The Damned – Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead [Blu-ray + DVD]

damned-dvdDon’t You Wish That We Were Dead is a three year labour of love by film maker Wes Orshoski whose last subject was the legend that is Lemmy.

This time Orshoski tackles UK punk pioneers The Damned, first UK punk band to release a 45 (the classic New Rose), the first LP in Damned, Damned, Damned and the first Limey punks to tour the US of A. All this and yet they still don’t get the accolades they deserve, or at least that’s the way the band sees it. Nor the money which is a re-occurring theme through out the doco. This is a band who fell apart, got back together, feuded, argued, have now split into two camps and still complain about the bucks! It would almost be funny except for the fact we’ll probably never see the original band playing together again.

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The Look of Silence

Look-ofThe Look of Silence is a companion piece documentary to the Oscar-nominated 2012 doco The Act of Killing. Both were shot by German-American Joshua Oppenheimer and a team of mostly-anonymous (for their own protection) collaborators in Indonesia over a period of nearly a decade. The focus is on the military coup of 1965 and the subsequent massive slaughter of over a million people by army-directed death squads. Continue reading

City of Gold

City of Gold is a film about L.A. based (Pulitzer Prize winning) food critic Jonathan Gold. Identifying as a “failed cellist”, Gold was also a proofreader and music reviewer for the L.A. Weekly.  Before he became a  full-time food critic, Gold ate at every eatery on the 15 mile stretch of Pico Boulevard which runs from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica. He uncovered self contained communities where specialty cuisines from all over the world abounded and he quickly gained a cult following for his boundary pushing exploration of culturally diverse cuisines and delicacies (Google Hagfish at your own risk).

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Cartel Land

Cartel Land is a documentary about the effect the Mexican drug cartels have on communities and two “vigilante” groups who try to fight against them. The first is a group called the Autodefensas, a group led by Dr Jose Mireles (aka “El Doctor”). The Autodefensas are a group of locals sick of the violence and torture committed by the Knights Templar drug cartel. We gain incredible access to the victims of these crimes as well as front-line  footage of the Autodefensas fighting back against the cartel.

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Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer

One could say that Jeremy Scott is the Banksy of the fashion world. Loved and adored by many but not  fully embraced by the elite of their fields. For those of you who don’t know who Jeremy Scott is, he’s a fashion designer and the current Creative Director of Italian luxury fashion house Moschino. Celebs such as Frances Cobain, Paris Hilton, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus wear his clothes.

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Best of Enemies

In 1968 the ABC network was struggling to compete with CBS and NBC.  Known for poor quality programming and very low ratings, comedian Milton Berle quipped: “The way to end the Vietnam War is to schedule it on ABC. . . . It’ll be cancelled in 13 weeks”. To pull in viewers during the Republican/Democrat conventions of ’68, ABC hired the conservative pundit William F. Buckley, Jr. and pitted him against American writer and liberal Gore Vidal for ten nightly debates.

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Being Evel

There are certain things that exist in the pop culture universe that I feel like I know everything about but have never watched/read/listened to or seen. Star Wars was a big one (I watched it recently), and now I can add  Evel Knievel to that list. I knew he did motorbike stunts, I knew he was patriotic, wore red, white and blue and was number one, but after watching this documentary I have no idea how I know any of this (apart from this episode of The Simpsons), because I knew nothing about him and have never seen any of his stunts before. Being Knievel is the perfect film for those who know next to nothing about the man, those who loved him as children and for this generation of young extreme sports lovers whose heroes were greatly inspired by Knievel.

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