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Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt in the Blink of An Eye

The lives of former NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip and legend Dale Earnhardt are forever entwined

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The lives of former NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip and legend Dale Earnhardt are intertwined. The incredible and tragic story of that fateful day was told in the 2011 Michael Waltrip book In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything, and now the story has been turned into an upcoming documentary titled Blink Of An Eye.

Waltrip’s incredible career was forever changed on February 18, 2001, the day of the Daytona 500. Waltrip had at that point, gone 462 races without a win. But on that day racing legend Dale Earnhardt had positioned himself at the close of the race to help Waltrip, and his son Dale Earnhardt Jr., finish in 1st and 2nd place respectively as both were members of his team. It would have been a story unto itself except that would be the last race Earnhardt Sr. would ever race. In a tragic accident that reverberated across the nation, Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the final lap.

Blink Of An Eye tells the story of Waltrip’s remarkable career, as well as the guilt and grief he felt after the events of that fateful day. The film features interviews with Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Richard Petty, and was directed by Paul Taublieb (who had previously produced the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau).

The film is set for limited release September 6th in New York and Los Angeles before its nationwide release September 12th.

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The Making of Motown, the Making of Hitsville

Motown Records was the soul of a city, the rhythm of a nation

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Few cities are as American as Detroit, be it for their rich automotive history or for their unique place in America’s music lore. There are few record labels as enshrined in American history and culture as Motown Records, the famed Detroit soul label famous for releasing a string of Top 10 hits by The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and Marvin Gaye through the 60s. Founded by Berry Gordy, Motown is more than just the incredible records they released in the 60s, it was the immense cultural impact the label had on America.

Famed songwriter Smokey Robinson, who was the founder and frontman of Motown artists The Miracles, once said of the label’s impact;

“Into the 1960s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making history. But I did recognize the impact because acts were going all over the world at that time. I recognized the bridges that we crossed, the racial problems and the barriers that we broke down with music. I recognized that because I lived it. I would come to the South in the early days of Motown and the audiences would be segregated. Then they started to get the Motown music and we would go back and the audiences were integrated and the kids were dancing together and holding hands.”

A new documentary detailing the history and legacy of Motown Records is being released on Showtime titled Hitsville: The Making of Motown. Featuring a host of historical footage as well as interviews with label founder Berry Gordy, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Smokey Robinson and more, the documentary will tell the story of the label, its formation, and its continued impact and influence on American music and culture. Directed by Benjamin Turner and Gabe Turner (The Class of 92), the documentary will air August 24th on Showtime.

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Anarchy in the desert in Desolation Center trailer

An old kind of lawlessness in the desert

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Long before music in the desert meant Instagram models, hipsters, and shitty pop music, it was about something more transgressive. During Reagan America, music was thrust into action as a voice for frustration and disappointment at the state of the union and was the catalyst for many social movements within music. Desolation Center is a documentary detailing part of that 80s rebellion, telling the story of music and performance art that took place in the (at the time) lawless confines of the desert.

Featuring interviews with an array of musicians from punk, rock, alternative, and industrial music, Desolation Center hopes to shed light on a little known movement that paved the way for countless music festivals like Lollapalooza. Interviewees include Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and Minutemen’s Mike Watt, while rare live performance footage features the likes of Meat Puppets, Red Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth.

The documentary was written and directed by Stuart Swezey and has been hitting the festival circuit this year. Desolation Center will open in US cinemas September 13th.

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