Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Kurt Cobain About a Son" Director Laments Academy Doc Choices

Just three months ago, as filmmakers gathered at the Arclight Theatre in Los Angeles, the coming Oscar season seemed remarkably clear cut. There was already a front runner and a likely winner: David Sington's IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON.

In an ordinary year, the failure of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to name a film like SHADOW to its Shortlist would be a fairly major story. But this year, it's but one film from a long list of omissions. Singularly, each film is a head scratcher, perhaps even a shock. Yet, each is also probably something that you could dismiss with a single line and a shake of the head. "I can't believe THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK isn't on that list" or "I kind of thought they'd skip over KING OF KONG, but still...".

But as word began to leak last week about which films had not been named to the Academy Shortlist and, later, which films had, emails and text messages and phone conversations flew with words like "sad", "disgusted", "appalled" and "abomination". The feeling of anger and despair was not based in the exclusion of a single film but in a whole group of films, many of which pushed creative and stylistic boundaries or marked the arrival of a major new talent.

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