Two new documentaries about two iconoclastic artists -- Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramović -- will be gracing U.S. screens both big and small this summer. Both movies ran at the Sundance Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.
"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" is set to open in New York on July 27 with a national rollout in August. The film also will be available to watch on-demand through Sundance Selects. Directed by Alison Klayman, the movie examines the life and career of the Chinese artist who has repeatedly run afoul of Beijing authorities for his advocacy of free speech.
Klayman began work on the movie before Ai was thrown in jail last year and completed the film following the artist's release after 81 days in prison. The movie won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance in January.
"Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present" is set to air on HBO on July 2. The cable premiere will be preceded by a theatrical engagement in New York and L.A., set for some time in June. (The L.A. engagement is scheduled for the Nuart Theatre, while the New York engagement will be at Film Forum.)
A performance artist who has achieved worldwide renown, Abramović received a career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010. The documentary, directed by Matthew Akers, follows the artist as she prepares for the exhibition. The movie is being distributed by HBO Documentary Films and Music Box Films.
-- David Ng
Photos: Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramović. Credits: Leon Neal / AFP/Getty Images; Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images