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Entries in Michael Moore (9)

Monday
Dec242018

Top 30 Documentary Hits of 2018

Each day a different year in review topic. Here's Glenn Dunks...

Documentaries had one of their biggest years on record in 2018. In fact, the upper realms of non-fiction at the North American box office started to look like what the foreign-language charts once looked like. There was at least one major cross-over smash, several very impressive eight-figure grossers, a selection of not insignificant titles that did over one-million, and a long list of niche titles that did business anywhere from respectable to disappointing depending on expectations and release size. The year even started strong for docs with 2017 hits Bombshell the Hedy Lamarr Story and Faces/Places continuing to earn tidy sums buoyed by word of mouth and an Oscar nomination respectively.

My column Doc Corner will continue in 2019 so here’s hoping the new year offers just as bountiful a crop. It's been good to see documentaries reaching the mainstream, zeitgeist conversation.

TOP 30 DOCUMENTARIES FOR 2018
Domestic Box Office Grosses Only - Figures as of February 17th, 2019. 🔺 = the film is still in theaters

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov102018

Doc Corner: DOC NYC - Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 11/9'

DOC NYC is currently underway in New York and one of the great things is that alongside all the world, American, and New York premieres, the festival includes significant documentary titles from throughout the year. We’re using this opportunity to catch up with the latest from Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 11/9, which screened at the fest and is still in limited release across America.

Love him or loathe him – or probably more likely, sit somewhere in the middle of the two emotions – it’s hard to overstate Michael Moore’s importance to American documentary filmmaking. It’s not often that documentaries become pop culture touchstones and he has several that have become just that. The film that this new title is theoretically a sequel to will likely remain the highest grossing documentary of all time for the foreseeable future of cinema. It is interesting to note, however, that the two biggest zeitgeist-hitting political documentaries of the new century – that would be Fahrenheit 9/11 and An Inconvenient Truth – have floundered at the box office with much-belated sequels. Are audiences simply too bombarded by news that the thought of going to see a two-hour movie about the horrors of modern politics is just too much to bear?

Moore's decision to make a sequel to Fahrenheit 9/11 makes a lot of sense in theory, although watching the final product is a curious experience.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct252016

Doc Corner: Michael Moore Goes to 'Trumpland'

Michael Moore in Trumpland is a misnomer of a title. For despite the comically scored pro-Trump vox pop interviews that open the film, and despite the smattering of apparent Trump supporters through the audience, Michael Moore’s has found himself the most liberal of audiences one could hope. “Around here, I ain’t heard nobody for Clinton” says one unidentified woman, but if that were the case then the crowd Moore has amassed are easily swayed because by the end of this brief 70-minute mix of stand-up, pre-filmed comedy sketches, call and response, and personal recollections in monologue, the entire crowd is cheering and whooping for Hillary.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May172016

Doc Corner: Revisiting 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and It's Cannes Influence

Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. In celebration of not just the Cannes Film Festival, which is underway right now, but also the release of my book Cannes Film Festival: 70 Years out now through Wilkinson Publishing, we're looking at only the second documentary to win the Palme d'Or. The book is a glossy trip through history, looking at the festival's beginnings, the films, the moviestars, the fashions and the controversies. You better believe I convinced my editors on a double-page Nicole Kidman spread!

Just earlier this year I said of Michael Moore’s most recent film, Where to Invade Next?, that it was “utterly disgraceful” and that it was bound to “truly be one of the year’s worst movies.” That film was on my mind as I sat down to rewatch the director’s 2004 Palme d’Or winning documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. Would the impact of that initial viewing of Fahrenheit 9/11 remain all these years later now that my eyes and mind are much wider? It’s a little bit of yes and a little bit of no. ...more after the jump.

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Tuesday
May032016

Doc Corner: Documentaries at the Box Office in 2016

Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we look at the medium's flatlining box office is a sign of 2016's roster of documentaries.

Looking at Nathaniel’s listing of the highest grossing documentaries list of the year so far and I was – to put it mildly – a bit bummed out. Not surprised, of course.

Certainly, the comfort of one’s home is a perfectly fine place to view many of these films, and a necessary advancement given the general downturn in boutique and arthouse cinema-going. But as a lover of movies, going to the movies, and writing about movies, it is frustrating and a worry that no documentaries other than Michael Moore’s disappointing Where to Invade Next and the Christian-themed Patterns of Evidence have made any sort of impact at the box office (and even then, Moore’s film is a dramatic slide from even his most recent film Capitalism: A Love Story at $14m) in four months of the new year.

The reason the doc box office figures particularly worried me was because the first quarter of the year is peak opportunity to take advantage of a quiet marketplace...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan082016

Watching the Documentary Finalists Part 2 - The Political Edge

Glenn here looking at each of the 15 Academy’s documentary finalists from which five will be nominated for the Oscar.

In the first part of this three-part series, we looked at social activists, rape survivors and famous artists in documentaries that took us from Pakistan to America to Britain to Africa. This selection of films is even more globe-trotting as we look at a group of documentaries that show us the conflict across several continents and the personal traumas that come with it. They include some of the best and worst films of the year.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT
Director:
Michael Moore (one nomination, one win)
Synopsis:
In typically irreverent fashion, Michael Moore visits foreign nations in an effort to learn how they deal with social problems differently to the United States.
Festivals:
Toronto (premiere), New York, Chicago, Hamptons
Awards:
Chicago International Film Festival (Audience Choice Award), Hamptons International Film Festival (Audience Award)
Nominations:
BFCA, Austin Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, Houston Film Critics, Phoenix Film Critics, Satellite Awards
Box-Office:
Qualifying run; theatrical release in February, 2016.
Review: Manuel was more forgiving
, but I thought it was utterly disgraceful!

More about Invade plus we go to Ukraine, Mexico, Africa and the streets of Florida after the jump.

Click to read more ...