James and Jim celebrate all that is dependable and familiar (and really, really long) about Oscar night.
Tag Archives: Oscars
For most people, the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject is best known as the hardest category to predict in Oscar pools. But for documentary filmmakers, it is much more, functioning not only as a crucial career stepping-stone but also as a career-sustaining achievement, allowing veteran directors to stay active, relevant, and present new material. For these reasons, the films nominated for best short doc merit more attention than cursory Oscar-night handicapping.
As we move into the New Year, here are 8 things Docutopia would like to see change or take place in 2014. They’re not exactly resolutions, which customarily veer toward personal vows to lose weight or exercise more (though some docs could stand to be shorter). Rather, consider this a wish list for 2014: aspirations for creative and commercial excellence for documentary film.
This year’s new rules for the Academy Award for Best Documentary will drastically change the voting process, favoring more recognizable and popular titles. During the process of whittling down this year’s 149 eligible docs to the final five nominees, time-stressed documentary branch members may only watch and therefore nominate the most recognizable of titles. As HBO’s Sheila Nevins told Variety, “The underdog is not going to make any noise. Only the ones that are most known will be seen.”
Drinking about the Academy Awards.
I’d like to take a step back from the aggressive glamour of Oscar season and examine these Best Films of The Year (according to one particular group of people) from a specialist’s point of view. These films have issues, y’all. For those of us who have hustled out to see them, we’ve been exposed to a whole host of disorders. Not to worry, though—for every Best Picture nominee there is a sure-fire antidote.
The upping of the number of best picture nominees to ten in 2009 has only resulted in a greater volume of forgettable titles slipping through the cracks. This seems to be the case as well for Oscar years before 1944, when there were generally ten nominees. What’s most fascinating is not that these films are largely forgotten, but that at one point they meant something to large numbers of people, and are now basically lost to time.
Jim and James swapping Oscar picks: What could go wrong with that?