The Shallows

The more I think about it, the Documentary Short List omission that’s growing more and more in terms of unjustness (and I’m sorry for not thinking of this right off the top) is the one for Gonzalo Arijon‘s Stranded, which opened theatrically last month.

In my heart the emotional import of this film is second only to James Marsh‘s Man on Wire. It was omitted, I’m guessing, for the usual pedestrian taste-bud reasons. The blue-hairs figured that the Andes plane-crash soccer-team cannibalism story of the early ’70s had already been done a couple of times before and why jump into the whole thing again? And because the image of starved young men eating strips of human flesh in order to survive unnerved them.

  • I couldn’t agree more. It’s an incredibly penetrating documentary. And yes, while the story has been told several times before it’s never been told quite like this in deeply intimate and personal detail. What these people went through is insane and to hear them recount it all over again is that much more shocking and unbelievable. At least Bill Maher’s facile tripe didn’t make it in before Stranded, that would have been extremely insulting.

  • EDouglas

    It was probably omitted because it has already played on television, just like the Roman Polanski movie. It’s tough luck but their television sales probably was much higher than what they made in their theatrical runs… they’re still eligible for critics and other groups including NBR, HFPA, etc though I doubt many people saw this (Zeitgeist did offer screeners)

  • shawn

    Not to pick nits, but they were rugby players: much heartier (and meatier) breed.

  • Ignoring the TV screenings in France and Germany for a moment (which unequivocally did kill its Oscar hopes), the film wouldn’t have qualified for this year’s Oscars anyway because it didn’t open in Los Angeles and New York within the proper timeframe (September 1, 2007 to August 31, 2008). But then, not every documentary filmmaker has Oscar dreams. Most just want to have their work seen by as many people as possible, by any means necessary.

    Keep up those Quixotic battles, Wells.

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