Five Films to Catch at DocWeek

DocWeek launches tonight with the Australian premiere of Gracie Otto’s The Last Impresario and Alex Gibney’s latest The Armstrong Lie, two of DocWeek’s must-see documentaries.

DocWeek launches tonight with the Australian premiere of Gracie Otto’s The Last Impresario and Alex Gibney’s latest The Armstrong Lie, two of DocWeek’s must-see documentaries.

David Knight selects five films to catch at this year’s DocWeek, which include the aforementioned films The Last Impresario and The Armstrong Lie. The Armstrong Lie Gibney’s third documentary feature in two years is about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Gibney began filming before the drug accusations and subsequent admission came to light and he had to reshape the film after the drug scandal. While it hasn’t received the rave reviews of recent Gibney films such as Silence in the House of God and We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, it’s Gibney, so it’s guaranteed to be watchable even if it’s not one of his classics. The Armstrong Lie is one of nine films as part of DocWeek’s Alex Gibney stream called Needle in the Haystack. The Armstrong Lie screens on Tuesday, March 4 at 6.30pm at Palace Nova Eastend Cinema. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room Along with Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line and Andrew Jarecki’s Capturing the Friedmans, Alex Gibney’s energetic masterpiece about corporate corruption ranks in my top three favourite documentaries of all time. At times hilarious, this is a pounding look at the cowboys who ran energy company Enron (which collapsed in 2001). The Smartest Guys in the Room, to paraphrase Network’s Howard Beale, will make you as mad as hell. Other Gibney films of note to catch at DocWeek include the powerfully distressing Taxi to the Dark Side and Silence in the House of God. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room screens on Sunday, March 9 at 1.30pm at Mercury Cinema Street Fight Marshall Curry’s debut feature is a raw and gritty look at politics, Newark style. In Newark, campaigns aren’t won in the media but on the street, which you discover in Curry’s film as he follows the impressive young Mayoral candidate Cory Booker as he goes up against fellow Democrat and long-time Mayor Sharpe James – a powerful yet dodgy character. This David Vs Goliath battle is one of the weirdest and most thrilling election campaigns ever caught on film. Street Fight is one of three Marshall Curry films screening at DocWeek. Street Fight screens on Wednesday, March 5 at 6.30pm at Palace Nova Eastend Cinema The Last Impresario Gracie Otto’s feature length debut is about the “most famous person you’ve never heard of” – Michael White. With an all-star line-up of interview subjects, this documentary about the theatre and film producer was labeled a “gloriously English answer to The Kid Stays in the Picture” by Variety. The Last Impresario screens on Tuesday, March 4 at 7pm at Mercury Cinema My Long Neck My Long Neck is a collaboration between Australian filmmaker Shalom Almond and Maja, a long neck Kayan woman from Burma who lives in a tourist village in Northern Thailand, which is basically a human zoo. Maja has been the subject of countless tourist pics due to her neck coils and after meeting Almond gets behind the camera to document what it’s like to live in a human zoo. My Long Neck screens on Sunday, March 9 at 4pm Mercury Cinema DocWeek runs from Tuesday, March 4 to Sunday, March 9 docweek.org.au