Flavorwire Interview: Sebastian Junger on Documenting the Life of His Friend Tim Hetherington

Journalist Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) first met Tim Hetherington in 2007. “I was doing this project for Vanity Fair,” he recalls. “I was following a platoon for a year in combat and I also wanted to make a documentary film, and so I got a video camera and started shooting video for ABC News and for my own purposes. And I wanted to write a book. After my first trip in there, the photographer I was working with just wasn’t working out, and Vanity Fair suggested some other names, and we went through the list and Tim was clearly a really good pick.” The resulting book was the bestseller War; the film became Restrepo, which got the first-time directors an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Hetherington and Junger became friends as well as colleagues. “He was just very open and engaged and curious about the world,” Junger says. “His openness invited and required you to be open. Everyone felt like his best friend.” So when Hetherington was killed while reporting from Libya in 2011, Junger felt an obligation to honor his friend. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got new films starring Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Wilde, Adam Scott, Richard Pryor, Megan Fox, Eric Bana, Harvey Keitel, Charlie Hunnam, Kate Mara, Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler, Keanu Reeves, and Nick Nolte, plus a pair of our favorite recent documentaries. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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‘The Punk Singer’ Solves the Mystery — And Celebrates the History — Of Kathleen Hanna

AUSTIN, TX: Early in The Punk Singer, the terrific new documentary by Sini Anderson, Kathleen Hanna remembers being asked why she wanted to write. “Because nobody has ever listened to me, my entire life.” Her work burns with that kind of intensity, with an insistence that she — and the things she had to say — had importance, value, meaning. That same intensity is present in The Punk Singer, which is both a captivating personal story and a history of a moment — as the best rock documentaries are. … Read More

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15 Things We Learned from ‘Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream’

Last night, Beyoncé offered more insight into her career and personal life in the “revealing,” self-produced HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream. It was the Stefon of documentaries: there was crying, singing, dancing, and weird Terrence Malick-style shots of trees. Bey opened up about her miscarriage, discussed her intense love and admiration for husband Jay-Z, gave us a peek at daughter Blue Ivy Carter, and talked to her computer while we wondered how she wakes up in the middle of the night with such perfect hair. While the arguments that Life Is But a Dream was a little too polished dart back and forth, we’re sharing 15 things we learned about Bey after the break. Leave us your review of the film in the comments section. … Read More

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10 Great Movies Inspired by Operas

There’s plenty of drama to spare when it comes to the world of opera. Occasionally, filmmakers have been directly inspired by the songbooks of classical composers, while others have looked to the performances and thundering music to create symbolic, contemporary interpretations. Opera is rich, profound source material. The opulent costumes and staging, the history, and the emotional stories are ripe for cinematic adaptations. We’ve collected a few of our favorites for your perusal in celebration of the 109th anniversary of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and the Blu-ray release of Don Giovanni. See what a behind-the-scenes documentary, a Werner Herzog epic, and other retellings of opera’s theatrical tales have to offer after the jump. … Read More

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Meditative Movies That Will Help You Find Yourself

Director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson (the creators of Baraka) traveled to 25 countries over the span of five years, filming the 2011 non-narrative documentary, Samsara. The stunning movie arrives on Blu-ray tomorrow. Described as “a nonverbal, guided meditation,” the film was shot on 70mm and explores the interconnectedness that humanity shares with the rest of nature — from the world’s most sacred spaces, to industrial sites populated with machines. It’s the wheel of life and human experience captured with breathtaking photography. These types of contemplative, non-narrative features allow audiences to traverse every corner of the earth, immersed in a powerful, transcendent journey of self-discovery. See our picks for similar meditative movies, below. … Read More

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Watch Jay-Z’s Barclays Center Concert Documentary ‘Where I’m From’

Jay-Z’s arts and culture website Life+Times published the rapper’s 20-minute documentary (which we spotted on EW) that chronicles the behind-the-scenes efforts that went into curating his eight-night concert series at the Barclays Arena. He was the inaugural performer in the newly constructed venue, and the show was his first large-scale concert in his home borough. Jay’s from Marcy Houses. He opened the first show with 1997’s “Where I’m From,” which is also the name of this mini doc that includes clips of Hova on a subway train chatting with riders, rehearsal time, and the team who helped make the massive undertaking possible. Watch it in full past the break. … Read More

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Morgan Spurlock Has Nothing to Lose, Will Make One Direction Doc

Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock explored manufactured masculinity in his recent documentary, Mansome. Now, he’s turning his attention to the nation’s biggest boy band One Direction for a Sony concert film, according to Variety. We hope there’s a subversive link between the two projects where Spurlock can ask the hard-hitting… Read More

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Watch a Documentary on Ziggy Stardust Narrated by Jarvis Cocker

If you have an hour to spare this holiday weekend, please allow us to suggest David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust, a wonderful recent BBC4 documentary on everyone’s favorite alter ego. Narrator Jarvis Cocker begins in appropriately heavy terms, booming out, “Forty years ago, in millions of living rooms across the British Isles, a strange alien creature was beamed onto our television screens. With bright red hair and multi-colored space suit, his unearthly appearance shocked the nation. But for many teenagers who experienced this televisual visitation, it would change their lives forever… Music on Planet Earth would never be the same again.” We can’t argue with that. Click through to watch the documentary, with talking head appearances by everyone from Elton John to the remaining Spiders from Mars. … Read More

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Watch a Fantastic Documentary on Shock Rocker Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the bizarre shock rocker known for his insane on-stage theatrics and powerful, guttural roarings, also happened to pen one of our favorite love songs of all time, the freaky 1956 sleeper hit “I Put a Spell On You.” But since we can never get enough of Hawkins, we were psyched when Dangerous Minds clued us into a terrific documentary on the musician entitled I Put A Spell On Me, directed by Nicholas Triandafyllidis and shot during  Hawkins’ tour of Greece. As Dangerous Minds points out, it’s difficult to believe that only four months after this concert footage was shot, the 70-year-old Hawkins would die of a heart attack. Featuring Jim Jarmusch, Bo Diddley and Eric Burdon, as well as tons of one-on-one time (and philosophical musings) from the man himself. A pretty good use for any lazy Sunday afternoon, we think. … Read More

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