Since Nonfics is still a new and fairly small site, we aren’t able to review every documentary and nonfiction film released in the U.S. Especially when most of us are currently immersed in NYFF screenings. So, I’d like to introduce a new weekly feature that simply highlights the major new titles opening each Friday (and sometimes on other days).
There is no reason for us to ignore that Muscle Shoals, The Network and Metallica Through the Never (a hybrid concert film with sci-fi fictional elements) are out on the big screen (the same goes for Inequality for All, but we’ll have a review of that one up shortly). So while the following is just a guide with no critical thoughts as of yet, hopefully it’s enough to provide awareness of these new releases. Where available, I will link to our own review of the film or a review at our sister site, Film School Rejects.
Directed by Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier
Featuring Bono, Greg Allman, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Jimmy Cliff, Percy Sledge, Steve Winwood and more
Official Synopsis: Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound. [Magnolia Pictures]
Film School Rejects Grade: B+ [Review]
Now Playing: IFC Center in NYC
For future openings in other cities, check the film’s play dates listings on the Magnolia website.
Inequality for All
Directed by Jacob Kornbluth
Produced by Jennifer Chaiken (My Flesh and Blood) and Sebastian Dungan
Edited by Kim Roberts (Food, Inc.) and Miranda Yousef (Troubadours)
Featuring Robert Reich
Official Synopsis: In this timely and entertaining documentary, noted economic policy expert Robert Reich takes on the enormous question of what has been happening to our economy. He distills the story through the lens of widening income inequality — currently at historic highs — and explores what effects this increasing gap has not only on our economy but our democracy itself.
Nonfics rating: *** [Review]
Now Playing: In more than 20 cities nationwide, including NYC, Los Angeles, Austin and Atlanta
For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the theaters and openings page of the film’s website.
Written, directed and produced by Eva Orner (Oscar-winning producer of Taxi to the Dark Side)
Featuring TOLO TV founder Saad Mohseni and former Viacom CEO Tom Freston
Official Synopsis: This compelling and eye-opening doc follows Afghanistan’s first independent television network, TOLO TV, and the group of family members and dedicated staff behind it. Launched in 2004, TOLO TV has grown to be Afghanistan’s largest and most successful television network employing over 800 Afghans, producing news, current affairs, drama, comedy, music, and lifestyle programs. But as the country faces the impending withdrawal of foreign troops, and with security rapidly deteriorating, the film reveals an uncertain future for the network and its employees, many of whom are women. [FilmBuff]
Now Playing: IFC Center in NYC. Also screens September 30th at the Open Society Foundations in Washington, D.C.
Opens October 4th in Los Angeles and hits VOD on October 8th.
Metallica Through the Never
Directed by Nimrod Antal (Predators)
Written by Antal with the members of Metallica
Featuring Metallica (Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich), Dane DeHaan
Official Synopsis: Metallica Through the Never is a groundbreaking music-driven 3-D motion picture event. The film combines a spectacular never-before-seen live-performance by Metallica created exclusively for the film and a suspenseful narrative to produce a bracing, raw and visceral cinematic experience. Emerging young star Dane DeHaan (A Place Beyond the Pines, Kill Your Darlings, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 & 3) portrays Trip, a young roadie sent on an urgent mission that turns into a surreal adventure, while Metallica performs its most iconic songs during a roaring live set in front of a sold-out arena. [Picturehouse]
Now Playing: On 300 IMAX 3D screens nationwide.
Opens on non-IMAX screens on October 4th.