As the other thread about Sight and Sound's top 10 list is heading in the direction of a debate about documentary films vs acting films I thought it would maybe be interesting to have a look at the long list for the Documentary category at next year's Oscars, released today.
15 films on the long list will later be cut to 5 for the actual ceremony.
The Act of Killing
20 Feet From Stardom
The Armstrong Lie
Stories We Tell
The Crash Reel
Cutie and the Boxer
First Cousin Once Removed
God Loves Uganda
Life According To Sam
Pussy Riot: A Punk's Prayer
Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington
I've only seen The Act of Killing, Stories We Tell and Blackfish.
The Act of Killing is one of the best films I've ever seen, so it should be chosen.
It's the oscars though, so there's no guarantee that the best film will win.
Blackfish seems to have the biggest media support, or maybe it's just the one I've seen most about in the wider media. I'm sure it'll be on the short list anyway.
The crash reel is one that I didnt think I'd like but loved,it shows how everything can be taken away in the blink of an eye,would love to see it win.
Sorry if it's a bit off-topic, but what's the best way to go about watching these documentaries legally? Is DVD the best option or are they online somewhere?
The Act of Killing is on iTunes, watched it there last night.
Netflix would be the best way usually - although I don't use it myself.
Some of them are shown on BBC's 'Storyville' - I know Cutie and The Boxer was on only a few weeks ago.
PM me if you want more details.
I just finished watching The Crash Reel. It was excellent.
I watched 'Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington' last night. I didn't think much of it.
I watched 'Stories We Tell' a few minutes ago. A very interesting documentary. The film maker and actress Sarah Polley has made a documentary about her family's hidden secret. Now that the secret is out, she interviews her own family and others involved. The documentary shows how a secret affects people both in how it is hidden and how it affects people in a different way when it is revealed. It also deals with how stories are told in documentaries and how they can be skewed if not told from all points of view.
I would definitely recommend both this and 'The Crash Reel'.
I just finished watching 'Cutie and the Boxer'. I wouldn't even class it as a documentary. I think you should either learn something new or see a topic in a new light after watching a documentary. This was more like a slow, sad, love story.
Some of the documentaries are distributed by Dogwoof, their site has option to view them online, pay per view £2.99 or £15 a month for access to their entire catalogue (loads and loads of excellent films on there)
BBC 4, as has already been said, is a great place for documentaries too, Blackfish was on there the other week.
I'm not actually going to watch all of these documentaries. But I have just finished watching 'Blackfish'. Very good, very moving. I'd say it is in with a good chance of winning because it has the advantage of having had a much wider release and has much more general appeal in its subject matter.
Just watched 'Pussy Riot: A Punk's Prayer'. In my opinion it was a waste of time. I learned nothing I didn't know from watching the news when they were arrested. Feminist art students and political activist form a collective and choose to protest against the government by staging performances designed to draw attention to their cause. They make the mistake of performing one of these events in a church which pi**ses off religious leaders, so the courts throw the book at them.
That's it, the documentary provided no further insight than that.
Watched 'Twenty Feet from Stardom' this morning and found it very interesting to see the lives of these fantastically talented singers who perform with the greatest artists and yet go by almost unrecognised.
Watched 'The Act of Killing' last night and I really don't see what all the fuss is about.