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David Wallechinsky
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David Wallechinsky is the author or co-author of several books including The 20th Century: History With the Boring Parts Left Out.. He is the president of the International Society of Olympic Historians.

Entries by David Wallechinsky

Motherless Heroes: The Strange Case of the Best Animation Feature Oscar Nominees -- 2015

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 12:00 PM

This year's five Oscar nominees for Best Animated Feature have something unusual in common: in none of them is the young protagonist raised by his or her birth mother.

In Disney's Big Hero 6, Hiro and his brother Tadashi have been raised by their aunt. In DreamWorks' How to Train...

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Academy Awards 2015 -- Best Foreign Language Film

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 7:48 AM

A record 83 nations entered films in the Foreign Language category this year. I saw all 83 entries. Before proceeding to my comments about the five nominees and several non-nominees that particularly impressed me, I'd like to make a few general comments.

When I tell people that, over a two-month...

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Best Picture Nominees: Selma, American Sniper and the Distortion of History

(1) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 8:46 AM

I've seen all eight of the nominees for the Best Picture Academy Award and if I was voting, I'd vote for Selma.

I was a student at San Francisco State College when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The next day I attended a "memorial" for King presented by the...

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My Sister Died of an Overdose of Prescription Painkillers

(6) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 10:19 AM

One year ago today, my sister, Amy Wallace, died of an overdose of prescription painkillers. She had prescriptions for some drugs, but supplemented her allowance by using online pharmacies. Those wanting to know more about Amy can scroll through video of her memorial service here.

What I want...

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Academy Awards 2014: Foreign Language Films

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 4:12 AM

A record 75 countries entered the foreign language category this year, and a record 16 submitted films directed by women. (A 76th country, Pakistan, was disqualified for failing to submit a subtitled print of its entry.) I saw 70 of the 75 entries. Here are my comments on the five...

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50 Years of Keeping a Daily Diary

(1) Comments | Posted January 1, 2014 | 5:11 PM

When I was 15 years old, I decided to keep a daily journal. I was partly motivated by the fact that my father had started to do so two years earlier and partly by the fact that I regretted not having a record of the day President John F. Kennedy...

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Elephants are being Slaughtered in Central African Republic

(4) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 3:13 PM

Two summers ago I visited the Ba'Aka Pygmies in the deep south of the Central African Republic (CAR), along with my two adult sons, Elijah and Aaron, British filmmaker Richard Gayer and Dr. Martin Kollmann, a Nairobi-based German ophthalmologist who also specializes in neglected tropical diseases. Our mission was to...

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Movie Review: Starbuck

(1) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 12:30 PM

In this appealing Québécois comedy, we first meet David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) when, as a 20-year-old, he is earning money by vigorously donating sperm. Flash forward and David is now a likable but irresponsible 42-year-old who works as a delivery man for his father's butcher shop, plays soccer on the...

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5 Favorite Backstage Quotes at the Oscars

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 3:39 PM

After the Oscar winners accept their awards and deal with the TV people, they come to the Press Room and answer questions from the written press, radio and international media. Here are my five favorite backstage comments of the night.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor: Lincoln)

Asked if there...

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Academy Awards 2013: Documentary Shorts

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 4:43 PM

Three of this year's five documentary short nominees have connections with New York. Three of them were produced by HBO and a fourth premiered on HBO. If there is an underlying theme to all five, it is that, with all of the negativity in the world, there are still a...

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Academy Awards 2013: Live Action Shorts

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 4:16 PM

Unlike last year, this year's set of live action shorts nominees are on the serious side with the notable exception of one and a half comedies, which, as usual, I prefer.

Asad (South Africa/USA)

A young boy living in a coastal village in Somalia, Asad wants to go out...

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Academy Awards 2013: Foreign Language Films

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 9:12 AM

This year a record 71 countries submitted entries in the Best Foreign Language Film category. I managed to see 61 of these films. Although there were many entertaining movies, the overall mood was bleak. As one of my viewing companions put it, it's as if the stories were conceived during...

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Academy Awards 2013: Documentary Features

(1) Comments | Posted February 21, 2013 | 9:04 AM

The favorite in this category is Searching for Sugar Man, simply because it is such a good story. However, I hope that more people will get to see some of the other nominees, in particular 5 Broken Cameras.

Searching for Sugar Man (Sweden/United Kingdom) is the only one...

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Academy Awards 2013: Animated Shorts

(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 5:54 PM

This year produced a relatively weak bunch of nominees skewed towards animators with big studio experience.

Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare(USA)

Madge drops off Maggie to spend the day at the Ayn Rand School for Tots. A bit of background for those who are unfamiliar with Ayn...

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11 Secret Documents Americans Deserve to See

(100) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 9:25 AM

Many documents produced by the U.S. government are confidential and not released to the public for legitimate reasons of national security. Others, however, are kept secret for more questionable reasons. The fact that presidents and other government officials have the power to deem materials classified provides them with an opportunity...

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Academy Awards 2012: Live Action Shorts

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2012 | 9:44 AM

Unlike last year, this year's set of live action shorts nominees is dominated by comedies, which was good news for me since I am a fan of short comedies.

Tuba Atlantic (Norway)
Oskar, a misanthropic farmer who is obsessed with killing seagulls, learns from his doctor that he has...

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Academy Awards 2012: Animated Shorts

(1) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 4:57 PM

I have to recuse myself from giving objective opinions of this year's animated shorts nominees because one of them, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is so close to my heart that I'm not a proper judge of the others. First, here's a look at the other four.

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Academy Awards 2012: Foreign Language Films

(3) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 11:43 AM

I saw 50 of the 63 films entered in the Best Foreign Language Film category and I am happy to report that this was an exceptionally good year. If there was no single masterpiece that stood out, there were a couple dozen good films that I would recommend for film...

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Academy Awards 2012: Documentary Shorts

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2012 | 12:22 PM

With this year's nominees clocking in at an average of 34 minutes, the Academy might want to rename this category Documentary Mediums rather than Documentary Shorts. Perhaps because of their length, they are a solid bunch.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

In a sense, The Tsunami...

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Why Do They Hate Us?

(1) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 12:54 PM

In the days following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many people I spoke with simply could not understand why anyone, anywhere, would not like Americans, even if it was just a few dozen fanatics. In one form or another, they asked: Why do they hate us?

Back in...

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