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Hearts and Minds: Criterion Collection

July 16, 2014

 Hearts and Minds: Criterion Collection

Peter Davis’ powerful, Academy Award-winning documentary Hearts and Minds (1974) was made before the war in Vietnam ended in 1975. Not surprisingly, it became immediately embroiled in controversy as the United States was deeply divided and conflicted... 

A Brief History of Time: Criterion Collection

April 9, 2014

 A Brief History of Time: Criterion Collection

Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time was published in 1988 and by 2007 had sold over 10 million copies. It was the brilliant physicist’s attempt to tackle such weighty ideas as the notion that the universe had a beginning and if so, what... 

I Am Divine

April 8, 2014

 I Am Divine

In 1988, notorious cult filmmaker John Waters finally achieved mainstream recognition with Hairspray. His star and muse Divine a.k.a. Harris Glenn Milstead helped the filmmaker get there and deservedly basked in the praise. Sadly, he died the same year... 

Grey Gardens / The Beales of Grey Gardens: Criterion Collection

December 2, 2013

 Grey Gardens / The Beales of Grey Gardens: Criterion Collection

Grey Gardens (1976) is an odd curio even by the Criterion Collections’ standards – a documentary about Jackie Kennedy’s aunt Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie who lived in a run-down, 28-room house on Long Island. How did these two members... 

Pina: Criterion Collection

February 14, 2013

 Pina: Criterion Collection

More than 20 years in the making, Pina (2011) was originally conceived by filmmaker Wim Wenders as a documentary about famous choreographer and dancer Pina Bausch. However, he couldn’t figure out how to translate the artistry and elegance of the performers... 

Comic Book Confidential: 20th Anniversary Edition

December 3, 2012

 Comic Book Confidential: 20th Anniversary Edition

Often regarded as just for kids, comic books finally gained a modicum of respectability in the mid to late 1980s with the rise in popularity of titles like Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Maus to name but only a few. Harlan Ellison’s seminal... 

And Everything Is Going Fine: Criterion Collection

June 27, 2012

 And Everything Is Going Fine: Criterion Collection

American actor and playwright Spalding Gray died in 2004 and was widely considered to be one of the greatest monologists ever to tackle the medium. He is primarily known for his four films that depict monologues about various topics but chief among them,... 

Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel

June 18, 2012

 Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel

The rise and fall and redemptive arcs of rock musicians are the stuff that MTV Behind the Music specials are made of. You know the drill: a musician works their way up to dizzying heights of fame and fortune; they blow their money on any number of vices;... 

Mandelson: The Real PM?

September 12, 2011

 Mandelson: The Real PM?

The politically notorious Peter Mandelson is known as the Prince of Darkness, and former party leader Neil Kinnock once claimed that those who called Mandelson ‘Labour’s evil genius’ were only half right. So, who is the real man beneath the Machiavellian... 

On Any Sunday

September 12, 2011

 On Any Sunday

As a youngster, the revered director of surf movies, Bruce Brown, was inspired to get his first bike by Steve McQueen’s motorcycle memorable scenes in The Great Escape. Brown turned to the sport of motorcycle racing in 1971. This quintessential motorcycle... 

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