January 22, 1987 |
In an attempt to mount a new documentary series for public television, four non-commercial stations have set out to raise funds for what they're calling "The American Documentary." The stations in the consortium are the same ones that presently produce public television's "American Playhouse" drama series: KCET Channel 28 in Los Angeles, WNET in New York, WGBH in Boston and South Carolina Educational Television.
June 2, 1988 |
CBS is airing "The Wall Within" tonight. This one-hour "CBS Reports" special is about Vietnam veterans still mentally suffering from the war. It's an old-fashioned kind of TV documentary. "The Wall Within" is not a quick-hit, hot-topic production. According to Dan Rather, who anchors that kind of effort on CBS's "48 Hours," tonight's special, which he also anchors and reports, was 14 months in the making. And it's only the first "CBS Reports" this year.
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.
February 16, 2007 |
Two French documentaries feting the lives of reclusive designers Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld shore up the myths that surround their subjects but shed little light on the men behind the fashions. Fawning celebrities, strutting models and square-jawed assistants featured in Rodolphe Marconi's "Lagerfeld Confidential" lend a dose of glamour to the proceedings at this year's Berlin Film Festival.
April 14, 1992 |
Documentaries may attract only a small sliver of the moviegoing audience, but they raise a welcome ruckus. We've been through the annual ritual in which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences neglected to nominate many of the year's best. We've heard the recent plaints from disgruntled participants in Barbara Kopple's "American Dream." What may be lost in all the accusations and arcana is a larger fact: Documentaries now are often the most exciting of films.
May 8, 1989 |
Beginning tonight, Bill Moyers will spend 13 weeks looking back at some of his previous documentaries for CBS and PBS. But fans need not worry: He hasn't retired to a rocking chair to ponder things that once were. Moyers will return in the fall with two new series and a special for PBS. The retrospective, "Moyers: A Second Look" (which will air at 10 p.m. on KCET Channel 28), consists of 3 of his "CBS Reports" and 10 of the various shows he has done for PBS, spanning 18 years of his work.
February 20, 2009 |
The documentary category is where Hollywood wears its conscience on its sleeve, and this Oscar season's nominees have the politically engaged members of the industry buzzing more than usual over the range and variety of topics. Partly, that's because the motion picture academy's recent documentary winners have seemed more relevant -- and, more important, influential -- than usual.
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.