‘Smiling Through the Apocalypse’ chronicles a man whose editorial instincts produced one of the greatest magazines ever: Harold Hayes, the swinging editor and cultural provocateur of the iconic Esquire Magazine of the Sixties. Through the narrative of his son Tom, a journey ensues opening unprecedented access to some of the Esquire magazine’s most compelling talents, from Nora Ephron to George Lois, and Tom Wolfe to Gore Vidal. The film is a story of risk, triumph, and challenge told by the people that helped make the magazine great, and a son who only come to understand his father’s editorial greatness 23 years after his passing.
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The Crash Reel tells the story of a sport and the risks that athletes face in reaching the pinnacle of their profession. This is Kevin Pearce’s story, a celebrated snowboarder who sustained a brain injury in a trick gone wrong and who now aims, against all the odds, to get back on the snow.
In 2017, the fittest athletes on Earth took on the unknown and unknowable during four of the most intense days of competition in CrossFit Games history. “The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth” captures all the drama as the top athletes resembling chiseled Grecian gods descend on Madison, Wisconsin, to face a series of trials. Hercules faced 12; they take on 13. Emotions run high as a throng of Australian athletes rise to the top. By the end of the competition, some learn tough lessons – that all that glitters isn’t gold, or even bronze – and some learn that they’re even stronger than they realized. The best among them enter the pantheon of the CrossFit giants and earn the right to call themselves the “Fittest on Earth”
In Botswana’s Okavango Delta, an ostracized lioness and her two cubs must fight alone to survive – overcoming all manner of hazards. Their only defense is to escape to Duba Island — and with that, an unknown future. The setting for this epic tale is one of the last regions where lions can live in the wild. Faced with dwindling land and increasing pressure from hunting, lions – like our lone lioness and her cubs – are approaching the brink of extinction.
To really understand China, you have to get to know its people! Winston “SerpentZA” Sterzel travels across China’s first tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen – meeting the cities’ most fascinating people, including a racy nude photographer, a mosquito breeding scientist and a DIY maker challenging gender and tech stereotypes.
From a young age Magnus Carlsen had aspirations of becoming a champion chess player. While many players seek out an intensely rigid environment to hone their skills, Magnus’ brilliance shines brightest when surrounded by his loving and supportive family. Through an extensive amount of archival footage and home movies, director Benjamin Ree reveals this young man’s unusual and rapid trajectory to the pinnacle of the chess world. This film allows the audience to not only peek inside this isolated community but also witness the maturation of a modern genius.
Recorded live at Hammersmith Apollo, Russell questions the values of heroes and leaders. ‘Messiah Complex’ is a disorder where sufferers think they might be the messiah. Did Jesus have it? What about Che Guevara, Gandhi, Malcolm X and Hitler? All these men have shaped our lives and influenced the way we think. Their images are used to represent ideas that often do not relate to them at all. Would Gandhi be into Apple? Would Che Guevara endorse Madonna? Would Jesus be into Christianity? He concludes it’s all a load of rubbish and encourages the audience to stop voting, ignore advertising, look to the transcendent within themselves and others…and kick over some bins on their way home. Plus there’s sex. Obviously.
The untold origin story behind Ridley Scott’s Alien – rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythologies, underground comics, the art of Francis Bacon, and the dark visions of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger. A contemplation on the symbiotic collaborative process of movie-making, the power of myth, and our collective unconscious.
Despite the advent of science, literature, technology, philosophy, religion, and so on — none of these has assuaged humankind from killing one another, the animals, and nature. UNITY is a film about why we can’t seem to get along, even after thousands and thousands of years.
Anthony Wonke directs this documentary marking the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster. Re-examining the events that led to the drilling platform, at the time the largest and oldest in the North Sea oilfield, exploding on the night of the 6th July 1988, killing 167 men, the film includes testimonies from rescuers and some of the 61 survivors, many of whom were forced to jump hundreds of feet into a flaming, oil-covered sea, and discovers what the physical and psychological legacy of the disaster has meant for those involved.