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.
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?
In archive footage, we see at the beginning of I Am Not Your Negro an interview with the subject of the documentary: writer James Baldwin. The interviewer, when addressing with Baldwin the plight of the black man in American during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, he says “Is it at once getting better and still hopeless?” To which Baldwin responds, quite simply, that there is no hope to it.
I Am Not Your Negro is a literary chronicle set to motion through photographs, film clips, and sweeping landscape shots. The raw power of Baldwin’s words is something Continue reading I Am Not Your Negro (2017) Movie Review
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.
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
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…
Best Documentary Film:
Continue reading Academy Awards Predictions 2017 – Best Documentary Feature
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.
Continue reading 2017 Academy Awards Nomination Predictions – Best Documentary