Doc News: Judy Garland; Tupac Shakur; Colin Hanks

– Oscar winner Rob Epstein  (“The Times of Harvey Milk,” “Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt”) is re-teaming with longtime collaborator Jeffrey Friedman following their sort of venture into narrative filmmaking (“Howl”) for a project involving the late Judy Garlandaccording to 24 Frames. Also on board is filmmaker Steven “Flip” Lippman, who makes short musical documentary  films. This feature documentary, titled “Stay All Night,” will piece together a “re-creation” of Garland’s famous 1961 comeback concert at Carnegie Hall, which was not filmed. However, Super 8mm backstage material has been uncovered, and this will be combined with music excerpts and interviews with people who were there. The idea is not to present a certain record but an experience as close to being there as possible. It doesn’t sound like they will actually be reenacting the concert, which is what the use of the word “re-create” seems to imply. It’s in beginning stages, though, so it will be some time before we see what the trio achieves. Meanwhile, Epstein and Friedman (who are likely just producing “Stay All Night”), are currently still trying to get their Linda Lovelace biopic, “Lovelace,” off the ground.

– The new “Frontline” documentary on WikiLinks (titled “WikiSecrets”) apparently annoyed the hacker group The Lulz Boat enough to mess around with the PBS webpage over the weekend. They posted a fake story that Tupac Shakur is alive and well and residing in New Zealand, as is Biggie Smalls. The Lulz Boat also posted employee login information and other “sensitive information,” admitting elsewhere that they were “less than impressed” with the episode. On another page at the group wrote, “Free Bradley Manning, Fuck Frontline!”


– Actor Colin Hanks (son of Tom) is raising money on Kickstarter for a documentary titled “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records.” This will apparently be the directorial debut of Hanks, whose doc experience includes performing in a reenactment segment of his father’s production “Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D.” On the Kickstarter page, you can watch a video of Hanks talking about the project, which will focus on the history of the Tower chain and its founder, Russ Solomon, with concentration put on the original Sacramento store. It sounds more personal than you’d expect, and it could actually be a fine, grander-scale companion to recent SXSW hit “Sound It Out,” about one of the last record stores in the UK. [via The Sacramento Bee]


– Boston’s DocYard series has revealed the titles playing its summer season, which kicks off June 6. The following documentaries will be presented over the next few months: “To Be Heard,” “The Kids Grow Up,” “High-Rise” (“Um Lugar au Sol”), “Fake It So Real,” “The Redemption of General Butt Naked,” “Where Soldiers Come From” and “Rain in a Dry Land.” Films are screened every other Tuesday with an after party for discussion following each. If you live in the Boston area do check some of these films out.


– Do you love Twitter enough to watch a documentary about it? Twitch has first-hand info about Tan Siok Siok’s “grass-roots” style film “Twittamentary,” which had a test screening last week. Featuring interviews with small-time Twitterers to Arianna Huffington. I can’t wait to see it and live-Tweet the whole thing (just kidding).


– In documentary box office news, Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” moved up to 13th place this weekend and earned another $588k, putting it on an easy track to break $3 million in the next week or so. It is currently the third highest-grossing non-IMAX documentary of the year (behind “African Cats” and “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”), and its gross is possibly being helped significantly by 3D pricing. But I wish that was helping more, because nobody should be seeing this film in 2D. Trust me, it’s not just worth it, it’s necessary. Another doc being helped by the 3D surcharge is the hot IMAX doc “Born to Be Wild,” which has now grossed about $6 million. Meanwhile, “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” bumped up its theater count substantially yet only pulled in another $68, 500, cementing it as a flop. [All figures based on Box Office Mojo estimates]


About Christopher Campbell
I am a blogger for Documentary Channel and, where I write the Doc Talk column. I prefer real stories to fake ones. I tweet here: @thefilmcynic

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