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AMC’s topical take

Docs explore Holocaust, Vietnam, cop pix

Cabler AMC will tackle Hollywood movies about the Holocaust, the Vietnam War and beat cops in its next round of original docs.

Cabler is refocusing its original documentary series “The AMC Project” to examine the power of film as an influence on global culture.

On tap for 2005 are Daniel Anker’s “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust,” Robert Stone’s “Hollywood and the Vietnam War” and Barak Goodman’s “Good Cop, Bad Cop.”

The network’s latest docs, “Rated R: Republicans in Hollywood” and “Hollywood and the Muslim World,” explored topical issues with broad appeal and enjoyed healthy ratings.

That strategy will be expanded in this year’s slate, said docu veep Jessica Shreeve .

“‘The AMC Project’ was really an experimental series that we were using to figure out what kind of formats and ideas work for our audience. Previously, most of the films were smaller in scope, really filmmaker-driven documentaries with very specific ideas,” she said. “The new ones that we’ve ordered explore social, political and historical issues of what are much bigger and more complex ideas.”

Lineup continues the cabler’s efforts to broaden its viewership and appeal, a strategy begun in recent years when the net shifted its content to include more contemporary and popular films.

“Imaginary Witness” features interviews with Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet, Rod Steiger, Vincent Sherman and Norma Barzman, who discuss the artistic choices made in their Holocaust-set films, as well as Neal Gabler and Annette Insdorf, who debate the morality of turning such an event into art at all. Doc debuts March 1.

The Vietnam War movie and its influence on collective understanding of the war is the subject of Stone’s “Hollywood and the Vietnam War.” Doc bows in May.

In “Good Cop, Bad Cop,” which chronicles and examines the evolution of cop films over the past decades, commentary comes from Lumet, Michael Mann, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Al Pacino and Paul Newman. It preems in September.