Today the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their 2014 nominees. We were extremely pleased to see The Act of Killing and Cutie and the Boxer nominated for Best Documentary.
Also nominated were Dirty Wars, The Square and 20 Feet from Stardom. The Oscar ceremony will be held on March 2nd.
The Act of Killing
In this chilling and inventive documentary, executive produced by Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and André Singer, the unrepentant former members of Indonesian death squads are challenged to re-enact some of their many murders in the style of the American movies they love. In the 1960’s Anwar Congo was a leader in Indonesia’s pro-regime paramilitary the Pancasila Youth who, along with his band of dedicated followers, was amongst those who participated in the murder and torture more than a million alleged Communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals. Proud of their deeds and completely unpunished, Anwar and his pals are delighted when the film’s director ask them to re-enact these murders for their documentary – in any genre they desire. Initially Anwar and his friends enthusiastically take up the challenge using hired actors, making elaborate sets and costumes and even using pyrotechnic, but eventually as the movie violence is played out and reconstructed, Anwar finally begins to feel unease and remorse.
For more information visit www.TheActofKilling.co.uk
Cutie and the Boxer
A reflection on love, sacrifice, and the creative spirit, this candid New York story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned “boxing” painter Ushio Shinohara and his artist wife, Noriko. As a rowdy, confrontational young artist in Tokyo, Ushio seemed destined for fame, but met with little commercial success after he moved to New York City in 1969, seeking international recognition. When 19-year-old Noriko moved to New York to study art, she fell in love with Ushioabandoning her education to become the wife and assistant to an unruly, husband. Over the course of their marriage, the roles have shifted. Now 80, Ushio struggles to establish his artistic legacy, while Noriko is at last being recognized for her own art—a series of drawings entitled “Cutie,” depicting her challenging past with Ushio. Spanning four decades, the film is a moving portrait of a couple wrestling with the eternal themes of sacrifice, disappointment and aging, against a background of lives dedicated to art.
For more information visit www.cutieandtheboxer.co.uk