On the Academy’s other rule changes

Posted by · 1:48 am · June 15th, 2011

With the big news out of the way, there are a few other annual house-cleaning rule alterations that ought to be addressed. First up, the Best Animated Feature Film category — which seems to get a face-lift in the rule book every summer — will now have anywhere from three to five nominees. As it […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Posted by · 9:36 am · February 3rd, 2011

This is the first year the documentary shorts will be a part of Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International’s annual program.  They will open with the live action and animated contenders in New York on February 11 and in Los Angeles on February 18.  Bravo for including them. It’s also a great slate of films.  As […]

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10/15 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: An unpolished ‘Hereafter,’ women dominate doc shorts, CGI in story-driven contenders

Posted by · 8:26 am · October 15th, 2010

• Melissa Silverstein on female dominance in the documentary shorts field. [Women and Hollywood] • Turns out Clint Eastwood filmed an early, unpolished draft of Peter Morgan’s “Hereafter.”  Well…it shows. [Vulture] • Speaking of which, David Cohen spotlights the impact of digital wizardry on that story-driven film as well as Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.” [Variety]

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AMPAS, Cinema Eye Honors narrow doc short fields

Posted by · 10:07 am · October 13th, 2010

The Academy has just announced the eight finalists for this year’s Best Documentary Short award.  They are: “Born Sweet” “Killing in the Name” “Living for 32” “One Thousand Pictures: RFK’s Last Journey” “Poster Girl” “Strangers No More” “Sun Come Up” “The Warriors of Qiugang”

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‘Rabbit à la Berlin’ trailer

Posted by · 7:25 am · March 2nd, 2010

You might recall Kris and Anne disagreeing in last week’s Oscar Talk over the relative merits of this oddball nominee in the Best Documentary Short race. If you were wondering what they were on about, here’s an idea. (Thanks to The Auteurs for the tip.)

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 23 — Divebombing the competition, doc and live action shorts, foreign film, etc.

Posted by · 12:36 pm · February 26th, 2010

Welcome to Oscar Talk, a weekly kudocast between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. Every week inches us closer to the end of the loudest Oscar season of all time. Today Anne and I sit down and discuss the noise of the week, adding our own noise (we went on a bit […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Documentary Short

Posted by · 10:26 am · February 25th, 2010

Much like the live action and animated short fields, in order for voters to cast their ballots for the documentary short category, they have to attend screenings of all the nominees. This tends to make these categories a bit tougher to predict, because they are frequently immune to noise in the media. You screen, you […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 22 — “All the noise, noise, noise, noise!”

Posted by · 1:11 pm · February 19th, 2010

Welcome to Oscar Talk, a weekly kudocast between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. Every week inches us closer to the end of the loudest Oscar season of all time. Today Anne and I sit down and discuss the noise of the week, adding our own noise (we went on a bit […]

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‘China’s Unnatural Disaster’ the real David of the Oscar race?

Posted by · 12:09 pm · February 18th, 2010

This press release just landed in the inbox, so I thought I’d pass it along free of commentary: DAVID AND GOLIATH AT THE 2010 OSCAR AWARDS “China’s Unnatural Disaster” faces governmental opposition New York, NY- China’s Unnatural Disaster: the Tears of Sichuan Province, the latest documentary by Jon Alpert and Matt O’Neill, has been facing […]

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Sendak doc makes for a beautiful portrait of an artist

Posted by · 10:28 am · October 15th, 2009

I sat down this morning to watch Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze’s “Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak,” which originally aired on HBO last night, expecting little more than a swift, arbitrary look at the author and perhaps a nice companion piece to Jonze’s adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are.” […]

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10/14 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:46 am · October 14th, 2009

• Dave Karger, in a slow news week, digs up the old “‘Hangover’ for Best Pic” notion.  No. [Oscar Watch] • Jeff Wells face-to-face with “Fantastic Mr. Fox” director Wes Anderson. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Susan King talks to editing legend Anne V. Coates, whose career was showcased at the Academy last night. [Los Angeles Times]

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Short list for short docs revealed

Posted by · 6:44 pm · October 9th, 2009

From AMPAS.  The nominees will be decided from this crop (films linked to respective IMDb pages or pertinent sites): “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Downtown Community Television Center, Inc. “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Just Media “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Community Media Prods. “Lt. Watada” Chanlim […]

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28 docs boost their Oscar profile at DocuWeeks

Posted by · 3:22 pm · July 8th, 2009

For documentaries, qualifying for Oscar consideration can be a rough ride. Academy rules stipulate that a film must at least enjoy a week-long theatrical run, in both New York and Los Angeles, to be eligible — which can be a tall order for tiny movies on tricky subjects. So — acting as a kind of […]

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Programming note: ‘Smile Pinki’ set to premiere on HBO

Posted by · 6:27 pm · May 11th, 2009

You might recall my woefully off-base assumption that the sublime “The Conscience of Nhem En” was all set to win the Oscar last year for Best Documentary Short.  Well, I was wrong, but at least I wasn’t wrong with a crowd (most people were predicting “The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306”). Anyway, we […]

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Congrats to our pool winners!

Posted by · 10:22 am · February 23rd, 2009

First, thanks to all involved for participating in our Oscar pool.  The big winners were Mikey Filmmaker and Justin Wolfhope who nailed 22 of 24 categories for a score of 88 points (out of 100).  I weighted the scoring system based on the predictability of the categories.  Mikey and Justin both missed the same two […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: BAFTAs, Berlin, pre-Oscar jitters

Posted by · 2:37 am · February 14th, 2009

Aside from two major precursors, it’s been a slow week for news — which leads to a lot of prediction second-guessing. • “Slumdog” swept at the BAFTAs, which also put new wind in Mickey Rourke’s sails. We live-blogged it here. • The “Slumdog” streak inevitably continued at the WGA Awards, where “Milk” picked up some […]

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Digging into the Oscar nominated documentary shorts

Posted by · 11:27 am · February 10th, 2009

Last week I pored through the animated and live action short films that find themselves in Oscar contention this year in order to help give a leg up in your Oscar pools.  Over the weekend, I decided to take a good, long look at the nominated documentary shorts, which rarely find any coverage this time […]

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Title confusion — ‘The Witness’

Posted by · 5:35 pm · February 6th, 2009

I’m looking over the Oscar nominated short documentaries and when I put in what I thought was going to be “The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306,” I was greeted with the title screen “The Witness: The Last Days of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” So…uh…what gives?  Anyone privy?

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