Tom Roston

Doc Soup: What Happened with the Docs at Oscar 2010?

Hollywood’s biggest night was not, sadly, documentary film’s finest hour. The 2010 Oscar ceremony will be most remembered for how The Hurt Locker trumped Avatar, and how Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Best Director award. But, for documentary fans, it may be remembered for a couple of missed opportunities. Things certainly

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Doc Soup: More Fearless Oscar Predictions – Looking at the Shorts with an Academy Voter

The Best Documentary Short award is probably the least watched, least understood and least appreciated category at the Academy Awards. Okay, maybe it’s tied with Best Sound Editing. Still, that’s too bad. Fortunately, some of the winners have made the most of this underdog status in their speeches, such as when Jessica Yu joked in

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Doc Soup: A Filmmaker Reports from TED 2010

The recently concluded TED (technology, entertainment, design) conference once again proved to be on the cutting edge of the intellectual-cultural vanguard. It draws such an impressive list of hot-shots (this year’s included Bill Gates, Valerie Plame, James Cameron, and David Byrne) — it’s kind of dizzying. I wondered what this year’s TED offered the doc

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Doc Soup: Which Sundance Docs Will Live Beyond Park City?

In documentaries, as in life, there’s usually a difference between what really happened, how people perceive what happened, and how that event gets filtered through memory, stories and the media. If you’re still with me, here’s the point: This is all the more apropos to the Sundance Film Festival. I didn’t go this year, so

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Doc Soup: “Collapse” – Are We Doomed?

We’re doomed! I’m not even talking about that mess up in Massachusetts. I’m talking big-time, end-of-civilization, DOOMED. That, at least, is the message delivered by Collapse, a documentary that came out last year, directed by Chris Smith (The Yes Men, American Movie). The film got limited attention, and can now be see on movies-on-demand on

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Doc Soup: “Avatar” and Its Documentary Roots (and bonus giveaway!)

Avatar is the biggest thing to come out of Hollywood since The Matrix. No, scratch that — since Star Wars. No, no, no, actually — since Gone With the Wind. I know that I’m not the first to herald the paradigmatic shift that James Cameron‘s epic sci-fi fantasy represents for its groundbreaking innovations in stereoscopic

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