7 items from 2015
A Convenient Truth, a mockumentary that sends up corporate and political can-do-ism, lame energy policy, and maybe the documentary genre itself, is a tad late to the party. We have many projects of this ilk, from the quarter-century-old The Onion to relative newcomers The Daily Show and the late Colbert Report. Unfortunately for A Convenient Truth, those productions are consistently sharp, quick, and timely, and delivered to a slice of the population eager to laugh at any skewering of the day's corporate, political, and cultural bullshit. Dominick Bagnato's film suffers from the direct comparison he's made to Al Gore's powerful An Inconvenient Truth, which sparked our current climate change conversation and the grinding denier-m »
The song, co-written by Campbell and Julian Raymond for the documentary “Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me,” is among four other nominees: “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie,” “Glory” from “Selma,” “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” and “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again.”
Campbell himself is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and is in an assisted-living facility specializing in Alzheimer’s care in Tennessee. He is no longer able to perform the song, »
- Greg Gilman
From photography to warfare, conservation to whistleblowing, this year’s five Oscar nominated documentaries are united by overlapping themes and topics of interest, but remain uniformly distinct in their approach.
Leading the quintet is Laura Poitras’ “Citizenfour,” the highest-grossing and highest-profile nominee. The verite-style portrait of Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden gives audiences a voyeuristic peek inside Snowden’s week in Hong Kong when the information he leaked started going public, and shows the human side of a man who the media nearly turned into a myth.
The pic has cleaned up in Oscar precursors, garnering best doc wins from the Gotham and Intl. Documentary Assn. awards, the four top critics groups (New York, Los Angeles, London and National Society) and nominations from BAFTA and the Spirits. It also marks Poitras’ second Oscar nom. She was in contention in 2007 for “My Country, My Country” but lost to heavyweight “An Inconvenient Truth. »
- Geoff Berkshire
By Anjelica Oswald
Of the five Oscar-nominated original songs for the 87th Academy Awards, Selma’s “Glory” and Beyond the Light’s “Grateful” are the only songs that solely play over the end credits of their respective film. The other three songs — “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, “Lost Stars” from Begin Again and “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me — are all performed at some point during the film.
Now, that’s not to say that the end-credits songs aren’t relevant to the plot. Both “Grateful” and “Glory” stick with the themes of their respective films and summarize relevant events, even if they aren’t integral to each plot’s progression.
“Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie is featured in the film as a popular song in the Lego universe, one the characters sing along to, but »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
After narrowing the Oscar documentary feature shortlist to five at the 87th Academy Award nominations Jan. 15, a number of notable exclusions were featured, particularly Al Hicks‘ Keep on Keepin’ On, which documents the mentorship and friendship of a jazz legend and a blind piano prodigy, and Steve James‘ Life Itself, about the life and career of famed film critic Roger Ebert. (James is no stranger to snubs and the exclusion of his 1994 film Hoop Dreams led to rule reform within the documentary category.) Both films hold 97 percent positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.
Some films surprised when they didn’t even land a spot on the shortlist, such as Red Army, which examines the rise and fall of the Soviet Union’s hockey team from the perspective of its coach. That film holds a 100 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In light of these best documentary feature snubs, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Since its inception in 2007, Impact Partners has been involved in the financing of over 50 films, including award-winning documentaries such as "The Cove," "An Inconvenient Truth," "The Garden," "Hell and Back Again," How to Survive a Plague" and many more. These films have not only been critical successes but have also succeeded in changing public opinion. This year, six films supported by the company will be screening at Sundance: "Sembene!," "How to Change the World", "Dreamcatcher," "Chuck Norris vs. Communism," "Censored Voices" and "The Hunting Ground." "Impact Partners was a key piece in the puzzle of putting ‘Chuck Norris vs. Communism’ together," said John Battsek, managing director of Passion Pictures and an executive producer on the film. "Companies like Impact are invaluable when it comes to social issue documentaries." Cogan's »
- Paula Bernstein
The 87th Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning, and with it came a number of oddities, including triple nominees, first-timers and the inevitable extension of the reign of Meryl Streep. Below is a list of factoids from this year’s Academy Award nominations:
-Meryl Streep extended her Oscar record with a 19th nomination, this time for “Into the Woods.” The actors with the runner-up number of noms are Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, who have 12 each.
-With “American Sniper,” Bradley Cooper becomes the 22nd actor to earn three consecutive nominations. The last two were Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger. Bette Davis and Greer Garson hold the record, with five consecutives.
-Of the 20 actors in the four acting categories, nine are first-timers: Patricia Arquette, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Felicity Jones, Michael Keaton, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Simmons and Emma Stone.
-In the foreign language race, Estonia (“Tangerines”) and Mauritania »
- Tim Gray
7 items from 2015
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