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Culture, The Exhibitionist SFIFF Opens with Alex Gibney's Steve Jobs Documentary

SFIFF Opens with Alex Gibney's Steve Jobs Documentary

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine was chosen to open the San Francisco International Film Festival this year for a lot of reasons – besides be ing a great film – says Noah Cowan, the executive director of the…
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Film, "The Armstrong Lie" : The World's Greatest Fights His Way to the Bottom

"The Armstrong Lie" : The World's Greatest Fights His Way to the Bottom

There once was a man who won the world's toughest athletic contest seven times in a row, and also beat cancer, and presided invincibly over a vast empire of splashy fundraiser bracelets. He had some help from drugs, which means…
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Film, "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks": From a Trickle to a Flood

"We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks": From a Trickle to a Flood

Alex Gibney's new documentary charges keenly into the dense meta-fog of an information-age war between transparency and opacity. There's never a dull moment on these front lines, even when it seems like all Gibney has to cut to is one…
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Film, "Mea Maxima Culpa": Those Who Prey

"Mea Maxima Culpa": Those Who Prey

It's a good thing that documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is an ex-Catholic; it takes the rage of the disillusioned to so zealously rip the veil as he does in Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God. Yet even…
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Film, "Magic Trip": Doc Follows the '64 Adventures of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters

"Magic Trip": Doc Follows the '64 Adventures of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters

The subject of Magic Trip is the LSD-powered, cross-country road movie orchestrated by novelist Ken Kesey in the summer of '64. More than a footnote but less than a chapter in American cultural history, the voyage taken by a psychedelic…
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Film, "Client 9": Alex Gibney's doc rehabilitates Eliot Spitzer

"Client 9": Alex Gibney's doc rehabilitates Eliot Spitzer

The usually silver-tongued Eliot Spitzer, political hero of the recent movie Inside Job and now ubiquitous media personality, stammers and hesitates when asked to explain the psychosexual motivations behind his spectacular flameout in Alex Gibney's gripping Client 9 — or,…
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Film, "Freakonomics": Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney, and others make shorts based on the pop-math book

"Freakonomics": Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney, and others make shorts based on the pop-math book

A quartet of uneven TV pilots posing as a full-length documentary, Seth Gordon's anthology, Freakonomics, pulls case studies from Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt's bestselling book of pop-math and hands them over to famous doc filmmakers to make their own.…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>The United States of Money</i>

The United States of Money

Passionate Republican, fervent Orthodox Jew, ruthless wheeler-dealer, super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff at his height fashioned himself into a human ATM machine who lined the pockets of politicians on every side of the aisle. Sooner or later, everybody from Tom DeLay to…
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Calendar, Night&Day Evil Incarnate

Evil Incarnate

Passionate Republican, fervent Orthodox Jew, ruthless wheeler-dealer, super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff at his height fashioned himself into a human ATM machine who lined the pockets of politicians on every side of the aisle. Sooner or later, everybody from Tom DeLay to…
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Film, Beyond Gonzo

Beyond Gonzo

"In a nation of frightened dullards, there is always a sorry shortage of outlaws, and those few who make the grade are always welcome." So wrote Hunter S. Thompson of the Hells Angels after riding with California's motorpsycho Mongol hordes…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson</i>

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

A tightly wound bundle of everything and its opposite—an anti-authoritarian who ran for sheriff of Aspen, a peace-loving gun nut, an iconoclast who relished winners as much as any football coach—the late Hunter S. Thompson pioneered what might be called…
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Calendar, Night&Day Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver

Staying on the current-events beat after his 2005 Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, filmmaker Alex Gibney aims to make ripped-from-the-headlines j'accusations that are also durable documents with Taxi to the Dark Side. The title refers to the cab…
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Film, Patterns of Abuse

Patterns of Abuse

At the crosswalk the other day, I noticed something peeking out from the usual pasting of flyers on the light pole in front of me. It looked like an address label. In a nondescript font was printed: "OUT OF IRAQ"…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Doc Is In

The Doc Is In

The embrace of documentaries by popular culture is one of the most welcome trends of the past 25 years, even if Michael Moore isn't the guy you would have picked to lead the parade. Nobody uses the grammar school slur…
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Film, Scoundrel Time

Scoundrel Time

Alex Gibney's Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a thoroughly professional, frequently spectacular piece of muckraking. But any American who hopes to watch this portrait of unfettered corporate greed, cynical power-lust, and outrageous deception without going postal about…
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