The Iron Hammer is a new documentary about Chinese icon Lang Ping, the first person in volleyball history to have won gold at the Olympics, both as a player and as a coach.
Directed by by Joan Chen; the film follows Ping’s journey in China, to a career coaching abroad, then returning back to China to transform a struggling national team into champions.
My story with volleyball starts and ends with mandatory physical education in high school. ‘Good at it’ I most certainly wasn’t. What I am is interested in Ping’s life story; how she came to be the best, likely against some notable odds.
Olympic Dreams is the story of the bond that grows between a young cross-country skier (after her competition ends) and a volunteer doctor.
Directed by Jeremy Teicher; Olympic Dreams stars Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas…
I’m mostly curious about Kroll’s performance and precisely why his character seemed so taken aback by ‘the lunge’.
There’s also the ‘comedy running’ at 0:42 seconds into this trailer that made me giggle. Especially since Kroll is acting and he chose that level of tired running. Maybe I’m just too familiar with his comic personality. Or, that’s how truly exhausted non-athlete runners look – and I just don’t know.
Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Sterling K. Brown, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie and Lucas Hedges, Waves is a coming of age, raw, emotional and sometimes funny drama / romance centred around the teenage children of a couple in modern day America.
I liked the way Waves opened; the colours, camera angles and music, all of which worked to remind us of the seemingly carefree youthful abandon of late adolescence. As hectic, bright and beautiful as those moments were, it’s not too long before you realise that everything isn’t quite right. Tensions become apparent and it’s clear something is going to change – and not in a good way.
Tyler (Harrison Jr.) is a promising and troubled high school athlete unable to truly open up to his parents, so he suffers behind closed doors. His younger sister Emily (Taylor Russell) who seems to fade into the background much of the time certainly doesn’t have the focus of her parents – especially her father; at least not the the way her brother does. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Tyler’s troubles that end up tragically and irrevocably altering the lives of more than just his immediate family.
Considering the themes of familial tragedy and some very modern / American issues, it’s unsurprising that I shed a few tears as Waves played. Particularly because of the very real and raw way writer / director Trey Edward Shults’s film captures the emotional turmoil suffered by its characters. Some of it so heartbreaking that I have to liken certain moments to having to watch an inevitable car crash while being completely unable to help.
Waves is the kind of movie you watch for the film making artistry, great acting and the ways it beautifully and realistically captures some of the most delightful and heartbreaking events in the lives of teenagers and parents in modern America. You will laugh and smile, be very concerned but also often moved by the generosity of spirit displayed before you.
‘Long’ is another word to describe this movie. It’s not quite the bladder busting 3.5 hour length of The Irishman (2019). However, by the half way point in Shults’s well-captured and highly affecting movie, you’ll think ‘Yeah, I think it’s wrapping up now.’ Except it doesn’t wrap up because that’s when act two – or more fittingly, ‘the second wave’ begins. And sit back you must, because you’re going to need what it has to tell you, especially after the tragedy of ‘the first wave’.
Busby is a new documentary about the true story of Manchester United icon Sir Matt Busby, one of the greatest and most influential football managers of all-time.
Directed by Joe Pearlman, Busby will show previously unseen archive footage and interviews with those who knew Sir Matt Busby best….
‘Matt was the first tracksuit manager training with the players.’
I certainly don’t follow football / soccer much anymore. However, this moving trailer and the above quote does have my attention. To think I once thought of Sir Alex Ferguson as the only ‘treasured’ Manchester United Manger.
I’m ready to take in some of Man U’s rich history.
Oscar winning director Asif Kapadia’s trailer for his new documentary Diego Maradona is here.
Focuses both on the highs and lows of the Argentine footballers career, Diego Maradona is the result of the analysis of over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage…
In my recent post about this very documentary, I now realise that I’d completely forgotten about the the biggest controversy of Maradona’s career.
Now that this trailer has reminded me of the infamous ‘The Hand Of God’ incident, I’m even more curious about the way everything that happened really affected Maradona. Particularly considering his level of fame at the time.
Diego Maradona is the latest documentary from Asif Kapadia, director of Oscar winning Amy Winehouse documentary Amy (2015).
Following a review of hundreds of hours of footage, Kapadia’s film focuses on the career of highly celebrated Argentine footballer Diego Maradona…
I don’t really follow football as I once did, but I do remember being aware of Maradona’s greatness. I’m curious about the new truths I could learn, especially since Kapadia’s Amy proved quite enlightening.