The new documentary De Palma explores the career of legendary director Brian De Palma as he sets Hollywood to rights . Check out the trailer after the jump.
2015 has been an amazing year for documentaries even this early in the game: so many accomplished and upcoming film-makers with hard-hitting projects that tackle difficult and at times dangerous subject matter. It’s only inevitable that documentaries like The Hunting Ground and Batkid will find their way to Sundance. But that’s not the end of it, oh no. There is another incredible documentary that has found its way into the festival. Well, incredible may be an abbreviation of incredibly weird. Finders Keepers is one of the many films competing in the U.S. Documentary Competition. What sets it apart from the rest? It tells the story of a custody battle over a severed human leg. You heard me right. Before I say anything else, have a look at the trailer, fresh from Deadline. Go on, I double dare you!
You would be entirely forgiven for thinking this was fake. Even the trailer plays out a little like a mockumentary. But it’s all true. The film is directed by Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel, two men who are also famous for having the coolest names in the world…at least by my reckoning. The battle over the leg comes down to two men: Shannon Whisnant, the one who found the leg in a barbecue that he bought at an auction; and John Wood, the guy who was originally attached to it and got separated from it in a plane crash. The film will premiere on January 27th at the MARC in Park City.
If you want to find out more about the film and the battle for a long lost leg, you can check out the Finders Keepers page on…wait for it…Kickstarter.
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:
Director: Thomas G. Miller
PARE LORENTZ AWARD: Tashi and the Monk
Directors: Andrew Hinton, Johnny Burke
ABCNEWS VIDEOSOURCE AWARD:
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:
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?
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!
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — WINNER
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Love Is Strange
Under the Skin
Julianne Moore in Still Alice — WINNER
Patricia Arquette — Boyhood
Gugu Mbatha-Raw — Beyond the Lights
Scarlett Johansson — Under the Skin
Mia Wasikowska — Tracks
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.)
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
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?