Doc News: Gary Sinise, John Lennon, Hot Dogs

– Because there’s not enough “Forrest Gump” reminders at the box office this weekend (Tom Hanks has a new movie, while “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” features a “Gump”-ish opening sequence), you can also experience one on the web. A new documentary about Gary Sinise’s rock group, Lt. Dan Band, which is named after the actor’s “Gump” character and regularly performs at U.S. military base, will debut on the web July 4th. Titled “Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good” and directed by Jonathan Flora (“On the Road in Iraq with Our Troops and Gary Sinise”), the award-winning film will cost about $4 to stream on its site. From that cost, $1 will go directly to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which supports a number of charities for U.S. troops. Check out a trailer for the doc, which apparently features interviews with Robert Duvall and Jon Voight, after the jump. [via Fox News]

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Also debuting this weekend, obviously in the spirit of the holiday (and, more broadly, National Hot Dog Month), though very different from the Sinise music doc, is “A Connecticut Hot Dog Tour,” which celebrates my home state’s (news to me) love of the fast food item. Never mind that it’s better known for being the birthplace of the hamburger and the state with possibly even better pizza than NYC, I guess I can blame my general distaste for hot dogs for not being aware of all the places visited in the film. Actually, the last hot dog doc I watched, Rick Sebak’s “A Hot Dog Program,” turned me onto the Hawaiian Puka Dog, so maybe this narrower-scoped film will introduce me something else I can eat. Check it out on The Documentary Channel July 2. The trailer:

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– Somewhat of a dramatic remake of a documentary, a Will Smith-produced, John Lee Hancock-scripted & directed Hurricane Katrina film titled “The American Can” will retell the true story of the American Can apartment complex, previously covered in Jamie R. Balthazar’s hour-long film “New Orleans: My Home, My Life, My Love.” The project has just cast Denzel Washington in the heroic lead as ex-Marine John Keller.

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– Think we have enough docs about The Beatles and/or John Lennon? Well, a new one titled “Beatles Stories” is significant enough to be stunning the world today with its suddenly uncovered information about Lennon’s last-days political leanings. While I think the whole “Lennon turned Republican” focus by the media is a bit much, it is pretty fascinating that he supported Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter in 1980 (he couldn’t vote for either, however), according to personal assistant Fred Seaman. The doc’s next screening will be at the Las Vegas Film Festival on July 16. Watch the trailer below. [via Big Hollywood]


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– Lauren Greenfield is working on her first feature since 2006’s “Thin,” and the untitled project, a verite portrait of a former beauty queen, was just selected as one of five films for the 2011 Sundance Institute Documentary Edit and Story Lab. This lab’s named advisors include Werner Herzog’s editor, Joe Bini, and Stanley Nelson’s editor, Lewis Erskine. Also announced were participants in the Institute’s 2011 Composers + Documentary Lab, which will involve a new work from Richard Ray Perez (“Unprecedented”) among others. Their advisors will include two-time Oscar nominee Jon Else (“The Day After Trinity”), composer Peter Golub (“Countdown to Zero”) and former P.O.V. producer Cara Mertes. See the full report at indieWIRE for other participants, advisors and info on the other films.

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

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