Tag Archives: 13th

How Political Should (Documentary) Movie Reviews Get?

The other night—over a round of drinks, admittedly—I engaged in a lively and animated debate over certain political issues facing America today. This debate, held with a good friend of mine, stemmed off of a discussion of a film that I had seen that day.

The film was a documentary by the name of I Am Not Your Negro. Talk of this and another politically-charged doc from last year, 13th, sparked a conversation that I did not foresee, and it made me think about the nature of documentary criticism.

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In my review of I Am Not Your Negro, I lauded the film for reminding U.S. audiences of James Baldwin’s poignant words, saying that they are Continue reading How Political Should (Documentary) Movie Reviews Get?

What to Expect From the Directors Guild Awards 2017

The Directors Guild Awards (DGAs) are this Saturday, February 4. Ignoring television, as I do not watch it, there are three film categories that could act as precursors to the Academy Awards.

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Surprisingly, Ava DuVernay did not receive a nomination in the documentary category for 13th. Without this competition, there is no feasible scenario where Continue reading What to Expect From the Directors Guild Awards 2017

Why O.J.: Made in America Will Win the Oscar for Best Documentary

After watching the nearly eight hour ESPN documentary O.J.: Made in America, I decided not to give it a review. Perhaps it was due to the shear exhaustion. Now that the Oscar nominations are out and O.J. is in there, I feel this analysis can act as a de facto review.

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It may seem jarring that a television documentary miniseries is being considered for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. The series qualified for these awards season film categories by having Continue reading Why O.J.: Made in America Will Win the Oscar for Best Documentary

Academy Awards Predictions 2017 – Best Documentary Feature

I am fascinated by the 2017 Academy Award Best Documentary race. In a normal year, a film like 13th would be the clear favorite. It is adherent to the talking-head documentary formula will having important and informative subject matter.

But then there’s ESPN…

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Best Documentary Film:

Continue reading Academy Awards Predictions 2017 – Best Documentary Feature

2017 Academy Awards Nomination Predictions – Best Documentary

I have always grappled with reviewing documentaries. The cinematic elements are often time more muted than in fiction films, although there are exceptions to this of course. Documentaries are defined by formula. It is nice, then, to see documentaries that go above and beyond the simple formula.

Here are my picks for the Best Documentary nominations.

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Best Documentary

Continue reading 2017 Academy Awards Nomination Predictions – Best Documentary

13th (2016) Movie Review

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolished slavery, effectively guaranteeing every American citizen be free. That is to say, every citizen who is not a criminal.

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Ava DuVernay’s historical documentary makes pertinent use of this word. With every mention of the word out of interviewees’ mouths, the term “CRIMINAL” flashes on the screen. And with each instance, Continue reading 13th (2016) Movie Review