Massachusetts-born photographer Mitch Epstein has been documenting life in America since the early 1970s. As Rachel Esner says, “much of Mitch Epstein’s work is…a reflection on America, on American values and ideology, on America’s place in the world today. It is the formal and associative elements in Epstein’s images that lift them to a higher plane. These are not documents in the strict sense, because they transcend and reinvent the objects photographed and in the process invest them with symbolic meaning.” Well said, Ms. Esner.
This documentary is from 2007 but is still one of my favorites to date. If you live in LA or have visited Hollywood Blvd. you’ll be familiar with these masked performers that stand out side the Chinese Mann theater and pose in photos with tourists.
CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO is a feature length documentary that chronicles the lives of three mortal men and one woman who make their living working as superhero characters on Hollywood Boulevard. This deeply personal look into their daily routines reveals their hardships and triumphs as they pursue and achieve their own kind of fame.
Okay Documentary lovers I just saw this doc last night and I loved it. Imagine Spinal Tap meets Forest Gump! It’s still in select theaters so if you can go see it on the big screen.
In the early 1980s, the Canadian metal band Anvil wrote the thrash blueprint for followers like Anthrax, Metallica, and Slayer. While those bands went on to become metal titans, Anvil faded into obscurity–so much that decades later, the band’s core members–guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner–work menial day-jobs even as they continue to churn out little-heard records and dream of rock-star success. Director Sacha Gervasi (who was once a roadie for the band) chronicles the duo’s efforts to regain their ’80s glory in the funny and touching documentary ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL.
Another riveting documentary from my files. If any of you hope to have a genius artist baby in the future you’ll want to watch this doc.
My Kid Could Paint That is a 2007 documentary film by director Amir Bar-Lev (who also directed 2000′s Fighter). The movie follows the early artistic career of Marla Olmstead, a young girl from Binghamton, NY who gains fame first as a child prodigy painter of abstract art, and then becomes the subject of controversy concerning whether she truly completed the paintings herself or did so with her parents’ assistance and/or direction. The film was bought by Sony Pictures Classics in 2007 after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. Marla’s father, an amateur painter, describes how Marla watches him paint, wants to help, and is given her own canvas and supplies.