Cheryl Eddy

Why sleep when there are docs to watch??

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That's my motto. I'm gonna get it tattooed in Olde English letters across my stomach, "Thug Life"-style. With the two question marks and everything. Here's a couple of new recommendations for my doc-loving homies.

Tonight on IFC: the premiere of Rank, director John Hyams' look at the elite ranks of the professional bull-riding circuit. (Hyams previously made a film for HBO about mixed martial arts fighting called The Smashing Machine. Read more »

Poppin' and popcorn

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Well, this comes as absolutely no surprise. As the Hollywood Reporter noted today, Newmarket Films is running into difficulties with the distribution of Death of a President. The Toronto International Film Festival hit -- which imagines the assassination of President George W. Bush, and all the Cheney-led chaos and freedom-crackdowns that follow -- will not be playing at the nation's largest theater chain, Regal Cinemas. Read more »

Chain gang

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre reissued on a slick new DVD
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PRESS PLAY I've reached the point in my sick, sad life where I get urgently flagged e-mails from friends that read like this: "Dude: E! True Hollywood Story: Texas Chainsaw Massacre airs this weekend!" And then I actually write this kind of information down on the nearest calendar. So you can imagine what a chore it was to take a look at Dark Sky Films' brand-new, two-disc "ultimate edition" DVD treatment. Read more »

The loneliness of the long-distance runner

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Documentaries are taking over my life. Lately, everything I wanna watch is either true or the next best thing. So it was only a matter of time before I'd cross paths with Docurama, a DVD label that handles documentaries exclusively. Good ones, too, including The Staircase, about a high-profile murder trial in my home state of North Carolina. Read more »

The final frontier

Aron Ranen surfs reality - to the moon and beyond
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cheryl@sfbg.com
Ask Aron Ranen about his filmmaking philosophy, and he won't pause long. "I'm a reality surfer. Things pop up as I'm quote-unquote traveling around the world with my camera."
When he says "pop up," he ain't kidding. While attempting to uncover the truth about the Apollo 11 moon landing in Did We Go? (which screened in 2000 at New York's Museum of Modern Art), Ranen stumbled upon the fact that the magnetic tapes used to record the 1969 event had gone missing. Read more »

Act naturally

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I interviewed writer-director-editor-supporting actor Andrew Bujalski last year, prior to Funny Ha Ha’s August 2005 opening at the Red Vic. He’d actually completed his debut film in 2002; during its meandering journey into theaters (with stops at over ten fests, including the San Francisco Independent Film Festival), he was able to shoot his follow-up, Mutual Appreciation. Read more »

True religion genes

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Tory in Jesus Camp. Copyright Magnolia Pictures.

Fascinated disgust and aghast amusement are two feelings I don't experience often enough. Jesus Camp elicits both in spades. Read more »

Word up

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Casual readers of this blog might deduce that all I ever do is watch movies. Well, that's mostly true. But I do a few other things on occasion. Like, listen to music. And inevitably, read two or more books at a time. Here's what-all's dividing my literary attentions four ways at the moment:

The heroes BITE BACK!

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From the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim show, Robot Chicken. So ridiculously stupidly funny.

One strike and you're out

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DVD available from Choices Video.

My introduction to director William Gazecki came with his 1997 debut, the Oscar-nominated doc Waco: The Rules of Engagement. I distinctly remember sitting alone at the Red Vic, my jaw on the floor, watching the damning footage he'd unearthed solve the riddle of who fired first ('twas our government, not the Branch Davidians). Read more »