2012 Oscar Nominations Announced; HUGO and THE ARTIST Lead the Pack

by     Posted 2 years, 221 days ago

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The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.

There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.

Jason Baldwin PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 227 days ago

Almost 20 years in the making, HBO Documentary Films’ Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, from filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, tells the story of the West Memphis 3, from their 1993 murder convictions to their August 2011 release from prison, as the result of an Alford plea (an arrangement where they would agree to plead guilty while asserting their innocence). While the terrible murders of three innocent young children was tragic enough, the fact that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley spent so many years behind bars for a crime they didn’t commit made it one of the most notorious child murder cases in U.S. history.

During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, the now 34-year-old and free Jason Baldwin talked about what made him agree to be a part of these HBO documentaries, seeing these filmmakers really become advocates for this case and their freedom, maintaining such unflinching optimism in the face of such a horribly tragic situation, getting letters in prison from so many supporters, reveling in the ability to now do all the things he didn’t get the chance to before he was convicted, and his hopes for the future. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Director Bruce Sinofsky PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 228 days ago

After nearly 20 years behind bars, it was beginning to look like Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, also known as the West Memphis 3, might never get the justice that they deserve. But, as a result of an Alford plea (an arrangement where they would agree to plead guilty while asserting their innocence), they were allowed to walk free in August 2011. Having documented the entire history, from arrest to trial to conviction, filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were finally able to add their release from prison to HBO Documentary Films’ Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the conclusion of the award-winning trilogy that spawned a worldwide movement to free the three men wrongly convicted of murdering three young children in West Memphis, Arkansas.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, co-director Bruce Sinofsky talked about the decision to stick with the case until the three men were finally released from prison, not knowing that would take 18 years, the frustration over learning the terms of that release, what he thinks of the other films that are set to be made on the subject, his hopes for what these three men make of their lives now, and that he would like to see them exonerated. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Directors Guild Award Documentary Nominees Announced; includes PROJECT NIM, THE INTERRUPTERS, and Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison Doc

by     Posted 2 years, 233 days ago

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On the heels of announcing their nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2011, the Directors Guild of America have announced their nominations for Best Documentary Director.  The nominees are Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky for Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Steve James for The Interrupters, James Marsh for Project Nim, Richard Press for Bill Cunningham New York, and Martin Scorsese for George Harrison: Living in the Material World.  Scorsese also picked up DGA nomination this year for Hugo, which brings his total number of nominations to ten.  He previously won for The Departed.

While I’m rooting for Project Nim, this is a fine collection of nominees.  It’s much better than the Academy’s short list, which only includes Project Nim, Paradise Lost 3, and Bill Cunningham New York.  The winner of the DGA’s 2011 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary will be announced January 28th.

Director Joe Berlinger PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 233 days ago

It’s been almost 20 years since directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky started on their journey to tell the story of three brutally murdered children, left in the Robin Hood Hills of West Memphis, Arkansas, and the three teenagers who were held responsible. Arriving on the scene just days after the 1993 arrests, the filmmakers initially assumed they were making a documentary about guilty teenagers. But, after embedding themselves in the community prior to the 1994 trials, they came to question the guilt of the West Memphis 3 and, by the time the trials were over, they were convinced that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were the victims of a modern-day witch hunt. Now, HBO is premiering Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the conclusion of the award-winning trilogy that tells the complete story of one of the most notorious child murder cases in U.S. history. This time around, the filmmakers chronicled stunning new developments that culminated in the unexpected release of all three men in August 2011, freeing them from prison, and Echols from Death Row, after more than 18 years.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, co-director/producer Joe Berlinger talked about why they decided to make a third film, approaching this as a comprehensive look at the entire case and its developments along the way while including new footage for those who had seen the two previous films, how disappointing it is that the state of Arkansas doesn’t have the courage to just admit that they made a mistake, how fascinating it was to see so many people have a change of heart about their guilt, and that he has marked most of his professional and personal life by this case, having been involved with it for so long. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

15 Documentaries Advance for the 84th Annual Academy Awards

by     Posted 2 years, 288 days ago

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Now that the Oscars officially have a host and a producer, we can get down to focusing on the films that will compete for the awards. Out of a pool of 124 qualified documentary pictures vying for contention, 15 have advanced through the voting process. This list will be further whittled down by the Documentary Branch Screening Committee to a selection of five nominees. Some of the 15 films include:  Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, about the continuing legal battles of the West Memphis Three (3); Project Nim, a study of Nim, the chimpanzee who was raised as a human child to allow researchers to discern the differences between men and beasts; and Buck, the story of Buck Brannaman, the real life Horse Whisperer. Notably absent from the list: the extremely well-received Formula-1 racing doc Senna. Hit the jump to see the rest.

TIFF 2011: PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY Review

by     Posted 2 years, 352 days ago

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Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is a tricky movie to review. Documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have been following the unjust arrest and conviction of the West Memphis Three since the initial high profile trial and their films have undeniably played a major role in the three men’s release from prison in August (after spending half of their lives behind bars for a crime they didn’t commit). This third film in the series brings everything up to date with one rather big exception: the sudden release occurred three days after Berlinger and Sinofsky completed work on their film. Apparently the directors are already working on a coda that will be added to the film for the New York Film Festival and fall release, so the version of the movie screening at the Toronto Film Festival is incomplete. It might not be time to judge the movie entirely just yet, but what exists at the moment is certainly a compelling continuation of the disturbing ongoing saga. Hit the jump for more.

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