Told through hilarious and insightful interviews with producer Alan Yentob, Mel Brooks – Unwrapped is a new documentary that promises a look back at the legendary career of award-winning actor, writer, producer and director Mel Brooks.
Mel Brooks – Unwrapped also features footage of Yentob following Brooks in his day-to-day life…
I must confess that Brooks is an artist I know of more than I know about.
I’m definitely now quite curious after seeing this fun trailer. Especially since I rather enjoyed this particular brand of silliness
The Confession Killer is the story of Henry Lee Lucas, a man who in the early 80s, confessed to the murder of hundreds of people…
I didn’t know anything about Lucas before now, and based on the clips shown in this trailer, he kind of looks like a ‘bad actor.’ Dare I say, quite unconvincing. Perhaps it’s just the way his face rests.
If the whole thing was indeed a hoax, I can’t wait to hear how his mental state is explained.
Directed by award winning photographer Pamela Littky, Most Likely To Succeed is a documentary that follows four teenagers who were voted ‘Most Likely To Succeed during their senior year of high school in 2007.
Filmed over the course of ten years we’ll get to see Peter Hayes, Sarah Kaiser-Cross, Quidrela Lewis and Charles Rider chart their own version of success and navigate the unpredictability of American life in the 21st Century…
I can’t quite picture myself volunteering to do what these teenagers did but as someone who grew up watching quite a few of the 7 Up documentary series which followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, I know how interesting this can be.
I’m especially intrigued because I’ve lived through the same periods the teenagers lived through, so I’m looking forward to their take on it all.
In Tell Me Who I Am, life changes dramatically for 18 year old twin brothers Alex and Marcus Lewis. Following a motorcycle accident that leaves Alex with very little memory, Marcus has to decide whether to tell his brother the horrific truth of their childhood or make up a whole new idilic one. Marcus opts for the latter – for reasons including recounting the truth would simply be too much for himself to bear, let alone his twin brother who’s in an extremely vulnerable state.
Fast forward to the present day, several decades later, and though the brothers have written a book about their heartbreaking story, Marcus still hasn’t shared everything with his brother, that is until this documentary. Through the use of old photographs, interviews with both brothers – separately and together, we get to watch an extraordinary story of love, trauma, memory, personal responsibility and healing.
There were definitely moments during director Ed Perkins’s film that had me wishing for the story to move along a little faster. Nevertheless, I don’t regret sitting through all of it. And the reason I won’t be forgetting Tell Me Who I Am any time soon is not so much about the horror of what Alex and Marcus were forced to endure, both inside and out of their family home, a home which quite frankly looks like the set of a nightmare inducing horror film. No.
Tell Me Who I Am will stay with me for the same reason director Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate (2019) – the biography of celebrated Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh stays with me. The gift and blessing of siblinghood. Or, more specifically in this case, brotherhood.
I’m almost certain that both Van Gogh and Alex would not have survived much longer without their truly loving brothers. Not to say that Marcus did everything exactly right, but considering all the hurt and trauma he was carrying, how could one really be surprised by his choices?
Lastly, Tell Me Who I Am certainly isn’t ’easy viewing.’ Watch it for a better understanding of the human experience that will likely make you grateful for the existence of good siblings, blood related or otherwise.
Having recently seen Netflix’s Stephen Fry narrated birds of paradise documentary Dancing With The Birds, I’ve found that I still haven’t quite moved on from the stunning images and ‘birds of paradise dance moves’ featured in the film.
‘Fashion, dance, fashion, reproduction, fashion, cockroach, FASHION and big juicy tropical fruits’.
These are just some of the words that came to mind as the film played. Why, or why have I mentioned fashion so many times? That’ll become very obvious when you look at the following images…
Sequins baby! Do you see those beautiful ‘sequins’ on the neck of the Carola’s Parotia? A.k.a the most talented dancer of them all – in my humble opinion. Dancing so tirelessly and with such focus and dedication.
After a little while, you may forget his name but his moves and that ‘sequinned neck furniture’ will likely stay with you.
It’s no wonder I loved yellow and red so much as a little girl. Here we have what is probably the most colourful bird of them all; the Guianan Cock of the Rock. Their communal mating rituals were some of the most amusing to watch, thanks in part to Fry’s humorous narration.
Let’s not forget the female Guianan Cock of the Rock. Though far less colourful, the female still managed to stand out. Also, is it just me or is the word ‘chic’ jumping out at you too, as you look at her?
The undeniably majestic Black Sickle Bill. So arresting and magnificent that not only did fashion come to mind many times as I watched this beauty, but the most fitting phrase is certainly haute couture, yes?
Now, the Twelve Wired Bird (TW) is definitely the one I consider most strange out of all the birds featured. Unfortunately for me, even though I love yellow and black together, something about the way TW moves and dances reminded me too much of a cockroach, which then meant that TW was never going to be my favourite.
I’m just glad that those ‘wires’ aren’t painful or the result of a horrible accident. What are they really comprised of? I wonder…
Last but in no way least, we have the Flame Bowbird. Standing here and looking both ‘hot’ and like one of the most perfectly ripened and juicy mango I’ve ever seen.
I’ll remember him most for the above reasons and for being a combination of my younger self’s two favourite colours, as well as for building that artful structure made of sticks; something else that also screamed FASHION.
A real tale set in the heart of the grandiose landscapes of Lapland, A Reindeer’s Journey (Une odyssée en Laponie), is an adventure / family movie / documentary all about the survival of a small wild reindeer named Aïlo.
Narrated by Donald Sutherland, director Guillaume Maidatchevsky’s film focuses on the challenges faced by the young, frail and vulnerable Aïlo throughout his first year in Lapland…
‘At birth, a reindeer only has five minutes to stand up, five more to learn how to walk and five more to learn how to run and swim.’
The above quote has me wanting to see the footage of Aïlo doing all the above. And it helps that he’s cute.
I definitely enjoyed the new Stephen Fry narrated Netflix documentary Dancing With The Birds. Though mainly for the stunning images of the beautiful birds of paradise. I couldn’t help but appreciate the moments the film made me realise just how much humans and birds actually have in common, especially when trying to attract a mate.
The only downside of Dancing With The Birds for me is how the whole experience felt oddly unfinished. Perhaps because I’m used to a more thorough telling of an animal / bird / nature story – as per the works of Sir David Attenborough. Whereas Dancing With The Birds focuses purely on the mating rituals / dance routines of some of planet Earth’s most stunning birds of paradise.
Don’t get me wrong, the dance rituals are definitely something to see. So much so that they had me thinking that I really could probably do with sharpening my own dance skills. Probably.
Watch Dancing With The Birds for the truly stunning images and for the similarities between us and those with feathers, wings and the gift of flight.