At the Death House Door (2008)
Steve James has been a conscientious filmmaker ever since his career began, and after the amazing reception for “Hoop Dreams” (1994), he has made many other notable documentaries including “Stevie” (2002), “At the Death House Door” (2008), The Interrupters” (2011) and “Head Games” (2012). James got the assignment for “Life Itself” personally from Roger and Chaz Ebert, working with Roger on the project right up to the film critic’s death.
Roger Ebert in his Element for the Documentary ‘Life Itself’
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures
Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert met Roger in 1989, and they were married three years later. She was by his
“The remarkable documentaries made by this year?s nominees take audiences on a journey, whether casting light on injustice or exploring the human condition in all of its nuance, cruelty, creativity and triumph,” said Hackford. ?Our nominees represent the best in documentary filmmaking and I congratulate each of them on a job well done.
The winners will be announced at the 64th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 28, 2012 in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. The DGA Awards will be hosted by director/actor/producer Kelsey Grammer.
The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for 2011 are (in alphabetical order):
Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
HBO Documentary Films
The centerpiece of Independent Film Week, Project Forum is designed specifically as a place for industry to meet with new talent, as well as discover fresh projects from emerging and veteran filmmakers.
Read the complete press release and full list of titles in this year’s Project Forum.
All 150 projects showcased in the Project Forum this year are narrative and documentary features ranging from films in development, or the early stages of production, to those nearing completion.
Some of the notable directors in this year’s Project Forum include: Bruce La Bruce (Otto: Or, Up With Dead People), Alrick Brown (Kinyrwanda), Adam Bowers (New Low), David Lowery (St. Nick), David Robert Mitchell
Sorry, folks… there are simply too many great films streaming this week to post an image for them all, but that’s a good thing, eh? You’ve got your movie watching work cut out for you, due in great part to Miramax releasing damn near their entire catalog of films on one day!
B. Monkey (1999)
Streaming Available: 05/01/2011
Director: Michael Radford
Synopsis: Good-hearted schoolteacher Alan Furnace (Jared Harris) desperately wants some excitement in his life — and he may just get some. One lonely night at a London bar, Alan spies the raven-haired beauty Beatrice (Asia Argento) arguing with two friends, Paul (Rupert Everett) and Bruno (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers). Beatrice quickly befriends Alan and
This Week’s New Instant Releases… Title: Black Heaven (2010)
Streaming Available: 04/12/2011
Cast: Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, Louise Bourgoin, Melvil Poupaud, Pauline Etienne, Pierre Niney, Ali Marhyar, Patrick Descamps, Pierre Vittet, Swann Arlaud, Francesco Merenda
Director: Gilles Marchand
Synopsis: While searching for the owner of a missing mobile phone with his girlfriend, Marion (Pauline Etienne), Gaspard (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) falls for the mysterious Sam (Louise Bourgoin), who draws him into a dangerous virtual-reality video game, where she provokes unsuspecting victims into killing themselves. Directed by Gilles Marchand, this intense French drama alternates between real-life events and those within the simulated computer world. Title: Heartless (2009)
Streaming Available: 04/12/2011
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Clémence Poésy , Noel Clarke, Luke Treadaway, Justin Salinger,
Online and On Demand
My French Film Festival
Thanks to bids for Oscar consideration, the winter is traditionally one of the rare times foreign films get plenty of attention in the States, particularly at West Coast festivals such as Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. However, Francophiles in particular will be excited to know you won't have to go to California or New York -- or even Paris for that matter -- to be able to catch some of the most recent cinema from France since uniFrance is unveiling My French Film Festival, which is being billed as the "first exclusively online film festival celebrating French talent" that
I know Nathaniel isn't quite as big of a documentary watcher as some others out there, so I thought I'd give the genre a bit of a spruik (apparently that's an Australian slang word so don't worry about not knowing what it means). I've made an effort this past year to see more documentaries - theatrically and otherwise - and while the number may only be hovering around the ten mark, considering I barely see more than four a year I think I have reason to be chuffed with myself.
It is, however, incredibly disappointing to realise that of the fifteen documentary titles shortlisted by the Academy only three have received a theatrical release here in Australia. How is it that even a Werner Herzog film - that'd be Encounters at the End of the World doesn't warrant a release? I can't imagine
We're in a Golden Age of documentary filmmaking right now. Having been on the festival circuit recently with our film, "At the Death House Door," Peter Gilbert and I have been seeing firsthand the wealth and variety of accomplished documentary films being made here and abroad. And according to programmers, these festival films are being selected from hundreds and even thousands of submissions. Yet I don't see a commensurate growth in the number of "longitudinal documentaries" . ones like "Hoop Dreams" or "Stevie" or Barbara Kopple's "American Dream" (which Peter shot) that track people's lives and stories over several years. For me, longitudinal docs are the most deeply satisfying form. Spending years following a story is the ultimate act of filmmaking discovery, because you don't know where the journey is leading, no matter how perceptive you think you are. Indeed, you hope and pray you'll be surprised,
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