NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI
2018, GKIDS, 70 min, Dir: Kaku Arakawa

In 2013, film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But he couldn’t shake his burning desire to create. After an encounter with young CGI animators, Miyazaki embarked on a new endeavor, his first project ever to utilize CGI. But the artist, who had been adamant about hand-drawn animation, confronted many challenges. The film even faces the danger of being canceled. Can an old master who thinks he’s past his prime shine once again? This documentary goes behind the scenes over two years as Miyazaki overcomes struggles to create his short film using CGI.


THE GREAT BUSTER
2018, Cohen Media, 102 min, USA, Dir: Peter Bogdanovich

Acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich is also a cinema historian who has authored landmark studies of John Ford and Orson Welles, and here he turns his eye to the life and career of Buster Keaton. From Keaton’s beginnings on the vaudeville circuit to the development of his trademark deadpan expression to his career-high years as the director, writer, producer and star of his own shorts and features, this documentary charts the rise of one of America’s most influential and celebrated filmmakers and comedians. Filled with stunningly restored archival Keaton footage and interviews with nearly two dozen collaborators, filmmakers, performers and friends (including Mel Brooks, Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog, Dick Van Dyke and Johnny Knoxville), this is the definitive portrait of a true visionary of the silent era.


THE PANAMA PAPERS
2018, Epix, 96 min, USA, Dir: Alex Winter

This documentary charts the story of the massive data leak that exposed the largest global corruption scandal in history. Hundreds of journalists around the globe worked in secret, at great personal risk, to reveal a scheme involving power brokers, the uber-rich, elected officials, dictators, cartel bosses, athletes and celebrities who had used the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca to hide money for them. Through a rigged system of tax evasion, fraud, cronyism, bribery, election meddling and even murder, at least $32 trillion was secreted in more than 80 tax havens in 2010 alone. But breaking the story was only the beginning; there was immediate blowback from many of the named and accused, who have used every tactic imaginable to silence the investigation. “A lively and level-headed exposé” - Owen Gleiberman, Variety.


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