Friday, 17 August 2007

IO, ISABELLA's DIRECTORS CONQUER THE WORLD: Lauren Greenfield's THIN nominated for Emmy Award!

It's Awards' time in the USA and, as custumary, the EMMYs will open the season. Reaching their 59th edition, the prestigious awards of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences often are, like in the case of Documentary films, a safety-net for the Oscar's flaws. Documentaries often exist in that strange world between the big screen and the small screen. Challenging nonfiction films often require funding from TV networks like PBS or HBO to be produced - though they might later earn theatrical runs or tour the film festivals' circuit –. Such films are ineligible for the limited documentary Oscar nomination. Thankfully, the Emmys make up for the Academy Awards' shortcomings. This was true last year for Martin Scorsese's Bob Dylan: No Direction Home and it's even more so looking at this year's nominations listing Spike Lee's Hurricane Katrina opus When The Leaves Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and IO, ISABELLA's 2007 Competition title Thin by Lauren Greenfield.

Produced by broadcasters' helmer HBO, Thin is a poignant account on anorexia in pure Vérité style. Lauren Greenfield's passage from the Olympus of Photography to her first steps in Filmmaking could not be better assesed and rewarded. Greenfield and her DOP Amanda Micheli tip-toe their way in Florida's Renfrew Centre for eating disorders and into the inner lives of 4 patients – Brittany, Shelly, Alisa and Polly – struggling with the disease. The filmmakers built such an incredible bond of trust with their characters that they are able to access the most intimate moments in the lives of these women, who's eating disorder is exposed down to the crudest details; not for the sake of chasing the spectacular, but to offer – and successfully so – "an experiential and emotional journey through the world of eating disorders to, ultimately, provide a greater understanding of their complexity". Greenfield manages what only the gretest non-fiction filmmakers managed before her: she materialises emotions by empathising with the subjects and by mean of skillful filmaking gramar.

Thin might not be half as spectacular as a one-sided Michael Moore's multi-billion growsing film, but its simple fly-on-the-wall approach delivers both a stunning and unprecedented portrayal of eating disorders, not forgetting a few more major corollaries; this alone makes this incredible debut film a well picked candidate for the Emmy and a must-buy for any good international commisioning editor.

The 59th Emmys Cerimony will be televised by the FOX Television Network from the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, September 16 at 8:00 pm (ET/PT).

THIN by Lauren Greenfield (trailer)

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