Sunday, February 2, 2014

Movies: Academy Award-Nominated Documentary Short Films, Program B 2014

(Drivebycuriosity) - Where will the Oscars go this year? The IFC theater in New York gives the occasion to see all nominated short movies in 4 separate programs. Yesterday I started with the nominated documentary films, program B. Because of the length they had separated them in 2 parts (ifccenter).

The program had 2 very different movies:

I enjoyed "CaveDigger" (39 minutes) by Jeffrey Karoff. The film introduces the audience to a Ra Paulette, an artist who digs caves into the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico (racavedigger). Most of his projects are contract works for people who commission artfully shaped caves as part of their houses and other parts of their property. Other caves are created in leisure time.

The classy styled openings into the soft white marshmallow-like rocks look very sensual. Ra Paulette seems to me as a creator of huge vaginas.

The film doesn´t show just the beauty of Paulette´s creations, it also describes the conflicts between a free-minded artist and his paying customers, who often don`t understand his ideas.

The second film was "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall" (40 minutes) by Jack Hall.

This movie was a torture and 40 minutes too long. It focused on the last days of a convicted murderer in a federal prison and showed his medical treatment and his painstakingly intense nursing. This man was a soldier and war hero at end of the war (1945) when he must have been about 16 years old, although some time after that he was convicted for killing his son`s drug dealer.  I didn´t understand why HBO financed this movie or why the film was nominated.  I am not comfortable about celebrating murderers, no matter how complicated the details.

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