Documentaries: Articles

'It's So Easy and Other Lies': Guns N' Roses Bassist Duff McKagan Roller Coaster Fall and Rise

It's So Easy and Other Lies movie: Biographical documentary of Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, diving into the pits of drug addiction and back. 'It's So Easy and Other Lies' movie review: Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan biographical documentary fails to develop unique idea Any rock and roll […]

Clint Eastwood + Harry Potter = 'The Decline of Western Civilization'? Packard Series Connection

'Play Misty for Me': Rabid fan Jessica Walter makes life terribly difficult for disc jockey Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood + 'Harry Potter' = 'The Decline of Western Civilization'? The Packard Campus connection Besides Harry Potter (more on the bespectacled wizard further below), movies set in the world of music and/or […]

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier Impressive Sci-Fi, Sex Melodrama & Fernand Léger Combo

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier directed Jaque Catelain and Georgette Leblanc in great-looking (Fernand Léger sets) mix of science-fiction and sex melodrama. Marcel L'Herbier silent 'L'Inhumaine': 'Intense sensory integration of sight' For me, the real jewel in the crown of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's “A Day of Silents,” held on […]

War on Christmas: Movies to Remember & Fighting 'Haters and Atheists'

Donald Trump vs. Starbucks' War on Christmas: Movies to remember range from 'Rosemary's Baby' to Kirk Cameron documentary. The War on Christmas: Movies that come to mind & fighting 'haters and atheists' We're still in November, but the War on Christmas – according to online buzz, a second cousin once […]

'Lord Montagu' Documentary: Anti-Gay Persecution Victim Became Successful Entrepreneur

Lord Montagu documentary. 'Lord Montagu' documentary: Anti-gay witch hunt victim became successful entrepreneur and National Motor Museum founder On first blush, the life of a Lord of the Realm, a Peer to the English monarchy, a child born with an actual silver spoon in his mouth and an ancient estate […]

Amy Winehouse Documentary: 'Heartbreaking' & 'Impressive' Work

Amy Winehouse. Amy Winehouse documentary: 'Heartbreaking' & 'impressive' In an era of disposable pop music, the songs of the late Amy Winehouse feel timeless. Her sound spans the decades: bluesy and jazzy, a little bit punk and a little bit gansta. She was an old soul belting out new school […]

Oscar: 134 Documentary Features Submitted

One hundred thirty-four features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 87th Academy Awards®. Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the […]

Best Documentary Short Oscar Contenders: Death and Illness Are Key Themes

Best Documentary Short Film Oscar contender 'White Earth.' Best Documentary Short Films Oscar 2015: Illness and death are top subjects Eight films – most of them featuring illness and/or death as their focus – remain in the running for the 2015 Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar, the Academy of Motion […]

'Stories We Tell' & 'Blackfish' 'Snubbed': Academy Documentary Branch Anti-Female?

Sarah Polley [with camera] directing 'Stories We Tell' 'Stories We Tell,' 'Blackfish' out of the Oscar 2014 race: Academy's Documentary Branch 'anti-female'? Besides Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, among the other glaring Oscar 2014 absentees were Robert Redford and Golden Globe-winning composer Alex Ebert for All Is Lost; Joel and […]

Justin Bieber 'Believe' Bombs + David O. Russell Movies: All-Star Crime Flick Biggest Box Office Hit?

Justin Bieber in Justin Bieber's Believe. A sort of sequel to Paramount's 3D box office hit Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Justin M. Chu's concert documentary Believe follows Canadian singer and teen/pre-teen sensation Justin Bieber as he embarks on the multi-continent, 33-city Believe Tour promoting his 2012 album of the […]

Buck Angel Documentary 'Mr. Angel': Transgender Star 'Inspirational' Story

Buck Angel documentary 'Mr. Angel' - about the life of the transgender adult star - available on DVD in December In the United States, it's Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 28, 2013. It's an inspirational time of the year for millions, so what's more appropriate than the December 3 release […]

Dutch Colonialism and Its Consequences: 'Empire' Screening & Presentation

Dutch Colonialism and its long-lasting consequences are the topics of the documentary 'Empire' at the REDCAT (image: 'Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism') Mixing personal narratives, investigative journalism, video art, and split/multiple screens, Eline Jongsma and Kel O'Neill's transmedia documentary Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism – the […]

'Finding Hillywood': Rwanda Film Industry Documentary Screening

'Finding Hillywood': Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to present documentary about Rwanda's budding film industry The 2013 documentary Finding Hillywood, which offers a glimpse into the budding film industry in Rwanda, will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Bpeace, the Business Council […]

'South': Antarctic Expedition Documentary SFSFF Hit

South: Sir Ernest Shackleton's Glorious Epic of the Antarctic It was surprising to see the large crowd waiting to get into the 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival screening of South: Sir Ernest Shackleton's Glorious Epic of the Antarctic (1920). I did not think that a documentary would interest so […]

Anti-Gay Hate in Uganda: 'Call Me Kuchu' Review

Call Me Kuchu: The universality of anti-gay hate in Uganda (image: Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato in Call Me Kuchu) It's impossible to watch Call Me Kuchu, Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall's affecting and shocking documentary about the fight for gay rights in Uganda, and not rail against […]

'Pussy Riot' & Uri Geller Documentaries + Alfred Hitchcock San Francisco Tour & Oscar Rule Changes

Pussy Riot A Punk Prayer Pussy Riot & Uri Geller: Sheffield Doc/Fest line-up The United Kingdom's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013 kicks off on June 12, featuring 27 World Premieres. Topics range from “psychic spy” Uri Geller (Uri Geller and Vikram Jayanti's The Secret Life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy) to […]

Robert Redford: Watergate and 'All the President's Men' Revisited

Robert Redford revisits All the President's Men (image: Robert Redford with Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward) The Washington Post and American journalism in general may be only a shadow of what they once were – and most of the U.S. press was never really all that great (or even […]

'War on Whistleblowers' Review: Robert Greenwald vs. Government Secrecy

Robert Greenwald War on Whistleblowers review: 'Secrecy, not transparency,' is political leaders' best friend - and Lady Justice's worst enemy If you want another example of how the lofty intentions of a president-elect inevitably give way to the bitter realities of the intractably crooked and selfish world of realpolitik, here's […]

Documentary Filmmaker Les Blank Dies: Shoe-Eating Werner Herzog Portraitist

Documentary filmmaker Les Blank has died: Best-known for Werner Herzog / Fitzcarraldo documentary Burden of Dreams (image: Herzog in Burden of Dreams) Les Blank, among whose credits is the BAFTA-winning documentary Burden of Dreams, about the making of Werner Herzog's problem-plagued Amazon-set Fitzcarraldo, died of cancer earlier today in Berkeley, […]

Kathryn Bigelow & Benh Zeitlin Are Best Director Favorites + Michael Haneke Surprisingly Bypassed

Zero Dark Thirty with Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton. With ten wins and two nominations to date, Kathryn Bigelow is the top Best Director choice this awards season for the controversial “war on terror” thriller Zero Dark Thirty, about a dogged CIA analyst (Jessica Chastain) and the hunt for Osama […]

Best Documentary Oscar: Michael Moore Changes 'Miserable Failure'? + 'Subversive' Iranian Filmmaker In

This Is Not a Film with Jafar Panahi and the iguana Igi. Under house arrest[1] following accusations of spreading “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” of Iran, filmmaker Jafar Panahi (Cannes Caméra d'Or winner, The White Balloon; Venice Golden Lion winner, The Circle) got documentarian Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (Lady of Roses) to record his […]

'2016: Obama's America': Armstrong Cable Election Year Freebie

2016 Obama's America free on demand: Anti-Obama movie used as political tool? 2016 Obama's America, Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's anti-Obama documentary, has been derided by the vast majority of movie critics. Even so, it's apparently perceived by some as an effective presidential campaign tool. Armstrong Cable, which operates in […]

Oscar 2013: More on the Eight Documentary Shorts Semi-Finalists

'Paraiso' Nadav Kurtz documentary short is potential Oscar contender. Oscar 2013: Eight documentary shorts in contention Paraíso (photo), The Education of Mohammad Hussein, and Redemption are among eight documentary shorts still in the running for the 2013 Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Only […]

Barack Obama Movie '2016': NOT 2nd Most Successful Political Documentary Ever

Barack Obama movie '2016' about to end its run Oct. 6, '12, update: 2016 Obama's America is on its last legs at the domestic box office. Despite recent claims of an “organized misinformation campaign” against Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's anti-Obama documentary – a strategy that could have raised the […]

2016 Obama's America: Organized Misinformation Campaign Against Anti-Obama Movie?

2016 Obama's America: Organized misinformation campaign against 2016 movie as box office grosses plummet? Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's 2016 Obama's America was down 53 percent at the North American box office this past weekend after losing 660 venues. In other words, the 2016 movie lost about one third of […]

Obama Movie '2016' vs. 'Fahrenheit 9/11': Ridiculous Comparisons

Obama movie '2016' vs. Fahrenheit 9/11: Absurd comparisons Aug. 28 update: Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's right-wing documentary 2016 Obama's America had a solid first-wide-weekend run in North America on the eve of the Republican National Convention currently being held in Tampa, Florida. (To be blessed by the Archbishop of […]

'2016' Movie: Anti-Obama Documentary a Right-Wing Blockbuster?

'2016' movie weekend box office: Solid but at lower end of expectations Aug. 26, '12, update: The Republican national convention kicks off on Monday, Aug. 27, in Tampa, Florida. Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's right-wing documentary about U.S. president Barack Obama (photo), 2016 Obama's America, was a cinematic tie-in to […]

'2016 Obama's America' Movie: Box Office Bomb or Arthouse Hit?

2016 Obama's America Movie: Box-Office Bomb or 'Arthouse' Hit? Distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures, the same company that last year handled the distribution of the box office disaster Atlas Shrugged: Part I – so disastrous, in fact, that parts II and III were initially scrapped – 2016 Obama's America has […]

'The Host' Trailer: Creepy Blue-Eyed People + Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan?

Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, The Host 'The Host' trailer “The Earth is at peace. There are no wars. There's no hunger,” intones Saoirse Ronan in The Host's teaser trailer (see below). “Honesty, courtesy and kindness are practiced by all. The world has never been more perfect. It is no longer […]

'Calling Hedy Lamarr' Documentary

Hedy Lamarr Shot in digital format, Georg Misch's entertaining documentary Calling Hedy Lamarr has the look of a well-crafted low-budget movie and the feel of a quirky independent film. That is hardly the sort of approach one would expect to find in a documentary about one of the most beautiful, […]

'The Hobbit' Movies Behind the Scenes & Controversial Peter Jackson-Produced Documentary Acquired

The Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' movies are prequels to TLotR trilogy. 'The Hobbit' movies: Behind the scenes with Peter Jackson In one of The Hobbit movies' video blog/vlog, Peter Jackson explains that location shooting on […]

Woody Allen & Martin Scorsese DGA Award Nods +Canine Getting BAFTA Nod?

The Artist's Michel Hazanavicius is the only first-timer among the five nominated directors for the 2012 Directors Guild of America Awards. Hazanavicius' competition consists of Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, David Fincher for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Alexander Payne for The Descendants and Martin Scorsese for Hugo. […]

'The Negro Soldier' & 'The Big Heat' Among National Film Registry Additions While Gays & Lesbians Bypassed

The Negro Soldier poster. Produced by Frank Capra and directed by Stuart Heisler, the 1944 documentary feature The Negro Soldier was one of numerous propaganda films commissioned by the United States' War Department during World War II. Their goal was to get more Americans – in this particular case black […]

Film Critics Awards: Mormon Missionary Sex Slave Documentary Unexpected Win

Tabloid with Joyce McKinney. The Detroit Film Critics Society's surprising Best Documentary pick, Errol Morris' Tabloid, offers a glimpse into “The Case of the Manacled Mormon” a.k.a. “The Mormon Sex in Chains Case.” Long before the Internet, the British yellow press and their voracious readers enjoyed collective orgasms that lasted […]

Bruce the Shark Leaves Universal + 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Filmmakers vs. Critic Brouhaha

Bruce the Shark and director Steven Spielberg, the de facto Jaws stars. Universal Studios Orlando is getting rid of the Jaws ride, starring Bruce the Shark, so as to replace it with something new to compete with rival theme park Islands of Adventure. One of the biggest box office hits in […]

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

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 […]

'Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary': Truth vs. Reality on Film

Pepita Ferrari's Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary Pepita Ferrari's 2008 documentary on the insights of the documentarian's craft, Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary, is a solid effort. However, despite its nature, Capturing Reality never does what it celebrates in the works of others: it fails to innovate and […]

Glenn Close & Mads Mikkelsen: Awards Season Honorees + Disturbing Tilda Swinton Drama Tops London

Glenn Close: Palm Springs Film Festival Career Achievement Award Glenn Close's publicists must have been working round the clock these last few months. A highly likely Best Actress Oscar contender for her performance in Albert Nobbs, Close has already received the San Sebastian International Film Festival's Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award […]

'Persepolis' Tunisia Broadcast Furor + Iranian Actress Freed

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis 'Persepolis' Broadcast: Tunisian Television Station President Apologizes to Offended Muslims Three days ago a group of 200 Fundamentalist Muslims protested outside the headquarters of a television station in Tunis for showing Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's Academy Award-nominated animated feature Persepolis. What irked the […]

Controversial Afghanistan War Documentary 'Armadillo' on DVD

Janus Metz's Armadillo Janus Metz's acclaimed and controversial war documentary Armadillo will be available on DVD via Kino Lorber on October 18. Set among Danish troops embedded in Afghanistan, Armadillo caused quite a stir in Denmark due to its less than flattering portrayal of Danish soldiers at war. Armadillo received […]

Muhammad Ali: 'The Greatest,' 'A.k.a. Cassius Clay' & 'Made in Miami'

Muhammad Ali Growing up in the 1970s, the specter of heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali – whom I could never stand – was everywhere. Contrary to opinions voiced about him post-Parkinson's Disease, Ali was the most despised athlete of that era. The most beloved was actually soccer superstar Pelé. Nonetheless, from […]

Australian Academy's Documentary & Short Film Nominations

Tony Krawitz's The Tall Man The first batch of nominees for the first Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, an upgraded version of the Australian Film Institute Awards, has been announced. The nominations are in the Best Documentary, Best Short Animation, and Best Short Fiction Film categories. […]

'Festival' of Legends: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez in Oscar-Nominated Folk Music Documentary

Bob Dylan: Young days in 'Festival': Classic music documentary. 'Festival' of Legends: Folk music fest featuring a young Bob Dylan, Joan Baez showcased in Oscar-nominated documentary Before Woodstock and Monterey Pop there was … Murray Lerner's Festival. Set at the annual Newport Folk Festival and featuring the likes of Bob […]

Rock Hudson Was NOT - Regardless of What People Say

Rock Hudson. Gay actor Rock Hudson was not… It's surprising that back in the mid-1980s some people were surprised to learn that Rock Hudson was gay, when the star of Magnificent Obsession, Giant, and the television series McMillan & Wife became the best-known person with AIDS in the world. After […]

'Fahrenheit 9/11' Review: Michael Moore and The Burning Bush

Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11 While criticizing U.S. president George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq, filmmaker Michael Moore was loudly booed by some at the 2003 Academy Awards ceremony. Not long afterwards, Moore decided he was gonna show 'em who was right. And show 'em he does with his Palme […]

Princess Diana Death/Conspiracy Documentary UNLAWFUL KILLING: Cannes 2011 Controversy

Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed, Unlawful Killing Screened at Cannes on Friday, Keith Allen's documentary about the British royal family, Unlawful Killing, will likely fail to find the popular reception accorded to The Queen, The King's Speech, and Will and Kate's wedding. After all, the self-proclaimed “antidote to The King's Speech,” […]

'Every Little Step' & 'Soundtrack for a Revolution' Screenings

James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo's Every Little Step Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's Soundtrack for a Revolution, and James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo's Every Little Step will screen as the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, […]

Lesbian Drama Best Film: Tribeca Film Festival Awards

Carice van Houten and Rutger Hauer in 'Black Butterflies' Carice van Houten, 'She Monkeys': 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Awards Writer-director Lisa Aschan's feature film debut, the Swedish lesbian drama She Monkeys / Apflickorna, took top honors at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Co-written by Josefine Adolfsson, the Best Narrative Feature […]

Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya: Photojournalist, Oscar-Nominated 'Restrepo' Co-Director

Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger: 'Restrepo' directors. Photojournalist Tim Hetherington killed in Libya: Oscar-nominated 'Restrepo' co-director Photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who co-directed with Sebastian Junger the Oscar-nominated feature documentary Restrepo, was killed by mortar fire in Misrata (also spelled as “Misurata”), Libya, earlier today, April 20, '11. Hetherington (born on Dec. […]

Illegal Immigration Movies: 'The Fence,' 'Which Way Home' Academy Screenings

Rebecca Cammisa's Which Way Home Rory Kennedy's The Fence and Rebecca Cammisa's Academy Award-nominated Which Way Home will be screened as the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 29th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater […]

'The War Game' Movie Review: Nuclear Holocaust in England

'The War Game.' For anyone who thinks that those 50-pack mega-DVD sets of public domain films put out by several different video companies are worthless, I would argue that the amount of films you get for the money is worth it, even if all were mediocre. I would also add […]

WGA Awards: Christopher Nolan 'Qualified' Victory + James Taylor & Carole King Documentary Tops Santa Barbara

WGA Awards winner 'Inception': Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan blockbuster. Christopher Nolan, Aaron Sorkin win WGA Awards Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the multi-layered sci-fi thriller Inception was the Best Original Screenplay winner at the 2011 Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, held on Feb. 5 […]

'Hoop Dreams': Biggest Oscar Snubs #7c

Michael Moore's ROGER & ME: Biggest Oscar Snubs #7b Steve James' Hoop Dreams, about two Chicago inner-city youths struggling to become professional basketball players, was one of the best-reviewed movies of 1994. In fact, there were many who believed the film would become the first documentary to be included in […]

Michael Moore 'Roger & Me': Biggest Oscar Snubs #7b

Errol Morris' THE THIN BLUE LINE: Biggest Oscar Snubs #7a Michael Moore's Roger & Me was attacked in some quarters for distorting facts so as to fit them into Moore's political agenda. In The New Yorker, for instance, Pauline Kael wrote: “I've heard it said that Michael Moore's muckraking documentary […]

'The Thin Blue Line' - Non-Nominated Documentaries: Biggest Oscar Snubs #7a

From Paul Newman to Leonardo DiCaprio - Non-Nominated Actors: Biggest Oscar Snubs #8g For better or for worse, Errol Morris' 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line has become so influential that it's now commonplace for documentary filmmakers to use (however cheesy) reenactments whenever they get the chance. Additionally, Morris' investigative […]

Critics' Choice Awards: Humanitarian Matt Damon & Dreary Arnold Schwarzenegger

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Inception The BFCA voters usually get it right, e.g., The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, Sean Penn for Milk, Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight, The Departed, Helen Mirren for The Queen. At times, the Oscars take a weird turn and the BFCA gets it […]

Dublin Film Critics' Winners + DGA Documentary Nominees & Best Canadian Film

Dublin Film Critics: Tahar Rahim & Jennifer Lawrence top acting choices BEST FILM 1. A Prophet 2. Winter's Bone 3. Toy Story 3 4. The Social Network 5. Dogtooth 6. Inception 7. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives 8. The Road & Bad Lieutenant 9. Mother 10. The […]

WikiLeaks Cables & Michael Moore Revelations + Oscar-Winning 'Star Wars' Talent Dies & Adam Sandler Death Hoax

Wikileaks cables focusing on Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 have raised eyebrows, much like Britney Spears' appearance in that 2004 nonfiction blockbuster. In Moore's own words, these latest Wikileaks cables “provide a stunning and bizarre peek into the paranoid minds of the Bush White House when it came to the […]

Pat Tillman & Edward Cullen + Other Curious Choices: More Film Awards

The Tillman Story. Amir Bar-Lev's San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award-winning documentary The Tillman Story revolves around the U.S. military's lies and cover-up attempts following the death of football player turned soldier Pat Tillman while serving in Afghanistan. After having made a name for himself with the Arizona Cardinals, Pat Tillman […]

Sauna Movie 'Steam of Life' to Become 1st Best Foreign Language Film Nonfiction Oscar Nominee?

Sauna movie Steam of Life: Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen's Finnish hit about naked men exposing themselves – emotionally – to become the first documentary shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar? Sauna movie 'Steam of Life' & feel-good 'Simple Simon' among northern European Best Foreign Language Film Oscar […]

Geoffrey Rush Career Award + Jennifer Lawrence & Colin Firth Critics' Winners

Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech. The Santa Barbara Film Festival's Montecito Award will go to Best Actor Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine, 1996) – a likely Best Supporting Actor Oscar contender next year for his role as Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist for the stuttering British King […]

Sex-Starved Housewives & Bloody Iranian Elections + Veteran Marina Vlady: Sundance Movie Line-Up

Sex-starved housewives everywhere are represented by Agnes Kittelsen, who also happens to be the “perfect” housewife, in Anne Sewitsky's Happy, Happy / Sykt Lykkelig – one of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Dramatic Competition entries. Also in the Happy, Happy cast: Henrik Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens, and Joachim Rafaelsen. […]

Academy's Best Documentary: 'The Tillman Story' & 'Waiting for Superman'

Pat Tillman (left) in Amir Bar-Lev's The Tillman Story The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences haven't officially released their longlist of Best Documentary Feature contenders for the 2011 Oscars, but the 15-film list has already been circulating online thanks to a leak (see “update” below) somewhere inside the […]

Angela Lansbury as Katherine Heigl's Daughter: 'Adaline'

Angela Lansbury, Laurence Harvey in John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate Angela Lansbury, the three-time Oscar nominee well-remembered today thanks to the cheesy television series Murder She Wrote, will play Katherine Heigl's daughter in Adaline, to be directed by Andy Tennant, the man who brought you The Bounty Hunter, Fool's Gold, […]

Margerethe von Trotta-Barbara Sukowa Collaboration + Piper Laurie & Ernest Borgnine Are Back

Barbara Sukowa as Hildegard von Bingen in Vision Margerethe von Trotta-Barbara Sukowa 'Vision': Hildegard von Bingen in L.A. Margarethe von Trotta's Vision, Official Selection at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, will open (via Zeitgeist Films) in Los Angeles at the Laemmle theaters on Nov. 12. A national release will […]

Best Documentary Short Oscar 2011 Semi-Finalists Tackle Terrorism, Gun Control, the Environment

Colin Goddard, Living for 32 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the titles of the eight semi-finalists for the 2011 Oscar in the Best Documentary Short Subject category. Three to five of those films will earn Oscar nominations. Themes include environmental poisoning (Born Sweet), religious terrorism […]

'Neshoba: The Price of Freedom': Q&A with Filmmakers Micki Dickoff & Tony Pagano

Directed, produced, and edited by Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano, Neshoba: The Price of Freedom offers a unique peek into the mind of an unrepentant racist, Edgar Ray Killen. Killen, a Baptist preacher and the leader of a group of Klansmen accused of brutally murdering civil rights workers James Chaney, […]

'Mississippi Burning' Murders, Casey Affleck Joaquin Phoenix 'Documentary'

Neshoba: The Price of Freedom will have its US theatrical premiere in New York City on Aug. 13 at Cinema Village. Los Angeles will follow suit on Sept. 10. Directed by Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano, Neshoba: The Price of Freedom delves into both the legacy and the story behind […]

Jennifer Aniston & Paul Rudd Save the Dolphins PSA, 'The Cove' Japan Debut Despite Right-Wing Protests

Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Woody Harrelson, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams are some of the celebrities featured in this clip promoting the end of dolphin hunting in Japan. This PSA was inspired by Louie Psihoyos' Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, which focuses on the massacre of dolphins in the Japanese fishing […]

'Waiting for Superman,' Gay Orthodox Jews & US Military Lies: Los Angeles Film Festival

Pat Tillman as shown in Amir Bar-Lev's The Tillman Story (top); Flora and David in Lisa Leeman's One Lucky Elephant (middle); Jesper Christensen in Pernille Fischer Christensen's A Family (bottom) The documentaries One Lucky Elephant and The Tillman Story, Pernille Fischer Christensen's A Family, and Hossein Keshavarz's Dog Sweat are […]

'Mahler on the Couch' & Silverdocs Documentary Festival

Percy Adlon and Felix O. Adlon's Mahler auf der Couch / Mahler on the Couch will be screened as part of Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival at the REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles on Thu., June 24, at 8:00 p.m., Regal 1, and on Sat., June 26, at 1:45 […]

Best Actor Oscar Nominee Topol 'The Golem' Remake, War & Torture Academy Screenings

Topol, 74, a Best Actor nominee for Norman Jewison's 1971 blockbuster Fiddler on the Roof (above), is attached to star in a Yiddish-language version of The Golem, Screen Daily reports. The $5 million British/Czech/German co-production will be produced by Stuart Urban, who also penned the screenplay. Filming is scheduled to […]

Bertrand Tavernier Movie 'Mildly Booed,' U.S. National Debt & Cesar Chavez Documentaries

Alonso F. Mayo and Bill Brummel's Viva la Causa and Patrick Creadon's I.O.U.S.A. will be screened in the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 28th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, May 19, '10, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission […]

Tom Cruise & Reese Witherspoon Movie? + Hollywood Icon Terminally Ill

Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz Knight and Day. Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon may be paired up in Paper Wings, a rodeo-driven love story, according to Steven Zeitchik's Los Angeles Times blog 24 Frames. Paper Wings is currently being developed at Sony. According to the report, Cruise would play a rodeo […]

Abhishek Bachchan New Movie + Corey Feldman vs. Hollywood & Media

Director Karan Johar and star Shah Rukh Khan filming My Name Is Khan Following the success of Shah Rukh Khan's My Name Is Khan, which has grossed $31.9 million worldwide (as per Box Office Mojo; not including India) and became the top Bollywood movie ever in the United Kingdom (not […]

Oscar In Memoriam Actress Mix-Up + Michael Jackson & Army Archerd In, Farrah Fawcett & Richard Todd Out

Farrah Fawcett. March 10, '10, update: According to People Online, Farrah Fawcett's family, friends, and fans have received “an apology” from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences executive director Bruce Davis, who reportedly was responsible for the inclusions and omissions in the “In Memoriam” segment of Sunday's Academy Awards […]

Iraq War & Corporate Downsizing Top WGA Awards + Stark German Drama Is Surprise ASC Winner

Jeremy Renner in Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker. 'The Hurt Locker,' 'Up in the Air': WGA Awards The Writers Guild of America came up with some pretty shocking choices at their 2010 awards held this evening: Mark Boal's The Hurt Locker (directed by Kathryn Bigelow) for best original […]

'Berlin: Symphony of a Great City,' North Korean Concentration Camps

The Los Angeles Filmforum will be hosting the Munich Film Museum's Stefan Droessler on Friday March 12, 8:00 pm at the The Echo Park Film Center. As per the Filmforum press release, the Museum “has an ongoing program of restoration of film works and issuing exemplary DVD editions through the […]

Tippi Hedren: Lion Sanctuary Founder to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Melanie Griffith, Tippi Hedren (Image: Bill Dow) Tippi Hedren, the star of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Marnie, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Humane Society of the United States' 2010 Genesis Awards. Hedren, who will be getting her trophy from the hands of daughter Melanie Griffith, will […]

Sandra Bullock: From Razzie to Oscar?

'Avatar' Best Picture Chances & Sandra Bullock from Razzie to Oscar At this year's Oscars, James Cameron's mega-budget fantasy adventure Avatar tied with Kathryn Bigelow's low-budget Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker. Each film received nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. That makes Avatar one of […]

Sundance Winners: 'Winter's Bone,' 'Animal Kingdom'

Kate Mara, Josh Radnor in Happythankyoumoreplease (bottom) Debra Granik's Winter's Bone, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's Restrepo, David Michod's Animal Kingdom, and Mads Bruegger's The Red Chapel were the four top jury prize winners at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone chronicles a teenage girl's difficult […]

Mel Gibson Is Back & So Is Controversy, 'Hugh Hefner' Documentary Sold

Mel Gibson's revenge thriller Edge of Darkness opened today, Jan. 29, '10. Directed by Martin Campbell and written by Academy Award winner William Monahan and Martin Bovell, the film marks Gibson's comeback in a starring role since M. Night Shyamalan's 2002 Christian sci-fier Signs – in which God allows most […]

Meryl Streep & Sandra Bullock Best Actress Tie, Kiss: Critics' Choice Awards

“It's sort of surreal,” The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow told journalists backstage when asked about her Critics Choice Award victory over former husband James Cameron, in the running for the blockbuster Avatar. Cameron's 3D sci-fier, however, was the evening's big winner in terms of sheer number of trophies: six […]

Proposition 8 Documentary Sells Out at Sundance: Mormon Anti-Gay Marriage Influence

Jan. 25, '10, update: Reed Cowan's 8: The Mormon Proposition received two “sustained standing ovations” at its Sundance Film Festival screening on Sunday, reports Sean P. Means in The Salt Lake Tribune. A rumored protest against the film failed to materialize. Narrated by Milk's Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black […]

Critics' Favorite Films: Kathryn Bigelow + U.S.-Mexican Drama Ineligible for Oscars

Critics' favorite films: Kathryn Bigelow, seen here with cinematographer Barry Ackroyd while shooting The Hurt Locker, is this awards season top Best Director choice. The clear Academy Award front-runner, Bigelow will likely make Oscar history in (at least) two ways: a) first woman to win Best Director b) first person […]

Sundance: Joan Rivers & Lesbian Family Drama + Benazir Bhutto & 'The Mormon Proposition' Among Entries

Sundance movies: Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel in The Romantics. As usual, the upcoming Sundance Film Festival will screen numerous world premieres; one of them is writer-director Galt Niederhoffer's The Romantics, an ensemble piece featuring Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Katie Holmes, Adam Brody, and Elijah […]

'Wild Ocean' & 'Hurricane on the Bayou' Screening

Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas' Wild Ocean (above, top photo) and Greg MacGillivray's Hurricane on the Bayou, narrated by Meryl Streep, will be screened as the final installment of Part One of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, December 9, at 7 p.m. […]

Oscar Documentary Feature Semi-Finalists: From Brutal Dolphin Slaughter to Lighthearted Agnès Varda

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the 15 semi-finalists in the 2010 Academy Awards' Documentary Feature category. Eighty-nine films had been in the running. The 15 documentary feature semi-finalists are: The Beaches of Agnes, Agnès Varda, director (Cine-Tamaris) Burma VJ, Anders Østergaard, director (Magic Hour Films) […]

Yoav Shamir 'Defamation' Opens in NY/LA

European Film Award nominee and a very likely contender for the 2010 best documentary feature Academy Award*, Yoav Shamir's Defamation opens on Friday, Nov. 20, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities across the United States. The film info below is from distributor First Run Features' website: “Intent […]

New Czech Films: 'Citizen Havel' & 'The Karamazovs'

A Well Paid Walk by Milos Forman (top); Vaclav Havel in Citizen Havel by Pavel Koutecký and Miroslav Janek (middle); The Karamazovs by Petr Zelenka (bottom) New Czech Films at New York's BAMcinématek (website). The series includes works by two-time Academy Award winner Milos Forman and Jan Hrebejk, whose Divided […]

'Blessed Is the Match' & 'Pray the Devil Back to Hell' Screening

Roberta Grossman's Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh and Gini Reticker's Pray the Devil Back to Hell (above, lower photo) will be screened as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 28th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, November 11, at 7 […]

'Crips and Bloods: Made in America' Stacy Peralta

In the 1980s and into the first half of the 1990s, gang violence in American urban centers grabbed nightly news headlines with a distant sensationalism that appears almost quaint in the era of the 24-hour news cycle. Perhaps because threats emerging beyond the borders of the United States appear more […]

'David McCullough: Painting with Words' & 'GLASS: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts' Screening

David McCullough: Painting with Words (top); Philip Glass in GLASS: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts (bottom) David McCullough: Painting with Words and GLASS: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts will be screened as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 28th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” […]

Horror Sound Effects: The Sound behind the Image III – Real Horrorshow

Horror sound effects: Forbidden Planet lobby card (top); Lon Chaney in the 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera (middle); Heather Donahue in The Blair Witch Project (bottom) “The Sound behind the Image III: Real Horrorshow!” sounds like an ideal pre-Halloween night out for horror movie fans. An Academy of […]

'The End of Poverty?' US Release

Philippe Diaz's documentary The End of Poverty?, which premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival's Critics' Week sidebar and has been screened at more than two dozen international film festivals, will be released nationwide by Cinema Libre starting in New York City on November 13 (at the Village East Cinema), […]

Gerard Butler 'Law Abiding Citizen' Movie and Premiere Images

Directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Kurt Wimmer, the crime thriller Law Abiding Citizen stars Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx as two men on the opposite sides of law. It's just unclear who's actually on the right side: the district attorney (Foxx) who agreed on a plea bargain […]

Werner Herzog Braves Antarctica, Colin Firth Meets Oscar Wilde

'Encounters at the End of the World': Werner Herzog braves 'Antarctica.' Werner Herzog in Antarctica and dwindling water supplies: Academy showcases 'Encounters at the End of the World' and 'Flow: For Love of Water' Werner Herzog's Academy Award-nominated Encounters at the End of the World and Irena Salina's Flow: For […]

'Memories of a Mexican,' 'Tapestries of Hope' Screenings: The Mexican Revolution & the Power of Virgin Blood

According to the Million Dollar Theater site, the screening of Memories of a Mexican (1950) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, '09, “will showcase the historic documentary feature” about the Mexican Revolution, which consists of pioneer Mexican filmmaker Salvador Toscano's original film material – shot in the 1910s and […]

Insect Sounds Documentary Tops European Film Awards + Oscar Foreign Language Film Entries

Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: Brutal French prison & Nazis-in-the-making among contenders Sixty-five countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 82nd Academy Awards, Academy President Tom Sherak announced today. The 2009 submissions are: Albania, “Alive!,” Artan Minarolli, director; Argentina, “The Secret in Their […]

Oscar Early Predictions Best Picture: From Iraq War Drama to '8½' Musical Remake

An Education, d: Lone Scherfig; scr: Nick Hornby In Swinging (suburban) London, a teenager decides to have her first sexual experience with a man in his thirties. The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow; scr: Mark Boal An elite unit of the US Army must disarm bombs during combat in an “enemy” […]