Tag Archives: citizenfour

“Citizenfour” comes out on top at the IDA awards – Robert Redford wins Career Achievement Award

More news on the awards front this week direct from The Wrap, and it’s good news for documentary buffs.

Citizenfour, the Laura Poitras documentary concerning Edward Snowden and NSA spying, won the Best Feature award at the International Documentary Association’s IDA Documentary Awards.

Special mention should go to Robert Redford for winning the Career Achievement Award, in recognition of his non-fiction films and his founding of the Sundance Institute and its Documentary Film Program. When asked about the inspiration for his continuing work in documentaries, he mentioned the 1964 documentary Point of Order as being a transforming experience that made him realise the value of documentary film-making. A better endorsement of a film there is not.

I’m not a fan of award news mixed into paragraphs, so here it is list-style!

BEST FEATURE: Citizenfour
Director: Laura Poitras

BEST SHORT: Tashi and the Monk
Directors: Andrew Hinton, Johnny Burke

BEST CURATED SERIES: Independent Lens
Executive Producer: Sally Jo Fifer

BEST LIMITED SERIES: Time of Death
Executive Producers: Cynthia Childs, Dan Cutforth, Casey Kriley, Jane Lipsitz, Alexandra Lipsitz

BEST EPISODIC SERIES: Our America With Lisa Ling
Executive Producers: Amy Bucher, Gregory Henry, Lisa Ling, David Shadrack Smith

BEST SHORT FORM SERIES:
Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
Executive Producer: Alex Blumberg

DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY AWARD:
 My Dad’s a Rocker
Director: Zuxin Hou

HUMANITAS DOCUMENTARY AWARD:
 Limited Partnership
Director: Thomas G. Miller

PARE LORENTZ AWARD: Tashi and the Monk
Directors: Andrew Hinton, Johnny Burke

ABCNEWS VIDEOSOURCE AWARD:
 1971
Director: Johanna Hamilton

CREATIVE RECOGNITION AWARD WINNERS

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Hatuey Viveros Lavielle, Elevator
BEST EDITING: Don Kleszy, Last Days in Vietnam
BEST MUSIC: Nick Urata, Alfred and Jakobine
BEST WRITING: John Maloof & Charlie Siskel, Finding Vivian Maier

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
 Robert Redford
PIONEER AWARD:
 Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato
PRESERVATION AND SCHOLARSHIP AWARD:
 Rithy Panh
EMERGING DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER AWARD:
 Darius Clark Monroe

An impressive list at no mistake. many of the feature length documentaries are also on the 15-strong short-list for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, so this could be an indication of how that nomination is going to play out.

Did your favourite documentary film/series win?

Time releases it’s top 10 movie lists for 2014

If there’s one thing I’ll say about Time Magazine, they are a thorough bunch. So it’s always intriguing to see what they make of the movies that have come out over this year. They have a pretty comprehensive list entertainment lists ranging from Best Movie Performances to Worst Songs to Best Plays and Musicals. We’ll just be looking at the movie categories here, but do take a look at the whole selection if you have a moment – after we go through the important ones at first. Check them out:

Top 10 Best Movies

1.The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Boyhood 
3. The LEGO Movie
4. Lucy
5. Goodbye to Language
6. Jodorowsky’s Dune
7. Nightcrawler
8. Citizenfour
9. Wild Tales
10. Birdman

Top 10 Worst Movies

1.Blended
2. A Million Ways to Die in the West
3. Men, Women & Children
4. Walk of Shame
5. Let’s Be Cops
6. The Legend of Hercules
7. Winter’s Tale
8. The Nut Job
9. Transcendence
10. Hateship Loveship

Top 10 Best Movie Performances

1.Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
2. Julianne Moore, Still Alice
3. Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up
4. Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night
5. Eva Green, 300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
6. Jack O’Connell, Unbroken
7. David Oyelowo, Selma
8. Essie Davis, The Babadook
9. Jenny Slate, Obvious Child
10. Tilda Swinton, Only Lovers Left Alive

Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game": Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”: Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Not a bad set of lists there. A few surprises to see on the Best list like Lucy and Goodbye to language, not to mention a good portion of documentaries like Citizenfour and Jodorowsky’s Dune. as for the Worst, no real surprises there, but a very good way of picking a few scabs (I really had forgotten how much I disliked Blended). Between the Best Movies and the Best Performances there are a lot of dependable Oscar hopefuls stretching over a few categories. Good to see Essie Davis get some credit for her role in The Babadook and Tilda Swinton for Only Lovers Left AliveI’ve been lucky enough to see most of the films on the list, and I would strongly recommend on them. Not the Worst list so much, although if you’re looking for a masochistic giggle this Christmas, see how long you can watch Transcendence without shouting at the screen.

What’s your favourite movie on this list? Any of your favourites not make the grade?

Academy announces documentary shortlist

Deadline has revealed that, Ahead of the final Oscar announcements on January 15th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its short-list of the documentaries eligible for the Best Documentary nomination.

The original list of submissions was extensive at a hefty 134 titles, but that list was cut down to just 15. The material covered is diverse to say the least, ranging from unemployment (The Overnighters) to Edward Snowden (Citizenfour) to gay marriage (The Case Against 8) to Roger Ebert (Life Itself), with a whole mess of great docs in-between.

Here’s the list as it currently stands:

Art and Craft – Purple Parrot Films
The Case against 8 – Day in Court
Citizen Koch – Elsewhere Films
Citizenfour – Praxis Films
Finding Vivian Maier – Ravine Pictures
The Internet’s Own Boy – Luminant Media
Jodorowsky’s Dune – City Film
Keep On Keepin’ On – Absolute Clay Productions
The Kill Team – f/8 filmworks
Last Days in Vietnam – Moxie Firecracker Films
Life Itself – Kartemquin Films and Film Rites
The Overnighters – Mile End Films West
The Salt of the Earth – Decia Films
Tales of the Grim Sleeper – Lafayette Film
Virunga – Grain Media

Jodorowsky’s Dune is a nice one to see make the short-list, although that may just be my nerd senses a-tinglin’. Hopefully the final nomination list will still have a good dose of diversity to it. There were a lot of great documentaries this year and all the titles listed here are terrific accomplishments. Most are also available on DVD and on Video On Demand.

Did your favourite title make the cut? Who’s your pick for the Oscar?

Gotham Awards – All the Winners

The Gotham Independant Film Awards made a lot of people very happy on Monday. Boyhood, Birdman, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, Under the Skin and Dear White People all had multiple nominations, and the good thing about this particularly ceremony is its unpredictability, if not for its nominees then for its winners. Last year Inside Llewyn Davis beat 12 Years a Slave for Best Feature, and relative unknown Fruitvale Station took home Breakthrough Director and Breakthrough Actor for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan respectively.

I’m not gonna mix all the winners up in a few paragraphs and make you pick them out, because that’s not cool. So here are the winners of the 2014 Gotham Awards. Have a look!

Best Feature

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — WINNER
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Love Is Strange
Under the Skin

Best Actress

Julianne Moore in Still Alice — WINNER
Patricia Arquette — Boyhood
Gugu Mbatha-Raw — Beyond the Lights
Scarlett Johansson — Under the Skin
Mia Wasikowska — Tracks

Best Actor

Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — WINNER

Bill Hader — The Skeleton Twins
Ethan Hawke — Boyhood
Oscar Isaac — A Most Violent Year
Miles Teller — Whiplash

(Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum received a special Gotham Jury Award from the Best Actor nominating panel for their collective performances in Foxcatcher.)

Steve Carell accepting his prize...the award I mean, not Meryl Streep.
Steve Carell accepting his prize…the award I mean, not Meryl Streep.

Best Documentary

CITIZENFOUR — WINNER                                                                                Actress                                                                                                                                  Life Itself                                                                                                              Manakamana                                                                                                                          Point and Shoot

Spotlight on Women Filmmakers “Live the Dream” Grant

Chloé Zhao, director — Songs My Brothers Taught Me — WINNER
Garrett Bradley, director, Below Dreams 
Claire Carré, director, Embers

Independent Film Audience Award

Boyhood — WINNER

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ana Lily Amirpour in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night — WINNER
James Ward Byrkit — Coherence
Dan Gilroy — Nightcrawler
Eliza Hittman — It Felt Like Love
Justin Simien — Dear White People

Breakthrough Actor
Tessa Thompson in Dear White People — WINNER

Riz Ahmed — Nightcrawler
Macon Blair — Blue Ruin
Ellar Coltrane — Boyhood
Joey King — Wish I Was Here
Jenny Slate — Obvious Child

Phew, well there we have it. Birdman was the only film to win multiple awards and it was a relief to see Foxcatcher take away a special award in the end. It was a good mix of winners and the nominations overall reflect perfectly where the real talent was hiding this year.

What did you think of the winners? Any travesties of justice?