Thirteen, To Be Exact

With a list of 29 contenders, Scott Feinberg is figuring 2010 is the best year ever for documentaries. The list of serious award contenders is much shorter, of course. The Tillman Story, Restrepo, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Countdown to Zero, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Smash His Camera, Waking Sleeping Beauty, Tabloid, Inside Job, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Freakonomics and two Feinberg didn’t mention — Werner Herzog‘s 3D cave-painting doc, and Thom Zimny‘s Bruce Springsteen doc, The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town‘?

29 thoughts on “Thirteen, To Be Exact

  1. Eran on said:

    Freakonomics will have a premier on HDNet channel on September 29th at 8pm, before it hits theaters.

    Gasland is as fascinating as documentaries gets.

  2. Why is Waiting for Superman not an award contender? Oscar-winning director, a topic of similar complexity and heft, and with a perspective on that topic that’s gaining in acceptance among the American public. Also, it’s got kids struggling to overcome their circumstances, which is second only to the Holocaust in award-ready thematic material…

  3. JOAN RIVERS and GIFT SHOP did welll, but profit is a relative term for docs. A rising tide of Michael Moore, INCONVENIENT TRUTH, and RELIGULOUS doesn’t lift alll boats.It would be good to see the excellent TILLMAN STORY reach an audience; I wonder if the Spitzer doc isn’t already dated, given his metamorphosis into pundit.

  4. I haven’t seen the Rivers doc; she repels me. But hasn’t she been the worst thing about going to award show over the last decade? Hasn’t she earned very negative associations with Oscar voters?

  5. I’m guessing “Have You Heard from Johannesburg” doesn’t qualify because it hasn’t been shown in a capitalist theater.

  6. i’m hoping that rory kennedy’s ‘the fence’ gets some kind of theatrical release before it airs on hbo next month…it really deserves to be on that list….

  7. The Tillman Story and The Oath for me. Also I am really looking forward to Who Is Harry Nilsson ( And Why Is Everybody talking About Him )

    That guy has a legendary and interesting life story. What a voice too ! How about the lost year where he was best pals with John Lennon, Keith Moon and Ringo Starr, and they got hammered every night and raged upon LA’s bar scene for one funny example.

  8. I think the Herzog is going to qualify, but the Springsteen is almost certainly not eligible. Since it’ll be on HBO in early October, it would need to have screened for a week in NY and LA by early August (a 60-day window before TV) to meet AMPAS requirements. HBO is very good at stealth bookings to qualify their docs, but word would have gotten out if the Springsteen doc had already run for a week in those two cities.

  9. Soderbergh’s Spaulding Gray doc has quietly slipped into a theater outside Los Angeles, I forget where exactly. So I guess you can throw that into the mix, too.

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