Doc Clips: “Sarah Palin: You Betcha!”

The other Sarah Palin documentary, “The Undefeated,” hasn’t been a huge hit, though its gross is not awful for a non-fiction release, especially one so right-leaning. Could a lefty take on the former Vice President candidate do better? We’ll have to wait a bit, as Nick Broomfield‘s “Sarah Palin: You Betcha!” doesn’t even hit the festival circuit until next month, when it premieres in Toronto. I can see it being the filmmaker’s highest grossing doc since 1998’s “Kurt & Courtney,” which would put it well above the pro-Palin doc, if it can garner some positive reviews and decent distribution (Arc Entertainment holds U.S. rights) that sells it as a Michael Moore-ish doc.

And based on the first “teaser” clips, that shouldn’t be too hard. I prefer Broomfield’s sensationalist shtick to Moore’s, because he aims less for laughs and tends to seem genuinely a curious, albeit emotionally distanced, investigator in spite of his reputation for paying interviewees and hawking conspiracy theories. But it’s also hard to imagine he’s gotten much of substance here that other journalists have failed to get. Unless Broomfield has found people to testify that Palin shot both Kurt Cobain and Biggie Smalls and is currently hiding Tupac in her home — and I’m sure Broomfield could — I don’t even know how entertaining or interesting it will be compared to the filmmaker’s past works. I’m bracing for disappointment yet I also can’t help anticipating his first feature doc in five years, following a great two-film jump into narrative works.

Check out the two new clips after the jump.

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Doc News: Jose Padilha, Michael Moore, Pearl Jam and Queen

– Brazilian documentary filmmaker Jose Padilha (“Bus 174”; “Secrets of the Tribe”) is hopefully not getting too distracted from non-fiction. He’s currently in development on the “RoboCop” remake and is now back in the news with his previously announced South American ‘Triple Border’ project “Tri-Border.” The English-language political action thriller, originally titled “A Willing Patriot” and written by Jason Keller, is currently being re-scripted by Nick Shenk (“Gran Torino”). Add to this the option of the next “Wolverine” movie, as Padilha is reportedly on Fox’s shortlist for directors up for the gig abandoned by Darren Aronofsky. Next up for the director, though, is a segment of “Rio, Eu Te Amo,” the latest in the “Paris, Je T’Aime”/”New York, I Love You,” model of anthologies (aka the “Cities of Love” franchise). I’m still not sure if his short will be fiction or doc, but I expect it’s the former.

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