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Ken Burns & Sarah Burns’ The Central Park Five, trailer

Ken Burns & Sarah Burns’ The Central Park Five, trailer

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Detropia: Magnificent American Ruins, Struggling to Survive

Detropia: Magnificent American Ruins, Struggling to Survive

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From the Academy Award-nominated directors of Jesus Camp, Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, Detropia premiered September 7 and is showcased in select theaters across the country. Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century— the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now ….

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La Femme Telluride

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William Blake once wrote that exuberance is beauty. Despite the success of Ben Affleck’s Argo here, this fest seems to be driven by women filmmakers. This is most surprising, since we just came out of such an bad year for women. But three of them were the major forces behind their projects that told important stories, sometimes personal, sometimes not. I came here feeling the pressure of time and age…

Telluride 2012 trailer: The Act of Killing

Telluride 2012 trailer: The Act of Killing

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Some trailers don’t need accompanying synopsis or explanation. This isn’t one of those. Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary about Indonesian Death Squads will screen in Toronto as well, and the TIFF site is where I found the best observations about the bizarre proceedings. “I have not come across a documentary as powerful, surreal, and frightening in a decade,” wrote Werner Herzog after seeing an early preview of The Act of Killing, and…

The Truth Behind the Academy’s Reworking of the Doc Rules

The Truth Behind the Academy’s Reworking of the Doc Rules

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A few facts about today’s news item worth paying attention to — as told to me by Michael Moore himself in a phone call this evening: 1) The entire branch of 166 documentary filmmakers will now get to vote on the doc nominees, where in the past that privilege was limited to private screenings by a selection committee. 2) Screeners for the documentaries will now be sent out to all…

15 Documentaries on the Short List!

15 Documentaries on the Short List!

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“Battle for Brooklyn” (RUMER Inc.) “Bill Cunningham New York” (First Thought Films) “Buck” (Cedar Creek Productions) “Hell and Back Again” (Roast Beef Productions Limited) “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” (Marshall Curry Productions, LLC) “Jane’s Journey” (NEOS Film GmbH & Co. KG) “The Loving Story” (Augusta Films) “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” (@radical.media) “Pina” (Neue Road Movies GmbH) “Project Nim” (Red Box Films) “Semper Fi: Always…

Werner Herzog's Into the Abyss, trailer & poster

Werner Herzog's Into the Abyss, trailer & poster

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The cumulative effect suggests a world in which murder, desperation and operatic levels of tragedy are workaday (one town is actually called Cut and Shoot). As well as losing her brother and mother in the attacks, one woman tells how she also lost almost every other member of her family (plus dog) in a variety of colourful accidents, suicides and slayings in the six years beforehand. She unplugged her phone…

Cinema Eye Non Fiction Film Nominations

Cinema Eye Non Fiction Film Nominations

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The Cinema Eye nominations have been announced! Please note short film nomination for Tim Hetherington, the reporter/filmmaker who was killed in Libya. Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking The Arbor Directed by Clio Barnard Produced by Tracy O’Riordan The Interrupters Directed by Steve James Produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James Nostalgia for the Light Directed by Patricio Guzmán Produced by Renate Sachse Position Among the Stars Directed by Leonard…

8 Documentary Shorts on Oscar's 2011 Shortlist

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Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that the field of Documentary Short Subject contenders for the 84th Academy Awards® has been narrowed to eight films, of which three to five will earn Oscar® nominations. The eight films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company. “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement,” Purposeful Productions,…

The Typewriter in the 21st Century Gets a Trailer, Needs Support

The Typewriter in the 21st Century Gets a Trailer, Needs Support

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A couple of filmmakers have been hard at work putting together a film on the typewriter and how it fits into our modern world.  Apparently there is a wave of support as younger people (re)discover the typewriter and all of its gloriousness.  I don’t think my daughter ever put her fingers on one and probably has no idea how cool they once were. Some writers still use them.  Sure, computers…