Friday, October 31, 2014

134 Docs will compete for Oscar's attention...

The official list has been released for the films in contention for the Documentary Oscar this year.  134 films, to be exact!  This gives us all a list of docs to keep an eye out for and add to our Netflix queue.  Every year I tell myself that I want to really dig into this category, and last year I actually did a pretty decent job of getting at least a handful in before Oscar's big night (and one of them even wound up in my personal Best Picture ballot).  Let's see how we fare this year.

Here's the list:

“Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq”
“Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case”
“Alive Inside”
“All You Need Is Love”
“America: Imagine the World without Her”
“American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs”
“Antarctica: A Year on Ice”
“Art and Craft”
“Awake: The Life of Yogananda”

“The Barefoot Artist”
“The Battered Bastards of Baseball”
“Before You Know It”
“Bitter Honey”
“Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity”
“Botso The Teacher from Tbilisi”

“Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart”
“The Case Against 8”
“Cesar’s Last Fast”
“Citizen Koch”
“Code Black”
“Concerning Violence”
“The Culture High”

“Dancing in Jaffa”
“Death Metal Angola”
“The Decent One”
“Dinosaur 13”
“Do You Know What My Name Is?”
“The Dog”

“Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”
“Evolution of a Criminal”

“Fed Up”
“Finding Fela”
“Finding Vivian Maier”
“Food Chains”

“The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden”
“Getting to the Nutcracker”
“Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”
“Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia”
“The Great Flood”
“The Great Invisible”
“The Green Prince”

“The Hacker Wars”
“The Hadza: Last of the First”
“Hanna Ranch”
“Happy Valley”
“The Hornet’s Nest”

“I Am Ali”
“If You Build It”
“The Immortalists”
“The Internet’s Own Boy”
“Ivory Tower”

“James Cameron‘s Deepsea Challenge”
“Jodorowsky’s Dune”
“Journey of a Female Comic”

“Keep On Keepin’ On”
“Kids for Cash”
“The Kill Team”

“La Bare”
“Last Days in Vietnam”
“Last Hijack”
“The Last Patrol”
“Levitated Mass”
“Life Itself”
“Little White Lie”
“Llyn Foulkes One Man Band”

“Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles”
“Merchants of Doubt”
“Mission Blue”
“Mistaken for Strangers”
“Monk with a Camera”

“Nas: Time Is Illmatic”
“National Gallery”
“Next Goal Wins”
“Next Year Jerusalem”
“Night Will Fall”
“No Cameras Allowed”
“NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage”

“Occupy the Farm”
“The Only Real Game”
“The Overnighters”

“Particle Fever”
“Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes”
“Pelican Dreams”
“The Pleasures of Being Out of Step”
“Plot for Peace”
“Point and Shoot”
“Poverty Inc.”
“Print the Legend”
“Private Violence”

“Rabindranath Tagore – The Poet of Eternity”
“Red Army”
“Remote Area Medical”
“Rich Hill”
“The Rule”

“The Salt of the Earth”
“Shadows from My Past”
“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”
“A Small Section of the World”
“Smiling through the Apocalypse – Esquire in the 60s”
“Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”
“The Supreme Price”

“Tales of the Grim Sleeper”
“Tanzania: A Journey Within”
“This Is Not a Ball”
“Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence”
“Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People”
“True Son”
“20,000 Days on Earth”

“Under the Electric Sky”
“Underwater Dreams”


“Waiting for August”
“Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago”
“Warsaw Uprising”
“Watchers of the Sky”
“We Are the Giant”
“We Could Be King”
“Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger”
“A World Not Ours”


  1. I had no Idea so many were in the running. I'd like to follow your blog. Your posts are interesting.

    1. Thanks Cindy! I love new followers. I only started following the Doc category last year. It's crazy how many possibilities there are.

  2. A number of these are already on Netflix streaming. The Battered Bastards of Baseball, Mitt, Happy Valley, E Team. They'll also be streaming Virunga in November, which I've only heard great things about.

    Get cracking!

    1. Actually, the Happy Valley on Netflix is some other series.

    2. Mission Blue, Alive Inside, Gore Vidal, This is Not a Ball and Under the Electric Sky are there too!

    3. Oh, I'm adding everything to my queue now!!! Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Oh Please, please, please, please, please, please, please... have Jodorowsky's Dune nominated for the Best Doc Oscar. It's such a fucking good film man.

    1. I've heard such great things about it, so I'm really intrigued to check it out. I remember your glowing review as well.

  4. I have a feeling Life Itself will be getting a nomination.

    1. Despite some mixed reviews, I do feel like the nostalgia and narrative it has ATM will carry it at least into the semi-finals. That being said, I don't think it'll win.

  5. I don't have Netflix and most of these I will not be seeing. I go by some instinct as the usual themes will be nominated and unsure if some of these are in there but usually something to do with the holocaust, sports figure and/or celebrity (I saw Stritch and Welles), The earth is ready to implode due to human screw ups (you know ice caps melting, ozone layer, world ready to blow), political injustice usually in the Middle East, Africa or some other 3rd world country and people who inspire after going through something horrendous

    1. Yeah, they pretty much follow a pattern every year, but I found that exploring them last year was such a joy, so I'm excited about getting my hands on some of these!

  6. Well, I've seen Life Itself... and that's it. I'm going to try to watch more docs this year, as I won't be doing weekly CinSpec posts this time, but I'll mostly stick to the Oscar shortlist. I do want to see Jodorowsky’s Dune, though.

    1. Yeah, I saw quite a few last year, and I want to see more this year. So far, I've seen none :-(