Documentaries get their own spin-off section today because there were so many entries in the most recent New Shows + Movies by Women. This week’s documentaries track the erotic fiction industry, women pilots, an obsessed filmmaker, and a shock jock who becomes embroiled in fraud.
Naughty Books (VOD)
directed by Austen Rachlis
disclosure: Director Austen Rachlis is a friend. We went to the same college, and she was my editor for a year at our college’s newspaper.
“Naughty Books” tracks the rise of mainstream erotica in the wake of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. The 2010 novel was originally written as a piece of “Twilight” fan fiction. It gave the erotic fiction industry a foothold that resulted in New York Times bestsellers and a genre that had suddenly become much more profitable.
This documentary follows three women who write these books and became millionaires doing so – an Air Force veteran, a telemarketer, and a hospital administrator. Yet that pathway to success has already become much more difficult as the market for the genre has become over-saturated with new titles.
This is the first feature documentary directed by Austen Rachlis, who has previously written, directed, and produced short films.
See where to rent “Naughty Books” on streaming right here.
Fly Like a Girl (VOD)
directed by Katie McEntire Wiatt
“Fly Like a Girl” tells the story of women pilots and what drove them into a field that once excluded them. The documentary interviews a range of pilots, from commercial and military pilots to NASA astronauts and flight engineers.
This is the first documentary from Katie McEntire Wiatt, who previously worked as a writer and producer on TV series “On the Patio”.
See where to rent “Fly Like a Girl” on streaming right here.
The Ringmaster (VOD)
co-directed by Molly Dworsky
This is the story of a Las Vegas filmmaker who spends his inheritance on making a documentary about a fry cook’s onion rings. What starts as an interest quickly becomes an obsession, money pit, and borderline stalking. The documentary crew rebelled, and started making the documentary about a fry cook into a documentary about the filmmaker who was driving his life into the ground obsessing over his dream project.
Molly Dworsky directs with Dave Newberg. She’s chiefly worked as as an actress, and this is her first feature length documentary.
See where to rent “The Ringmaster” on streaming right here.
Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth (HBO)
co-directed by Marie McGovern
Sports radio host Craig Carton was charged in 2017 on securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy that aided in those crimes. He was convicted in 2018 on all charges, and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. Our justice system being what it is for financial crimes, he would be released early (good thing he didn’t shoplift or enroll his kid in the wrong school district).
Marie McGovern directs with Martin Dunn. She’s worked as a documentary producer on “Seaver” (about Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver) and docu-series 3AM, about New York City’s nightlife.
You can watch “Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth” on HBO Max with a subscription.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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