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Entries in Casting JonBenet (4)

Tuesday
Jan092018

FYC: Five Best Documentary Tech Achievements of 2017

A special edition of the Doc Corner column by Glenn Dunks this week...

Documentaries are unsurprisingly scantly recognised outside of their own category. Steve James’ Hoop Dreams scored a still one-of-a-kind nomination for Best Editing in 1994, and the Best Original Song category has become a place for aging rock stars (and J. Ralph!) to get recognition for their work in documentaries. Yet outside of these rare occurrences, documentaries are almost never considered to be in genuine contention.

Considering the volume of documentaries being produced (170 eligible titles in 2017 alone!), it shouldn’t be unreasonably to expect that many are pushing the documentary medium to places that would have been unfathomable two decades prior. Those changes can be through form thanks to technological advancements giving filmmakers an ability to make docs as technically proficient as anything else no matter the budget. Or they can come through structure and narrative, allowing contemporary audiences that are hip to new ways of telling stories to experience something through the wonders of streaming that would have once struggled in experimental arthouses of downtown Manhattan.

So in lieu of a personal Oscar doc ballot (mine would include only one from the 15-wide shortlist), here are five For Your Considerations for achievements outside of the Documentary Feature category itself...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan082018

FYC: The Furniture's 2017 Oscar Ballot

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Production design can be a tricky thing to award. Like so many other categories, there’s a tendency to simply recognize “most,” rather than “best.” Moreover, great design can hide in plain sight. Brilliantly-conceived sets can seem like ready-made locations, particularly in contemporary films. Transportive design elements sit in the background, working their magic under the radar. It can take both a close eye and a little extra research to identify the year’s best work.

Still, here we are. Oscar voting is open and it’s time to make a last pitch. Below are my ideal nominees for Best Production Design, five films that often press up against detailed realism, while never letting go of their own movie magic...

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Thursday
Oct052017

DOC NYC Announce Their 15 Oscar Potentials

by Glenn Dunks

Every year the mammoth New York based documentary film festival DOC NYC announces a program of films titled the “Short List”. These are films they describe as "[feeling] like worthy contenders for the Oscar short list based on festival accolades, reviews, box office”, culled from a longer list by means of “evaluating what titles appear to have momentum.”

The DOC NYC festival casts a very wide net for their selections with an annual line-up including films that have already screened in theatrical release or on television. Because of this, they’re able to claim to have played the last six winners of the Best Documentary Oscar. And in the four years since they began the Short List, the only Oscar nominee to not feature in the Short List program is Virunga. It’s an impressive statistic if not a somewhat deflating one knowing that this year’s nominees are likely somewhere to be found in this list of 15. But that's the Oscar prognastication game for you and we all love to play along so it's worth mentioning.

THE FINAL YEAR (Greg Barker)

There’s still about two months until the Academy release their own shortlist of 15 from the estimated 130 titles that will be submitted. But for now, let’s take a look at what DOC NYC are hedging their bets on...

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Tuesday
May092017

Doc Corner: An American Tragedy in 'Casting JonBenet' 

By Glenn Dunks

Casting JonBenet is a dozen films in one. At only 80 minutes, that’s a lot; and yet it never feels over-stuffed, overwrought, or like it is collecting and abandoning subplots (a frustrating trend of some recent documentaries). At its most basic level, Kitty Green’s film is a documentary about the casting of a film about JonBenet Ramsey. It is also a documentary about the Ramsey family and an investigation, of sorts, into the case. It’s a prank, a look into the making of a (seemingly) fake movie. But that's not all...

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