By C.J. Hirschfield
Clockwise from bottom left: ‘For Sama,’ ‘The Cave,’ ‘American Factory,’ ‘The Edge of Democracy,’ ‘Honeyland’
Many of you are no doubt rushing to catch up with your movie viewing in advance of Feb. 8’s annual Academy Awards. While “Best Picture” always draws the most attention and conjecture, this was a particularly great year for films in the documentary feature category, and they are well worth exploring. With Netflix, Amazon, HBO, PBS, and even the Obamas now in the documentary film production business, the number of quality offerings has grown dramatically, as have the ways to view them. Some show us worlds we’ve never imagined, while others offer us a deep dive into subjects that we may know only as headlines. There are also a number of excellent films that that didn’t make the final Academy cut. Here’s the list, along with my take on each. And unlike the directors considered for “Best Picture,” three out of five of the nominated documentaries were directed or co-directed by women.
We went through hundreds of photos and want to share some candids from the first half of the Festival.
Karan Kendrick and Jamie Foxx JUST MERCY | Photo © Jonathan Scott Shensa
Olivia Wilde and Kasi Lemmons at the reception for Robert Pattinson | Photo © Tommy Lau Photography
By Mike Kaplan
If “Marketing” had been an accepted term for the handling of a motion picture in 1968, my title for the two years I spent nurturing 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY would have been Marketing Strategist for Stanley Kubrick and MGM and for the subsequent two years, for Kubrick’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
Dan Chaissan’s contribution to the 2001 anniversary coverage in The New Yorker: “Anybody There?” April 23, 2018) has occasional insights but is filled with inaccuracies and false conclusions. With the opening of “Stanley Kubrick, The Exhibition” at the London Design Museum and the two month Kubrick season at the British Film Institute, it seems an appropriate time to set the record straight.
by Gary Meyer
“When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Come on… Her, again?’ You know. But, whatever.”
– Meryl Streep, Best Actress, The Iron Lady, 2012
Will this be Glenn Close’s big night? As The Onion suggests in their annual irreverent Guide to the Oscars, “with seven nominations and no wins, Close currently holds the record for the most cut-to reaction shots of her pretending to look happy for other people.”
As we prepare for the “Big Night” without any Streep nominations I thought our readers would enjoy some tips and other fun. We’ve got speech writing tips, ballots, Oscar Bingo, food ideas and predictions. Plus the Independent Spirit Awards.
by Gary Meyer
The film industry is watching closely to see if Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA changes everything. The award-winning director clearly made his movie to be seen on the big screen in theaters with the best possible sound and projection. But it was financed by Netflix, a company that wants their films and shows to only be seen on their streaming platform.
A barrage of ads for “Roma” — in trade publications, on Netflix-owned billboards in Los Angeles — has continued for months. Photo by Hunter Kerhart for The New York Times