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The real drama happens behind the curtain in this fascinating and rare look at four high-profile Broadway musicals (Wicked, Taboo, Caroline, Or Change, and Avenue Q) and their fearless journey to the Tony Awards®. Including a star-studded cast, this entertaining film takes viewers on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view of the creative process that captures all the heartbreak and hilarity of trying make it big in Show Business!
The playful but intense and vastly informative Show Business: The Road to Broadway is a documentary about four musicals that were contenders for top Tony Awards prizes in the 2004 Broadway season. Following the parallel action between the quartet–”Wicked,” “Avenue Q,” “Taboo,” and “Caroline, or Change”–from concept through casting, rewrites, rehearsals, opening nights and the relative box-office fortunes of each, the film dazzles a viewer by seeming to be everywhere at once. Along the way, one encounters cascades of neuroses and anxieties from the creative community involved in these shows, but there is also tremendous insight shared by the various playwrights, composers, lyricists, producers, directors, and stars who get these productions up and running. There’s sundry drama, too, especially concerning the brief run of “Taboo,” the financially disastrous musical about Boy George that was largely bankrolled by Rosie O’Donnell and ran into a variety of problems. Excellent fly-on-the-wall moments include a dinner sequence involving a handful of well-known theatre critics, whose tastes vary and who often champion shows no one else seems to like. Everything leads to highlights from the 2004 Tony Awards show, which was full of surprises. A final sequence in which one catches up with the many talents involved says everything about how success and failure is often a mere roll of the cosmic dice.
There is seven of them, aged 23 to 60: a man, women, mothers, girls, they come from different backgrounds.
All speak openly, quite frankly, with courage.
Each one of them shares his story, his emotions and memories.
Each story is unique, but universal in its way. Everyone tells the silences,
the feeling of guilt of the victim, the lack of points of reference, the cowardice of the whole family, the tragic role of the mother, the denial, the feeling of being alone in the world.
The film shows the mechanisms of incest and that one can not understand it
without considering the whole family.
The documentary also wants to transmit a message of hope with these men and women who were able to rebuild themselves.
Their stories offer a helping hand to those who, like them once, suffocate under a blanket of silence.
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI is the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.
For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi, but even at his age he sees himself still striving for perfection, working from sunrise to well beyond sunset to taste every piece of fish; meticulously train his employees; and carefully mold and finesse the impeccable presentation of each sushi creation. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow.
This is a TV documentary featuring footage of Fassbinder on the sets of “Kamikaze 89″ and “Querelle”. There is also an interview with him (I think it might be the last interview he gave before his death). “Last Works” director Gremm was staying at Fassbinder’s apartment during the night of his overdose. Continue reading
Long interview with Monte Hellman at home. Maybe one of the best documentaries about a filmmaker ever shot.
A hilarious retrospective of scenes from films, television and short-subjects going back to the the ’20s, ’30s. ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, detailing everything from proper petting etiquette to military lectures on VD prevention. Continue reading
IMDB user comment:
Excellent, well-produced documentary
This is one of the better historical documentaries that I have seen in awhile covering any subject. Producing a documentary on Nelson Mandela is a rather formidable undertaking, and I believe that the filmmakers prove to be up to the task. The film portrays Mandela not as a saint, but as a human being — yes sometimes egotistical, but steadfast throughout his struggle. One of the most memorable parts of the film (edited marvelously) for me was the section describing the Sharpeville massacre (including actual footage) and how this event was key in turning Mandela from non-violence to armed struggle. Also powerful is the coverage of Mandela’s first trial on treason. Not only is footage woven in with interviews of key colleagues of Mandela, but one can see from the interview subjects that the fight against apartheid in South Africa was not merely a black versus white struggle. The struggle, in fact, encompassed a number of different ethnicities — even Afrikkaners.