Driven by a desire to understand why her best friend killed herself at 16, Jacqueline Monetta, 18 gets teens suffering to share their struggles with mental illness and suicide attempts. Through her intimate one-to-one interviews, Jacqueline, and the audience learn about depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide attempts, getting help and treating mental illness. As their stories unfold, they assure the audience that mental illnesses, like physical illnesses, can and should be treated.
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When fans cannot get close to the real thing, these professionals step in to fill the void. As the old adage goes, ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’ From a celebrity impersonator convention to their lives across the country, JUST ABOUT FAMOUS chronicles the few who have had the fortune, or curse, of looking like the most recognizable people on the planet.
The Original Kings of Comedy achieves the seemingly impossible task of capturing the rollicking and sly comedy routines of stand-up and sitcom vets Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac and the magic of experiencing a live concert show. Director Spike Lee and his crew plant a multitude of cameras in a packed stadium and onstage (as well as backstage, as they follow the comedians) to catch the vivid immediacy of the show, which is as much about the audience as it is about the jokes.
At the age of 34, former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Gleason found out his wife, Michel, was expecting their first child. A video journal that began as a gift for his unborn son expands to chronicle Steve’s determination to get his relationships in order, build a foundation to provide other ALS patients with purpose, and adapt to his declining physical condition—utilizing medical technologies that offer the means to live as fully as possible.
A feature-length exploration of the game’s creation, GROUNDED: Making the Last of Us is a love letter to the trials of exploring new territory. There are no road maps or guide books for creating a new world. The only way through is to fail—over and over again. This is the story of how a team of artists, musicians, programmers, writers, actors, filmmakers, playtesters, and a lonely UI designer—came together and pushed each other to build something larger than themselves.
The images could be taken from a science fiction film set on planet Earth after it’s become uninhabitable. Abandoned buildings – housing estates, shops, cinemas, hospitals, offices, schools, a library, amusement parks and prisons. Places and areas being reclaimed by nature, such as a moss-covered bar with ferns growing between the stools, a still stocked soft drinks machine now covered with vegetation, an overgrown rubbish dump, or tanks in the forest. Tall grass sprouts from cracks in the asphalt. Birds circle in the dome of a decommissioned reactor, a gust of wind makes window blinds clatter or scraps of paper float around, the noise of the rain: sounds entirely without words, plenty of room for contemplation. All these locations carry the traces of erstwhile human existence and bear witness to a civilisation that brought forth architecture, art, the entertainment industry, technologies, ideologies, wars and environmental disasters.
Arguing With Myself, a recorded live performance of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, portrays a comedian whose revival of an old-fashioned art has made ventriloquism more relevant to modern societal concerns. Starring his six main characters, from Bubba Jay, a Nascar-obsessed hick, to Peanut, a flamboyant gay monkey, Dunham’s puppets have dirty but relatively inoffensive senses of humor that mock the American Dream. His skills as a ventriloquist alone make him a fascinating entertainer, and anyone interested in how puppetry and ventriloquism has progressed over the decades would benefit from watching Dunham bring life to his wooden friends.