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Amir Bar-Lev

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Top Amir Bar-Lev Articles see all

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  • From Prop. 8 to Joe Paterno, six contenders for feature documentary

    It's notoriously hard to predict which feature documentaries will end up as the film academy's final five nominees, but surveying the field, one thing is clear: It's been an extraordinary year for nonfiction on-screen. Even discounting long shots like "20,000 Days on Earth," a riveting mixed-media portrait of doom-laden rocker Nick Cave, or "Actress," which follows Brandy Burre, a onetime star of "The Wire" as she tries to reenter the business after a long hiatus, one could make a solid case for dozens of films. In recent years, voters have favored long-form documentaries with great stories behind the lens as well as in front of it. Here are some of the most compelling.
  • 'Happy Valley' film debut stirs memories, debate

    'Happy Valley' film debut stirs memories, debate
    STATE COLLEGE — It was like the community briefly relived the moment when it was announced publicly that Joe Paterno was let go from his head football coaching position at Penn State. A gasp was heard at the State Theatre on Friday at the 7 p.m....

    'Happy Valley' has many views of Penn State's Sandusky scandal

    'Happy Valley' has many views of Penn State's Sandusky scandal
    If you think college football is only a game, you might think that "Happy Valley" is no more than a place name that's become attached to the bucolic area around Penn State University. And you would be wrong on all counts. As examined in this thorough,...

    Penn State saga, college football's ugliest scandal, retold in 'Happy Valley'

    Penn State saga, college football's ugliest scandal, retold in 'Happy Valley'
    As we head into the most glorious time for college football, rivalry game weekend, there is an asterisk. It is a documentary titled "Happy Valley." It is about a place and a school that, once perfectly named, may be less so now. Penn State...

    With Paterno-Sandusky doc 'Happy Valley,' unsettling cultural questions

    With Paterno-Sandusky doc 'Happy Valley,' unsettling cultural questions
    Around their Brooklyn home, the documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev and his wife have developed a kind of code phrase -- a "thumbnail," they call it -- for how people talk about the Jerry Sandusky affair. "Rhythmic slapping” is the term, and, picking...