Blood Road follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal: to reach the site where Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot, was shot down in Laos more than 40 years earlier.
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Thirty-five years after it was made, the climatic car chase scene in The French Connection is still jaw-dropping in its suspense and execution. Director William Friedkin recounts how he created one of the greatest action sequences ever.
From Lemmy filmmaker Wes Orshoski comes the story of the long-ignored pioneers of punk: The Damned, the first U.K. punks on wax and the first to cross the Atlantic. This authorized film includes appearances from Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones (The Clash), Lemmy and members of Pink Floyd, Black Flag, GNR, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Buzzcocks, and more. Shot around the globe over three years, the film charts the band’s complex history and infighting, as it celebrated its 35th anniversary and found its estranged former members striking out on their own anniversary tour, while still others battle cancer.
In June 2013, Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes. Poitras is a great and brave filmmaker, but she is also a masterful storyteller: she compresses the many days of questioning, waiting, confirming, watching the world’s reaction and agonizing over the next move, into both a great character study of Snowden and a narrative that will leave you on the edge of your seat as it inexorably moves toward its conclusion.
Above and Below is a rough and rhythmic roller coaster ride seating five survivors in their daily hustle through an apocalyptic world. A journey of challenges and beauty in uncomfortable places: Rick & Cindy, Godfather Lalo in the flood channels deep down under the shiny strip of Sin City. Dave in the dry and lonesome Californian desert and April in simulation for a Mars mission in the Utah desert. Through the hustle, the pain and the laughs, we are whisked away to an unfamiliar world, yet quickly discover the souls we encounter are perhaps not that different from our own.
Some Kind of Monster is a music documentary about Metallica’s making of their album St. Anger and the difficulties they had to go through in the process. The directors shot over 1200 hours and followed the band around night and day for over a year to create this documentary.
A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.
Ai Weiwei is known for many things – great architecture, subversive in-your-face art, and political activism. He has also called for greater transparency on the part of the Chinese state. Director Alison Klayman chronicles the complexities of Ai’s life for three years, beginning with his rise to public prominence via blog and Twitter after he questioned the deaths of more than 5,000 students in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The record continues through his widely publicized arrest in Beijing in April of 2011. As Ai prepares various works of art for major international exhibitions, his activism heats up, and his run-ins with China’s authorities become more and more frequent.