Women He’s Undressed (2015)

ZZ Top once sang “Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man.” Costume designer Orry-Kelly was Hollywood’s most sharp-dressed man, whose techniques swathed several legendary leading ladies in their best finery. Women He’s Undressed, premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, is a fascinating documentary by Gillian Armstrong, presenting Kelly as a tailor of many threads: renowned…

Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

To many, Tab Hunter’s name doesn’t inspire any recognition. But for those who enjoy obscure and studio era cinema, Hunter’s both an intriguing outcast who made quite the career comeback through the work of John Waters, as well as the perfect representation of the 1950s leading man. Hot on the heels of the Orry-Kelly documentary, Women He’s…

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (2014)

Certain stars are larger than life, and with that reputation comes a tendency for documentaries and biographies to glamorize or deify their subject, placing them in a league above men entirely. Chuck Workman’s documentary, Magician, gives reasons for elevating Welles while also saying that Welles himself wouldn’t have been content with anything less than godlike-status.…

Sinatra: All or Nothing At All (2015)

My experience with the works of Frank Sinatra are amateurish. I’ve watched a few of his films and I know his hits (haven’t listened to any of the deep cuts). In honor of his centennial, a wellspring of Sinatra material is being produced, starting with documentarian Alex Gibney’s two-part documentary, Sinatra: All or Nothing at…

Haxan (1922)

Halloween is upon us and that means witches rule the week (outside of a few backdated reviews I hope to get up). Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages is the oldest documentary I’ve watched and one of the most bizarre. For 1922 it was a methodical, scientific approach of reexamining witchcraft, and there are points that…

Alias Nick and Nora (1991/2005)

Our final tribute to Nick and Nora Charles is a pair of documentaries included with the Complete Thin Man box set. (I assumed the final disc, Alias Nick and Nora, was a documentary discussing the legacy of their work in the Thin Man series as a whole.) William Powell: A True Gentleman and Hollywood Remembers:…