November 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm #198067
Documentaries are eligible for Best Picture, but they never get in. They don’t get in anywhere but Documentary usually, except for occasional music bids. But I think often deserve to be cited alongside the best films of the year.
Most recently, I think “Stories We Tell” and “The Act of Killing” absolutely deserved to get in in 2013. “Inside Job” was worthy in 2010, and “No End in Sight” in 2007. Considering cultural impact, “An Inconvenient Truth” would have been a worthy contender in 2006.November 12, 2015 at 10:48 pm #198069
Dear ZacharyNovember 12, 2015 at 11:51 pm #198070
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is my favorite doc of all time. Such a beautiful portrait of a beautiful woman. Sad it couldn’t even get in for Best Doc.November 13, 2015 at 2:46 am #198071
1956 The Silent World
Directed by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle, this Palme d’Or winner gave audiences an underwater glimpse (in color) of up to 350 meters of the ocean’s depths. This seminal nature film captured the imagination of its audience leading to two other Oscar winning documentary works in 1959 and 1964 as well as a highly rated decade long television series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau
Here is the finest concert film. Oscar nominated editing by Thelma Schoonmaker (and a team including Martin Scorese), a rare honor for a documentary, memorably helped to preserve the 1960s cultural landmark experience. A huge box office hit, Woodstock was named to to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1996.November 13, 2015 at 4:47 am #198072
Hoop Dreams.November 13, 2015 at 4:59 am #198073
I typically have a documentary in my top 10 films of each year. Last year it was Finding Vivian Maier. Before that: How to Survive a Plague, We Were Here and Cutie and the Boxer.
This year I can’t imagine Listen to Me Marlon won’t be in my top 10 (it’s #5 of films I’ve seen so far).
But, to answer the question: though all five of those films are in my personal top 10, I don’t think any of them should have been nominated for Best Picture. They’re all fantastic and deserving of accolades, but wouldn’t feel right in the BP field. I do, however, imagine that one day a documentary will feel right to be included.November 13, 2015 at 5:00 am #198074
But also can we all agree that Citizenfour is one of the lamest documentary winners in quite some time?November 13, 2015 at 6:41 am #198075
This is a touchy subject for me.
Deserving Documentaries? I have to ‘dig’ for them. The ones I admire never see the broad light of day; or, they remain an esoteric, ‘hidden’ masterpiece. Such as, the Doc discovery of AIDS, by a teenage Canadian documentarian whose eyes flung wide open with his audience….Pink Ribbons Inc, whose makers suffered all the things you can imagine from those who do not want this Doc seeing the light of day (I’m looking at YOU, “Susan K”)
The worst ones are the shilly, brainwashing, bull shit ones. Throw a dart.
My favorite Docs have NEVER won.November 13, 2015 at 7:02 am #198076
Lots! Ridiculous how it never happens.
Just a handful of some of my all-time faves:
A Man Vanishes by Shohei Imamura
Portrait of Jason by Shirley Clarke
Salesman by David Maysles, Albert Maysles & Charlotte Zwerin
Harlan County USA by Barbara Kopple
Shoah by Claude Lanzmann
The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris
Roger & Me by Michael Moore
Close-Up by Abbas Kiarostami
Paris Is Burning by Jennie Livingston
Hoop Dreams by Steve James
Crumb by Terry Zwigoff
Deliver Us from Evil by Amy Berg
This Is Not a FIlm by Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba MirtamasbNovember 13, 2015 at 11:12 am #198077
Look of Silence and Cartel LandNovember 14, 2015 at 8:57 pm #198078
I just saw Grey Gardens for the first time today. I would have nominated it over Barry Lyndon or NashvilleNovember 14, 2015 at 9:18 pm #198079
I just saw Grey Gardens for the first time today. I would have nominated it over Barry Lyndon or Nashville
I love Grey Gardens, but Barry Lyndon and Nashville are both in my top ten of all time. 0_____0November 15, 2015 at 11:05 am #198080
An Inconvenient TruthNovember 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm #198081
Hard to say. A lot of the ones mentioned are fantastic. How To Die In Oregon is terrific and the story of Cody Curtis is incredibly touching. There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane is a documentary about Diane Schuler, the woman whom caused the 2009 Taconic Parkway crash that killed 8 people. The documentary follows her family as they look for answers as to what could have happened to Diane that made her act the way she did that day, but as you watch you realize it’s less about the “mystery” of that day, and more about the denial of her family. To me, it’s an excellent study in grief and denial. The Memory Loss Tapes is a documentary that follows several people who suffer from Alzheimer’s, from a woman just diagnosed, to a man diagnosed years ago. One segment titled The Lady in the Mirror stands out to me. I would have loved to follow more of Yolanda’s story.November 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm #198082
I might be a purist, but I don’t think that documentaries should be in Best Pic. At least, categories like Foreign Language, Animation, and Documentary don’t make sense to me if the films are also up for Best Picture. It defeats the purpose of a distinct category imo.
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