It turned out to be a pretty great year for documentaries (at least from what I’ve seen), so if you haven’t put in the time to watch some of the Oscar nominated docs, there is still over three weeks until Oscar to do so. Meanwhile, AMPAS and MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) will be celebrating documentaries from Oscar’s past during the first two weeks of February, so once you get caught up this year’s slate of nominees, you might want to go back and catch up on some that you missed from prior years. Have a look at the official press release on the celebration after the jump.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will present “Oscar’s Docs, 1955–2002: American Stories” from February 2 through February 14 at MoMA in New York City. This annual collaboration highlights Oscar®–winning and nominated short and feature-length documentary films that explore the history, culture and politics of the United States. All prints are from the Academy Film Archive’s collection. The filmmakers will be present at several screenings (visit MoMA.org for details).
The schedule is as follows:
Sat., Feb. 2, 2 p.m.
American Dream (1990)
Barbara Kopple. This stirring film depicts the effects of a mid-1980s strike by the workers of a Hormel meatpacking plant in Austin, Minnesota. 98 min.
Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m.
Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994)
Freida Lee Mock. A profile of Maya Lin, the young artist who created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington and other politically motivated artistic creations. 105 min.
Sun., Feb. 3, 2:30 p.m.
Princeton: A Search for Answers (1973)
Julian Krainin and DeWitt Sage. At one of the world’s premiere universities, where great thinkers dare to ask simple questions, men and women are involved in the intense, exciting process of discovery-from music composition to Shakespeare to the nature of the cosmos. 28 min.
The Stone Carvers (1984)
Marjorie Hunt and Paul Wagner. A tight-knit group of Italian Americans has been working for years on the Washington Cathedral, and their dedication and spirit is evident in the way they bring inanimate stone to brilliant life. Stone carving is delicate and satisfying work, and these artists point with pride to the product of their efforts. 30 min.
The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years (1998)
Keiko Ibi. At a community theater in Manhattan, a group of senior citizens rehearse and perform an original play about their romantic lives. 37 min.
Sun., Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m.
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989)
Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Common Threads brings the AIDS epidemic into sharp personal focus through the stories of five people memorialized on the NAMES Project’s Memorial Quilt. 79 min.
Mon., Feb. 4, 7 p.m.
Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan. Marjoe is an extraordinarily charismatic young man making a living on the Christian revivalist circuit. His fiery antics in the name of the Lord are as much performance art as fire and brimstone preaching, and he’s adept at getting the faithful to part with their money. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive. 88 min.
Sat., Feb. 9, 2 p.m.
Women – for America, for the World (1986)
Vivienne Verdon-Roe. A portrait of 22 prominent American women and their commonsensical, compassionate call for an end to the nuclear arms race and a reassessment of national priorities. 30 min.
Days of Waiting (1990)
Steven Okazaki. Estelle Ishigo, one of the few Caucasians to be interned with 110,000 Japanese Americans in 1942, recorded the deprivations of the camp in her sketches and watercolors. 28 min.
Twin Towers (2002)
An elite NYPD emergency response unit, on call for a variety of extreme situations, took a heavy blow on 9/11, including the loss of Joseph Vigiano, a talented officer who had roots in public service. 34 min.
Sat., Feb. 9, 5 p.m.
The Great American Cowboy (1973)
Kieth Merrill. Focusing on two men competing for the sport’s national championship, Merrill’s film goes behind the scenes at the American Rodeo. 89 min.
Sun., Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.
The Horse with the Flying Tail (1960)
Larry Lansburgh. It’s the story of one horse’s journey to the big time. “Nautical” the golden palomino was born into poverty and put to work at a variety of jobs with no guarantee that he would be treated well. But the horse is a natural-born jumper, and fate finally steps in to give him a chance at competing in what he loves best: soaring over hurdles. 48 min.
The Flight of the Gossamer Condor (1978)
Ben Shedd. Chronicling Paul MacCready’s historic invention, construction, and ultimately successful test of the first human-powered flying machine, Shedd’s film captures the hard work, adventurous spirit, and creative thinking that went into making an impossible dream into a scientific reality. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive. 27 min.
Mon., Feb. 11, 8 p.m.
The Panama Deception (1992)
Barbara Trent. The Panama Deception documents the untold story of the December 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama-the events that led us there, the excessive use of military force, the enormity of the death and destruction, and the devastating aftermath. 91 min.
Wed., Feb. 13, 4:30 p.m.
Helen Keller in Her Story (1955)
Nancy Hamilton. Hamilton’s film tells the story of the deaf and blind disabled-rights pioneer. Preserved by Academy Film Archive. Special thanks to the American Foundation for the Blind. 53 min.
Number Our Days (1976)
Lynne Littman. Number Our Days goes inside of a community of elderly Eastern European Jews living in Venice, California. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive. 29 min.
Thurs., Feb. 14, 8 p.m.
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989)
(See Sun., Feb. 3)
MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street. For ticket information, visit MoMA.org.