May 24, 2017

Exclusive clips from “‘Superman,'” “Freakonomics” find their way online

By Sean O’Connell Some high-powered documentaries are about to enter the marketplace after drumming up support on the festival circuit … and now we have exclusive clips from each feature.

The push for a more effective public education system is getting a ton of attention thanks toi recent contributions by Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who donated $100 million to Newark’s ailing public school system. Even this morning, the “Today” show was doing a series on improving education. It has become a “buzzworthy” cause (which is a very, very good thing).

But the movement traces back to Davis Guggenheim’s documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” which traces five children struggling to make it in the competitive (and unbalanced) school system. “Superman” opened way back in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Since, it has played a number of fests and opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles last Friday. Paramount Vantage has done a lot to promote charitable efforts tied to the film’s opening. As it prepares to open wider, Yahoo Movies is hosting an exclusive clip.

Those who have reviewed the film call it the most important film you can see this year, so be sure to do so if and when “Waiting for ‘Superman’” opens at a theater near you.

The other film is “Freakonomics,” an all-star adaptation of the best-selling book that blends economic thought with pop culture debates. Noted documentary filmmakers Alex Gibney, Morgan Spurlock and more contribute segments to the film, which opens wide on Oct. 1 after playing a handful of festivals in the spring and fall.

Click here to see an exclusive clip from “Freakonomics.”

Oscar columnist Scott Feinberg commented earlier that this might be the strongest field for competitive documentaries. With these two on the docket and a number of other quality docs in the running – including Gibney’s “Client 9” and the controversial “The Tillman Story” – he might be right.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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