20 Feet From Stardom, The Lady in Number 6 win Oscars

The two documentary films that won Oscars last night are 20 Feet From Stardom and the short The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. You can watch the nominees online or on demand, which I think should take less time than the telecast did.

The star of the latter, Alice Herz-Sommer, died last week at 110, the oldest living Holocaust survivor and oldest living pianist; director Malcolm Clarke’s short film follows the music teacher at age 109, sharing her philosophy about life. It will be distributed by Netflix, and is the company’s first Oscar (Netflix also produced documentary feature nominee The Square).

20 Feet From Stardom‘s win resulted in an impromptu performance by Darlene Love. The Morgan Neville-directed film about back-up singers is watchable online. As Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir wrote, it is “one of those moving, tragic and triumphant secret histories of American culture where the biggest surprise is that no one’s told it before.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.