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DIFF: Weekend Picks


by Stephen Becker 9 Apr 2010

If you’re headed out to take in some DIFF this weekend, might I recommend: Saturday Waking Sleeping Beauty – In the early ’90s, Disney had a string of hits, including Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, that brought its animation department back to prominence after a mostly forgettable ’80s. Behind the scenes, though, […]

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If you’re headed out to take in some DIFF this weekend, might I recommend:

Saturday

Waking Sleeping Beauty – In the early ’90s, Disney had a string of hits, including Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, that brought its animation department back to prominence after a mostly forgettable ’80s. Behind the scenes, though, a power struggle was taking place between Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Roy Disney about the future of the company and who should get the credit for its successes. This was one of my favorite films at South by Southwest; if you’re interested in Disney and/or the minutia of moviemaking, this one’s for you.  (2:30 p.m., Magnolia

No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson – Each of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series of sports documentaries that I have seen has been excellent, and this one is no different. (If you missed The U, you’re really missing out.) In No Crossover, Hoop Dreams director Steve James visits his hometown of Hampton, Va., to look into an incident that sent a 17-year-old Iverson to jail and divided the city along racial lines. As with all the 30 for 30 docs, this one digs deep into an issue larger than sports.  (2:45 p.m., Magnolia)

When I Rise – Another doc that focuses on race. This time, the subject is Barbara Smith Conrad, an internationally regarded opera singer who was once removed from a University of Texas production because her male co-star was white. (2:30 p.m., Angelika; 4:30 p.m., Hamon Hall at AT&T Performing Arts Center)

Sunday

Dance With the One – The first film made by the University of Texas Film Institute, which replaces Burnt Orange Productions. In the Austin-shot film, a drug lord trusts a lower-level, good-hearted dealer with a monster shipment. When said shipment goes missing, the dealer goes in search of the rival he fears stole it. As if that weren’t enough, Nate, the dealer, is also struggling to prop up his father and younger brother after the loss of the family matriarch. (2:15 p.m., Magnolia)

Casino Jack and the United States of Money –  Lobbyist Jack Abramoff is currently serving time in Federal prison after pleading guilty to defrauding American Indian tribes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of this political scandal. Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, directs.  (7 p.m., Magnolia)

A Surprise in Texas – Relive the 2008 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and blind Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii stunning victory in this documentary. (7:30 p.m., Magnolia)

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  • nmlhats

    I’ll be watching the Cliburn doc on KERA 13 in the fall!