• Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Gangs Of New York' (© Miramax Film Corp.)Source: © Miramax Film Corp.
On Wednesdays at 8.30pm this November, SBS VICELAND is putting the spotlight on Hollywood.
By
SBS Guide

2 Nov 2021 - 12:34 PM  UPDATED 3 Nov 2021 - 6:33 PM

With documentaries about some of Hollywood’s greatest legends and some incredible behind-the-scenes stuntwomen, Wednesdays in November sparkle. And it’s a double bill of Hollywood: you can follow up with a film featuring the star you’ve just watched in the doco, with one of their movies airing straight afterwards. 

How It Feels To Be Free

In this seminal two-parter, we follow the stories of Lena Horne, Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier – six Black women who sparkled on the screen and stage. Harnessing their celebrity to advance the civil rights movement and influence culture, the women reshaped the narrative of Black female identity in Hollywood. Through interviews – including with Carroll, Tyson and Grier – and footage of performances not seen before, we reflect on how these supremely talented women made their mark. Alicia Keys, Halle Berry and Samuel L. Jackson, among other stars of today, also reflect on the women’s legacies.

Two-part documentary How It Feels To Be Free premieres at 8.30pm, Wednesday 3 November on SBS VICELAND. Both parts will screen back to back. 

Stay tuned for… Support The Girls, airing straight afterwards at 10.45pm. Support The Girls is also now streaming at SBS On Demand.

What’s it about? Lisa Conroy (Regina Hall) is general manager at a highway-side ‘sports bar with curves’, Double Whammies. She nurtures and protects her employees fiercely – but over the course of one trying day, her optimism is battered from every direction... Hall won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, and several other nominations, for her role as the optimistic, committed Lisa. 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: Most Wanted

From his boyhood in Los Angeles, Leonardo DiCaprio dreamed big and reached the pinnacle of Hollywood stardom. But he has always been about so much more than fame and celebrity. The passionate environmentalist does everything in his power to heal the planet. In this documentary, we hear from people both inside and a world away from Hollywood and get to know more about the real Leo. 

Leonardo DiCaprio: Most Wanted premieres at 8.30pm, Wednesday 10 November on SBS VICELAND.

Stay tuned for… Gangs of New York, airing straight afterwards at 9.30pm.

What’s it about? In the early 1860s, New York’s Five Points was a violent, lawless and vice-ridden district, home to waves of poverty-stricken Irish immigrants. Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) was a young boy when he saw his father slain in one of the many battles between the Irish and the gang of Native Americans led by the charismatic and deeply nationalistic William ‘Bill The Butcher’ Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis). After 16 years in an orphanage, Amsterdam returns to Five Points, intent on revenge, and works his way into Bill’s inner circle. But his mission becomes less personal when he sees the potential for the thousands of Irish to act in unison, and becomes a catalyst for them. Meanwhile, his attraction for the feisty pickpocket Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz) is on a collision course with her past links to Bill – and the destinies of all three collide with the Civil War Draft Riots in 1863.  

 

Tom Cruise: Body and Soul

Still appearing boyish after all these years, Tom Cruise’s career has spanned four decades. His legendary smile has dominated many a blockbuster, not to mention adorned many a teenager’s bedroom in poster form. For a long time, he was Hollywood’s highest paid actor; with that level of fame comes heavy attention from the tabloids. We all know of his marriage break-ups and following of Scientology. But what do we know of the man behind the icon? This French produced English-language doco attempts to find out.  

Tom Cruise: Body and Soul premieres at 8.30pm, Wednesday 17 November on SBS VICELAND.

Stay tuned for… Legend, airing straight afterwards at 9.30pm.

What’s it about? Set in a timeless mythical forest inhabited by fairies, goblins, unicorns and mortals, this fantastic story follows Jack O’Greene (Tom Cruise), a mystical forest dweller, who realises he must undertake a heroic quest involving a princess (Mia Sara) and defeat the demonic Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry), or the world will be plunged into a never-ending ice age.

 

Al Pacino: The Reluctant Star

When Al Pacino was cast as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola was his only ally. From that breakthrough performance in the early 70s, Pacino has worked consistently, displaying nuance and versatility, making the characters he’s portrayed unforgettable, and endearing himself to audiences around the world. Returning to his beloved theatre between films, at almost 80, he took on the role of Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. But Pacino the man remains an enigmatic mystery. A shy person who resists the limelight, he has suffered from depression for many years. This German documentary charts the career of a legend, and attempts to bring him closer.

Al Pacino: The Reluctant Star premieres at 8.30pm, Wednesday 24 November on SBS VICELAND.

Stay tuned for… Scarface, airing straight afterwards at 9.30pm.

What’s it about? After getting a green card in exchange for assassinating a Cuban government official, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) stakes a claim on the drug trade in Miami. Viciously murdering anyone who stands in his way, Tony eventually becomes the biggest drug lord in the state, controlling nearly all the cocaine that comes through Miami. But increased pressure from the police, wars with Colombian drug cartels and his own drug-fuelled paranoia serve to fuel the flames of his eventual downfall.

 

Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

“There’s no way to practise a car-hit besides getting hit by a car.” Hear about this and other high-risk spills and thrills that are all part of a day in the life of Hollywood’s best stuntwomen in this exciting doco. Narrated by Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious), who has relied on stuntwomen herself, Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story goes behind thrilling action scenes to see how it’s done, through the ages of cinema history.  

Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story premieres at 8.30pm, Wednesday 1 December on SBS VICELAND.

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