A billionaire playboy and business and a vigilante at night, Bruce Wayne is the “dark knight” of the DC Universe. Created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger back in 1939, Batman continues to gain momentum thanks to his stature in comic books, cinema, and video games. No matter which corner you turn, the Caped Crusader is just a few steps away!
As someone with a short attention span who also embraces opportunities to learn more about the world, I have always appreciated the allure of documentary shorts. As usual, however, the 2017 crop of Academy Award nominees in the Documentary Shorts category fixate on weighty, worldwide topics: Three out of the five nominees deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by the violent rise of ISIS (“4.1 Miles,” “The White Helmets,” “Watani: My Homeland”), while a third spotlights end-of-life care (“Extremis”). Yet there is a common theme threaded throughout all of these docs, and that is the unwavering kindness of strangers, and the undaunted strength of the human spirit. In a cruel and chaotic world, that’s definitely something to root for.
Like animated short films, live action shorts need to pack an immediate emotional punch. As a result, short films often tap into themes already loaded with drama, such as bigotry, bullying, and of course, death. The 2014 Academy Awards Live Action Short winner, “Helium,” about a young boy with a terminal illness and the hospital janitor who befriends him, preps your soul for a big, cathartic sobfest, while Tribeca Film Festival favorite “Listen” bubbles with tension as a woman in a burqa attempts to report her husband’s abuse.
Season 31 of American Masters premieres with the eye-opening and immersive documentary By Sidney Lumet. Directed by Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story), the feature takes an in-depth look at Lumet’s lifelong cinematic (and humanistic) passions. Culling from his extensive body of work and a 2008 interview conducted by Daniel Anker, Buirski crafts an illuminating look at one of cinema’s most prodigious storytellers. Our Q&A with Buirski is found after the jump.
Sullivan Stapleton, star of NBC’s Blindspot, has also starred in his share of features. His next flick Renegades, co-stars J.K. Simmons and was partly shot in Croatia. The film’s trailer and Stapleton audio is featured after the jump: