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Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1960
Shirley x 2, Janet, Mary, and Glynis. Who gets your vote?

"Janet Leigh should've won, but I feel like the fact that she was even nominated for that movie might've been a victory in itself." - Philip H.

"How great is it considering this was 59 years ago that three of these ladies are still with us and the two Shirleys are working on a semi regular basis." - Joel6 


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Entries in Review (74)

Wednesday
Jul172019

Doc Corner: 50th Anniversary of the moon landing inspires multiple documentaries

By Glenn Dunks

It’s amazing to think that there can still be so much previously unseen footage from the biggest television event in history, and yet here we are at the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a bus-load of new documentaries claiming new takes, new interviews and, yes, new footage. Don’t ask me what exactly is new to us, though. I watched three such films within days of each other and I, at times, felt like I was going nuts: the subject of one is a talking head in another who happens to be in different footage in the other movie, which is probably just a different angle to footage a few feet to the left in the first movie!

And on top of that, if you’ve watched even just one or two other works about the American space program – whether that be documentaries like For All Mankind, or dramatic features like Apollo 13 – then you will already be familiar with a lot, not to mention the moon landing itself. It’s exhausting. I even saw another moon landing documentary on the tele while I was at the gym the other night. And then there is the six-hour PBS documentary that I, quite frankly, just don’t know if I have the patience for after this triple-play. The three films I have watched all do have something in them that is ultimately worth the time. Especially if you’re in a particularly lunar mood on this landmark date. The best of the three, the most cinematic and effectively rousing, is Todd Douglas Williams’ Apollo 11

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Thursday
Jul112019

Doc Corner: Hitting the High Seas with ‘Maiden’ and ‘The Raft’

By Glenn Dunks

Did anybody see that Colin Firth movie about the amateur sailor who attempted to circumnavigate the world and failed miserably. It was called The Mercy, and while I never watched it, I did think of it as I watched Maiden. This is a film with such a remarkable true story that I couldn’t believe nobody had made a film out of it already but they had made The Mercy. Although I suppose one shouldn’t expect more: a movie about a male failure will almost always get made before that of a female success. But now we have Maiden, which puts a full stop at the end of that and seeks to settle a few more filmmaking blindspots with its oft-exhilarating telling of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old rebel who in 1989 became the skipper of the first ever female crew to compete in the Whitbread Round the World boat race.

Bless whoever invented the 16mm camera because anybody whose worth having a documentary about them apparently had one of them handy all the damn time...

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Wednesday
Jul032019

Doc Corner: 'The Edge of Democracy' on Netflix

By Glenn Dunks

There is a moment towards the start of The Edge of Democracy where director Petra Costa suggests that she thought both she and the political democracy of her homeland, Brazil, “would be standing on solid ground” now that both are in their 30s. It’s a noble idea not to mention a bit cute and certainly a little naïve because anybody with the benefit of hindsight knows that one’s youthful ideals often rarely bear such fruit.

It’s also an appropriate introduction to this, her third feature. That blending of the two narratives is just one small part in how Costa, whose 2012 earlier feature Elena was an even more intimate debut, makes her homeland’s troubling descent into authoritarianism all the more painful. It’s personal. For her and the audience of her gripping and devastatingly relevant documentary.

The Edge of Democracy is easily one of the great works of documentary this year.

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Wednesday
Jun122019

Pride Month Doc Corner: Activists, Fighters and Organizers

By Glenn Dunks

Once again, The Film Experience and Doc Corner is celebrating Pride Month with a focus on documentaries that tackle LGBTIQ themes.

This week I am looking at four films, each of which focus around the fight for equality and LGBTIQ history across America. My favourite of the group is Southern Pride, a continuation of director Malcolm Ingram’s first documentary Small Town Gay Bar. Where that film navigated the communities around the bars Rumors and Crossroads, Southern Pride delves into two different bars – Just Us Lounge in Biloxi and KlubXclusive in Hattiesburg – as they attempt to pride events on the state’s gulf coast, the first of their kind.

Just Us owner Lynn Koval is the force behind the primary event with even RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor Gia Gunn booked, while KlubX’s Shawn Perryon, the recipient of a racist jailing for pot, who seeks to build a home for the region’s black queer population and with her own Unapologetic Black Gay Pride event.

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Tuesday
Jun042019

Pride Month Doc Corner: 'Halston'

By Glenn Dunks

Once again, The Film Experience and Doc Corner is celebrating Pride Month with a focus on documentaries that tackle LGBTIQ themes. This week is Halston, a fashion bio-doc about the famed American designer.

He was arguably the most famous out homosexual in America; feted by magazines and talk-shows, lauded in name by celebrities from coast to coast. A man of a certain time who emerged timeless; a pillar of an industry that had remained strikingly insular until his brand helped bring it to the American masses. Roy Halston Frowick left his impressionable mark on history early on, designing First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic pillbox hat and translated that mark of destiny through a career that weaved down runways, across discotheques and into department stores.

His life is given an appropriately razzle-dazzle treatment in Halston from director Frédérick Tcheng. Told through the unusual narrative device of a fictional, unknown woman researching his life through video tapes, Halston is one of the more formally interesting examples of the fashion bio-doc genre and is infused with an atmosphere that is as slinky as one of his bias-cut dresses while also embracing his extravagant Manhattan lifestyle of chic glass offices, limousines and cocaine that evoke an era of lavish and queer excess.

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Wednesday
May292019

Doc Corner: Dancing About Architecture in 'The Proposal'

By Glenn Dunks

There is an architectural quality to Jill Magid’s debut feature. Appropriate since it is about architect Luis Barragán. Not that that has stopped bio-docs about artists before lacking an ounce of artistry, but Magid has transferred her talents over well to the cinematic artform; among all of the wonderful things that The Proposal has going for it, it’s one of the most beautiful documentaries of the year.

This is hardly surprising given cinematographer Jarred Alterman is one of the most exciting names in the field and whose work on Bisbee ’17 and Contemporary Color were among those films’ most valuable assets.

Barragán, who died in 1988, remains Mexico’s most celebrated and acclaimed architect and with this film it is not hard to see why. “The artist among architects”, he was called.

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