So, what are you giving your beloved friends and family during the holiday season? What’s that? Gift cards?! Bah! Don’t worry if you haven’t a clue what to get the film buff on your list. Here at MovieMaker we’ll help you out with some suggestions of newly-released movie-related items. Do you feel that? It’s the weight of the world being taken off your shoulders. You can thank us later.
All items on this list are available for purchase on Amazon or at many local retailers.
Gifts for the Documentary Fan
DOUBLE TAKE (2009)
DIRECTED BY JOHAN GRIMONPREZ
KINO INTERNATIONAL, $29.95
The tagline of Johan Grimonprez’s documentary (out on DVD on December 14th for $29.95) is “If you meet your double, you should kill him.” What if your double is Alfred Hitchcock? I would like to see you try. In all seriousness, the film deals with Cold War paranoia and the power of the media, and features Hitchcock as a paranoid history professor.
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (2010)
DIRECTED BY BANKSY
OSCILLOSCOPE LABORATORIES, $29.99
This film, directed by renowned graffiti artist Banksy–well, he didn’t start as the director. Aspiring artist Thierry Guetta started the project—but then he became the subject—and Banksy has the director’s credit even though he started as the subject. But it all might be a hoax anyway. I guess there’s no way to… You know what? It’s out on DVD ($29.99) on December 14th. There.
DIRECTED BY JOSH FOX
NEW VIDEO GROUP, $29.95
When moviemaker Josh Fox was asked to lease his land so that it could be drilled for natural gas, he talked to some neighbors, did some research on Google and ended up directing a documentary exposing the risks of drilling for natural gas that went on to win the Special Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance. You know, the typical story. The movie will be released on DVD ($29.95) on December 14th.
JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK (2010)
DIRECTED BY RICKI STERN, ANNE SUNDBERG
IFC INDEPENDENT FILM, $27.98 (DVD) or $34.98 (BLU-RAY)
When directors Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg followed comedian Joan Rivers around for a year with a camera crew, they got a documentary about Joan Rivers, sure. They also got a movie about the ruthlessness of the entertainment industry and the effort, tenacity and sacrifices required to stay in the public eye for decade after decade. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work comes out on DVD ($27.98) and Blu-Ray ($34.98) on December 14th.
DIRECTED BY SEBASTIAN JUNGER, TIM HETHERINGTON
VIRGIL FILMS AND ENTERTAINMENT, $19.99 (DVD) or $34.00 (BLU-RAY)
Author Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington spent a year in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan with a US Army platoon; the resulting film avoids political debate, instead providing a realistic picture of war as seen by the soldiers who are actually there. Restrepo won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at Sundance in 2010, and will be out on DVD ($19.99) and Blu-Ray ($34.00) on December 7th.
WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY (2009)
DIRECTED BY DON HAHN
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT, $29.99
Is there a Disney fan in your life who is curious about the modern “Golden Age” of Disney animation that culminated in the release of The Lion King? Will they chuckle to see a Tim Burton cameo and gasp when Pixar gets mentioned? Would they enjoy seeing Disney animators reenact Apocalypse Now, complete with fake guns and accompanied by “The Ride of the Valkyies?” Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Don Hahn’s Disney Doc DVD ($29.99) Waking Sleeping Beauty was released on November 30th.