- Doc Soup: Analyzing the Economic Meltdown
Last October, I railed about how there was a dearth of doc filmmakers tackling the current economic meltdown, pointing out that the usually on-the-ball PBS Frontline series wasn’t stepping into the void. Well, they finally answered the call a couple of weeks ago. And boy, did they present a grim picture. I found Frontline’s “Inside […]
- Handicapping the 2009 Best Doc Oscar Winner
Academy Award forecasting is such fun. I wish I could put together a chart with the various factors that I see determining the film with the best odds of winning the doc Oscar this year. Without a graphics department on my side, I’ll just mention the main variables: quality of film (yes, that matters!), popularity […]
- Doc Soup: Catching Up With Arthur Bradford, Director of 'How's Your News?'
As promised last week, I caught up with Arthur Bradford, the director of the new How’s Your News? doc series on MTV. The show is having a premiere party that includes a screening, a State Radio concert and plenty of partying on Monday night, February 16, at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, so get on […]
- Doc Soup: What's Your Take on 'How's Your News?'
Is it OK to laugh at people with disabilities? A new documentary series, How’s Your News?, that premiered this Sunday on MTV asks that uncomfortable question. It features a bus of people with disabilities who roam the country as reporters, asking folks confounding questions and eliciting laughter in many, and perhaps, horror in some. When […]
- Doc Soup: When a Game Is More Than Just a Game
Independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries. In this early edition of Doc Soup, he is inspired by the upcoming Super Bowl to think about a recent film about — you guessed it — football. When I was twelve, my older brother and I had an argument, as brothers […]
- Doc Soup: Counting Down to the Oscars
Oscar is coming! The nominees were announced late last week and I am sure my POV minders are psyched to see one of their own on the list of five: Ellen Kuras‘ The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), which will be broadcast on PBS in 2009, joins: Encounters at the End of the World, Werner Herzog The Garden, […]
- Doc Soup: Musing on the Future of Docs
Here are some doc-related links and musings that are on my mind: Other POVers who are on the ground at the ongoing Sundance are better placed than I am to discuss what’s hot and what’s not at the film festival. So this year, I’m reading about it from afar, and something in The New York […]
- Doc Soup: Inspired by a New Talent
Eh, so the holidays are over and the long, hard winter really kicks in. And there I was, months away from POV’s next doc slate, looking for something to inspire me… And just when the dust bunnies began to blow like tumbleweed in my apartment, I saw something that really moved me. I was working […]
- Doc Soup: The Year in Docs
It’s end of the year wrap-up time, at a juncture when the world of movies and entertainment and even docs seems a little removed from what’s really on our minds: we appear to be stuck in the muck (but for how long?), though many of us are hopeful that an Obama administration could bring great […]
- Doc Soup: Sundance Announces 2009 Doc Entries
The documentary entries at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival were announced recently, and it’s quite an impressive list. There are so many great-sounding docs: I am happy to see the return of Joe Berlinger, the director of Brother’s Keeper, with Crude, a doc about an environmental lawsuit battle being waged in Ecuador. There’s also The […]
- Doc Soup: Organic 'Milk'
I love it when fictional feature filmmakers are heavily inspired by documentaries especially such prominent ones as Gus Van Sant. His film Milk, starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the gay activist-turned politician who was killed in 1978, is a fantastic bit of fictional filmmaking with a heavy dose of nonfiction influences. First, there […]
- Doc Soup: From Indie Doc to Studio Behemoth
Have you seen Four Christmases yet? It’s the big holiday comedy that’s plastered on every billboard and on a constant trailer loop you probably feel like you have already seen the entire movie even if you haven’t. (And hated it.) Why do I ask? Because the director is no other than Seth Gordon, the […]
- Doc Soup: 2008 Oscar Predictions
So, as you heard here and probably elsewhere, the 15-film short list to be considered for the Oscar nomination for best documentary was announced last week. All I can do here now is throw out a big GULP; boy, was I wrong. In September, I cranked out my prognostications about what would be on the […]
- Doc Soup: Music of 'The Betrayal'
You’ve heard me talk about it before, but, finally, Ellen Kuras‘ The Betrayal is making it to the public this Friday, at the IFC Film Center so forgive me if I have little more to say. The movie, 23 years in the making, is about a Laotian immigrant family’s experience in America; after its opening […]
- Doc Soup: Fear of Flying
This week, a pretty interesting documentary series called Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman is hitting your local DVD store or your Netflix queue (November 11, to be exact). It’s appropriately titled, because it really is a 21st century Fear of Flying. The subject is the filmmaker Jennifer Fox, a 40-something woman who provides […]
- Doc Soup: What Can We Learn About an Election From Docs?
Independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. Well, it’s election week and certainly in my lifetime, it’s never felt like more was stake. I know a lot of people are already getting ready to celebrate an Obama victory, but I’m not. Nothing, in my […]
- Doc Soup: Where Are the Docs on the Economy?
With our global economy tanking and everyone peering gloomily forward to a multi-year recession that has us asking, “How could we let this happen?” I figure it’s time to give credit where credit (pun intended) is due in the doc world. Who grabbed that Wall Street bull (ok, no more puns from here on) by […]
- Doc Soup: 'Dear Zachary'
This past Friday, I got one of the many emails I get about upcoming movies and the like. I tend to throw them in the slush pile and try to comb through them when I can. This time, the message wasn’t even about the movie itself, but about the premiere of the trailer for an […]