- ‘Tis Awards Season
- The Cinema Eye Nominations were announced on Friday. THE IMPOSTER and SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN both have five nominations. Here's a quick summary of some awards handed out at European festivals in the past two weeks: DOK LEIPZIG.....COLOMBIANOS (Tora Mårten, Sweden, 90') won the International Golden Dove, HEINO JAEGER - LOOK BEFORE YOU KUCK (Gerd Kroske, Germany, 120') was given the German Golden Dove, and THE WILL (Christian Sønderby Jepsen, Denmark, 85') won the Doc Alliance Award.( re: Kuck...no idea) JIHLAVA IDFF.....FORTRESS (Klára Tasovská, Lukáš Kokeš, Ivana Skálová, Czech Republic, 70') won the Czech prize and NEW LIFE OF FAMILY ALBUM (Adam Ol'ha, Czech Republic/Slovakia, 80') was given the Audience nod, rest of the winners here. DOCLISBOA.....THREE SISTERS (Wang Bing, France/Hong Kong, 153') won the Grand Prize in the International competition. THE ANABIS OF MAY AND FUSAKO SHIGENOBU, MASAO ADACHI, AND 27 YEARS WITHOUT IMAGES and SOFIA'S LAST AMBULANCE were the runners-up (Special Jury Prizes). NO MAN'S LAND (Salomé Lamas, Portugal, 72') swept most of the significant domestic awards, including the Audience Award. Read more – ‘‘Tis Awards Season’.
- Notable Unfiction 2012 – Part Deux
- For those of us keeping tabs on creative documentary, there is a Proustian swirl to each Fall. The past year collapses onto the present, which for the documentary fiscal year is actually the future. The Locarno, Venice, Telluride, and tiff circuit is the beginning of the 2013 documentary season. I'm still processing 2012. It gets disorientating......... Read more – ‘Notable Unfiction 2012 – Part Deux’.
- Notable Unfiction 2012 (So Far)
Victor Kossakovsky's VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! has likely been the most programmed documentary on the 2012 festival circuit.
It's getting tired, "doc" this and "dox" that, and even more so "advocacy" and "campaigns" and "world changing" and pseudo-ignoramus spin about this kind of filmmaking being the "new journalism". I suspect, of the 700ish docs on my 2012 tracking list, few could conceal their editorial weapons with even the most perfunctory of journalism 101 frisks.........Read more – ‘Notable Unfiction 2012 (So Far)’.
- Nugatory, Self-Loathing Value of Year-End Lists vs Joy of List Making? No Contest.
- A last minute end-of-year list. Read more – ‘Nugatory, Self-Loathing Value of Year-End Lists vs Joy of List Making? No Contest.’.
- Village Voice Film Poll
Here's a doc distillation from the Village Voice's New York Film Poll.
1. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
2. INSIDE JOB
4. THE OATH
5. BOXING GYM
6. LAST TRAIN HOME
8. NE CHANGE RIEN
9. GHOST TOWN
Read more – ‘Village Voice Film Poll’.
- Best Political Films of 2010?
Ezra Winton, founder of Cinema Politica Network, asked a few programmers to select their "best political films" of 2010 for Art Threat. Love Jean-Pierre Rehm's prefatory manifesto to his picks:
"In answer to the proposal of mentioning three films, here is a possibility of choices. This in no way constitutes a hit parade or best-of of any kind. The times require more than simply falling in love with a movie at first sight or frivolous hierarchies on the part of rather indigent consumers. These times require intelligence against common places, diversity against well-thinking monotony; these times require invention and critical generosity. And when speaking of cinema, these times required films that dare to get lost in the places that they chose to explore."
But here's a question for Ezra: What makes a film "political"? Which reminds me of my pick for best political film of the past year, DEAR ZACHARY. Okay, it premiered two years ago, but just last week the passing of a new bill into Canadian law was directly attributed to the film. Read more – ‘Best Political Films of 2010?’.
- indieWIRE: Critical Consensus Continues
I wouldn't argue against any one doc on indieWIRE's annual critics poll deserving to be there, and yet the alignment across the various year-end polls has been truly surprising, given the depth of excellence amongst this year's new nonfiction films. I'd also suggest that it may be that critics watch relatively few documentaries over the course of a year, and mostly the ones that are known to be "good", and then mostly domestic productions. Read more – ‘indieWIRE: Critical Consensus Continues’.
- My Other Top Ten
- This is the time of year where, list wise, opinion gets sliced and diced into the essentials. There's also a smothering consensus that sets in and causes films one otherwise agrees are quite excellent to seem picked-over, somehow bruised and tired. That, and at times there are just too many straws drawing from the same tastemaking cup. So here's a list that attempts to create some ventilation within the end-of-year canon building ritual, a list of docs I wish were on more lists. Read more – ‘My Other Top Ten’.
- MCN’s Top Ten (as of December 17)
Here's a distillation of the top docs (to date) from Movie City News' exhaustive compilation of critic lists. The thing that jumps out to me is the dearth of international titles (for both fiction and non, but especially the later).
1. INSIDE JOB
2. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
4. LAST TRAIN HOME
5. THE OATH
6. BOXING GYM
9. JACKASS 3-D
Read more – ‘MCN’s Top Ten (as of December 17)’.
- Hussain’s highlights
- Hussain Currimbhoy, Film Programmer at Doc/Fest, and the entire team in Sheffield will undoubtedly be needing a restful holiday season. Having just wrapped their 2010 event, in January they go into production on Doc/Fest 2011, which has been moved up to June. Producing two festival programmes in one year? Ouch, no thanks, did that. Here's a few of Hussain's highlights from the past decade in docs: Read more – ‘Hussain’s highlights’.
- Tor’s Top Docs
- Getting back to lists of Programmer faves from the past decade in docs, here are some selections from Tor Fosse, Festival Director at Bergen International Film Festival. Read more – ‘Tor’s Top Docs’.
- Award Tour
- A selected list of awards from the festival circuit this month... Read more – ‘Award Tour’.
- Like seeing xmas decorations in October, but I bite…
- On IndieWIRE Anne Thompson takes a jog with A.J.’s Oscar doc torch after seeing the heavy-hitters at tiff. Read more – ‘Like seeing xmas decorations in October, but I bite…’.
- Sky high on reality
- Sky Sitney, Director of Programming at Silverdocs, has sent us her list of essential nonfiction works from the past decade (give or take). Read more – ‘Sky high on reality’.
- Veton’s essentials
- Veton Nurkollari is not only one of my favourite people in the festival community, Dokufest, the festival he runs in Prizen, Kosovo, remains the fondest experience I’ve had on the circuit. The city has a special energy and warmth, boosted by the fact that the Festival is held during the peak of wedding season. Read more – ‘Veton’s essentials’.
- Tue Steen Müller – East Beats West
- In the second entry in the Ripping Reality series of “essential works,” Tue Steen Müller directs our attention to the documentary new wave(s) as manifested in Central and Eastern Europe. Read more – ‘Tue Steen Müller – East Beats West’.
- Steven Markovitz rips some reality
- As part of the coalescing Ripping Reality project, we asked festival programmers from around the world to send us lists of contemporary works they consider to be essential to the new documentary. From these we selected ten for a modest retro at this year’s Hot Docs. Read more – ‘Steven Markovitz rips some reality’.