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‘Documentary Now!’: Behind the Scenes of How Owen Wilson Became a Cult Leader

  • Indiewire
‘Documentary Now!’: Behind the Scenes of How Owen Wilson Became a Cult Leader
It was hot and cramped inside the small two-story building where the cast and crew shot “Documentary Now” last June. Despite the Oregon humidity, there was a lightness on the set where they were midway through shooting fictional cult documentary “Batshit Valley.” And despite the presence of Oscar nominees Owen Wilson and Michael Keaton, it felt more like an ultra-low-budget indie.

“Batshit Valley” serves as the two-part season premiere for IFC’s fiercely authentic parody of iconic non-fiction narratives, and also is the beginning for a show that must reinvent itself. Co-creator and star Bill Hader was unavailable as an actor in Season 3 due to his commitment to HBO’s “Barry,” and the show used this as an opportunity to bring in a brand-new assortment of talent.

“There are so many stories to tell about documentaries that are wonderful, and frankly, we can’t cast Bill and Fred in all of them,
See full article at Indiewire »

Film Review: ‘The Source Family’ Reveals a Communal Past

Chicago – What did you do during the 1970s, Daddy? After this Father’s Day, many adult kids might be asking that question after seeing “The Source Family.” This documentary is about a commune that began in California (naturally) in the 1970s, even after the infamous Manson Family.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

The documentary, produced by Isis Aquarian – a former member of the “family,” – explores chronologically the development of the commune, which includes its charismatic leader Father Yod (Aka Jim Baker). It’s fascinating because it is so separated from our post techno society. People were searching for a different way of life post the revolution of the 1960s, and a wealthy restauranteur with a strange past was able to convince a large number of men and women to come into his realm. As in many situations, it’s ‘coveting thy neighbor’s wife’ that exposes the flaw in the utopia, but it does
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'The Source Family' review: Billy Corgan sings the praises of this cult with a beat

  • Pop2it
Over 30 minutes of the historical/ musical/ spiritual documentary "The Source Family" pass before anybody uses the word "cult." There's no need to say it aloud. From the opening credits -- a lingering close-up of a black-and-white photograph of a bearded fellow with long white hair while a singer croons "You are Jesus" -- well, we figure it out.

For the followers of a guy who went by the names Jim Baker, Father Yod and YaHoWha, "cult" seems a given.

But "The Source Family" isn't your typical film about cults. Baker was a decorated World War II vet, a muscular health food buff who killed a couple of men with his bare hands before finding his way into Eastern Mysticism along with some of his Beat Generation peers.

The film captures, in more detail than is probably necessary, Baker's journey from mystic traveler to cult leader. And of all the long,
See full article at Pop2it »

Review: ‘The Source Family’ Sheds (Some) Light on the Most Productive Cult of the Seventies

Editor’s note: The Source Family is now in limited release, so go ahead and get hip to Kate’s SXSW review of the film, originally published on March 14, 2012. While some people might chuckle at being informed that they are a part of a group of “specially chosen people,” there will always be a few that perk up with such words, whose eyes go wide, and who are eager to get on board with like-minded people. You know, like cult members. Co-directors Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos chronicle just such a cult and just such a people in The Source Family, a documentary about the group of people known as the Source Family who, thanks to their leader Jim Baker, “transformed sex, drugs, and rock n roll” into a genuine movement (at least in their eyes). The film documents Baker and the Source’s rise to (relative) power and prominence in seventies-era Los Angeles. Baker
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

The Source Family Documents Hippie Huckster Jim Baker

Say what you will about Jim Baker, also known as Yod, Yahowha, Father, and then just plain God to his tribe of hippie acolytes in Los Angeles's so-called Source Family, but the man had the hair for the job. Zeus himself might envy the pillowy, platinum coils that Baker grew out in the late 1960s while reinventing himself as a spiritual cult leader with a sideline in the restaurant business. It wasn't just the hair that drew in the kids, as we learn in The Source Family, Maria Demopoulos and Jodi Wille's largely sympathetic history of the Baker-led phenomenon. Baker knew his market so well that he advertised meditation classes for "all the confused, lost children of the new age" in the local paper. Offering himself as a father, protector, and—if you were a teenage girl&mdas...
See full article at Village Voice »

Cult Classic: Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos on The Source Family

If you had an inside connection to a true-life tale in which sex, drugs, and rock & roll were part of the path to spiritual salvation for a ‘70s L.A. hippie cult group, wouldn’t you want to make a movie about it? Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos’s documentary, The Source Family, offers up an intimate history of the group led by Father Yod, A.K.A. Jim Baker. A successful, charismatic businessman, Baker had a late-1960s spiritual awakening leading to his establishment of a religious commune whose initial hub was his popular Sunset Strip health-food restaurant, The Source. After adopting his newly …
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Exclusive: Poster & Select City Release Dates For 'The Source Family'

Contemporary music has its fare share of massive group ensembles, whether it's the extended Wu-Tang family, the robe-wearing The Polyphonic Spree, the numerous branches of the Elephant 6 Collective, or the various members of the Broken Social Scene club. But we'd wager few could touch the sprawl of The Source Family. The '70s group combined the trappings of a celebrity, eccentric lifestyle that included a popular health food restaurant (a rarity at the time), scores of women, and popularity with the ideals of their leader, Father Yod. And oh yeah, they played music too, in the band Ya Ho Wa 13. Investigations into the family and its practices ultimately led to their demise, but their story has been captured in Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos' documentary "The Source Family." Featuring extensive interviews, home movies, photographs, and original music created by The Source Family themselves, the film is an eye-opening look
See full article at The Playlist »

The 2012 Seattle Film Festival Line-Up is the Best I've Seen in Years

I can't remember a time I went to the Seattle International Film Festival (Siff) press launch and looked over the list of films and saw so many I was interested in seeing. The claim to fame for over the years is to call it the largest and most-highly attended festival in the United States. This is a fact I've often taken issue with as I don't equate quantity with quality. Granted, there has been a large number of quality features to play the fest over the years, including Golden Space Needle (Best Film) winners such as Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), My Life as a Dog (1987), Trainspotting (1996), Run Lola Run (1999), Whale Rider (2003) and even recent Best Director winner, Michel Hazanavicius's Oss 117: Nest of Spies in 2006. That said, looking over this year's crop of films I see a lot of films I will be doing my absolute best to see.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

SXSW 2012. Documentary Feature Competition

  • MUBI
As I mentioned when rounding up the Narrative Feature Competition, wrapping SXSW 2012 could take a while. That batch opened with comments from one of the jurors, J Hoberman, and this one will as well. First, though, let's mention that we already have roundups going on the award-winners, Beware of Mr Baker and Bay of All Saints.

So the Guardian's Catherine Shoard, jury member, found Jeffrey Kimball's The Central Park Effect to be "a sweet study of the birders who flock to Manhattan's thick strip of parkland each spring. It was pretty gentle, generic, even, but felt from a different planet from the rest in that it wasn't wholly human-focused. Sure, the warblers and the robins are red herrings, and it's really all about the cast of eccentrics who eyeball them – including celeb twitcher Jonathan Franzen, who pitches in with some unusually self-deprecating soundbites."

Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles
See full article at MUBI »

SXSW 2012 Wrap-Up: ‘ Cabin In The Woods’ and more!

Black Pond

Directed by Tom Kingsley & Will Sharpe

Black Pond heralds an incredibly original, startlingly mature, and completely inscrutable new film-making duo. It’s unclear what exactly they have made with Black Pond; suffice it to say it is equal parts profound and hilarious while refusing classification… (read the full review)

Cabin In The Woods

Directed by Drew Goddard

If you’re familiar with the writing style and general playfulness of Joss Whedon, you already know whether you will like this film. Not to discredit the game, fantastic cast, but fans of Whedon and co-writer/director Drew Goddard know who the real stars here are, and this movie is fantastic precisely because of its script.

Cabin In The Woods is a horror movie like Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a horror TV show. It is a horror movie, but that doesn’t even begin to describe it. This film is delightful.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

SXSW 2012: ‘The Source’ an admirably even-handed look at ’70s life on the fringes

The Source

Directed by Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos

USA, 2012

The Source family was a commune which developed out of a natural food restaurant off of the Sunset Strip in the 70s. Led by the enigmatic Father Yod, the Source family developed from a rag-tag group of young hippies to a cultish spiritual group with inclinations toward Psychedelic rock to nearly 150 members living in one mansion together. Straddling the era between hippie fanaticism and hippie disenchantment, the Source family was short-lived, but it went through an astounding level of growth and development. And it was all documented by the Source historian.

The archival footage is outstanding, and is enough to heartily recommend this film. In fact, the scenes capturing the birth of the first Source child and a High School Source band performance are reason enough to seek the movie out. But what really makes this documentary a special endeavour
See full article at SoundOnSight »

SXSW 2012: The Source Review

Religious cults get a bad rap, which may have something to do with the most famous ones being known for murder and suicide.  All religious cults arguably deserve our contempt, but Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos' documentary The Source takes an even-handed and level-headed approach to exploring the religious cult dynamic.  The rise and fall of Jim Baker's Source Family seems almost cliché, but the film's interview subjects lend the documentary weight by giving not only an insider's view of what was happening, but what they were thinking at the time.  By always keeping the film centered on Baker and how he influenced his followers, the directors construct a fascinating sociological study on how adherents flock to a charismatic figure, how the figure changes as he garners more power, and what pushes those adherents to question their devotion (if they ever do). Jim Baker lived a fascinating life
See full article at Collider.com »

SXSW 2012: Exclusive Poster Debut for Premiering Documentary ‘The Source’

Documentaries done right serve a number of purposes for cinephiles – to educate, to inspire, to reflect, to synthesize – but my favorite brand of documentary has always been the kind that chronicles a people and a lifestyle that are diametrically opposed to the sort of person I am and the lifestyle I lead. And thus, enter The Source, which looks to fit perfectly into my preferred type of doc. World premiering at SXSW, Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos’s film chronicles “The Source Family,” an “Aquarian tribe” that embodied just about everything people think of when they think of hippies, the 70s, and what it meant to be groovy. The Family was “a radical experiment in ’70s utopian living. Their outlandish lifestyle, popular health food restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip; but their outsider ideals and spiritual leader, Father Yod, caused controversy with local authorities.” You
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

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