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1-20 of 46 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »


The best documentaries of 2011

25 December 2011 2:35 PM, PST | blogs.suntimes.com/ebert | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

Why not fold documentaries into my list of the "Best Films of 2011?" After all, a movie is a movie, right? Yes, and some years I've thrown them all into the same mixture. But all of these year-end Best lists serve one useful purpose: They tell you about good movies you may not have seen or heard about. The more films on my list that aren't on yours, the better job I've done.

That's particularly true were you to depend on the "short list" released by the Academy's Documentary Branch of 15 films they deem eligible for nomination. The branch has been through turmoil in the past and its procedures were "reformed" at one point. But this year it has made a particularly scandalous sin of

omission. It doesn't include "The Interrupters" (currently scoring 99% on the Tomatometer), which has received better reviews and been on more critic's Best lists than any other. »

- Roger Ebert

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John Waters’ Top 10 Films of 2011 Include ‘The Skin I Live In’, ‘Mildred Pierce’, and ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’

9 December 2011 5:00 PM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

[1] Year-end top 10 lists can get pretty mind-numbing, as you see the same titles crop up again and again and again... and again, but filmmaker John Waters has set himself apart by both by posting his a bit early and by, oh yeah, being John Waters. You wouldn't seriously expect the man who gave us Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Hairspray to just name War Horse and The Artist like everrrrrrryone else, would you? No, Waters' tastes tend toward more unconventional choices, like Kaboom, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (seriously), with Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In topping the list. Read the top 10 after the jump. Waters published his list in Artforum [2] (via First Showing [3]), along with brief explanations for his picks: 1. The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar) 2. Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes) 3. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Jon M. Chu »

- Angie Han

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Documentary Catch Up: 'Into the Abyss' and 'Senna'

8 December 2011 8:38 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

I am categorizing this documentary update under Oscar Contenders even though that isn't necessarily accurate. Neither of these documentaries actually made the Academy's documentary shortlist for 2011, but I will certainly be considering both as I turn in my nominations for Best Documentary for the Critics Choice Awards this Sunday. When it comes to the best documentary I've seen this year it is undoubtedly Undefeated, but of the ten documentaries I've seen so far this year I wouldn't call any of them bad. Let's take a closer look at these two... Into the Abyss First is Werner Herzog's Into the Abyss, a look at the events that lead to 28-year-old Michael Perry finding himself on death row and only a few days left to live before he is executed by lethal injection.

Herzog is clearly against the death penalty, but he doesn't push his agenda to tell the story as »

- Brad Brevet

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John Waters’ Top Ten Films Of 2011

5 December 2011 7:59 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Waters has been labelled with the nicknames ‘Pope of Trash’ and ‘Prince of Puke’ because of his tendency to shock viewers with the outrageous content of his films. He is perhaps best known for Hairspray and Serial Mom, both of which reached the status of ‘cult classic’ during the late eighties and early nineties.

There are some surprising choices on his list of the best movies of 2011. See if you agree with the moustachioed, subversive thinker:

1 The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar) A dark, twisted, beautiful, and, yes, funny shocker from the greatest director in the world. God bless you, Pedro Almodóvar!

Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes) This elegantly shot, pitch-perfect made-for-tv melodrama makes everyone who watches secretly yearn to be a woman with issues. The best period film in decades—period.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Jon M. Chu) I’m not kidding. A well-made doc that proves the Bieb was a child prodigy. »

- Martin Daniel McDonagh

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Oscar Doc Shortlist: Battle For Brooklyn

22 November 2011 9:59 AM, PST | Underground Film Journal | See recent Underground Film Journal news »

Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film offers special congratulations to filmmakers Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley for their epic documentary Battle for Brooklyn making the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary.

Out of 124 eligible films this year, Battle for Brooklyn was one of only 15 films chosen for the list by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Branch Screening Committee. Up next for the Academy is to pick five docs out of the 15 to become this year’s official nominees.

Battle for Brooklyn was produced over the course of about seven years as the residents of Prospect Heights fight both city hall and an aggressive real estate developer, Forest City Ratner, to prevent the demolition of their neighborhood for a sports complex.

The true hero of the film is Daniel Goldstein, a graphic designer, who becomes a full-time activist to save his home. We become intimately involved in »

- Mike Everleth

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The Twilight Saga's domination lives again with Breaking Dawn – Part 1

21 November 2011 9:58 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The latest R-Patz fantasy epic racked up the fifth-biggest opener in Hollywood history, pushing franchise sales past $2bn

They're baa-ack. Bella, Edward and Jacob crushed the North American opposition as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 took an estimated $139.5m in its opening weekend. This is the fifth-biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history, ranking one place behind New Moon's $142.8m. The $144m international weekend launch puts worldwide ticket sales over the first five days at $283.5m and pushes the Twilight franchise past $2bn in worldwide ticket sales. Part 2 comes out in late 2012 and I'd say there's a strong chance the series will cross $3bn.

Twilight continues to be a great endorsement of the independent sector. Commercial screenplays (regardless what one might think of the story or genre) backed by smart producers and sales agents with links to capital can draw top-notch talent, but the projects must be commercially sound »

- Jeremy Kay

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15 features on Best Documentary shortlist for the 2012 Oscars

20 November 2011 9:04 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

15 titles look set to battle it out to make the final shortlist of five for the Best Documentary Oscar 2012. One of them, staggeringly, isn't Senna...

We recently reported on the eighteen titles in the running to be on the shortlist for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award, and now the contenders for Best Documentary have been revealed.

The films in contention for Best Animated Feature offered very little surprises and there certainly weren’t many that were noticeable from their omission. However, rather sadly, that’s not the case with the Best Documentary category, which has a number of high profile omissions.

The fifteen in contention are:

·    Battle for Brooklyn

·    Bill Cunningham New York

·    Buck

·    Hell and Back Again

·    If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

·    Jane’s Journey

·    The Loving Story

·    Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

·    Pina

·    Project Nim

·    Semper Fi: Always Faithful

·    Sing Your Song »

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AIDS, War, the Environment, the West Memphis Three: Oscar 2012 Documentary Semi-Finalists

19 November 2011 8:48 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

The West Memphis Three: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory AIDS, American football, horses, the environment, war, the American Injustice System, Harry Belafonte. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the 15 semi-finalists for the 2012 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award. Included on the list are James Marsh's Project Nim, a nominee for the British Independent Film Awards; Wim Wenders' Pina, Germany's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar; and Cindy Meehl's Buck, about the man who inspired the book The Horse Whisperer and the ensuing Robert Redford movie. Now, before anyone freaks out because of the inclusion of Undefeated: rest assured that this is Dan Lindsay and T. J. Martin's documentary about underprivileged football players — Lindsay and Martin's effort has nothing to do with the Sarah Palin movie The Undefeated, a shoo-in Razzie nominee. Lorenz Knauer's Jane's Journey, »

- Andre Soares

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If a Tree Falls: A Story of the E.L.F. Review

19 November 2011 4:02 PM, PST | newsinfilm.com | See recent newsinfilm news »

Yesterday, Marshall Curry’s eco-terrorism documentary If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front was named as part of the Oscar shortlist, a narrowed round of fifteen docs that represent what the Academy considers the year’s “best.”

In February, the Academy anointed Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job as 2010’s top doc, and it became a source of information and inspiration to thousands of American protesters currently “occupying” Wall Street and other cities.

The issues in Curry’s film are vastly different (the environment instead of the economy), but it’s difficult not to think of the ongoing “Occupy” movement when footage from the late ’90s shows rows of non-violent protesters taking to the streets arm-in-arm, or citizens doused in pepper spray by the police as they occupied an endangered tree, like those yesterday who sat in peaceful protest.

But Curry’s compelling film diverges at the first sign of violence. »

- Jeff Leins

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The Story With The Best Documentary Short List Is, Once Again, The Snubs

19 November 2011 9:00 AM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Every single year come awards season, it's always upsetting to see the blatant misfires on the Academy's short list of films eligible for the Best Documentary Oscar. Just last year [1], the big story wasn't so much that Exit Through the Gift Shop or Restrepo were up for the award, it was that films like Catfish, Best Worst Movie and Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work were snubbed. This year it's more of the same. Much more. Fifteen films have been chosen that will be narrowed down to five to tangle for the Oscar itself and on that list are several exceptional documentaries: Bill Cunningham New York, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and Project Nim (above) just to name a few. Not on the list, however are Constance Mark's Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, Steve James’s The Interrupters, Werner Herzog‘s Into the Abyss, Errol Morris' Tabloid, Ian Palmer's Knuckle, »

- Germain Lussier

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Pina, Project Nim Make Oscar Documentary Short List

18 November 2011 11:48 PM, PST | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

With all the furor over co-producer Brett Ratner and on-air host Eddie Murphy exiting the 84th Academy Awards telecast; the films vying for the Oscars returned to the spotlight. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the 15 films in the Documentary Feature category that will advance in the voting process. The 15 short-list documentaries include: Battle for Brooklyn, Bill Cunningham New York, Buck, Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Jane’s Journey, The Loving Story, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Pina, Project Nim, Semper Fi, Sing Your Song, Undefeated, Under Fire: Journalists in Combat and We Were Here. »

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Pina, Project Nim Make Oscar Documentary Short List

18 November 2011 11:48 PM, PST | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

With all the furor over co-producer Brett Ratner and on-air host Eddie Murphy exiting the 84th Academy Awards telecast; the films vying for the Oscars returned to the spotlight. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the 15 films in the Documentary Feature category that will advance in the voting process. The 15 short-list documentaries include: Battle for Brooklyn, Bill Cunningham New York, Buck, Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Jane’s Journey, The Loving Story, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Pina, Project Nim, Semper Fi, Sing Your Song, Undefeated, Under Fire: Journalists in Combat and We Were Here. »

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Pina, Project Nim Make Oscar Documentary Short List

18 November 2011 11:48 PM, PST | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

With all the furor over co-producer Brett Ratner and on-air host Eddie Murphy exiting the 84th Academy Awards telecast; the films vying for the Oscars returned to the spotlight. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the 15 films in the Documentary Feature category that will advance in the voting process. The 15 short-list documentaries include: Battle for Brooklyn, Bill Cunningham New York, Buck, Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Jane’s Journey, The Loving Story, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Pina, Project Nim, Semper Fi, Sing Your Song, Undefeated, Under Fire: Journalists in Combat and We Were Here. »

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Oscar Race: Herzog, Spurlock left behind as 15 documentaries advance

18 November 2011 5:13 PM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The Oscar for best feature documentary is officially closer for 15 films. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the list via a press release on Friday, after the Documentary Branch Screening Committee narrowed their picks down from 124. The Committee will now have to select the final five, which will be announced live along with the other nominees on Tuesday, January 24 at 5:30 a.m. They’ll have to choose between the West Memphis 3, a wounded vet from Afghanistan, and a New York City chimpanzee, among others.

Their 15 picks are listed below in alphabetical order:

Battle for Brooklyn

Bill Cunningham New York »

- Shaunna Murphy

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'Pina,' 'Paradise Lost' and 13 More Make Oscar Documentary Shortlist

18 November 2011 4:36 PM, PST | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

And the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature will go to ... well, one of these 15 films.

The Academy has chosen 15 documentaries as potential candidates for being nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, according to the Official Site for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Of these 15 contenders, five will eventually be chosen as nominees.

The 15 contenders, which include such acclaimed docs as "Bill Cunningham New York" (pictured, and currently available on Netflix Streaming), "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," "Buck" and Wim Wenders' "Pina" (which is also a contender for Best Foreign Film) were chosen from an initial list of 124 docs that had qualified for the category.

The 15 Documentary Features are as follows:

- "Battle for Brooklyn" (Rumur Inc.)

- "Bill Cunningham New York" (First Thought Films)

- "Buck" (Cedar Creek Productions)

- "Hell and Back Again" (Roast Beef Productions Limited)

- "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front »

- Bryan Enk

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Academy Picks 15 Documentary Oscar Finalists

18 November 2011 3:04 PM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Branch Screening Committee has announced the 15 film shortlist for the Best Documentary Oscar. The selections were culled from a list of 124 eligible titles.

Some Filmmaker favorites, including films by 25 New Face Directors Danfung Dennis (Hell and Back Again) and Marshall Curry (If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front) are in the mix, as are Wim Wender’s Pina, Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky’s Battle for Brooklyn, and Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost 3. I was sad to see more experimental docs like Bombay Beach and The Arbor left off the list and surprised by the omissions of The Interruptors and Senna.

The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company in parentheses and links to our coverage

Battle for Brooklyn (Rumer Inc.)

Bill Cunningham New York (First Thought Films »

- Scott Macaulay

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15 Documentar​y Features Advance in 2011 Oscar® Race

18 November 2011 3:04 PM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Project Nim

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 84th Academy Awards®. One hundred twenty-four pictures had originally qualified in the category.

Some noticeables left off: Senna, The Interrupters, Tabloid, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and Into The Abyss.

The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:

“Battle for Brooklyn” (Rumer Inc.)

Bill Cunningham New York” (First Thought Films)

“Buck” (Cedar Creek Productions)

Hell and Back Again” (Roast Beef Productions Limited)

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” (Marshall Curry Productions, LLC)

“Jane’s Journey” (Neos Film GmbH & Co. Kg)

“The Loving Story” (Augusta Films)

“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” (@radical.media)

“Pina” (Neue Road Movies GmbH)

Project Nim” (Red Box Films)

Semper Fi: Always Faithful” (Tied to the Tracks Films, Inc.)

“Sing »

- Michelle McCue

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15 Documentaries Advance for the 84th Annual Academy Awards

18 November 2011 2:49 PM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Now that the Oscars officially have a host and a producer, we can get down to focusing on the films that will compete for the awards. Out of a pool of 124 qualified documentary pictures vying for contention, 15 have advanced through the voting process. This list will be further whittled down by the Documentary Branch Screening Committee to a selection of five nominees. Some of the 15 films include:  Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, about the continuing legal battles of the West Memphis Three (3); Project Nim, a study of Nim, the chimpanzee who was raised as a human child to allow researchers to discern the differences between men and beasts; and Buck, the story of Buck Brannaman, the real life Horse Whisperer. Notably absent from the list: the extremely well-received Formula-1 racing doc Senna. Hit the jump to see the rest. Here are the 15 documentaries selected by the screening committee to advance: Battle for Brooklyn (Rumer Inc. »

- Dave Trumbore

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Oscar News: 15 Documentary Finalists. Major Snubs Are Mandatory.

18 November 2011 2:46 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

The Academy have announced their finalists in the Best Documentary Oscar category. Guess what isn't it the running anymore: Senna, The Interrupters, Page One: Inside the New York Times, and The Carrier! And that's just the biggies off the top of my head without research.  Amir was just pontificating about Senna's Oscar hopes and he's hardly that movies only über fan. People will be up in arms. I suppose it wouldn't be the Best Documentary Feature, that storied and oft-controversial category, without these anger-making decisions. Remember when Grizzly Man got the boot? I know, right? Unthinkable though that still is...

The finalists are...

 

Battle for Brooklyn (Rumer Inc.)  Bill Cunningham New York (First Thought Films) Buck (Cedar Creek Productions)  Hell and Back Again (Roast Beef Productions Limited) If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (Marshall Curry Productions, LLC) Jane's Journey (Neos Film GmbH & Co. Kg) The »

- NATHANIEL R

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‘Into the Abyss’ and ‘Senna’ Snubbed From Best Documentary Oscar Shortlist

18 November 2011 1:57 PM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Well, this is depressing news. Two documentaries that are currently in my top 10 films of the year have been completely snubbed by the Academy, as we see in the Oscar documentary shortlist. Awards Daily provides the fifteen films, which only includes a few we’ve seen. But I’m flabbergasted that Werner Herzog‘s Into the Abyss and Asif Kapadia’s Senna are nowhere to be found. Check it out below, which does include James Marsh‘s Project Nim, as well as another Sundance hit, Buck. Although I’m not a fan of the dull Pina, it is nice to see the legendary Wim Wenders get recognition as well.

“Battle for Brooklyn” (Rumer Inc.)

Bill Cunningham New York” (First Thought Films)

Buck” (Cedar Creek Productions)

Hell and Back Again” (Roast Beef Productions Limited)

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” (Marshall Curry Productions, LLC)

“Jane’s Journey” (Neos Film GmbH & Co. »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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