August 8, 2012 |
Oscar-winning filmmakers Michael Moore ("Bowling for Columbine") and Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth") are superstars of the documentary world. But most documentarians have a difficult time getting their films into theaters. The idea of recouping the cost of their films, let alone turning a profit, is almost unheard-of. The International Documentary Assn. gives small documentaries a boost with its annual DocuWeeks Theatrical Showcase. Now in its 16th year, the program helps feature-length and short documentaries qualify for Oscar consideration by giving them limited theatrical runs in Los Angeles and New York, and shines a spotlight on films that distributors and audiences might never otherwise hear of or see. The L.A. lineup, which opens Friday and continues through Aug. 30 at the Laemmle NoHo7, features 17 feature-length documentaries and two shorts.
September 9, 1989 |
PBS' formation of an internal "program council" to review potentially controversial programming has raised concerns that the public-television network will shy away from opinionated documentaries in the wake of the firestorm over "Days of Rage." But executives insist that there is no connection between the five-man council, which was quietly formed three months ago, and the pro-Palestinian documentary that aired this week.
September 11, 1992 |
ABC, long the ratings leader in the evening-news competition, also came out on top in the Emmy Awards for news and documentaries, winning 15 statuettes one more than CBS (10) and NBC (four) combined. In ceremonies Wednesday night in New York honoring programs broadcast in 1991, ABC received five of its Emmys for coverage of the Persian Gulf War and its aftermath.
August 12, 1988 |
Tom Seidman has almost completed his documentary about the city's homeless, titled "Lost Angeles." He spent months befriending and mingling with his subjects, then many more months editing his 40 hours of footage into 55 minutes of compelling video, lacking only a final cut that would include polishing and production credits. And now, a year later, his documentary is homeless, too.
July 12, 1988 |
"Why," asks rising NBC News star Connie Chung, vacantly, "do Americans dread getting older?" Try fear of dying. In "Everybody's Doing It" at 10 tonight on Channels 4, 36 and 39, Chung examines aging in the fashion of a slickly packaged ratings sweeps minidoc. Instead of getting involved, you feel like you're window shopping. TV's lamentable documentary drought has surely ended, given this summer's first-run documentaries of contrasting looks and shapes that are surfacing like prickly heat.
September 2, 1989 |
The producer of a highly controversial pro-Palestinian documentary slated to air next week found herself embroiled in still more controversy this week when conflicting reports of her involvement with an organization supported by Arabs began to surface. Jo Franklin-Trout, producer of "Days of Rage: The Young Palestinians," scheduled for broadcast Wednesday at 9 p.m.
January 9, 1989 |
From matters of war and peace in the nuclear age to the scourge of AIDS, from an examination of "secret intelligence" and American spying to the state of learning in the nation's schools, from an inside look at the "real" Ronald Reagan and a Congress about to celebrate its 200th birthday to questions of public and personal ethics, the coming months on public television promise a heavy dose of news documentaries.
October 5, 1988 |
Does the TV box control the ballot box? That nagging question surfaced again in Monday's PBS documentary "The Prime-Time President." It rises anew in tonight's televised debate between vice presidential candidates Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle, where the small screen is being counted on to project the big picture. And it's the heart of a 90-minute documentary titled "The Made-for-TV Election," which, although pertinent, powerful and persuasive, may never appear on TV.
March 29, 1990 |
As the Bush Administration attempts to beam its version of world events into Cuba through a satellite transmission called TV-Marti, a group of high-tech progressives in the United States is beaming its view of the propaganda war to American homes.
January 11, 1990 |
A lot of years ago, I wrote a piece for the Saturday Evening Post about a bachelor factory worker in Chicago named Joe Swedie who used every cent he earned not required for basic living to rent movies and show them to kids in hospitals. He discovered what a joyous relief from pain and despair this provided sick children when, as a GI in France in World War II, he took his company projector and films into French hospitals.