Icarus Films announced two new DVD releases this past week that will be reaching retailers on Mar. 14. So let us get right to it!
First up is documentary filmmaker Mac Dara Ó’Curraidhín’s A Boatload of Wild Irishmen, a look at the life and times of the first documentary filmmaker, Robert J. Flaherty.
Someone had to the be first to take a motion picture camera and document everyday life and that distinction goes to Robert J. Falherty and his groundbreaking 1922 silent film, Nanook of the North, which was followed by the 1926 release of Moana.
His career in film continued until his death in 1951 and along the way he was nominated for an Oscar in 1949 in the category of Best Writing, Motion Picture Story for Louisiana Story. A Boatload of Wild Irishmen chronicles his life, his relationship with his wife, Frances, and Ó’Curraidhín includes interviews with Inuit and Samoan descendants of the subjects of his first two film triumphs, Nanook of the North and Moana.
Also heading to DVD on Mar. 14 is the double-disc debut of To Tell the Truth: Two films by Calvin Skaggs and David Van Taylor.
This release is actually a two-part examination of the growth and influence of documentary filmmaking. The first segment is titled “Working for Change” and it covers the period from 1929 to 1941 (from the time that Robert J. Falherty got the ball rolling in the 1920s, through The Depression and the beginnings of World War II.
The second segment is titled “The Strategy of Truth” and it explores the use of documentary filmmaking as a propaganda tool during World War II.
Bonus features include three featurettes — “Alec Baldwin on the Importance of Documentaries,” “Agnes Varda on the Making of Documentaries” and “Film Historian Kevin Brownlow on Leni Riefenstah” — and two short film examples from filmmaker John Huston, “Let There be Light” and “Anatomy of a Jeep.”