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Petra Costa and The Edge of Democracy

Brazil has seen much turmoil in its history. Petra Costa’s documentary The Edge of Darkness examines the recent political unrest has left many questioning the longevity of democracy in the country.

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Brazil has seen much turmoil in its history- but the recent political unrest and upheaval is one that has left many questioning the longevity of democracy in the country. One such person is filmmaker and documentarian Petra Costa, who has narrated and detailed the country’s turbulence in a new Netflix documentary titled The Edge of Democracy.

Set for release June 19th, the documentary visits Brazil’s recent democratic history, from the election of President “Lula” to his successor, Dilma Rousseff, and the fall out of scandal and the recent rise of populism in the country.

From the official blurb, The Edge of Democracy is;

“a cautionary tale for these times of democracy in crisis – the personal and political fuse to explore one of the most dramatic periods in Brazilian history. Combining unprecedented access to leaders past and present, with accounts of her own family’s complex past, filmmaker Petra Costa (Elena) witnesses their rise and fall and the tragically polarized nation that remains.”

Brazil most recent elections saw the confirmation of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as its new President. He recently called protesting students “imbeciles” and moved to ax the environmental panel protecting the Amazon rainforest.

Watch the trailer for The Edge of Democracy:

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Miles Davis and The Birth of the Cool

Can one distill cool into one documentary?

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If there is one thing that has been indisputable about the legacy of Miles Davis is that he was the personification of ‘cool’. And it seems like there was no decade where he was making music that he wasn’t ever cool. We once said about Miles Davis and his cool that “no matter how scrupulous your selection – one cannot distill cool into thirteen tracks, no matter how good“. Now the unenviable task of distilling that cool into a succinct document falls into the hands of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, a new documentary detailing the life, music, and legacy of Miles Davis.

Directed by Stanley Nelson Jr. (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till), Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before hitting the festival circuit through the year. The film chronicles the rebellious nature of Miles Davis, detailing his desire to constantly break from the norm, with director Stanley Nelson saying;

“He was an extraordinary artist celebrated for his restless artistic aesthetic and his ceaseless innovation.  He changed the course of music five or six times.  By unpacking his upbringing, his methodology, his relationships, and his demons, we begin to understand the man who redefined the original American musical genre, jazz, and continues to influence generations of rock, funk, and hip-hop artists.”

Abramorama will screen the film today, August 23rd in New York with director Stanley Nelson taking part in a Q+A. Tickets for this screening, along with future screenings, can be found here.

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Bruce Springsteen gets cinematic with Western Stars

“Life’s mysteries remain and deepen, its answers unresolved”

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“We all have our broken pieces … nobody gets away unhurt. We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges”

On the heels of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s nineteenth studio album Western Stars, Warner Bros Pictures has announced the release of the cinematic experience accompanying the album. The new film features Springsteen performing all 13 tracks from the new album, accompanied by a full orchestra in his 100-year-old barn. The film will also showcase old home footage as well as Springsteen’s life-earned ruminations we’ve seen through his career- brought to life recently with his stint on Broadway and on his Netflix special.

Warner Bros. exec Toby Emmerich has said about Western Stars and Springsteen;

“Bruce lives in the super rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers. With ‘Western Stars,’ Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead.”

Western Stars will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, kicking off September 5th. The film was produced by Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, and George Travis with Springsteen executive producing it. Western Stars was co-directed by Springsteen and longtime collaborator Thom Zimny.

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