accused kids has a very low IQ and was -- possibly -- coerced into a confession, dragging his friends along with him. It doesn't help that they have long hair and listen to Metallica.

Famous documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky obtain amazing access to all sides of the case throughout the trials, getting up close and personal with the accused, their families, the local law enforcement, the parents of the victims, and pretty much everyone else in the small Arkansas town -- which almost unilaterally has judged them guilty as hell.

Continue reading: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills Review

Joe Berlinger

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Berlin House Where David Bowie And Iggy Pop Lived Marked By Plaque

Berlin House Where David Bowie And Iggy Pop Lived Marked By Plaque

The flat at Hauptstrasse 155 was where Bowie and Iggy lived between 1976 and 1978 in the city, which inspired the so-called 'Berlin trilogy' albums.

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Rupert Grint To Star In TV Re-Make Of 'Snatch'

Rupert Grint To Star In TV Re-Make Of 'Snatch'

Grint will star alongside Dougray Scott and Ed Westwick in a 10-part TV series for Sony's streaming platform Crackle.

Coldplay Invite James Corden Onstage To Play Prince Tribute

Coldplay Invite James Corden Onstage To Play Prince Tribute

The Brits teamed up at the Hollywood Rose Bowl to perform a cover of The Purple One's 'Nothing Compares 2 U'.

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Joe Berlinger Movies

Whitey:United States Of America V. James J. Bulger Trailer

Whitey:United States Of America V. James J. Bulger Trailer

James 'Whitey' Bulger is one of America's most notorious organised crime figures having been responsible...

Under African Skies Movie Review

Under African Skies Movie Review

This beautifully assembled documentary traces the creation of Paul Simon's seminal 1986 album Graceland, focussing...

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster Movie Review

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster Movie Review

Metallica's St. Anger - the legendary metal band's first album of new material since the...

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Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Movie Review

Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Movie Review

The cinematic event of 1999 desperately wants you to make it the cinematic event of...

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