Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989) - News Poster


HBO’s Lgbt History: The End

It's the final episode as Manuel has worked his way through all the Lgbt-themed HBO productions.

I began this project because, after watching and recapping Looking here, I became fascinated with the idea that, with that Andrew Haigh show, the cable network had somehow reached peak gay TV even as it also managed to alienate the very viewers it was trying to coax. I wanted to, in a way, put Looking in context by watching everything HBO had produced and aired that had tackled Lgbt issues.

This required a lot of scavenging—despite their shiny HBOGo and HBO Now ventures, a lot of the network’s older and more obscure TV movies and shows remain unattainable. And so I reached back and watched a lot of not so great TV movies from the early 80s, caught up with key “very special episodes” of their most well-known dramas and comedies, and
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HBO Lgbt History: 1989 Oscar Flashback Best Documentary

Last week we enjoyed the eloquent musings of one Stephen Sondheim and quibbled over whether Todd Haynes’s intentionally queasy and dizzying take on “I’m Still Here” was worth including in James Lapine’s documentary on the Broadway composer. This week we’re taking a break from our regular programming and going back in time to celebrate one of HBO’s earliest Oscar victories.

As you may or may not know, films produced by HBO have won over 20 Oscars. Last year alone, HBO dominated both documentary categories with Citizenfour and Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 emerging victorious in their respective categories. And so, let us travel back to March 1990 when Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (discussed here) won the Best Documentary Oscar. [More...]
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Review: Twice Upon a Time

  • Comicmix
People of a certain age (i.e. “Old”) will remember when in the early days of HBO, a weird ,wild animated film called Twice Upon a Time made the rounds. Many paid it heed because it was executive produced by George Lucas, currently in the process of imprinting our childhoods with a new mythology. But except for a laserdisc and VHS release, the film rather fell off the table, save for dedicated maniacs who remembered it fondly.

Warner Archives, print-on-demand masters of unearthing lost bits of cinema and making them available to the masses, have achieved the impossible and presented the world with a brand new release of the film, unearthing both audio tracks, and getting many of the animators together for a commentary track, including Henry Selick, who has gone on to great things like Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, and in that order.
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HBO’s Lgbt History: Common Threads (1989)

Manuel is working his way through all the Lgbt-themed films & miniseries produced and distributed by HBO.

Last week we looked at the quietly touching film Tidy Endings (1988), written and starring Harvey Fierstein and a must-see for Stockard Channing completists. We’re not going far this week, since much of HBO’s early Lgbt output tried to grapple with the AIDS epidemic that had dominated the cultural conversation about gay men in the 1980s.

Did you know that films produced by HBO have won over 20 Oscars? This past year alone, HBO dominated both documentary categories with Citizenfour and Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 emerging victorious. It has been a stealth awards run which Sheila Nevins (currently the president of HBO Documentary Films but her involvement stretches back to 1979) has all but nurtured herself.

Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989)

Written & Directed by: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman (based on the book, The
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The Academy Celebrates Powerful, Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

By Michelle McCue and Gary Salem

On Wednesday, the Academy featured the 2014 Oscar-nominated films in the Documentary Short Subject and Documentary Feature categories.

Clips from the nominated films were screened, and nominees for all 10 films took part in panel discussions, talking about their own films and sharing insights on the craft of documentary filmmaking and the greater issues their nominated films explore.

Two-time Oscar winner and Academy documentary branch governor Rob Epstein opened the evening with the documentary shorts.

Epstein won the Oscar for documentary feature in 1984 for The Times Of Harvey Milk and in 1989 for Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt. His other credits include Lovelace (2013) and the TV documentary “And The Oscar Goes To…” (2014)

During his opening remarks, Epstein said the theme that ran through the nominated shorts were “life beginning and life ending.”

All the filmmakers conceded the Cinéma vérité was what was so powerful, so intimate.
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The Academy To Celebrate The Nominees During Oscar Week Feb. 17 – 21


In the week leading up to the Academy Awards, movie fans in the Hollywood area will get an up close look at the nominees from six of the categories competing at the 87th Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present their annual series of public programs celebrating this year’s nominees in the Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Short Film categories.

See the full list of nominees here.

The various hosts chosen for each symposium have all earned their Oscar street cred by being involved with Oscar nominated or winning films and all events will be held at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

If you’re in the Southern California area, check out the Oscar Week schedule:

Oscar Week: Shorts

Tuesday, February 17, 7 p.m.

Hosted by Sean Astin.
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‘Art and Craft’ Could Join These Ten Art-Related Docs to Garner Oscar Noms

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

For almost 30 years, Mark Landis forged artwork and passed it off as his own to various museums around the country. It wasn’t until Matthew Leininger, a registrar at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, investigated the pieces in 2008 that the forgery was exposed. Leininger dedicated his time to investigating Landis further, and the scale of forgeries was revealed in 2012. Both men are featured in Art and Craft, a documentary about Landis, directed by Jennifer Grausman and Sam Cullman and co-directed by Mark Becker. Because Landis never sold his work to the museums, only donated the works in what he calls acts of “philanthropy”, he was never prosecuted.

The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore said, “The film will appeal to art lovers, but some viewers who can hardly tell their Cezannes from Chagalls will find the story fascinating as well.”

The film was picked by
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Making the Switch From Documentary to Narrative (and vice versa)

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Where feature filmmakers head into a project with a script and a plan, the path for documentarians is unpredictable. They follow real subjects and real issues often in real time — and sometimes for years at a time — and piece everything together as the footage comes along. Sometimes, things fall apart or the subject has to change, such as it with Alex Gibney’s The Armstrong Lie (2013). Though different skill sets go into the distinct film forms, some documentary filmmakers choose to transition to narrative features and vice versa, such as Spike Lee, whose next release will be a documentary titled Go Brasil Go!.

Rob Epstein and Jeff Friedman have made the jump from documentaries to feature films and have said that they intend on continuing to make both types of film. Epstein and Friedman won an Oscar for their first co-directed documentary, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

'Common Threads', and Oscar's History with Lgbt Documentaries

Today is Wear It Purple Day, which asks people to simply wear the color purple in support of Lgbt equality. It's appropriate then that we continue our celebration of 1989 today with a look at that year's Oscar winner for Best Documentary. Glenn is joined in a conversation by friend of The Film Experience and doco-expert Daniel Walber, writer for Nonfics and Film School Rejects.

Glenn: Daniel, thank you for joining us. While I would obviously love to hear your thoughts on the film, I think I would be just as interested to hear about how well you think Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt sits amongst Oscar's documentary history. So few films about gay issues have even been nominated, yet alone won (the only other winner of its kind is The Times of Harvey Milk, also by Rob Epstein), but does Common Threads hold up as a winner? And furthermore,
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You're invited to celebrate Oscars week at the Academy

You're invited to celebrate Oscars week at the Academy
For the five days leading up to the Oscars on March 2, the academy will showcase nominees in the Animated Feature Film, Documentary, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Short Film categories. The events at the academy's Samuel Goldwyn theater will include screenings, film clips and discussions with the nominated filmmakers and artists. On the evening of Tuesday Feb. 25, Kevin Pollak will host a screening of the five nominees in each of the Animated Short and Live Action Short categories and lead a discussion with the filmmakers. On Wednesday evening, Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein ("The Times of Harvey Milk"; "Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt") and Barbara Kopple ("Harlan County, USA"; "American Dream") will steer a conversation with those nominated for both Documentary Short Subject and Documentary Feature awards. On Thursday evening, there will be a concert featuring selections from the no...
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Join The Academy For Oscar Week Events February 25 – March 1

The 86th Academy Awards are just 30 days away! Still deciding on your favorites? Go Here for a list of the nominees.

The Academy has announced it will present a slate of public events leading up to the 86th Oscars where they’ll be celebrating this year’s nominees. If you’re in the Hollywood area (Feb 25 – March 1) and an Oscar fan, you wont want to miss these fantastic events!

Events at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills will focus on the films nominated for Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, and the Short Film categories.

Something new this year is the live concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles highlighting the nominated musical scores and songs.

The Oscar Week schedule is as follows:

Animated and Live Action Shorts

Tuesday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by actor Kevin Pollak.
See full article at »

TCM Unveils Lineup for 31 Days Of Oscar, Including New Documentary “And the Oscar Goes To…”

When Turner Classic Movies (TCM) kicks off 31 Days of Oscar®, the network’s annual celebration of the Academy Awards® in February, it will be embarking on one of the most ambitious and comprehensive editions of the month-long festival yet.

Each night’s primetime lineup from Feb. 1 through March 3 will be devoted to showcasing all the movies nominated in a particular category in a given year. Meanwhile, daytime programming will focus on specific categories, with winners and nominees from multiple years.

TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar is one of several events celebrating the network’s 20th year as a leading authority in classic film. Making the 2014 edition of 31 Days of Oscar even more spectacular will be the world premiere of And the Oscar® Goes To…, a brand-new documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards, slated to premiere Saturday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. (Et/Pt). CNN Films will encore the documentary onThursday,
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Race, Gender, and Sexuality at the Oscars, Part III

By Mark Pinkert


* * *

This is the third article in a three-part series.

Though many Academy Award Best Picture nominees contain—or are predominantly about—sex and relationships, very few have been about sex issues in law and politics. In recent years there has been Milk (2008), the biopic of Harvey Milk, a California politician and gay rights activist, and otherwise not much else. Even in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the AIDS epidemic was a hot button issue, few films of this genre made it to the Best Picture ticket (remember, Philadelphia was snubbed from the category in 1993). Sexual issues topics, though, have been more popular within the documentary medium: there was Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989), which won for Best Documentary, and which was the first AIDS-related film to win an Oscar, the The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), which also won Best Documentary, and How to Survive a Plague
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It’s Not TV: HBO, The Company That Changed Television: An Original Voice

An Original Voice

“We didn’t get mad, we got smart,” HBO CEO Michael Fuchs said about hitting The Wall, looking back at HBO stalling in 1984 from the vantage of the early 1990s. Actually, a lot of the rank and file didn’t get mad or smart; we’d seen 125 of our friends and colleagues get shown the door when the company had suddenly flatlined after eight years of phenomenal growth, and what we got was scared.

But it’s to the credit of HBO’s execs that whatever anxieties they may have had, they showed no panic or even nervousness in public. Instead, they poured any concerns into energetically and immediately addressing the question of, “What do we do now?” The world we knew had changed and there was no going back to the Gold Rush days of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The company required a humongous
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TCM To Premiere Oscar, New Documentary By Academy Award Winners Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is gearing up to celebrate the Academy Awards® in a very special way next year. As part of TCM’s annual 31 Days of Oscar® showcase in February 2014, the network will present the world premiere of Oscar, a brand-new documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards. Produced by Telling Pictures, Inc., in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy) and Hollywood Newsreel, this fascinating special will take movie lovers on a journey through Hollywood history as it tells its story of the little statuette that became the industry’s most coveted prize.

Oscar is set to have its world television premiere on TCM Saturday, Feb. 1, the opening night of the 2014 edition of 31 Days of Oscar. With the new documentary as its centerpiece, 31 Days of Oscar will be themed around the history of the Academy Awards.

Featuring more than 300 Oscar-winning and nominated films,
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TCM to premiere new documentary 'Oscar' in February

  • Hitfix
TCM to premiere new documentary 'Oscar' in February
Every year Turner Classic Movies gets home audiences in an Oscar state of mind with its annual "31 Days of Oscar" showcase. Held every February, it's a month-long celebration of Oscar-winning films leading up to the annual Academy Awards ceremony, and this year, the showcase will kick off with the premiere of a brand new documentary about the awards' 85 years of history. It's called, what else… "Oscar." Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (whose 1989 film "Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt" took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature), "Oscar" will feature interviews with many Academy Award-winning and...
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TCM Announces 'Oscar,' New Documentary on History of the Academy Awards, to Premiere in February 2014

TCM Announces 'Oscar,' New Documentary on History of the Academy Awards, to Premiere in February 2014
As part of TCM's annual "31 Days of Oscar" showcase in February of 2014, the network will present the world premiere of brand-new documentary "Oscar," which traces the history of the Academy Awards.The special is co-directed and penned by filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (“Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt”). It features extensive clips from Oscar-winning and nominated films, plus behind-the-scenes ceremony footage from the archives of Hollywood Newsreel. Much of this has never been shown before. The doc's high-profile interviewees include, among many others, George Clooney, Annette Benning, Tom Hanks, Ben Kingsley, Helen Mirren, Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg, Michael Moore and frequent Oscar host Billy Crystal.“Oscar” is set to air on February 1, the opening night of "31 Days of Oscar." Each night's lineup will feature a complete set of nominated films that faced each other in a particular category. The February 1 programming includes, asides from...
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Lovelace Comes Home November 5th

Lovelace, the moderately controversial film about porn legend Linda Lovelace is making its way to Blu-Ray and DVD on November 5th. It’s a cast that’s hard to argue with, and a film that is sure to get people talking.

There doesn’t seem to be word on the bonus features yet, and that could be a wild meeting in itself. Get all the info below, and mark your calendars.

From Academy Award® winning directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Best Documentary, Features, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, 1989) comes the harrowing true story Lovelace, debuting on Blu-ray™ and DVD on November 5th from Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS-twc. The true story of fame, abuse and betrayal set against the sexual revolution of the 1970s stars Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables, In Time) as icon Linda Lovelace and Golden Globe® nominee Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern, Jar Head, Flightplan) as her abusive husband,
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Lovelace Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Lovelace Movie Review
Title: Lovelace Director: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman Starring: Amanda Seyfriedm Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Hank Azaria, Wes Bentley, Adam Brody, Bobby Cannavale, James Franco, Debi Mazar, Chris Noth, Robert Patrick, Eric Roberts, Chloe Sevigny. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman won an Academy Award for Best Documentary with ‘Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt’ in 1989. Epstein also won an Oscar for the doc ‘The Times of Harvey Milk’ and he made an amazing job in his transition to scripted narratives, with the biopic ‘Howl’ – the award-winning film about Allen Ginsberg’s controversial poem by the same name. The director-duo has ultimately made an extremely powerful biopic on [ Read More ]

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Stephen Merchant says, “Hello, Ladies”, Alec Baldwin is Seduced and Abandoned, and Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen Knick HBO

After winning Golden Globes for his work as writer-executive producer of The Office (UK) and HBO’s Extras, Stephen Merchant is now expanding his resume to include leading man in a comedy series.

A recent transplant from England, Stuart is a gawky, 6’ 7” web designer searching for excitement and romance in Los Angeles. Half as charming – and twice as desperate – as he thinks he is, he’s obsessed with infiltrating the glamorous world of beautiful people, who won’t let him in.

Accompanying Merchant on Hello Ladies are Christine Woods (Go On) as an unsuccessful and unsure actress, Nate Torrence (She’s Out of My League) as a man still in love with the wife that left him, and Kevin Weisman (Alias) as a crafty pick-up artist. Guests on the show include Crista Flanagan, Jenny Slate, Sean Wing and Sarah Wright.

Created by Stephen Merchant, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg Hello Ladies
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