All posts tagged: Olympics

10 Movies…That Are Narrative Remakes of Documentaries

Kon-Tiki hits American theaters this week, months after it was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. It’s a narrative retelling of Kon-Tiki, the 1951 Academy-Award winning documentary directed by Thor Heyerdahl about his voyage across the South Seas in a raft of his own creation. Here are some other compelling real-life stories caught on film…that were then scripted and remade. Rescue Dawn (2006) In 1997, Werner Herzog made Little Dieter Needs to Fly for German television, a documentary about a German-born American pilot named Dieter Dengler who was shot down and captured in the Vietnamese War but later successfully escaped. About a decade later, Herzog wrote and directed Rescue Dawn, based on the events of Dieter. Party Monster (2003) Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato produced and directed Party Monster: The Shockumentary in 1998, based on Disco Bloodbath by NYC club kid James St. James, which focuses on the life and murders of fellow club kid and horrifying sociopath Michael Alig. The duo remade it as a narrative film in 2003, with Seth Green and …

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The Year In Moderately Popular Sports: Are You Impressed?

For those of us who look beyond American football, basketball and baseball, even-numbered years are usually our time to shine. We get Olympics and/or World Cups. This year, we had a few issues. MMA: It was a rough year for people who hit, kick and choke each other. Too many of them were getting hurt before the fights. So many fights were canceled, the UFC almost wound up with Axl Rose fighting Dave Lifton. (OK, I’m exaggerating. A little.) That’s been a trend for a couple of years now — in the last six U.S. seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, the big coach-vs.-coach matchup has happened only twice, thanks to various ailments striking down Tito Ortiz, Brock Lesnar, Dominick Cruz and Shane Carwin. But this year, the unthinkable happened for the UFC: An entire fight card was canceled. This being the UFC, nothing about the cancellation happened quietly. UFC president Dana White blamed light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who refused to switch opponents on eight days’ notice. Others blamed the UFC for spreading its talent …

Numberscruncher: The Olympics

The site of the 2016 Olympics will be announced on Friday, and Chicago is considered to be a close contender along with Rio de Janeiro. Speaking on behalf of my three million fellow citizens, I’d say that Chicagoans are torn. The Olympics would be fun, and Chicagoans would love for the world to realize that we have indoor plumbing here, something that folks on America’s coasts don’t seem to know. But despite the inferiority complex, Chicagoans don’t have the puppy-like need to be loved that Atlanta or Salt Lake City seem to have. If you think our only claim to fame is Da Bears, then you are the idiot. The problem is that Chicagoans are keenly aware of the costs of corruption. We have one former governor in prison and another who is likely to join him soon. We have a federal prosecutor issuing subpoenas and indictments left and right. Students have been admitted and received scholarships to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign based on who they knew; a current grand jury investigation is …