October 14, 2014 3:46 pm
October 14, 1994 saw the theatrical release of Kartemquin's Hoop Dreams. An unexpectedly massive critical and commercial success, the film is often hailed as one of the greatest documentaries of all time.
Exactly twenty years later, we're celebrating the film's anniversary by putting online a new clip from the new digital restoration of the film: the (in)famous* scene of Arthur Agee's 18th birthday.
To mark the anniversary, and an upcoming sold-out special screening in England at the BFI London Film Festival this Friday, October 17th, we gave Dazed and Confused another exclusive clip from the new restoration, plus never-before-seen archival photographs, and a new interview with director Steve James - in which he reveals that "when Arthur was at Arkansas State, Bill Clinton would make a pilgrimage to meet and hang out with him."
The new digital restoration will be screening in select dates across the United States throughout the rest of the year. Upcoming announced screenings include festival appearances at Hot Springs, Twin Cities Film Festival, Indiana University, and Indie Memphis Film Festival. Hoop Dreams filmmakers Steve James, Peter Gilbert, Frederick Marx and Gordon Quinn will be making special appearances at many of these events, along with star Arthur Agee.
Very soon we will also be announcing more special screenings of the digitally restored Hoop Dreams in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and more cities - watch this space!
Until then, enjoy some of the best reactions we've seen on Twitter to today's 20th anniversary of Hoop Dreams. Around lunchtime, mentions of the film were so rapid that "Hoop Dreams" was a top 10 trending topic:
20 years ago today, this basketball classic was released...HOOP DREAMS! pic.twitter.com/rB1xHofQPj
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) October 14, 2014
“@ComplexMag: Hoop Dreams was released on this day 20 years ago. http://t.co/yLDRhKtk0H pic.twitter.com/IQqefK0c96” true motivation right there.
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) October 14, 2014
Both PULP FICTION and HOOP DREAMS were released 20 years ago today, on what was apparently the best day in movie history.
— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) October 14, 2014
Released 20 years ago today: Steve James' brilliant documentary HOOP DREAMS. The oral history: http://t.co/2WNY2fGdX2 pic.twitter.com/VV4CcNqhrY
— The Dissolve (@thedissolve) October 14, 2014
It's the 20th anniversary of the #HoopDreams premiere! Watch newly restored version on DocClub http://t.co/ciSSBjKOpY pic.twitter.com/3clebf9Foc
— SundanceNOW (@docclub) October 14, 2014
Hoop Dreams should be required viewing for every American. #HoopDreams
— Gabriel Arnold (@ourdailybeard) October 14, 2014
Real talk. Hoop dreams is the only movie I've seen in my life that made me cry
— K Dag (@dkosei2) October 14, 2014
Happy 20th anniversary Hoop Dreams, one of the best docs of all time!
— The Mash-Up King (@TheMashUpKing) October 14, 2014
Hoop Dreams - the greatest documentary of all time - came out 20 years ago today. If you are a sports fan it's a must see.
— Chase Dixon Klugh (@cklugh3) October 14, 2014
Hoop Dreams is now trending in USA, ranking 7 http://t.co/6sWWti9BL9
— TT Mobile US (@TTMobile_us) October 14, 2014
* The scene is notorious because we were originally forced to pay $5,000 to license the song "Happy Birthday" from the copyright holder. As Gordon Quinn explains here, injustices like that led us to become activists and advocates on behalf of documentary fair use. And that "Happy birthday" copyright might be in the public domain after all.