Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

"To Labors of Love": Cinema Eye Honors Art Docs

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik March 19, 2008 at 2:56AM

"To Labors of Love": Cinema Eye Honors Art Docs
0

While most of the film industry doesn't need another awards event, it was clear from last night's Cinema Eye nonfiction honors that the unsung and aesthetic-minded nonfiction filmmaker deserves a little celebration, a few extra pats on the back, and a community to help them in these dire times -- when both funding and distribution are drying up. Cutting loose, doc filmmaker and event co-organizer AJ Schnack ("Kurt Cobain: About A Son") set the tone early with an impressive musical rendition of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" with lyrics inspired by Tony Kaye's abortion film "Lake of Fire." Clearly, this was a room full of trusted colleagues, where anything was welcome -- although Barbara Kopple's enthusiastic climactic appearance drew some nervous titters.

Even so, Cinema Eye -- named after the equally kooky excitable "Kino Eye" manifestos of the Russian experimental filmmaker Dziga Vertov ("Everyone who cares for his art seeks the essence of his own technique" ) -- deserves support. Driven solely by art, not by commerce or self-promotion, the awards seek to offer validation to those who need it most: Working on the margins, stringing togething financing piecemeal and struggling for years at a time on labors of love that have no obvious payday or plaudits at the end, these films and filmmakers deserve a night to admire their own artistic accomplishments. Docs, often shunned as second-class citizens to narrative filmmakers, it was noted last night, are not even recognized by the guilds. Maybe with a little pressure, the American Society of Cinematographers could add a nonfiction category.

Last night's big winner, Jason Kohn's brilliant epic essay on corruption and violence in Brazil, "Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)," which I was happy to have seen garner major prizes, nearly vanished after taking multiple awards at Sundance '07. While fledgling distributor City Lights Pictures is certainly proud of their acquistion, they had no idea what to do with it and the film languished briefly in the theatrical marketplace. Let's hope the Cinema Eye honors can help the film find an audience on DVD and will continue to give a helping hand to the next wave of ambitious kinoks.

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am