January 26, 2010 |
When documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker smiles and says, "I can't complain my life isn't varied," she is not kidding. While most directors would be grateful to have one film in Sundance, Walker has two compelling works and they could not be more different. For "Countdown to Zero," a hair-raising exposé of the dangers of rogue nuclear weapons, she spent considerable time talking with world leaders like Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, F.W. de Klerk and Pervez Musharraf, "more presidents than I could keep track of."
November 16, 2005 |
It probably comes as no surprise that a wildly successful movie about the mating and survival habits of a flock of flightless birds has made the short list of 15 potential nominees out of 82 eligible submissions in the documentary feature category for the 78th Academy Awards, but "March of the Penguins" has plenty of company.
March 4, 1992 |
Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev has agreed to participate in a television documentary about his life, a British group announced Tuesday. Directors International said Gorbachev agreed to be interviewed for four one-hour programs and has given the group access to his personal archives, friends and family.
January 27, 1989 |
An independent inquiry made public Thursday vindicated a controversial British TV documentary, marking a rare victory for embattled TV journalists here. The findings were a slap in the face for the Thatcher government, which quickly criticized them.
June 19, 2007 |
Fans of "The Sopranos" are still debating the fate of Tony Soprano, but the actor who won three Emmys for his portrayal of the New Jersey mobster has moved on. James Gandolfini's production company, Attaboy Films, will debut its first project, "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq," on HBO on Sept. 9. The documentary tells the stories of 10 wounded troops and the day they escaped death. Gandolfini, who has visited Iraq with the USO, conducts the interviews. Maria Elena Fernandez
July 29, 2010
In a celebration of some of the greatest moments in rock history on film, the American Cinematheque holds a three-day rock documentary fest, including a Rolling Stones double feature Thursday of Stephen Kijak's "Stones in Exile" and the Maysles brothers' "Gimme Shelter." Also showing: D.A. Pennebaker's "Monterey Pop," Mel Stuart's "Wattstax" and the director's cut of Michael Wadleigh's "Woodstock." Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Check website for prices.
June 16, 2007
Re "Don't make me watch!" Opinion, June 10 Jon Queenan's primary objective may be to amuse rather than persuade his readers to avoid documentaries. However, he is admitting to the same corrupting mental laziness of millions of other Americans who expect the media to amuse rather than inform them. Poor Queenan may be marked for life by "hair-raising memories" of being forced to watch documentaries in "steamy, smelly" high school auditoriums, but this does not diminish Thomas Jefferson's common-sense warnings still relevant today: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
December 19, 2010 |
A lot of folks go the movies to escape the pressing issues of the day, to forget they even exist, not to explore their implications. Yet films have always profited from their connection to real events. "The Social Network," "The King's Speech" and "The Fighter," to name three current yet very different motion pictures, gain considerable traction because their characters are based on actual people, not anonymous composites. Although dramatic films based on real life are in vogue, cinema's most direct connection to the world at large remains the documentary film, and 2010 has seen a remarkable resurgence of the form.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2010 |
Marshall Flaum, an award-winning producer, director and writer who specialized in documentaries, died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications after hip surgery, his family said. He was 85. Flaum won five Emmy Awards, had several more nominations and was twice nominated for an Academy Award, for the documentaries "The Yanks Are Coming (1963) and "Let My People Go: the Story of Israel" (1965). Flaum wrote, directed and produced both documentaries.
November 2, 1991
Academy Award documentary winner "American Dream" by Barbara Kopple, and the Emmy-winning "The Civil War" by Ken Burns were among the winners of Distinguished Achievement Awards from the International Documentary Assn. on Friday night. The IDA also honored Bill Moyers of PBS' "Bill Moyers' Journal" with the Career Achievement Award for documentaries on social, political and international issues over the last 20 years.