(Unofficial) Hoop Dreams

This page is badly in need of updating - a lot of the links are probably broken. A complete redesign wouldn't hurt either. But I have tendonitis, so it won't happen for a long time.

Hoop Dreams has received praise extraordinary for any film, let alone a documentary. It made the 1994 10 best films list of over 100 critics, and it recently won a Peabody award. With the failure of the academy to nominate it for Best Picture or Best Documentary, it has prompted long overdue re-examination of the doc nomination process. I haven't been able to update this page much lately. Arthur Agee's foundation has a web page and there is a bio of William Gates on the CPBL's website. It is a new league William is on the board of.

The controversy has benefited the film (though we'll never know if it helped it more than a nomination would have as Variety has suggested). It grossed $9 million breaking Roger & Me's record for a non-musical documentary. Hoop Dreams also outsold Madonna's Truth or Dare on home video - it shipped 120,000 copies; Hoop Dreams shipped 140,000 for rental alone. It was just released on November 7 at the sell-through price of $19.95 (though you may be able to get it on sale for even less), so it will sell even more copies.

It was nominated for best editing (though Forest Gump won). The film was cut from over 250 hours of videotape (mostly shot on professional Beta) down to nearly three hours and transferred to 16mm for film festivals and 35mm when it was released in October of 1994 by Fine Line.

And in the midst of a renewed interest in basketball in the spring of 1995, the phrase 'Hoop Dreams" appeared in many headlines and stories on the return of Michael Jordan. TNT even called their coverage of the NBA draft, Hoop Dreams '95.

Hoop Dreams came out on video and laser disc on April 25th and has been on the list of top ten rental videos. It is well worth seeing in a theater though if you get the chance.

Hoop Dreams KTCA website

Hoop Dreams aired on PBS on November 15, 1995 with a new half hour update on William, Arthur and the filmmakers, Hoop Dreams Reunion. PBS Online and KCTA have created The Hoop Dreams Home Page which has a lot of great material including an interview with Arthur and William. The entire transcript of the interview done in studio for the Hoop Dreams Reunion including more than an hour of interviews that didn't make it into the show) is now available. I'll put up more extensive links to the site when I get a chance.

Fineline has a Hoop Dreams page with production notes, a transcript of an on-line session with Peter Gilbert and other great information (they have also added a new banner to their main page with images from Hoop Dreams).

Several award winning short films by Hoop Dreams producer and editor Frederick Marx are available on video from Facets. Marx is currently doing a documentary on media prankster Joey Skaggs. I hope to have information sometime on films from Kartemquin, the documentary producation company that made Hoop Dreams.

Hoop Dreams stories by Roger Ebert

When Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel reviewed Hoop Dreams on their show even before it was shown at Sundance in January of 1994, it became the film to watch at the festival. Roger Ebert has been kind enought to give me permission to put these articles on the web. You can send e-mail to William Gates and Arthur Agee at hdreams@aol.com

Other Hoop Dreams articles

Other related material

  • Hoop Dreams in Halifax an article by Dan Rubenstein inspired by Hoop Dreams
  • Commentator John Feinstein to preview tonight's NBA college draft. The focus of this year's draft will be on 19-year-old Kevin Garnett. If drafted, Garnett would be only the fifth American-born player to be drafted into the NBA from high school. Morning Edition June 28, 1995 You need a realaudio player for Mac or PC to hear this.
    Any comments or suggestions can be sent to Steve Rhodes
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