Bill Nye is retiring his kid show act in a bid to become more like his late professor, astronomer Carl Sagan. Sagan dreamed of launching a spacecraft that could revolutionize interplanetary exploration. Bill sets out to accomplish Sagan’s mission, but he is pulled away when he is challenged by evolution and climate change contrarians to defend the scientific consensus. Can Bill show the world why science matters in a culture increasingly indifferent to evidence?
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Featuring a wealth of previously unseen archive, this film looks at how Bowie continually evolved: from Ziggy Stardust to the Soul Star of Young Americans, to the ‘Thin White Duke’. It explores his regeneration in Berlin with the critically acclaimed album Heroes, his triumph with Scary Monsters and his global success with Let’s Dance. With interviews with all his closest collaborators, David Bowie – Five Years presents a unique account of why Bowie has become an ‘icon of our times’.
Long before O’Reilly and Beck, Morton Downey, Jr., was tearing up the talk-show format with his divisive populism. Between the fistfights, rabid audience, and Mort’s cigarette smoke always “in your face,” The Morton Downey Jr. Show was billed as “3-D television,” “rock and roll without the music.” Évocateur meditates on the hysteria that ended the ’80s and ultimately its most notorious agitator.
Having made nearly 200 low-budget movies in just two decades, Utah writer-director Stephen Groo is now seeking production funds and the involvement of celebrity fan Jack Black for a remake of his 2004 human/elf fantasy drama ‘The Unexpected Race’. Scott Christopherson’s hilarious yet sincere portrait depicts this uphill battle, while examining the unusual methods of a determined DIY auteur.
Eighty-nine year old trumpeting legend Clark Terry has mentored jazz wonders like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, but Terry’s most unlikely friendship is with Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano player with uncanny talent, but debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for the most pivotal moment in his budding career, Terry’s ailing health threatens to end his own.
Don McGlynn’s uncompromising and soulful documentary look at the tumultuous life of musician and rebel Charles Mingus is fascinating stuff. Mingus said of himself “I am half black man, half yellow man, but I claim to be a Negro. I am Charles Mingus, the famed jazz musician–but not famed enough to make a living in America.” His statement summed up the conflict that plagued this musical genius his entire life: volatility, pain, prescience, and raw rage roiled inside a complex man, composer, bass player, and trombonist who transcended labels and refused to be pigeonholed into a single musical style–and who did not achieve real fame until late in his career.
JACO tells the story of Jaco Pastorius, a self-taught, larger-than-life musician who single-handedly changed the course of modern music by redefining the sound and the role of the electric bass guitar. Never-before-seen 8mm film, photographs, and audio recordings unveil the true story behind the legend of Jaco’s life, his music, and his heartbreaking end. Featuring Joni Mitchell, Sting, Flea, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins, Santana, Wayne Shorter and more, JACO will leave you longing for a time when “musicians owned the music industry.” Produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo with Passion Pictures (Searching for Sugar Man) and directed by Mr. Paul Marchand & Stephen Kijak.
Johnny Cash: American Rebel is built around 12 essential Johnny Cash tracks spanning four decades that each deliver the passion, musicality and messages against war, injustice, racism and prejudice, including “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson,” “San Quentin,” “Man in Black,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” “Ring of Fire” and “Hurt.” Each song illustrates a chapter in his life, as well the story of an ever-changing America from the 1950s to modern day, as told through interviews, archival concert footage, photographs and personal artifacts from the Cash family.
As the world prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of West Side Story in 2017, dancer Bruno Tonioli and broadcaster Suzy Klein go in search of the true stories behind the inception of this classic show. For the first time on television, they hear first-hand from those involved in the show when it opened on Broadway in September 1957, including Sondheim himself, producer Hal Prince and original cast members from both show and movie, including Chita Rivera Carol Lawrence and Rita Moreno. With the BBC Symphony Orchestra and specially cast singers, we re-live some of the wonderful music and, in the company of Suzy and Bruno, we discover how West Side Story placed the 1950s phenomena of racial tension and teenage gangs centre stage to create a hit that changed musical theatre forever.