Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (2016) - News Poster


Consider This: How Fisher Stevens Rebooted His Career and Joined Forces With Leonardo DiCaprio to Save the World

Consider This: How Fisher Stevens Rebooted His Career and Joined Forces With Leonardo DiCaprio to Save the World
In 2004, Fisher Stevens went to Ohio with a coalition of artists to help John Kerry get elected president. It didn’t work, but Stevens — an actor-turned-director best known for campy roles in a string of ’80s and ’90s films such as “Short Circuit” and “Hackers” — emerged a changed man. “It was a fucked-up time,” Stevens recalled over lunch near his offices in downtown Manhattan, “but this a whole other fucked-up time.”

Flash forward a dozen years and Stevens is enmeshed in a new stage of his career, as a prolific documentarian who moonlights as an actor. Six years ago, he won an Oscar as a co-producer of “The Cove,” photographer-turned-filmmaker Louie Psihoyos’ thrilling exposé of the Japanese fishing industry. By then, he had stepped away from GreeneStreet Films, the independent production company he started in 1996 with John Penotti. That same year, Stevens launched Insurgent Media with Andrew Kirsch and Erik Gordon
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Oscars Documentary Race Heats up With 145 Features in Contention

Oscars Documentary Race Heats up With 145 Features in Contention
A total of 145 feature documentaries were submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for consideration for the 89th Academy Awards.

Out of those films the members of the Academy’s documentary branch will select a shortlist of 15 features that will be announced in December, and the five nominations will be announced on January 24.

Read More: Documentary, Now: Three Rock Stars Who Run the Fast-Changing Non-Fiction World

Among the titles included in the list are Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” the Sundance Documentary Grand Jury Prize winner “Weiner” by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, Raoul Peck’s Toronto Film Festival Audience Award winner “I Am Not Your Negro,” the visually stunning “Voyage of Time: The Imax Experience” by Terrence Malik and Otto Bell’s “The Eagle Huntress.”

Read More: Oscars 2017: 10 Documentary Shorts Vie for Nominations

This year Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees’ film “Amy” about British singer Amy Winehouse
See full article at Indiewire »

Arthouse Audit: ‘Shin Godzilla’ Stomps Delicate Indies ‘Certain Women’ and ‘Christine’

  • Indiewire
Arthouse Audit: ‘Shin Godzilla’ Stomps Delicate Indies ‘Certain Women’ and ‘Christine’
The traditional fall season of award-season releases gets a late start on Friday with “Moonlight” (A24) and “The Handmaiden” (Magnolia) leading the way. It can’t come a moment too soon.

This weekend, top-quality films “Certain Women” (IFC), “Christine” (The Orchard), “Miss Hokusai” (Gkids) and “Aquarius” (Vitagraph) competed in limited openings. All nabbed good or better reviews. But none scored at the level likely to lead to the sort of wider response and multi-million grosses that normally come along regularly at this time of year.

The weakness can be seen among later-week grosses as films expand. There hasn’t been a breakout crossover release of any significance since “Hell or High Water” (Lionsgate), which is still grossing better than most recent releases.

Shin Godzilla” (Funimation) showed strength with a midweek opening in a mixed plan of bookings. Similar to “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” (Abramorama), out-of- the-box distribution seems to be finding positive results.
See full article at Indiewire »

Movie Review: In the dazzling documentary Sky Ladder, a Chinese artist aims high

Some documentaries work as investigative journalism, while others function as slice-of-life storytelling. There’s also the subgenre of doc that’s largely experiential, inviting the audience to witness a performance or event that they’d otherwise never get to see. Kevin Macdonald’s Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-Qiang encompasses a little bit of all of the above. A portrait of an ambitious and often personally conflicted environmental artist, Sky Ladder has a lot in common with the likes of Rivers And Tides and the Maysles brothers and Charlotte Zwerin’s Christo films, in that it creates a permanent cinematic record of work designed to be ephemeral. But Macdonald also captures the long, hard struggle of Cai Guo-Qiang to realize some of his grandest projects, often over the objections of his own government and patrons.

The primary focus of Sky Ladder is Cai’s long-gestating dream to create a
See full article at The AV Club »

Sky Ladder Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Sky Ladder Movie Review
Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang Netflix Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: B Director: Kevin Macdonald Written by: Kevin Macdonald Cast: Cai Guo-Qiang, Ian Buruma, Cai Wen-You, Cai Wenhao, Ben Davis, Jeffrey Deitch, Phil Grucci, Thomas Krens, Tatsumi Masatoshi, Orville Schell, Jennifer Wen Ma, Hong Hong Wu Screened at: Review 1, NYC, 9/22/16 Opens: October 14, 2016 China looks a lot different now from what I saw when I visited the world’s most populated country in 1975. At that time Shanghai was a dowdy city, one that would be considered a backwater when compared to the glittering premier cities of Europe. Its “Fifth Avenue” equivalent was dark, even [ Read More ]

The post Sky Ladder Movie Review appeared first on
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‘Weiner,’ Yes; ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ No: The 15 Documentaries on the Doc NYC Short List

‘Weiner,’ Yes; ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ No: The 15 Documentaries on the Doc NYC Short List
That wailing you hear is all the best-documentary aspirants who did Not make the Doc NYC “Short List.” It’s considered one of several key steps for landing on the Academy doc branch’s eventual short list – which, like the Doc NYC list, also numbers 15.

The stats are impressive: In each of the past three years, the Doc NYC Short List had nine or 10 titles that overlapped with the subsequent Oscar Documentary Short List. For the last five years, Doc NYC screened the documentary that went on to win the Oscar: “Amy” (2015), “Citizenfour” (2014), “20 Feet From Stardom” (2013), “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012), and “Undefeated” (2011).

With such a wide field of contenders, respected festivals wield even more than their usual influence in turning movies into must-sees. Oscar documentary branch voters have to see more than 130 movies released theatrically in 2016; inevitably, the movies nabbing the best reviews and most attention move to the top of the queue.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Trailer for Netflix’s ‘Sky Ladder’ Reaches Colorful New Heights

While Netflix produces and distributes a slew of indie dramas and comedies, it’s nice to see them make selections from the realm of reality. So comes the first trailer for Sky Ladder, a documentary focusing on Cai Guo-Qiang‘s explosive art installations that have rocked the world. Directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), Sky Ladder charts Guo-Qiang’s rise to art world fame, and his attempts at crafting his biggest work yet: the titular art piece that is un unforgettable sight.

The trailer is an emotional, rousing look into Guo-Qiang’s process, family, and ideologies as he “explores a connection to an unseen place” through his pieces. We said in our review, “Using gunpowder and sky as his canvas, Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s extraordinary statements on environmentalism, capitalism and humanity do require a large screen to absorb. An intimate yet occasionally grand biography of Cai,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Netflix Releases The Trailer For Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-qiang

The trailer for Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang, directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void, Academy Award®-winner One Day in September), was released by Netflix today. Originally acquired by Netflix at Sundance, Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang can be seen in select theaters and on Netflix on October 14, 2016 and will have a European premiere next week on October 6 at the London Film Festival.

Check out the trailer below.

Acclaimed filmmaker Kevin Macdonald has unfettered access to world-renowned artist, Cai Guo-Qiang, whose frequent use of gunpowder serves as both an ancestral homage and an acknowledgement of humanity's fleeting nature. Creating ambitious signature pieces on the largest imaginable scales, Cai's electrifying work often transcends physical permanence all while burning its philosophies into the audience's mind forever.

Told through the artist's own words and those of family, friends and vigilant observers, Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang
See full article at LRM Online »

‘Sky Ladder’ Trailer: “Cai Guo-Qiang’s Next Creation Will Ignite The World”

‘Sky Ladder’ Trailer: “Cai Guo-Qiang’s Next Creation Will Ignite The World”
Next month, Netflix will be releasing a new documentary film titled Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-Qiang. The film takes a look at a revolutionary new contemporary artist who creates art that is beautiful, explosive, and can only be experienced in a singular moment. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald’s (The Last King of Scotland, […]

The post ‘Sky Ladder’ Trailer: “Cai Guo-Qiang’s Next Creation Will Ignite The World” appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

Amanda Knox Among One Of The Four New Netflix Original Documentary Slate

Continuing to build on its innovative and award-winning slate of documentary programming, Netflix, the world’s leading Internet TV network, will unveil four new non-fiction titles at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff), taking place September 8-18. This includes Amanda Knox, making its world premiere, a human story that goes past the headlines to examine the often fraught relationship between true crime tragedy, justice and entertainment; Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s Into The Inferno, a global cinematic journey on the deeply rooted relationship between humans and volcanoes; The Ivory Game, from directors Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson, is an international thriller on the frontlines of ending African elephant extinction that counts Leonardo DiCaprio as an executive producer; and the moving and timely short The White Helmets, from the filmmaking team behind Virunga.

Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of Original Documentary Programming said:

“The breadth of our slate at the Toronto
See full article at LRM Online »

Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang review

Kevin Macdonald’s documentary, which has premiered at Sundance, draws an emotional line from the Chinese artist’s traumatic childhood to the inexhaustible glee of his firework sculpture

“Everyone loves to light fireworks,” Cai Guo-Qiang says with a smile as he ignites some red candles. He’s in a factory in Liuyang, a Chinese city known as the fireworks capital of the world. Cai is here on important business, to scout for new ways to continue making abstract art in the most whizz-bang, flamboyant and audience-engaging way. Kevin Macdonald’s documentary Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang follows the continuing ascent of this Chinese-born, New York-based artist as he works in different mediums for different patrons, often for different ends.

Cai was nine when the Cultural Revolution began, which put great strain on his calligrapher/bookseller father. As Cai later tells his daughters over glasses of white wine on their comfortable Manhattan couch,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Sky Ladder’ Exclusive Clip: Kevin Macdonald’s Explosive Art Docu Hits Sundance

‘Sky Ladder’ Exclusive Clip: Kevin Macdonald’s Explosive Art Docu Hits Sundance
Exclusive: In his new documentary Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-Qiang, Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald aims to bring the Sundance Film Festival a very up-close and international look at the explosive work of the superstar Chinese artist. Check out the exclusive clip we have of the Fisher Stevens, Wendi Murdoch and Hugo Shong produced pic premiering today in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. “I first got excited by the cinematic potential of Cai’s work – showing all…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

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