Academy unveils doc shortlist
"Sicko," "Lake of Fire" in. Upsets include "The King of Kong," and "Jimmy Carter Man from Plains."
In alphabetical order, the films are:
"Autism: The Musical"
"Body of War"
"For the Bible Tells Me So"
"Lake of Fire"
"No End in Sight"
"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience"
"Please Vote for Me"
"The Price of Sugar"
"A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman"
"The Rape of Europa"
"Taxi to the Dark Side"
"White Light/Black Rain"
As filmmakers were being notified of their inclusion on the shortlist over the last few days, much speculation had broken out as to what would or would not be making the cut. The topical mix of Iraq, social issues and World War II among the chosen films is largely as expected. Perhaps the single-biggest surprise is the inclusion of "White Light/Black Rain," a documentary on the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that few seemed to have considered in play.
Even more so than what gets in, such announcements always elicit impassioned responses regarding what films were left off. Among those films whose exclusion is sure to spark howls of protest: "The King of Kong," "The Devil Came on Horseback," "In the Shadow of the Moon," "Jimmy Carter Man From Plains," "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song," "Terror's Advocate," "Darfur Now" and "The 11th Hour."
The inclusion of notable faces and names provided no guarantee of moving on. Though "Body Of War" was codirected by talk show host Phil Donahue and "Sicko" was the latest from previous winner Michael Moore, films that didn't make the cut included the participation of Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme, Oscar-nominated director Barbet Schroeder and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Don Cheadle.
The nominations for the 80th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22. The awards ceremony will be presented Feb. 24.