In February, I dedicated a post to a discussion of the amazing news that not only one but two movies in serious contention for many Academy Awards this year dealt with the worlds of silent movies: The Artist and Hugo. As it turns out, these two films were the big winners of this year’s ceremony. Strike up a win for visual storytelling and the legacy of the pioneers of cinema, both featured in Chapter 2 of Moving Images!
For study of non-fiction film, this year’s feature winner is sure to be a favorite for use by many educators: Undefeated, directed by Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin. (I should add that this win was a bit of a shocker, as many had picked Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, who also made another classic contemporary documentary, Brother’s Keeper, as well as a documentary about Metallica; others picked Pina or Hell and Back Again, but it was the feel-good sports movie that won in the end.)
While we’re on the topic of documentaries and the Oscars, one of the most stirring moments of the Academy Awards in recent years occurred in 2008 for the Original Song Award for “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of The Swell Season. Since then, directors Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis made The Swell Season, a documentary about Hansard and Irglova’s professional and personal lives, which a number of critics consider to be one of the best movies ever about music-making and the life of a couple.
For great moments from this year’s Oscars, how about the winners for Best Animated Short, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, who during their acceptance speech served as a better comedy team than even old pros Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell. They won for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which you can watch here.
Also, to return to a celebration of award-winning documentary filmmakers, you can check out my Chapter 6 Close-Up interview of editor Deborah Hoffmann for many sharp, subtle insights and enlightening angles on the many challenges and particulars of the editing process and profession.
And one last note: as a follow-up to the earlier post about Super Bowl commercials, here is a page on the Adland.tv site that presents 40 Years of Super Bowl Commercials — very interesting material for analyses of trends in consumer behavior, cultural norms, and advertising styles, among other media topics!