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Stranger than fiction: The Most Shocking Documentaries Ever

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As Three Identical Strangers surprises audiences with its unlikely true story, here are other wild tales that became films

“Last weekend saw the US release of the new documentary Three Identical Strangers, a historical footnote too unlikely for anyone to have dreamt up. During the 80s, three young men named Robert Shaffran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman discovered that they were identical triplets separated at birth, and the story only got stranger from there. The films unlikely, yet entirely true, set of twists helped to turn it into another fact-based smash, boasting the years best per-screen average for a documentary to date.

Real life gives writerly invention a run for its money in this outlandish-but-true tale, but its far from the first documentary to wrestle factual events into the shape of a suspenseful mystery. Consider the following sampling of documentaries in which the truth is far stranger (or darker, or sadder) than fiction, and keep your wits about you:

The Overnighters

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions the North Dakota preacher Jay Reinke was doing a goodness when he opened the doors of his church to all those in need of shelter after the local oil boom dried up and affordable housing became scarce. But some unanticipated revelations in the films final minutes call Reinkes intentions into question. The rare film about a religious figure without necessarily being about religion, it takes a complicated moral inventory of the man at its center.

Capturing the Friedmans

Before he caught Robert Durst on the hot mic, Andrew Jarecki trained his focus on a subject just as lurid for this HBO TV movie. He was working on a short film about party clowns when he encountered David Silly Billy Friedman, a popular hire in the New York area for birthday parties. While researching Friedman, he stumbled into a morass of dysfunction the likes of which he couldnt have imagined: Davids brother…..”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jul/03/stranger-than-fiction-the-most-shocking-documentaries-ever

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Emily Blunt on the pressure of playing Mary Poppins

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Mary Poppins is a woman with a talent for putting things back together again.

“Which is why it’s rather apt that after 50 years, she’s returning to our screens at a time when the world is arguably most in need of being put back together.

And, Emily Blunt — who plays Mary Poppins in the upcoming sequel Mary Poppins Returns — is well aware of the impact her character has already had on the lives of those who watched the 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews.

Standing in full Edwardian get-up inside Shepperton Studios, Blunt told Mashable that she has fond memories of watching the film as a child. “The film, for me, and I think for most people, is one of those films that is seared into people’s memory, an emblem of their nostalgia in many ways,” says Blunt…………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/emily-blunt-interview-mary-poppins-returns/

 

 

Director Rob Marshall and Emily Blunt on the set of Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’.

Image: Jay Maidment

 

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How Willem Dafoe Learned to Paint like Van Gogh

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Midway through artist-director Julian Schnabel’s new film At Eternity’s Gate, we see Vincent van Gogh, portrayed by actor Willem Dafoe, entirely consumed by the compulsion to paint. In the scene, the Dutch artist opens the door to his yellow-walled apartment in Arles, France, to find his friend, fellow artist Paul Guguin, sketching Madame Ginoux, a local café owner. Instantly compelled by what he sees, Van Gogh lunges into action, assembling his easel and grasping several paintbrushes in his left hand, while using his right to commit bold, feverish brushstrokes to canvas. His passion is enthralling—so much so, we forget that Dafoe is not a real painter at all.

At Eternity’s Gate envisions the final years of Van Gogh’s life, through a series of vignettes that straddle truth and fiction (much, though not all, is based on the trove of letters the artist left behind). We see his plight as an artist in Paris, his infatuation with the light and landscapes of Arles, and his declining mental health—including when he famously cut off his ear. But it’s not a straightforward account. “This isn’t a biopic, it doesn’t explain his life,” Dafoe recently explained at the New York Film Festival. “It’s really about painting.” Indeed, it is, first and foremost, the story of a painter as told by a painter: Schnabel, who is known for an idiosyncratic painting practice ranging from canvases covered in shattered plates to inkjet prints painted with purple-hued goats…………………………….”

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-willem-dafoe-learned-paint-van-gogh

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‘Love Actually’ turns 15: Fun facts about the movie

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