- Doc Soup: The Audacity of Hope
Maybe it’s the Obama campaign, but the activist in me is coming out and I’ve got something I’m fired up about. I have to admit, it’s not entirely a selfless cause. It’s something that could have great political impact, but, just as important, it’s something that could make us all laugh. And I think we […]
- Doc Soup: Religulous
What a jerk! That’s all I could think for the first 15 or so minutes of Religulous, the doc that teams up director Larry Charles (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) and comedian Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. The two funnymen have their […]
- Doc Soup: Is It Time to Adjust Our Definition of Documentary “Characters”?
Writing about documentaries ain’t what it used to be. Not that I would know I’m just talking with my tongue in my cheek about the supposedly sepia-tinted times before docs were (relatively) big business. I recently wrote a piece for Spin magazine about the great doc, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which is getting […]
- Doc Soup: Looking Ahead to the Oscars
With the Oscar deadline for submissions now long passed by (September 2; in order to be eligible, a film had to show for one week in Los Angeles and Manhattan), I figured it’s time to stick my head out the window and check who’s in the running for an Academy Award for this year. I […]
- Doc Soup: Docs at the Toronto Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival just wrapped up over the weekend, so I have culled together some of the highlights from the documentary slate. There was a noticeable absence of celebrated Doc Star directors, other than An Inconvenient Truth‘s Davis Guggenheim, who continues to show his range with It Might Get Loud, an homage to […]
- Doc Soup: Crossing Over to the Lighter Side
Shame on you, Jessica Yu, documentary director of such serious and elegant and moving and… important documentaries such as Breathing Lessons, about a writer slowly living and dying in an iron long, In the Realms of the Unreal (POV 2005), about twisted shut-in outsider artist Henry Darger, and Protagonist, linking the lives of four men […]
- Doc Soup: A Late-Summer Search for Docs
Like much of the media world, I’ve decided to check myself out for these latter weeks of August (so much so that I missed my Doc Soup deadline my apologies to my POV minders!), heading out of New York City to the restful mountains of Vermont. As I always do when I come up […]
- Run For — Not From — “The Hills”!
In honor of this week’s premiere of season four of MTV’s “The Hills,” I’d like to ruminate a bit on the end of the world. Not really, but you’ll get what I mean. The show, in case you’re over 25 and/or don’t subscribe to a magazine other than The Nation, is a reality (I use […]
- The 10 Most Lugubrious Documentaries of All Time
Because my previous doc list — the ten sexiest documentaries — garnered a good amount of interest (and a healthy dose of nastiness), I’ll return to the well for another top ten. Of course, I was tempted to call this my 10 Funniest Documentaries of All Time. But that just struck me as slightly inaccurate. […]
- Doc Soup: 'Johnny Cash', 40 Years Later
Every Monday, independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. This week, POV is airing 1969’s Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, a real time capsule of a documentary about the legendary country musician. I am particularly struck by how director Robert Elstrom […]
- Doc Soup: Major Marketing for 'American Teen'
Every Monday, independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. This past weekend, American Teen hit theaters. I’d put it up there with about five other docs (Standard Operating Procedure, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, Young@Heart, Man on Wire and Religulous) as […]
- Doc Soup: '9 Star Hotel': A Modern-Day 'Bicycle Thief'?
Independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. Today, he muses on the most recent POV film. As I watched 9 Star Hotel, I was overcome by this strange feeling of déjà vu. I was captivated by the slice-of-sad-life story about the young Palestinian men […]
- Doc Soup: What Does SnagFilms Mean for the Future of Documentary Distribution?
Last week, there was a big splash in the small pool that is the Internet documentary film community. A new site called Snagfilms was launched by former AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis, ex-AOL chief Steve Case and venture capitalist Miles Gilburne. Heavy hitters, indeed. The site allows people like you and me to watch docs […]
- Doc Soup: Questions on 'The Last Conquistador'
Independent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup. Today, he raises some questions that came to mind as he watched the most recent POV film. So, I’ll repeat what I said in my Monday post that I think The Last Conquistador is a really good […]
- Doc Soup: Docs as Art or Activism?
On Tuesday night, you’re going to get to see a very compelling doc called The Last Conquistador, about sculptor John Houser‘s building of the largest bronze equestrian statue in El Paso. The good people at POV gave me a DVD screener of the film, so I got to see it and I have a lot […]
- Doc Soup: Tipping a Hat to 'Full Battle Rattle' and Other War Docs
Ack! Not another doc about Iraq! Ah yes, this Wednesday we are being treated to Full Battle Rattle, another film related to that unfortunate war we’re waging, and I’m quite sure we doc fans are soon going to be treated to more newspaper stories declaring the film DOA at the BO, relegating its fate along […]
- Doc Soup: Following Up on the Buzz
OK, call this a follow-up or time to eat crow or what you want, but I wanted to write a bit about a post I filed three weeks ago, in which I decried the buzzing blogosphere around the near-carcass that is ThinkFilm. Perhaps I overstate now, but I only do so because my estimable colleague […]
- Doc Soup: What Docs Would You Like to See?
Am I wrong, or have most of us read something in the newspaper, or come up with an inspiration, and thought to ourselves, “Wow, that would make a great documentary!” In honor of the POV series that starts this week an incredibly diverse slate that covers everything from a performance artist in Belarus (Belarusian […]