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Entries in Whitney Houston (16)

Wednesday
Aug212019

Soundtracking: Toni Erdmann

by Chris Feil

Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann is one of the decade’s most exacting looks at depression and the human cost of the global corporate mindset. These two thematic points of view ebb and flow in and out of one another in the film as suddenly as the film’s comedy and tragedy do, showing the malaise of how we live today that’s symptomatic of impersonal capitalistic remove. It’s a state of being that is symbiotically personal and societal, desperately funny and deeply sad.

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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

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Sunday
Nov252018

Showbiz History: Band-Aid and "Best Original Song" Behemoths

6 random things that happened on this day (Nov 25th) in showbiz history...

1932 Claudette Colbert infamously bathes in milk in Cecil B DeMille's The Sign of the Cross, new in theaters.

1947 The Hollywood Blacklist begins, denying employment to those with perceived Communist ties or sympathies. This period has haunted ever self-reflecting Hollywood since as witness in Trumbo, The Way We Were, Guilty by Suspicion, Good Night and Good Luck, and numerous other movies.

1984 Bob Geldolf's blockbuster charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" recorded in London...

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Thursday
Aug092018

Showbiz History: Betty Boop, Bob Aldrich, and the Muscles from Brussels

We're still so terribly depressed about the Academy's foolhardy new decisions, that we're looking for ANYTHING else to think about today as distraction. Herewith...

12 random things that happened on this very day (Aug 9th) in history...

1918 HAPPY ROBERT ALDRICH CENTENNIAL! The director was born 100 years ago today in Rhode Island. Among his best known films: The Big Knife, The Dirty Dozen, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Autumn Leaves, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, and The Longest Yard. Alfred Molina was recently Emmy-nominated for playing him in the TV series Feud: Bette and Joan...

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Tuesday
Jul312018

Doc Corner: Musical Chairs with Whitney, Elvis and Ryuichi Sakamoto

By Glenn Dunks

We’re playing a bit of catch up this week in the lead up to the hectic fall festival and award season. Nathaniel already looked at a bunch of recent indies and mainstream blockbusters. Now it’s my time to look at a trio of recent documentaries all about musicians: Whitney, The King, and Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda.

Why can’t we get a documentary about the one and only Whitney Houston that truly works? Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney follows on a year after Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal’s Whitney: Can I Be Me, an appalling film that Whitney easily supplants if only by default. Macdonald, an Academy Award-winner for One Day in September (a personal favourite, but he is probably best known as the director of The Last King of Scotland) brings a glossy sheen to Whitney that was missing in that earlier title, but it still falls short of giving Houston the treatment she deserves.

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Wednesday
Jul182018

Showbiz History: Dutch Men, Dark Knights, and Queen Bitches

We need escapism now more than ever so on this July 18th let's looks back into history for easier things to think about then the here and now.

Verhoeven on the set of "Showgirls"

10 random things that happened on this day in showbiz history...

1938 Infamous Dutch auteur Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Showgirls) born on this day. Elle, his most recent feature, might be hard to top as late career provocations go but the 80 year-old master will certainly try with his next, Benedetta, a 17th century lesbian nuns drama starring Charlotte Rampling. The film is due in 2019.

1967 Mark Vincent Sinclair born in New York City. He later becomes Vin Diesel... 

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