Last Friday 124 feature-length documentaries were submitted for Oscar consideration. A short list of 15 will be revealed in early December (less than five weeks hence), and the final quintet will be announced when all the Oscar nominees are announced in mid January. And of course I’ve been slacking on this front so here’s a roster of my personal short-list preferences. There are more than a few I haven’t seen (including Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus‘ Hot Girls Wanted, Geeta and Ravi Patel‘s Meet The Patels, Marc Silver‘s 3 and 1/2 Minutes, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi‘s Meru, Matthew Heineman‘s Cartel Land, Benjamin Statler‘s Soaked in Bleach) but here are 11 docs that — for me, in this order — burned through in some extra, commanding, head-turning way:
1. Alex Gibney‘s Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief / HE review.
2. Colin Hanks‘ All Things Must Pass / HE review.
3. Ondi Timoner‘s Brand: A Second Coming / HE review/coverage.
4. Doug Tirola‘s Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead / HE review.
5. Stevan Riley‘s Listen To Me, Marlon / HE review.
6. Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna‘s Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans / HE review.
7. Michael Moore‘s Where To Invade Next / HE review.
8. Kent Jones‘ Hitchcock Truffaut / HE review.
9. Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon‘s Best of Enemies / HE review.
10. Amy Berg‘s Janis Little Girl Blue / HE review.
11. Asif Kapadia‘s Amy / HE review.