IFC today announced “Documentary Now… and Forever!”, a week-long cinematic celebration pairing classic documentaries and the landmark series. The in-person, retrospective screening series will play at The IFC Center located in New York, NY, from Wednesday, September 14 through Tuesday, September 20. For fans who cannot make it to the in-person screenings, a curated selection of documentaries will also be available on AMC+, AMC Networks’ premium streaming destination, beginning the same day. Hosted again by Helen Mirren, the two-part season premiere episode, “Soldier of Illusion,” written by John Mulaney and starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicholas Braun, and August Diehl, was inspired by the Werner Herzog-focused documentary Burden of Dreams. In the early 1980s, a visionary German filmmaker (Skarsgård) tries to will his magnum opus into existence while working in the remote, punishing conditions of the Russian Ular mountains. Screencaptures from the trailer have been added to the photo gallery.
Photo Gallery – Miscellaneous Projects – Documentary Now! – Screencaptures – S53E01 – Soldier of Illusion
A slew of A-list figures, including Jane Fonda, Adam McKay, Shailene Woodley, Helen Mirren, Michael Palin and Ted Turner, have demanded governments honor a long-awaited agreement to protect the world’s oceans. In the letter, dozens of celebrities and conservation groups have called for a High Seas treaty, which has been the subject of international talks for the better part of two decades. “We need our oceans. They keep our planet habitable. They provide livelihoods and livelihoods for billions, and are home to so much of our planet’s biodiversity,” the letter reads. “Currently there is no way for governments to protect the high seas, waters outside national jurisdictions. A strong treaty would solve this by allowing the creation of vast ocean reserves, off limits to destructive human activities. Urgent action is needed. Nearly two decades ago, governments first discussed a new treaty. As they have talked, the ocean crisis has worsened. Countless species and habitats have been destroyed or lost.”
Other signatories include actors Rosanna Arquette, Javier Bardem, Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance; singers Alejandro Sanz and Grag Queen; comedian Sindhu Vee and TV presenters Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Fearne Cotton and Chris Packham. The leaders of environmental organizations including Greenpeace, Oceana, SharkProject International and Women4Oceans have also added their support. There is currently no legal protection for the “high seas” – the two-thirds of international waters that are not tied to one country and are open to shipping, fishing and research to all. But the ocean, which covers 70 percent of the planet and produces about 50 percent of its oxygen, is being attacked in multiple ways by the climate crisis, environmental pollution and human exploitation. The ocean has absorbed about 90 percent of the excess heat caused by greenhouse gas emissions, largely from the burning of fossil fuels. The higher temperatures affect almost all marine life. United Nations negotiations on new Global Ocean treaty stall, activists demand robust treaty be drafted by the end of 2022
“Give A Doubt” comes after new research by Cadbury revealed that over 74% of the nation’s 18–30 year olds are facing daily concerns around their future, with 34% having no confidence that they will be able to meet their personal and professional goals. Following the success of ‘Donate Your Words’ which sought to raise awareness of loneliness amongst older people, “Give A Doubt” seeks to tackle the record number of young people in the U.K. who are struggling with self-doubt every day, by asking the nation to “Give A Doubt”, open up, be more vulnerable and share their personal experiences of doubt. Cadbury believes that there is generosity in everyone and ‘Give A Doubt’ taps into this spirit. From Oscar winner Dame Helen Mirren to BAFTA winner Big Zuu, and from five-time gold Paralympic medalist Ellie Simmonds, to national football icon Ian Wright, the celebrities stretch across a range of varying industries and across different age groups to share their most powerful doubts. The campaign video was originally released on May 16, 2022 and can be watched below.
Helen Mirren was a special guest on last Wednesday’s “Luci nel bosco” festival in the wood-garden of Palazzo Baronale Serafini-Sauli in Tiggiano, in the heart of Salento, in the province of Lecce. Organized by Associazione Cinema del Reale, OfficinaVisioni and Big Sur with the contribution of the Municipality, Mirren told of the his love for Salento and the urgency to safeguard nature: “I grew up witnessing the phenomenon of consumerism and the consequences this has had on our society”, she said, “we are so lucky to be in Tiggiano, where the local administration and organizations such as Cinema del Reale they fight to defend the environment. I arrived here 16 years ago and I was able to immediately witness the growth of attention that not only in this country but in various municipalities of Salento is towards the environment. I think that each of us human beings, like animals, can instinctively understand the importance of protecting it. I have faith in young people. I think they can find methods, ways and ideas to preserve it more and more ”. Pictures from the event have been added to the photo gallery (credit to Cinema del reale, Martina Leo).
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2022 – Luci nel bosco – Night of Cinema, Arts & Nature
“Now, more than ever, the world needs Documentary Now!,” says Helen Mirren in a 15-second teaser for the cinéaste spoof series’ 53rd season (which, in our extradiegetic reality, is really only season four). The season will kick off with the two-parter “Soldier of Illusion,” a Werner Herzog parody written by John Mulaney and starring Alexander Skarsgård as a German documentarian in the early 1980s trying to “will his magnum opus into existence while working in the remote, punishing conditions of the Russian Ular mountains.” The other newly announced title is “Trouver Frisson,” an homage to Agnès Varda films like The Gleaners and I and The Beaches of Agnès, starring Call My Agent!’s Liliane Rovère as “celebrated French filmmaker Ida Leos” as she “searches for why she no longer experiences ‘frisson.’” The other three episodes that have previously been announced for this season include “My Monkey Grifter,” a My Octopus Teacher riff starring Jamie Demetriou, whose comedic persona is already “this man could definitely be outwitted by a monkey”; “Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport,” a fusion of The September Issue and Three Salons at the Seaside starring Cate Blanchett in her grand Documentary Now! return; and “How They Threw Rocks,” a quirky sports doc chock-full of Welsh icons including Jonathan Pryce, John Rhys-Davies, and Tom Jones. Those last three were all written by Seth Meyers, who helms the series along with Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Rhys Thomas. Documentary Now! season 53 premieres on IFC and AMC+ on Wednesday, October 19, at 10 p.m.