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Entries in Free Solo (8)

Monday
Sep162019

Emmy Creative Arts Winners 2019

by Nathaniel R

"We're going to the Catskills" was a popular episode of the Emmy's darling favourite The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

The Creative Arts Emmys were held over the weekend so Game of Thrones and Marvelous Mrs Maisel are looking set to easily repeat their previous series wins on Emmy Night (Sept 22nd) since they retained a stranglehold on below the line prizes. The big news that had the internet in a huff over the two night ceremony was the fact that the popular concert special Beyonce Homecoming lost all the Emmy categories it was up for. Whether or not you love Beyoncé (I remain indifferent) that seems justifiably insane in some of those categories.

It's really time for Emmys to bring back blue ribbon panels because this "everyone can vote" thing just means that whatever is the most watched or most obsessed over show just wins everything regardless of the category. If voters aren't watching their submission tapes they're also often voting on shows they loved the year before or love right now (but a different season is the thing they're voting on. Etcetera). Why have 100s of categories if you're just going to bury three or four shows in the same dozens of awards and leave hundreds of just-as-fine programs Emmyless? If the Emmys were truly a reflection of the art of television there would be more of a variety of winners from year to year. The list of winners and a few notes after the jump...

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Tuesday
Feb052019

Doc Corner: How much has the changing Academy changed the Best Documentary category ?

By Glenn Dunks

Among all of the talk happening since the Oscar nominations, a good deal of attention has been paid to the role the new roster of Academy members might have played in what we were given. With good reason, too, considering the nomination list reads rather obviously as the awkward merging of two very different kind of voters. Virtually every category has something for both the old and the new guards – or, at least what we perceive to be the old and the new guards. 

Even a category like Best Sound Editing has a horror movie and a Mexican domestic drama sitting next to musical biopics and action blockbusters. In Best Makeup and Hairstyling you'll see standard old/overweight and royalty makeup side-by-side with a curious Scandi whatsit. And doesn’t it feel odd to imagine the same acting branch voter notching Sam Rockwell’s name for Vice and simultaneously selecting Marina de Tavira one category over?  The documentary branch is no different. Their 2018 nominees for Best Documentary Feature are even more 'new guard,' taking this idea of a shift in identity even further...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb032019

What did you see this weekend?

Superbowl weekend was rough for the movies with lower than usual grosses all around. Was it the polar vortex? Who dared venture out of their homes?!

Weekend Box Office Estimates
February 1st-3rd (ESTIMATES)
๐Ÿ”บ = New or Expanded Theater Count /  โ˜…= Recommended
W I D E
800+ screens
PLATFORM / LIMITED
excluding prev. wide
Miss Bala Free Solo
Glass $9.5 (cum. $88.6) Review
1๐Ÿ”บ They Shall Not Grow Old $2.4 
(cum. $10.7) Review โ˜… 
The Upside  $8.8 (cum. $75.5)
2๐Ÿ”บ Free Solo $1.3 (cum. $14.9) ReviewBiggest Doc Hits โ˜…
๐Ÿ”บ Miss Bala $6.7 *NEW* 
3๐Ÿ”บ Ek Ladki Ko Dekha...  $600k *NEW* 
Aquaman  $4.7 (cum. $323.5) ReviewPodcast
4๐Ÿ”บ Cold War  $564k (cum. $2.1) ReviewBiggest Foreign Hits โ˜…
Into the Spider-Verse  $4.4 (cum. $175.2)  Review, Annie Award Winner โ˜…
5๐Ÿ”บ Destroyer $234k (cum. $1.2)  Review โ˜…

 

Miss Bala had a rough opening weekend, unable to unseat three week old Glass and four week old The Upside to claim the top spot. Two notes on Oscar boosts: Green Book is now finally on its way to becoming the hit everyone originally assumed it would be when they saw it at festivals, having roared back to life last week and holding super well this week (it's at #6 for the past two weeks -- the highest its ever climbed on the charts after almost three months in theaters indicating that word of mouth has finally caught up with it. In specialty theaters Free Solo and Cold War have also done a superb job capitalizing on their Oscar nods. Free Solo  was all but finished with its run a few weeks ago but is suddenly reenergized, this weekend becoming the second highest doc grosser of 2018 by topping RBG. Meanwhile Cold War has been cruising up the foreign film charts and is now the 8th biggest subtitled hit of 2018, just now defeating last year's Oscar champ A Fantastic Woman.

Tuesday
Jan152019

Doc Corner: Final Oscar Predictions โ€“ A Big Year For Box Office Hits?

Editor's Note: We're turning over the final nomination predictions in Documentary to our resident doc expert. Take it away, Glenn -- Nathaniel R

By Glenn Dunks

It’s always somewhat impossible to gauge just what direction the documentary branch will go in. In the past, they have often been criticized for ignoring big non-fiction hits while the next year they're equally criticized for just nominating the documentaries that people have heard of and ignoring the smaller titles that haven’t the benefit of famous subjects or popular themes (WWII, for instance).

2019 was an unusually spectacular year at the box office for documentaries with four titles all reaching seven figures at the cash registers of cinemas in the US. It has been great to see documentaries enter the zeitgeist in such a way. Unfortunately that has meant that most awards organizations have defaulted to a standard list of those top four box office champs: Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Free Solo, RBG and Three Identical Strangers. Maybe with Netflix’s Shirkers or Hulu’s Minding the Gap thrown in for good measure. Will Oscar follow suit?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec272018

Doc Corner: From the Short List - 'Free Solo'

By Glenn Dunks

Easily queasy viewers beware – Free Solo can be a daunting prospect to watch. And not just for the extraordinary climb that the film is all about, but if even just the poster churns your stomach, it’s probably not for you. Directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin follow up to Meru (of which I was less a fan for reasons I honestly don’t even remember – I watch too many movies to remember these things, apparently) charts Alex Honnold, the world’s most famous free solo rock climber, as he sets out to conquer his biggest feat yet: El Capitan, the 3000-foot vertical rock face, a granite monolith that has loomed over Yosemite for millennia.

The why of Alex’s mission remains a tantalizing carrot that dangles in front of the audience through his death-defying stunts.

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Monday
Dec242018

Top 30 Documentary Hits of 2018

Each day a different year in review topic. Here's Glenn Dunks...

Documentaries had one of their biggest years on record in 2018. In fact, the upper realms of non-fiction at the North American box office started to look like what the foreign-language charts once looked like. There was at least one major cross-over smash, several very impressive eight-figure grossers, a selection of not insignificant titles that did over one-million, and a long list of niche titles that did business anywhere from respectable to disappointing depending on expectations and release size. The year even started strong for docs with 2017 hits Bombshell the Hedy Lamarr Story and Faces/Places continuing to earn tidy sums buoyed by word of mouth and an Oscar nomination respectively.

My column Doc Corner will continue in 2019 so here’s hoping the new year offers just as bountiful a crop. It's been good to see documentaries reaching the mainstream, zeitgeist conversation.

TOP 30 DOCUMENTARIES FOR 2018
Domestic Box Office Grosses Only - Figures as of February 17th, 2019. ๐Ÿ”บ = the film is still in theaters

Click to read more ...