Anvil The Story of Anvil

  • Directors: Sacha Gervasi
  • Producers: Sacha Gervasi Lauren McClard Dana Sano Christopher Soos Rebecca Yeldham
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Actors:

The film begins by listing the headlining acts of the Super Rock festival held in Japan in 1984: Scorpions, Whitesnake, and Bon Jovi, all of whom have gone on to sell millions of records, except one, Anvil. Despite their ambition, the Canadian band was unable to achieve the same level of success. Instead, singer and guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow drives trucks for Children’s Choice Catering, delivering food to schools and institutions. Drummer Robb Reiner works in construction. But both would rather be playing on stage at the local sports bar to their small but dedicated fans, as shown during a show for Steve’s 50th birthday party.

Steve gets an email from a European fan named Tiziana Arrigoni, who offers to set up a European tour for the band, estimating 1500 Euros per show. The tour has a promising start at a rock festival in Sweden, where the group interacts with Michael Schenker and Carmine Appice, but it quickly goes downhill. Trains are full before the band can buy tickets, they miss travel connections altogether, they get lost in Prague due to language barriers and scuffle with the bar owner who refuses to pay since the band was 2 hours late, they play to mostly empty rooms and complain about the lack of promotion, eventually running out of money and sleeping in a train station. At one point, Robb refuses to perform and announces he’s quitting from the band, only to be persuaded by Steve to stick it out. The final concert of the tour is the Monsters of Transylvania rock concert, held in a 10,000 seat arena and promising a crowd 5,000. 174 people show up.

Steve receives a phone call asking Anvil to play a concert in Japan. Excitedly, the group returns to the site that marked the highlight of their career. Their spirits are dampened when they realize they are the very first act at a 3-day festival, taking the stage at 11:30 am. Fearing disaster, the group tentatively takes the stage to a large, receptive crowd.

An Inconvenient Truth

  • Directors: Davis Guggenheim
  • Producers: Lawrence Bender, Scott Z Burns, Laurie David, Co Producer Line Producer, Lesley Chilcott, Executive Producer, Jeffrey D Ivers, Jeff Skoll, Ricky Strauss, Diane Weyermann
  • Writers: Al Gore
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Actors: Al Gore

An Inconvenient Truth focuses on Al Gore and his travels in support of his efforts to educate the public about the severity of the climate crisis. Gore says, “I’ve been trying to tell this story for a long time and I feel as if I’ve failed to get the message across.”[4] The film documents a Keynote presentation (dubbed “the slide show”) that Gore has presented throughout the world. It intersperses Gore’s exploration of data and predictions regarding climate change and its potential for disaster with his own life story.

The former vice president opens the film by greeting an audience with a joke: “I am Al Gore; I used to be the next President of the United States.”[5] After laughter from the crowd, Gore begins his slide show on climate change; a comprehensive presentation replete with detailed graphs, flow charts and stark visuals. Gore shows off several majestic photographs of the Earth taken from multiple space missions, Earthrise and The Blue Marble.[6] Gore notes that these photos dramatically transformed the way we see the Earth; helping spark modern environmentalism.

Following this, Gore shares vivid anecdotes that inspired his passion for the issue, including his college education with early climate expert Roger Revelle at Harvard University, his sister’s death from lung cancer and his young son’s near-fatal car accident. Gore recalls a story from his grade school years, where a fellow student asked his geography teacher about continental drift; in response, the teacher called the concept the “most ridiculous thing [he’d] ever heard.” Gore ties this conclusion to the assumption that “the Earth is so big, we can’t possibly have any lasting, harmful impact on the Earth’s environment.” For comic effect, Gore uses a clip from the Futurama episode “Crimes of the Hot” to describe the greenhouse effect. Gore refers to his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 United States presidential election as a “hard blow” yet subsequently “brought into clear focus, the mission [he] had been pursuing for all these years.”

Gore’s book of the same title was published concurrently with the theatrical release of the documentary. The book contains additional information, scientific analysis, and Gore’s commentary on the issues presented in the documentary. A 2007 documentary entitled An Update with Former Vice President Al Gore features Gore discussing additional information that came to light after the film was completed, such as Hurricane Katrina, coral reef depletion, glacial earthquake activity on the Greenland ice sheet, wildfires, and trapped methane gas release associated with permafrost melting.[10]

The Age of Stupid

  • Directors: Franny Armstrong
  • Producers: Lizzie Gillett
  • Writers: Franny Armstrong
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Actors: Pete Postlethwaite, Jehangir Wadia, Layefa Malin, Al Duvernay, Fernand Pareau, Jamila and Adnan Bayyoud, Piers Guy, Mark Lynas, David King, George Monbiot

The story begins in the year 2055. A man known as the archivist of all art and acquired knowledge in the world, portrayed by Pete Postlethwaite, reviews archive footage from back “when we could have saved ourselves”. The footage he reviews consists of news reports showing the effects of a changing climate and is intertwined with six individual stories:

Al Duvernay is shown to having stayed behind and helped in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. He also reflects on his job in the oil industry and how valuable resources are being wasted.

Indian business man Jeh Wadia talks about the start-up of his low cost airline GoAir and his desire for all people not just the rich to be able to afford to travel by air.

An Iraqi family, that has fled to Jordan because of the Iraq War, tell the story of their fathers death. The focus is on two children of the family, Jamila and Adnan.

An English family take a tour of the Mont Blanc glacier in France and their guide is eighty two year-old Fernand Pareau a local who has seen the glacier recede massively in his lifetime. The guide is also shown taking action against expanding road infrastructure in his area.

A fast forward from 2008 to 2054 shows the effects of ignoring the signs of climate change. In the end the message of the archivist is beamed into space.

The September Issue

  • Directors: R J Cutler
  • Producers: Eliza Hindmarch
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Actors: Anna Wintour

The film revolves around the making of the Vogue September Issue ’07. The audience sees the trouble that goes into making the magazine, and the true passion that Grace Coddington, a former model turned creative director and the only person who dares to stand up to Anna Wintour, has for the highly regarded fashion magazine. In the film, Grace is often portrayed as the leading victim to Anna’s aggressive personality. However, her expertise and keen eye for fashion is proven when most of her ideas are printed in the final copy of the September Issue. Nevertheless, the team at Vogue truly is a team and is not run solely by Anna Wintour. As the film progresses, you see into the lives of the Vogue Elite, and the making of one of the greatest fashion magazines.

It Might Get Loud

  • Directors: Davis Guggenheim
  • Producers: Thomas Tull, Davis Guggenheim, Lesley Chilcott, Peter Afterman, Jimmy Page
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Documentary, Music
  • Actors: Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White

The film documents the varied playing and recording styles of guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White.

Page’s history with guitar traces back to his childhood when he played in a skiffle band. After desiring to do more than play pop music, Page “retires” from guitar playing to attend art school. He later revives his music career as a session guitarist, only to be discouraged by the realization that he is playing others’ music and stifling his own creativity. At that point, Page begins to write and perform in the bands The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Page discusses the skiffle and blues music that influenced him at the time. For many of Page’s scenes, he visits Headley Grange, where parts of Led Zeppelin IV were recorded, and in one scene, explains how the distinctive drum sound from “When the Levee Breaks” was achieved.

The Edge’s history with guitar traces back to building a guitar with his brother Dik and learning to play. In the film, he visits Mount Temple Comprehensive School and recalls forming U2 in his childhood. He also demonstrates his playing technique, in how he eliminates certain strings from chords, as well as his use of echo and delay effects to “fill in notes that aren’t there”. He also discusses his purchase of his signature guitar, the Gibson Explorer, in New York City and the punk music that influenced him. In other scenes, he plays early demo tapes of “Where the Streets Have No Name”, discusses his inspiration for “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, and spends time experimenting with guitar effects for the riffs to “Get on Your Boots”.

The touchstone of the film is a meeting of the three guitarists dubbed “The Summit”. In these scenes, the three guitarists not only converse about their influences and techniques, but they also play each other’s songs together, showing each other how to play “I Will Follow”, “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, and “In My Time of Dying”. The film concludes with the men playing an impromptu cover version of The Band’s “The Weight” on acoustic guitars.

The 11th Hour

  • Directors: Nadia Conners, Leila Conners Petersen
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Nadia Conners, Leonardo DiCaprio, Leila Conners Petersen
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Stephen Hawking, Thom Hartmann, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sylvia Earle, James Woolsey, Andrew Weil, William McDonough, Paul Hawken, Wangari Maathai, David Suzuki, Andy Lipkis, David Orr, Kenny Ausubel

With contributions from over 50 politicians, scientists, and environmental activists, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen Hawking, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, and journalist Paul Hawken, the film documents the grave problems facing the planet’s life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats are all addressed. The film’s premise is that the future of humanity is in jeopardy.

The film proposes potential solutions to these problems by calling for restorative action by the reshaping and rethinking of global human activity through technology, social responsibility and conservation.

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures

  • Directors: Chris Waitt
  • Producers: Henry Trotter, Mary Burke
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Documentary, Comedy
  • Actors: Alexandra Boyarskaya, Danielle McLeod, Olivia Trench, Chris Waitt, Hilary Waitt, Mary Burke

Filmmaker Chris Waitt sets out on a quest to find out why all of his romantic relationships have ended in complete failure. Tracking down every one of his former lovers, he finds a general resentment, stemming from his constant unreliability. He then sets out to test different approaches that will prepare him for true love, and a lasting relationship.

American Teen

  • Directors: Nanette Burstein
  • Producers: Nanette Burstein, Chris Huddleston, Eli Gonda, Jordan Roberts
  • Writers: Nanette Burstein
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Actors: Hannah Bailey, Colin Clemens, Megan Krizmanich, Jake Tusing, Mitch Reinholt

American Teen is set in Warsaw, Indiana, and focuses on five graduating high school seniors as they struggle through school and life. The five students prominently featured in the film fit typical high school archetypes, such as a popular student, a nerd, a jock, and a loner.

Capturing the Friedmans

  • Directors: Andrew Jarecki
  • Producers: Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Documentary, Biography
  • Actors: Arnold Friedman, Elaine Friedman, David Friedman, Seth Friedman, Jesse Friedman

The investigation into Arnold Friedman’s life started after he was caught in a pedophile sting operation when he received a magazine of child pornography from the Netherlands by mail. In searching his house, investigators found a large collection of child pornography, which led them to expand their investigation. After learning that Friedman taught children computer classes from his home, the police began to suspect him of abusing his students.

Some of the children Friedman taught had alleged Friedman played bizarre sex games with them during their computer classes. Jarecki interviewed some of these children himself; some stated that they had been in the room with other children alleging abuse, and that nothing had happened. The film portrayed police investigative procedures as the genesis of a “witch-hunt” hysteria in the Friedman’s community.

The Friedmans took home videos while Arnold Friedman (and, later, his son Jesse) awaited trial. They were allowed to stay at home in order to prepare for court. The pictures were not made with publishing in mind, but as a way to record what was happening in their lives. The movie shows much of this footage; family dinners, conversations and arguments. Arnold’s wife eventually advised her husband to confess and protect their son.

Jesse Friedman filed his appeal;[4] a federal judge rejected 2 out of 3 motions of Jesse Friedman’s appeal. The third motion was dismissed in January 2008. [5]