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‘Jane’: Why the Academy Dissed Brett Morgen’s Popular Goodall Documentary

‘Jane’: Why the Academy Dissed Brett Morgen’s Popular Goodall Documentary
“Jane,” Brett Morgen’s popular documentary about primatologist Jane Goodall, was so lauded and applauded that most Oscar experts predicted that it would land an Oscar nomination, if not win. Instead, it never made the cut.

This happens with the Academy documentary branch. While its voter ranks have expanded by more than 50 percent in the last three years, from 204 to 320 members, it’s still a relatively insular group with strong ideas about what makes a great documentary. They tend to be slow to recognize innovation. They long frowned on dramatic re-enactments, strong personalities, and rousing scores, overlooking early Michael Moore entry “Roger and Me” and Errol Morris’ “The Thin Blue Line,” finally rewarding them with Oscars for anti-gun screed “Bowling for Columbine” and the Robert McNamara profile “The Fog of War,” respectively.

Moore returned to the Oscar fray for “Sicko,” but Morris was never nominated again. The doc branch nominated
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Jane’: Why the Academy Dissed Brett Morgen’s Popular Goodall Documentary

  • Indiewire
‘Jane’: Why the Academy Dissed Brett Morgen’s Popular Goodall Documentary
“Jane,” Brett Morgen’s popular documentary about primatologist Jane Goodall, was so lauded and applauded that most Oscar experts predicted that it would land an Oscar nomination, if not win. Instead, it never made the cut.

This happens with the Academy documentary branch. While its voter ranks have expanded by more than 50 percent in the last three years, from 204 to 320 members, it’s still a relatively insular group with strong ideas about what makes a great documentary. They tend to be slow to recognize innovation. They long frowned on dramatic re-enactments, strong personalities, and rousing scores, overlooking early Michael Moore entry “Roger and Me” and Errol Morris’ “The Thin Blue Line,” finally rewarding them with Oscars for anti-gun screed “Bowling for Columbine” and the Robert McNamara profile “The Fog of War,” respectively.

Read More:Is Errol Morris’s ‘Wormwood’ a Documentary? Netflix Says Yes, Oscars Say No

Moore returned to the Oscar fray for “Sicko,
See full article at Indiewire »

7 Netflix Original Movies That Are Worth Seeking Out

7 Netflix Original Movies That Are Worth Seeking Out
Last week, in response to the news that Netflix had finally cracked the Cannes competition lineup (a breakthrough that inspired the Federation of French Cinemas to question if a movie that skips theaters should even be considered “a cinematographic work”), I wrote about the streaming giant and how they’ve performed as a distributor. My conclusions were, uh, not super favorable. Criticizing the company’s penchant for pricing out the competition, hoarding the hottest indies on the festival circuit, and burying them on their site without the benefit of a proper release, I argued that Netflix isn’t a distributor so much as “a graveyard with unlimited viewing hours,” and that “it doesn’t release movies, it inters them.” It’s a problem that extends to the well-funded features that Netflix produces themselves, a problem that’s only going to get worse as those titles continue to get better.

See MoreNetflix Keeps Buying Great Movies,
See full article at Indiewire »

Omg! Oscars, Muriels and Gelderblom’S “Pretty Messed Up”!

So, going into the final stretch before the Oscars are announced, I have a question: if you like—no, love this year’s front-running La La Land, does that make you a bad person, or just deluded? Don’t laugh—there may be people at your own Oscar party who will have already come to their own conclusion on that conundrum. This year’s presumptive favorite is so presumptive that people are talking about the film as if it had already won and are projecting as to whether it’s an enduring classic or just another meh-fest to be thrown on the mediocrity pile along with Crash, Chicago, Argo, The Artist and about half of the rest of Oscar’s Best Picture winners since the Academy started handing out awards at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929. It is hard to deny, no matter how much you like or dislike La La Land,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Oscar Odds Stacked Against Documentary Directors

Oscar Odds Stacked Against Documentary Directors
In the nearly 75 years since the Oscars began awarding a documentary feature, no non-fiction filmmaker has ever been nominated for director, despite being eligible for the prize.

The most obvious reason is that “directing” seems antithetical to the spirit of nonfiction, which is about revealing unsullied truths about the world in which we live. Documentary directors have been generally regarded as observers or journalists, rather than as creative artists, and the Oscar process has, until recently, rewarded more conservative approaches to the form.

Such prominent documentary figures as Errol Morris and Werner Herzog worked for decades before the Academy honored them. Morris’ “The Fog of War” won the 2004 Oscar and Herzog’s “Encounters at the End of the World” was nominated in 2009. But even those films, as quirky and iconoclastic as they are, operated in the familiar spheres of journalistic interrogation and fact-filled nature docs. It’s always been expected
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Notebook Review: Werner Herzog's "Into the Inferno"

  • MUBI
Werner Herzog’s latest documentary which surveys the world’s most dangerous and active volcanoes, Into the Inferno, is unsurprisingly not about volcanoes. Despite privileged access to one-of-a-kind sites and the researchers who work on them, Herzog has little concern for info-doc subject matter. While another filmmaker might take the opportunity to discuss climate change or how unprepared we are for catastrophe, Herzog is only after one truth, the thing hidden by data, ideology and his own myth: the cosmic indifference of nature, the universe in all of its nihilistic purposelessness.Clashes between nature and subject, and The Real and The Symbolic have been the thematic through-line of Herzog’s distinctive oeuvre: the grizzly bears and Timothy Treadwell’s perception, the jungle and Fitzcarraldo’s exotic dreams, the Amazon River and Aguirre’s doomed quest. There is a clear line between the indifferent filmic environment and the assumptions of the characters and filmmaker,
See full article at MUBI »

Oscars 2017 Documentary Shortlist Predictions: Anne Thompson Weighs In With Top Picks

Oscars 2017 Documentary Shortlist Predictions: Anne Thompson Weighs In With Top Picks
Many are called, few are chosen: The number of high-quality, awards-worthy documentaries seems to grow every year, but there’s still only 15 slots on the Oscar documentary shortlist. That will be announced December 5; the final five will be revealed on nominations morning, January 24. This year, 145 features were submitted.

This is the white-knuckle portion of the final campaign stretch, as documentary filmmakers and distributors hope their movies make it onto documentary branch voters’ viewing piles before they file their final grades. Those with the advantage are high-profile established hits and festival award-winners with the right combination of engaging accessibility, artful filmmaking, and gravitas.

So what’s looking like a strong bet? It’s a diverse list in more ways than one. Here are my picks for the Top 15, which are not listed in order of likelihood.

See more ‘Amanda Knox’: Why It Took Five Years to Unravel the Story of
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Oscars 2017 Documentary Shortlist Predictions: Anne Thompson Weighs In With Top Picks

  • Indiewire
Oscars 2017 Documentary Shortlist Predictions: Anne Thompson Weighs In With Top Picks
Many are called, few are chosen: The number of high-quality, awards-worthy documentaries seems to grow every year, but there’s still only 15 slots on the Oscar documentary shortlist. That will be announced December 5; the final five will be revealed on nominations morning, January 24. This year, 145 features were submitted.

This is the white-knuckle portion of the final campaign stretch, as documentary filmmakers and distributors hope their movies make it onto documentary branch voters’ viewing piles before they file their final grades. Those with the advantage are high-profile established hits and festival award-winners with the right combination of engaging accessibility, artful filmmaking, and gravitas.

So what’s looking like a strong bet? It’s a diverse list in more ways than one. Here are my picks for the Top 15, which are not listed in order of likelihood.

See more ‘Amanda Knox’: Why It Took Five Years to Unravel the Story of
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Into The Inferno’: How Werner Herzog Learned to Love and Fear Volcanoes (Exclusive Video)

‘Into The Inferno’: How Werner Herzog Learned to Love and Fear Volcanoes (Exclusive Video)
Director Werner Herzog doesn’t make cinéma vérité documentaries, nor does he conduct journalistic interviews. He likes to fiddle with the truth in films such as 1982’s ”Fitzcarraldo,” about an obsessed opera lover. In his 1999 manifesto, ”Minnesota Declaration,” Herzog wrote: ”There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.”

Through the decades Herzog has toyed with his public persona as a fearless, death-defying, slightly crazed filmmaker who was rumored to have pulled a gun on leading man Klaus Kinski on the 1972 jungle set of ”Aguirre, the Wrath of God.” His own German-accented voiceover narration has become famous in its own right, and he was comfortable enough as an actor to make fun of himself in Zak Penn’s improvised 2004 mockumentary “Incident at Loch Ness,” among
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Into The Inferno’: How Werner Herzog Learned to Love and Fear Volcanoes (Exclusive Video)

  • Indiewire
‘Into The Inferno’: How Werner Herzog Learned to Love and Fear Volcanoes (Exclusive Video)
Director Werner Herzog doesn’t make cinéma vérité documentaries, nor does he conduct journalistic interviews. He likes to fiddle with the truth in films such as 1982’s ”Fitzcarraldo,” about an obsessed opera lover. In his 1999 manifesto, ”Minnesota Declaration,” Herzog wrote: ”There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.”

Through the decades Herzog has toyed with his public persona as a fearless, death-defying, slightly crazed filmmaker who was rumored to have pulled a gun on leading man Klaus Kinski on the 1972 jungle set of ”Aguirre, the Wrath of God.” His own German-accented voiceover narration has become famous in its own right, and he was comfortable enough as an actor to make fun of himself in Zak Penn’s improvised 2004 mockumentary “Incident at Loch Ness,” among
See full article at Indiewire »

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World review – dispatch from a technology tourist

Internet luddite Werner Herzog offers a sporadically fascinating glimpse of a vast and complex subject

The entire scope of the digital age – from the birth of the internet, to artificial intelligence, to catastrophist predictions of the end of days – is crammed into 96 idiosyncratic minutes in this latest documentary by Werner Herzog. And while Herzog’s defiantly esoteric line of commentary works with some subjects – suicidal penguins, for example, in Encounters at the End of the World – he does seem out of his depth at times while navigating this vast and complex subject. Herzog’s Usp here is that, as a luddite who doesn’t even carry a mobile phone, he is essentially a technological tourist, an outsider looking into the digital world. It’s a sporadically fascinating film that dips its toe into many different themes where perhaps it should have chosen to immerse itself in just one or two.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New to Streaming: ‘Indignation,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road Black & Chrome,’ ‘Into the Inferno,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Complete Unknown (Joshua Marston)

Armed with two top-notch leads and a compelling premise, Joshua Marston‘s third feature, Complete Unknown, spends a lot of time hinting at which direction it will go, without going anywhere at all. Tom (Michael Shannon) is living with his wife Rehema (Azita Ghanizada) in New York City, spending the majority of his days drafting agricultural policy emails in a cramped government office. It is
See full article at The Film Stage »

Movie Review: Werner Herzog goes Into The Inferno, won’t shut up about it

Much like Whit Stillman adapting Jane Austen earlier this year, Into The Inferno—a documentary about volcanoes directed by Werner Herzog—seems like such a no-brainer that it’s hard to believe it didn’t already exist. Actually, this one did already exist, albeit in shorter forms: Herzog’s short doc “La Soufrière” (1977) saw him rush to the evacuated Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in order to record an impending volcanic eruption, and his 2007 feature Encounters At The End Of The World introduced him to volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer, who worked so extensively on Into The Inferno that he and Herzog share its opening “a film by” credit (though only Herzog is credited as its director). Footage from both of those films gets recycled here, which contributes to a general feeling of déjà vu that’s increasingly common in Herzog’s movies. He seems very much aware that he’s ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Werner Herzog Ventures ‘Into the Inferno’ in Trailer for Netflix Documentary

Mysterious, best left alone, of an ominous origin, and seemingly ready to burst at any moment — let’s just get this out of the way and say that, yes, Werner Herzog‘s dramatic interests and volcanoes are a match made in heaven. The master’s latest documentary, his third feature this year, and the second 2016 endeavor about volcanoes is Into the Inferno, a study of civilizations living under the specter of eruption. The picture made a nice impression at Tiff just last month, and there’s no need for a wait: Netflix will be bringing it to our home in merely eleven days. Rarely has “Netflix and chill” seemed less fitting a statement.

But it’s worth the investment, viewer- and company-wise. As we said in our review from this year’s Tiff, “Herzog is far more likely to be impressed by human eccentricity than grandiosity – like the enthusiasm of a particularly bubbly archaeologist,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Into the Inferno’ Trailer: Werner Herzog’s Stunning Documentary Takes You Into Incredible Volcanic Landscapes

‘Into the Inferno’ Trailer: Werner Herzog’s Stunning Documentary Takes You Into Incredible Volcanic Landscapes
Acclaimed auteur Werner Herzog takes viewers into the red-hot magma-filled craters of some of the world’s most active and astonishing volcanoes in his new documentary “Into the Inferno.”

Accompanied by volcanologist and co-director Clive Oppenheimer (who he met ten years ago while filming “Encounters at the End of the World”), the duo take an unforgettable journey across the globe, from Antarctica, to the hottest desert in the world in Ethiopia, to Iceland, and even to the generally inaccessible center of North Korea, to visit some of the world’s most scared volcanoes. A new visually stunning trailer and poster have just been released by Netflix. Check them out below.

Read More: Werner Herzog’s ‘Into The Inferno’ Is A Red Hot Return To Form — Telluride Film Festival Review

“Volcanoes could not care less about what we are doing up here,” Herzog says in the trailer, and with that offers
See full article at Indiewire »

Cinema Eye Names Top Documentaries and Directors of the Past Decade

  • Indiewire
Cinema Eye has named 10 filmmakers and 20 films that have been voted as the top achievements in documentary filmmaking during the past 10 years. Founded in 2007 to “recognize and honor exemplary craft and innovation in nonfiction film,” Cinema Eye polled 110 members of the documentary community to determine the winning films and filmmakers just as the organization kicks off its tenth year.

Read More: Behind the Scenes of Cinema Eye’s Secret Field Trip for Nominees

Among the films chosen are Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” Laura Poitras’ Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” and Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Poitras and Oppenheimer were both also named to the list of the top documentary filmmakers, joining Alex Gibney, Werner Herzog and Frederick Wiseman, who recently won an honorary Oscar and will be saluted at the annual Governors Awards on November 12.

“It’s fantastic that he is being recognized by the Academy for a
See full article at Indiewire »

The 20 Best Films at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival

When a few hundred films stop by the 41st Toronto International Film Festival, it’s certainly impossible to cover everything, but we were able to catch over 120 features — and, with that, it’s time to conclude our experience, following the festival’s own award winners. We’ve rounded up our top 20 films seen during the festival, followed by a list of the complete coverage.

Stay tuned over the next months (or years) as we bring updates on films as they make their way to screens. Note that we didn’t include films screened at other festivals in our “best of” round-up, but you can see Venice, Cannes, Berlin, and Sundance wrap-ups at those links, which feature some of the most-praised films of the festival, including La La Land, Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, Certain Women, Elle, Things to Come, Nocturnal Animals, and many more.

One can also click here for
See full article at The Film Stage »

[Tiff Review] Into the Inferno

Volcanoes are perfect for Werner Herzog. There’s a reason he keeps coming back to them, from La Soufriere to Encounters at the End of the World. They are violent representatives of the Earth’s complete indifference to those who walk its surface – as Herzog calls them, “crawling roaches, retarded reptiles, and vapid humans.” Most of this grand sphere is magma, and life ekes by on a thin crust floating on its surface, occasionally disrupted when the magma breaks out. Finally, Herzog has made a documentary entirely about volcanoes. Into the Inferno is a world tour of how humans confront geology’s most ruthless caprices.

From the rim of Mt. Paektu on the North Korea / China border, whose millennia-long role in Korean mythology has been coopted by North Korea’s regime, to the Afar Depression in Africa, where archaeologists have dug up the oldest known hominid fossils, Herzog and volcanologist
See full article at The Film Stage »

Horror Highlights: Roseanne Halloween Shirt, AC/DC Stern Pinball Vr Game, Zombies!!! Board Game Soundtrack, Salt And Fire

  • DailyDead
Available for only 24 hours starting at midnight tonight, Fright Rags presents a Conner family Halloween shirt of epic proportions featuring the "original Becky"! Also in today's Horror Highlights: Stern Pinball Arcade virtual reality AC/DC experience details, Zombies!!! Board Game Soundtrack release details and cover art, and details on XLrator Media's acquisition of Werner Herzog's Salt and Fire.

Fright Rags' Roseanne Halloween Midnight Madness Shirt: This new Fright Rags shirt shows the Conner family from Roseanne getting into the Halloween spirit.

Priced at $18.00, the new shirt will be available for a 24-hour period beginning at 12:01 am Edt on Saturday morning and ending at midnight on Saturday night.

It will never be reprinted by Fright Rags, so if you're interested in purchasing this latest Midnight Madness shirt, then keep an eye on Fright Rags' official website this weekend.

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Stern Pinball AC/DC Vr Game: Press Release: "Elk Grove Village,
See full article at DailyDead »

XLrator Media Acquires Werner Herzog’s Salt And Fire; Release Coming Spring 2017

XLrator Media, known for putting out some excellent genre titles and films that tend to be somewhat outside of the box, have acquired filmmaking legend Werner Herzog’s new film Salt And Fire. The film, an Eco-thriller starring Michael Shannon, Veronica Ferres & Gael Garcia Bernal is targeted for a spring 2017 release and from the press release we were sent, sounds like quite the film. Read on for additional info!

Written and directed by Werner Herzog inspired by a story by Tom Bissell, Salt And Fire tells the story of a corporate CEO and a group of scientists who must band together despite their ideological differences to try to avoid a looming environmental catastrophe. The film was shot in Bolivia at the stunning Uyuni salt flats (the world’s largest) and Germany. The film was produced by Nina Maag, Werner Herzog, Michael Benaroya and Pablo Cruz.

At age 74, German filmmaker Herzog
See full article at Icons of Fright »
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