It strikes me that your appreciation for Love Never Dies may depend on your thoughts about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom Of The Opera, with the slightly odd thing being that the sequel may best be appreciated by those indifferent to the original. The reason for that is that those in love with Phantom will rile at the lack of the classic score and the rather different tone, while those who hate it tend to do so for reasons that have little to do with the show itself (and more to do with the sort of supposedly spectacle over substance musical entertainment it represents) and Love Never Dies will do nothing to change that. [Read more…]
Gary Hustwit has made a bit of a name for himself making documentaries about subjects that sound like they’ll be dull, but in his hands turn out to be far more interesting than you’d expect. His design trilogy kicked off with Helvetica, about a text font, and he followed that up with Objectified, about the relationship between manufactured objects and the people who design them. Just reading that sentence you could make you fall asleep, but believe it or not, the documentaries are fascinating.
Hustwit rounds out the trilogy with Urbanized, where he tries to outdo himself in making a documentary about a boring sounding subject, as it’s about urban planning. Once more though he proves that what may initially seem deathly dull is actually fascinating in the right hands. [Read more…]
The British Guide To Showing Off is a feature-length documentary that looks at artist Andrew Logan and his anarchic creation, The Alternative Miss World Show, which has been going since 1972 and seen a heady mix of eccentrics and artists taking part and, well, showing off.
The movie follows Logan as he rather leisurely tries to organise 2009’s pageant, as well as charting the history of the event, which has seen everything from David Hockney judging the first, David Bowie not being able to get into the second and the whole thing even being won by a robot. At one point it even got into a court battle with the Official Miss World organisation, who objected to Logan’s event’s name (Miss World lost). [Read more…]
Although it’s a bit of a shame We Were Here didn’t hit DVD last week, just in time for AIDS Awareness Day on December 1st, the powerful documentary about the impact of HIV and AIDS in San Francisco in the 1980s has now been released. It’s already received plenty of plaudits, including being shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar.
We Were Here consists of interviews with San Franciscans who lived through the early years of the emergence of AIDS, giving testimony about its effect on them and those around them. For a younger generation for whom HIV has largely seemed like a manageable condition (whether that’s the truth or not), it’s sobering stuff. [Read more…]
If you were wondering whether the lives of crack-addicted rent boys were a barrel of laughs, then Men For Sale is here to say that they aren’t. Well, that doesn’t exactly come as a big surprise, but does this documentary have anything new to say about the subject? [Read more…]