Friday, November 20, 2009

The Documentary Shortlist

As many already know, on Nov. 18, the Academy released their list of the 15 documentary features that will be vying for nominations at this year's Oscars. The group was culled from a pool of 89 eligible '09 docs. The (almost) nominees are:

The Beaches of Agnes, Agnès Varda, director
Burma VJ, Anders Østergaard, director
The Cove, Louie Psihoyos, director
Every Little Step, James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, directors
Facing Ali, Pete McCormack, director
Food, Inc., Robert Kenner, director
Garbage Dreams, Mai Iskander, director
Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, Mark N. Hopkins, director
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, directors
Mugabe and the White African, Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, directors
Sergio, Greg Barker, director
Soundtrack for a Revolution, Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, directors
Under Our Skin, Andy Abrahams Wilson, director
Valentino: The Last Emperor, Matt Tyrnauer, director
Which Way Home, Rebecca Cammisa, director

Now comes the part where I admit how depressing such announcements can be. No, I'm not crushed by the omission of Anvil! The Story of Anvil, We Live in Public and Capitalism: A Love Story (as many are), I'm reminded of how many 2009 movies I've yet to see, something I've complained about before.

Of the titles in this list, I've seen...well, let's just say I'm familiar with Robert Kenner's work. The ones that also appear on my must-see list -- aka my "God, give me some free time so I can actually watch these movies" list -- are The Beaches of Agnes, The Cove, Soundtrack to a Revolution and Valentino: The Last Emperor, which I hope will also find themselves on the short-shortlist.

I'll admit I'm a little peeved to see R.J. Cutler's The September Issue out of the running, having adored the film and chatted with the director back in...September. And I'm sure a certain editrix is none too pleased...

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