The summer of 2018 produced three documentaries that earned over $10 million at the domestic box office. While this summer didn’t get quite as close, this fall has documentary releases about rock stars, athletes and even one posthumous release from an auteur. New films by Bruce Springsteen, Agnès Varda and Asif Kapadia could help make for a busy season for non-fiction cinema, with many more potentially on the way from the fall festival circuit. Here are 10 with impending releases you need to check out.
“Untouchable” – Sept. 2 (Hulu)
Too soon? The Hulu documentary “Untouchable” opens some still fresh wounds about the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement. Ursula Macfarlane’s documentary first made its premiere at Sundance, and it features some harrowing interviews with accusers such as Rosanna Arquette, Hope D’Amore, Paz de la Huerta, Erika Rosenbaum and others.
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” – Sept. 6 (Greenwich Entertainment)
Oscar winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman direct this documentary about the career of Linda Ronstadt, gathering together archival footage that spans 50 years. It charts the early days of her career in the 1960s through becoming the highest paid female rock and roll performer in the ’70s, all culminating in her retirement in 2011 due to her battle with Parkinson’s disease. Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown and JD Souther are just some of the friends and collaborators interviewed for the film.
“Blink of an Eye” – Sept. 6 (1091)
History isn’t often focused on the losers, but “Blink of an Eye” looks at the career of Michael Waltrip, a NASCAR racecar driver who held a record losing streak across 462 races. Despite his struggles, he was invited to be a part of Dale Earnhardt’s Sr.’s racing team and soon earned his first checkered flag. The only problem was that race was the 2001 Daytona 500, the race in which Earnhardt Sr. was killed in a tragic crash on the race’s final lap. “Blink of an Eye” examines Waltrip’s relationship with the Earnhardt family, and the documentary from director Paul Taublieb will also be adapted into a narrative feature film.
“Liam: As It Was” – Sept. 13 (Screen Media)
With Oasis, Liam Gallagher was the frontman of one of the biggest rock bands in the world. But the film “Liam: As It Was” looks at how Gallagher had to reset his career and find his voice after splitting from the band as part of his fractured relationship with his brother Noel. In fact, Noel specifically refused to allow Liam to use any Oasis songs as part of the documentary. The film coincides with the release of Gallagher’s second solo album, “Why Me? Why Not.,” and directors Gavin Fitzgerald and Charlie Lightening even capture the frank and frequently foul-mouthed Gallagher behind the scenes and at home with his mother grousing about Noel.
“Diego Maradona” – Sept. 20 (HBO)
Asif Kapadia’s gift as a filmmaker is weaving a narrative entirely through archival footage. Just as with “Senna” and “Amy,” Kapadia combs through over 500 hours of the legendary Argentinian soccer star’s personal archive. The film starts with his arrival in Europe in July 1984 and how in the subsequent years he was treated as though he were a God, both on and off the field. But it also examines how that extreme level of fame led to darker days and strained relationships.
“Where’s My Roy Cohn?” – Sept. 20 (Sony Classics)
Filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer told TheWrap at Sundance that he chose to make his film about the political maneuver Roy Cohn the day Donald Trump was elected. His ruthless influence was felt far and wide, not just on politics but on the culture at large, serving as a mentor for Roger Stone, Ronald Reagan and Trump alike. The film takes a blunt approach in describing just how deeply this one man has shaped American democracy and society.
“Midnight Traveler” – Sept. 18 (Oscilloscope)
Afghan filmmaker Hassan Fazili got intimate access to the story of a family fleeing their home after being targeted by the Taliban. That’s because it was his own family who was on the run. Fazili shot his film “Midnight Traveler” across several years on three separate iPhones, capturing the daring moments as they crossed borders and the more intimate home movie moments of his family as refugees. The doc won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for No Borders at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“Western Stars” – October (Warner Bros.)
Bruce Springsteen knew he wasn’t going to tour on behalf of his latest album “Western Stars,” so he and collaborator Thom Zimny co-directed a documentary by the same name that features live performances of all 13 of the album’s tracks. Springsteen parked under a 100-year-old barn to perform the more acoustic, melancholy sounds of “Western Stars,” and the film is laced with The Boss’s narration and archival footage as he reflects on his past.
“The Cave” – Mid-Oct. (Nat Geo)
Not to be confused with the narrative feature about the Thai soccer team rescue mission, “The Cave” is the latest film from “Last Man in Aleppo” director Feras Fayyad as he gets inside a secret, hidden, underground hospital in Syria. The hospital is led by a team of female medical professionals and civilians and provides under the radar care for the besieged refugees and locals in the region. Fayyad specifically profiles the work of Dr. Amani, a 30-year-old pediatrician who works tirelessly to restore health and hope to Syrian youth.
“The Kingmaker” – Late Oct. (Greenwich Entertainment/Showtime)
Lauren Greenfield has made a name for herself directing documentary profiles on those who live opulently and lavishly, specifically with her films “The Queen of Versailles” and “Generation Wealth.” But her latest combines that lavish lifestyle with politics, obtaining unprecedented access to the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. “The Kingmaker” explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime and chronicles Imelda’s present-day push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice-presidency. Greenfield’s film takes on the form of a “dark fairy tale” as Marcos tries to rewrite her family’s corrupt history and prove she’s a matriarch who deeply loves her country.
“Scandalous” – Nov. 15 (Magnolia/CNN Films)
Mark Landsman’s “Scandalous” looks at the life of Generoso Pope Jr., the media magnate who turned the National Enquirer from a simple racing and sporting magazine to a household name for gossip and one that frequently finds itself at the center of political scandal. The film’s history dates back to the 1950s but includes interviews with former staffers and other media experts who examine how the paper has thrived on its diet of scandal, gossip, medical oddities, conspiracy theories, and paparazzi photos.
“Varda by Agnes” – Nov. 22 (Janus Films)
In what is the final film of the late, French auteur Agnès Varda, “Varda by Agnès” is a playful and profound retrospective on Varda’s career as examined by Varda herself. She reflects in a autobiography of sorts on filmmaking, feminism, aging and even the smaller things like cats, colors, beaches and heart-shaped potatoes. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, shortly before her death in March.
Read original story 12 Documentaries to Check Out This Fall, Including Films by Bruce Springsteen and Agnès Varda (Photos) At TheWrap