Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oscar Documentaries: The Final 15

The short list of documentaries to be considered for Oscars has been announced, and there are a few surprises. Namely, in what films were left out.

MIA are guitar-god story It Might Get Loud, starring Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White (of the White Stripes), and another rock doc -- Anvil: The Story of Anvil, a sad/funny account of a Canadian metal band that has slugged it out for 30 years, getting respect from famous imitators but never grabbing any of the glory.

Also out of the running is Capitalism: A Love Story, revered by Michael Moore's fans but viewed by others as yet another round of didactic propaganda. Could it be time for Moore to try something less strident and more insightful, or at least more entertaining?

Here's the full list, as selected by the documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (and listed by the New York Times):

“The Beaches of Agnes,” Agn├Ęs Varda, director (Cine-Tamaris)(pictured)

“Burma VJ,” Anders Ostergaard, director (Magic Hour Films)

“The Cove,” Louie Psihoyos, director (Oceanic Preservation Society)

“Every Little Step,” James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, directors (Endgame Entertainment)

“Facing Ali,” Pete McCormack, director (Network Films)

“Food, Inc.,” Robert Kenner, director (Robert Kenner Films)

“Garbage Dreams,” Mai Iskander, director (Iskander Films)

“Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders,” Mark N. Hopkins, director (Red Floor Pictures)

“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, directors (Kovno Communications)

“Mugabe and the White African,” Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, directors (Arturi Films)

“Sergio,” Greg Barker, director (Passion Pictures and Silverbridge Productions)

“Soundtrack for a Revolution,” Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, directors (Freedom Song Productions)

“Under Our Skin,” Andy Abrahams Wilson, director (Open Eye Pictures)

“Valentino: The Last Emperor,” Matt Tyrnauer, director (Acolyte Films)

“Which Way Home,” Rebecca Cammisa, director (Mr. Mudd)

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