The Academy would do well to expand its recognition of nonfiction.
Social media has come to the defense of Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart, which was disqualified from competing in the newly renamed category of Best International Feature Film, formerly known as the Best Foreign Language Film.
It’s time for us to ask why the industries with some of the loftiest ideals and the most vocal commitments to progressivism still far so far short of reasonable expectations.
The youngest of the three Oscar shorts categories, documentary shorts are both the vigorous upstarts and the weary middle-agers, questioning themselves and their creative vision in a productive midlife crisis.
In our first review of the 2015 Oscar-nominated short films, the imaginative animated shorts led things off. With less than a week to go until the awards themselves, it’s time to get cozy with their often stonier cousins, the live-action shorts.
Often lost amid the Oscar season hype parade, the Academy Award–nominated short films are the lagniappe of the affair, a little extra dose of movie popcorn to munch on and enjoy, even if you skip out on the actual award show.
The nominees for the 2015 Academy Awards are out today, and from Mr. Turner to Finding Vivian Maier, there’s a fair chance of some visual art films taking home gold-plated statuettes and adding Oscar medallions to their DVD cases.
Jehane Noujaim’s The Square is a cinéma vérité-style documentary offering an electrifyingly intimate, character-driven perspective on Egypt’s political uprising and ensuing turmoil.
The Oscars are coming up this Sunday, which can only mean one thing … Best Animated Short Film! OK, fine, I do care about Best Picture, and whether Ellen will pull off her hosting duties, but Best Animated Short Film is one of those off-the-radar categories that seems less predictable and thus more enticing.
In 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences sparked a flurry of debate when it was announced that the Best Picture category for the Oscar would be expanded from five to ten nominees. According to then-academy president Sid Ganis, the increased number would “allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize.” Much of the discussion hinged on whether a lengthened list of nominees would somehow diminish the prestige of the award — that year genre films like Avatar and District 9 were recognized alongside more traditional Oscar-bait like An Education and The Hurt Locker. The legitimacy of the Academy Awards, some critics declared, was diminished.
“When I paint, I feel happy, so it’s a good way to start my mornings, to just paint on something, and what better place than my face?” says Inocente Izucar in the Oscar-nominated documentary short Inocente, which follows the life of the 15-year-old artist. Each day she coils curls of vibrant colors with delicate accents around her eyes, and her paintings are equally vibrant with their richly colored abstract forms and playful creatures. Yet Inocente’s life is anything but, as the undocumented teenager has spent the majority of her life homeless or in shelters with her mom and two younger brothers.
The LA Times reports that chances look good for Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop to receive a nomination for an Oscar, completely destroying any ideas that Banksy is some kind of anti-establishment bandit. I’m just surprised that Banksy could pull off going even more mainstream than he already had.