Specialties continue to crowd the exhibition market. After a brief lull, theatrical newcomers are back en force this weekend, though the numbers should lighten up as the year winds down. Alex Gibney is back for a second time this year with The Armstrong Lie after opening We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks in May. The film took a major turn during filming after doping allegations hit a crisis moment for subject, Lance Armstrong. Fellow veteran doc filmmaker Frederick Wiseman is also hitting theaters with his latest, At Berkeley. Both films played at the Toronto and New York film festivals this fall. The films will be joined in theaters with Polsky Films’ The Motel Life with Emile Hirsch and John Sayles’ latest, Go For Sisters through Variance Films. And Screen Media will roll out French-language title Paris Countdown in limited runs.
The Armstrong Lie
Director-writer Alex Gibney
Subjects: Lance Armstrong, Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu, Frankie Andreu
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Veteran doc filmmaker Alex Gibney did not initially set out to make what eventually became The Armstrong Lie. The famed multiple winner of the Tour de France decided to come out of retirement and once again compete in bicycling’s most famous competition in 2009. Gibney set out to capture his return, but what might have been a puff piece for Armstrong fans got clobbered when doping allegations — accusations he had mostly dodged throughout his career — came back in full force. “It was challenging on two levels,” said producer Matt Tolmach. “[My fellow producer] Frank Marshall goes way back with Lance and I go back pretty far as well. We had to get our heads around a new emerging truth.” Tolmach said personal relationships aside, the doping crisis gave them an unlikely opportunity as filmmakers. (more…)