AJ Schnack writes about the short list of Doc Shorts, which seem to come from one place in particular:
THE FINAL INCH is one of several films on the shortlist with a connection to HBO, which has cornered the market on the doc short category in recent years. It garnered laughs at last year’s IDA reception for Oscar nominees when each successive honoree in the shorts category thanked Sheila Nevins and Sara Bernstein and the entire HBO documentary unit.
Tom Hanks alert:
Also from HBO, Mark Herzog’s DAVID McCULLOUGH: PAINTING WITH WORDS, a portrait of the historian that was produced by Tom Hanks.
Apparently, this is one teams up Hanks with Herzog for the second time, the first being We Stand Alone Together, the companion doc to Band of Brothers. Schnack also lets us know who is coming to the short list for the second time.
Steven Okazaki’s THE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM EN, a look at Cambodia three decades after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. In an article in POST Magazine, Okazaki, who won the short documentary Oscar in 1991 for DAYS OF WAITING (and has been nominated three times, most recently for THE MUSHROOM CLUB), …Okazaki isn’t the only Oscar veteran on the shortlist. Ruby Yang, Oscar winner in 2006 for THE BLOOD OF THE YINGZHOU DISTRICT, returns with TONGZHI IN LOVE and Leslie Iwerks, nominated in 2006 for RECYCLED LIFE, makes the shortlist with DOWNSTREAM.
Tongzhi in Love is about gay men in China:
“Frog Cui and his gay friends are torn between the lures of city life and the stern demands of Chinese tradition. They live in cosmopolitan Beijing, reveling in the freedom that it affords them. But traditionally, a Chinese son‚Äôs solemn duty is to produce a child and carry forward the family line. That China‚Äôs laws limit most families to a single child only compounds the pressures on gay men. Many resort to sham marriages.”
After all of this quoting, you might as well just go to All These Wonderful Things and read it for yourself. However, it’s worth taking a look at Those Pesky Shorts to figure out how repeat players fare with voters – or do they even know the difference or do they care?