A documentary about the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance. Best of Enemies delves into the entangled biographies of these two great thinkers and luxuriates in the language and the theater of their debates, begging the question, ‘What has television done to the way we discuss politics in our democracy today?’
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Arguing With Myself, a recorded live performance of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, portrays a comedian whose revival of an old-fashioned art has made ventriloquism more relevant to modern societal concerns. Starring his six main characters, from Bubba Jay, a Nascar-obsessed hick, to Peanut, a flamboyant gay monkey, Dunham’s puppets have dirty but relatively inoffensive senses of humor that mock the American Dream. His skills as a ventriloquist alone make him a fascinating entertainer, and anyone interested in how puppetry and ventriloquism has progressed over the decades would benefit from watching Dunham bring life to his wooden friends.
Part live stand-up performance, part documentary, this film is one of comedian Richard Pryor’s later stand-up performances. As foul-mouthed as ever, Pryor touches on most of the same topics as in his previous live shows.
I AIN’T SCARED OF YOU is a documentary tribute to Bernie Mac (1957-2008). From his stand-up in underground Chicago comedy clubs to the Big Screen in Hollywood, Bernie Mac’s sharp tongue and heart of gold resonated with millions of fans throughout his career.This film revisits much of his work through exclusive recordings of early stand-up, featured scenes from his film and TV appearances, and interviews with his co-stars, including Samuel L. Jackson, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, and many more. Testimonials from friends and family offer colorful anecdotes about Bernie Mac, from his practical jokes to his strong appreciation for manicures, and paint a vivid picture of who he was as an actor-comedian, husband, father, and friend.
They are the world’s biggest rapids, thundering down the final pitch of the mighty Congo River. Legendary kayaker Steve Fisher and his elite expedition team battle seemingly insurmountable obstacles, navigate the maddening politics of a broken Central African country and face their own worst fears in an attempt to be the first explorers to survive the Inga Rapids.
In the Summer of 1963, Flint, Michigan is home to the Watsons, a close knit family. When 15 year-old Byron’s antics go over the top, his parents realize enough is enough and they decide the family needs a dose of Grandma Sands’ no nonsense approach in Birmingham, Alabama. So the Watsons load up their 1948 Plymouth Brown Bomber and head South. When they finally make it to Birmingham, they meet Grandma Sands and her friend, Mr. Robert and discover that life is very different there than in Flint. During that historic summer, the Watsons find themselves caught up in something far bigger than Byron’s antics; something that will change their lives and country forever.
After being released from prison, Dr. Nise da Silveira is back at work in a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Rio de Janeirom where she refuses to employ the new and violent electroshock in the treatment of schizophrenics. Ridiculed by doctors, she is forced to take on the abandoned Sector for Occupational Therapy, where she would start a revolution through paintings, animals and love.
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was Death. Formed in the early ’70s by three teenage brothers from Detroit, Death is credited as being the first black punk band, and the Hackney brothers, David, Bobby, and Dannis, are now considered pioneers in their field. But it wasn’t until recently — when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of Bobby’s attic nearly 30 years after Death’s heyday — that anyone outside a small group of punk enthusiasts had even heard of them.
Director Ron Howard tracks the fan phenomena that was Beatlemania from its zenith – 1963 to 1966 – to its end when the Fab Four withdrew from live performance. Landmarks from their US breakthrough in 1964 with I Want to Hold Your Hand to the controversy prompted by John Lennon’s flippant “more popular than Jesus” remark are chronicled in a documentary that includes among its interviewees Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Eddie Izzard.