3. Oscar’s Docs – an overview thus far…

Before I started attending the Academy’s Oscar’s Docs series I thought I would have something to say every week. And…surprisingly…I haven’t. We are now closer to the end of the series than the beginning and I’m still leaving the screenings trying to think of something to write about besides the plain ole history.

The series started with 1941 the first year of the Oscar for documentary film. Docs had become en vogue due to the war and nearly every winning and nominated film from 1941 to 1948 was about the war from one country’s perspective or another. I don’t consider myself a history buff and maybe if I were I could find a better context to put these films.

1949 it started to get a little more interesting, not just like watching newsreels but an actual story. And now with 1951-1954 under my belt I am well versed in the nature documentary and the Walt Disney nature documentary to boot.

Thus far it has been an interesting ride and due to the fluid definition of documentary over the years the series has included esoteric animation (Neighbours, 1952), films that are 100% reenacted (Benjy, 1951) and unbelievable bias and politically incorrectness (Design for Death, 1947). There are 3 more weeks to cover 1955-1960 and then I’ll have seen the first twenty years of Academy Award winning documentaries. I have to “thank the Academy” for that.

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