Saturday, November 10, 2012

2012 - What a Great Year for Documentaries!

While I waited for my next screening at DocNYC to start, I took out my phone earlier today and tweeted something about it being such a great year for documentary film, that the Academy must allow for 15 nominees and 5 wins. Alas, if I ran the world!

That prompted some further discussion and a request for supporting evidence which I am more than happy to provide.

I've seen, at last count, about 90 documentary films this year - mostly at film festivals, so it's safe to say the bulk of them haven't been released yet. Do I make a list of just those that were shown in the US so far this year? Sure, OK. I'll do that, even though it excludes my two favorites.

So here's the best of what's come out this year, according to me.

The Invisible War
Planet of Snail
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
How To Survive a Plague
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
Beauty is Embarrassing
The Revisionaries

And while I wouldn't call them personal favorites (perhaps only by virtue of the crowded playing field) - also very good and totally worthy of praise would be Searching for Sugarman, The Queen of Versailles, The Impostor, West of Memphis, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, Chasing Ice.

And while I'm thinking of it, I also really enjoyed Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Health Care.

The movies I expect will be on my list next year, providing they are released:

The Act of Killing
Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story
Vivan Las Antipodas!
The Source
Rewind This! (Just kidding - I haven't seen that one yet, though I have no doubt it's a masterpiece)

I'll probably see another 20 docs this year (12 more this week alone) so I wouldn't call this my definitive "best docs of 2012 list" just yet.

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