With all the marketing Paramount did for Anchorman 2 in the months leading up its release, you might feel like you’ve already seen it 10 times. But this just in to the newsroom: Folks in select cities who just …
OSCARS: Drafthouse Films Embracing Risks – And Hoping For Change – With Genocide Documentary ‘The Act Of Killing’
Specialty distributor Drafthouse Films opened shop in 2010 and scored a surprise Oscar nomination with its third release, the Belgian Best Foreign Pic contender Bullhead. Now Drafthouse is back in the awards game with Joshua Oppenheimer’s startling Indonesian genocide documentary The Act Of Killing, a provocative pic backed by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris that has already racked up dozens of awards and made the Oscar documentary shortlist in a notably competitive year for nonfiction. Oppenheimer’s film profiles the celebrated death squad leaders responsible for mass murders in 1960s Indonesia as they flamboyantly re-stage their crimes for the camera in Hollywood-style re-enactments — and, in one killer’s case, start to grasp the severity of their actions. The film’s brutal themes required such a careful touch that Drafthouse’s considered awards approach began the moment they won a hard-fought bidding war for the film. But how do you market a film with protagonists like these and win over traditional-minded Academy voters with such a non-traditional message?
Oppenheimer’s film leaves the moralizing to the audience, but it has not for nothing earned a rep as one of the more unsettling Oscar hopefuls in recent memory.