Author Topic: Documentary recs  (Read 56116 times)

masterofsparks

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2010, 09:03:15 PM »
Nothing super-obscure here so you might've seen these already, but if not, I highly recommend:

Man on Wire
Tom Dowd and the Language of Music
Style Wars
Street Fight (extra highly recommended if you like The Wire)
I'll probably go into the wee hours.

NJL

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2010, 09:38:48 PM »
Adam Curtis!  You can find most of his documentaries here, http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator:%22Adam%20Curtis%22%20AND%20(adam%20curtis)
Most of his docs seem to deal with ideas, narratives, or ideologies and how people use them to make sense of and shape the world followed by almost certain defeat.    His most famous is probably "The Power of Nightmares" which deals largely with  Neoconservatism.  "The Trap" is probably my favorite though, examining mostly neoliberal ideas of freedom.

Has anyone else seen "It Felt Like A Kiss"?  It deals with the US in the 50s and 60s and how "power really works in the world".  It was released last year as a kind of multi-media show in Manchester.  Its a departure from his typically stylized but narrated and relatively fact-dense docs, this one seemingly more interested in recreating a particular time and the emotions that went with it. There are a few scenes that seem a little obvious or cringe inducing but I'd say it is worth watching, although while it is all on YouTube the first half had its audio taken away for copyright reasons, you can only stream the video from the BBC if you are in UK, or you can download it from some torrent site.

Chris L

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2010, 01:24:54 AM »
I haven't seen COLLAPSE or BURMA VJ yet but I've been anticipating them for a while and they're both released on dvd Tuesday.

You can't go wrong with Errol Morris, obviously, but don't skip the brief tv series he did, First Person, especially the last episode with the pilot who survived a plane crash. 

Chris L

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2010, 01:52:02 AM »
Also, I'll just go ahead and post part 1 of the very rare and bizarre EINSTEIN'S BRAIN.  The brain was removed several hours after Einstein's death, and what happened to it after that gradually became something of a mystery.  The film follows an eccentric Japanese professor who reveres Einstein and embarks on a seeming wild goose chase looking for the brain; a quest which begins with him showing up at Princeton and asking random people to take him to "Einstein brain." If the ending is not a hoax, it's jaw-droppingly surreal. 


Martin

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2010, 03:49:30 AM »
I haven't seen COLLAPSE or BURMA VJ yet but I've been anticipating them for a while and they're both released on dvd Tuesday.

I recommend both, highly. Collapse is very Morris-esque.

DJ Clem

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2010, 11:54:25 AM »
I'd consider Errol Morris's early films essential, 'specially Vernon, Florida and Gates Of Heaven.

Also, do yourself a favor and check out Off The Charts.
http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/offthecharts/

SJK

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2010, 06:46:13 PM »
Also, I'll just go ahead and post part 1 of the very rare and bizarre EINSTEIN'S BRAIN.  The brain was removed several hours after Einstein's death, and what happened to it after that gradually became something of a mystery.  The film follows an eccentric Japanese professor who reveres Einstein and embarks on a seeming wild goose chase looking for the brain; a quest which begins with him showing up at Princeton and asking random people to take him to "Einstein brain." If the ending is not a hoax, it's jaw-droppingly surreal. 




Chris L, that was unexpected and riveting. Truly bizarre. What a wonderful piece of work. Thanks for the heads up on this. The ending is just sad and sort of shocking in a very benign way. I'm curious to know more about what happened to Dr Harvey. How and why things turned out the way they did for him.

effecT

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2010, 05:41:31 AM »
I love the Louis Theroux documentaries, especially the new ones.
"Murder on a Sunday Morning" and "The Staircase" by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade are two of my favorites, because they are almost unbelievable stories.
Mr. Death by Errol Morris hasn't been named yet but is also a great documentary.
Lessons of Darkness by Herzog is frightening and has genius imagery.
All of my other favorites have already been listed.

fonpr

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2010, 08:11:41 PM »
"The Holy Modal Rounders: Bound to Lose"

Originally supposed to be a movie about Robert Christgau, then tuned into a movie about his look alike: PETER STAMPFEL.
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MikeInManhattan

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2010, 11:12:24 AM »
Some my favorites are -

For All Mankind (excellent)
Children Underground (excellent)
Surfwise
Danielson - A Family Movie
Youre gonna Miss Me - !!!
Devil and Daniel Johnston
General Idi Amin Dada - also excellent - also watch the commentary
If I should fall from grace with god - This is was great and and me want to see him again before he got much worse
Hands on a Hard Body - oldie but goodie
Salesman - anybody gainfully employed needs to see this movie
Jonestown
Zoo - sad but stays with you
Gimme Shelter (cant go wrong with any of the M. bros.)
Cocksucker blues - partly staged but still fun
UK/DK - good punk snapshot
Terror's Advocate
King of Kong
Up Series
Party Monster : The Shockumntary - It's worth it for some of that early 90s rave footage
New York Series - also who knew people could call themselves "urbanists"?
Maxed Out
The Agronomist
Hated - GG Allin - shocking but no surprise there
Affliction - really hard to watch and barely a documentary but old pal GG makes an appearance
X -The Unheard Music - really enjoyed this
TV Party
Downtown 81 - not really a doc but a lot of fun to watch
Waltz with Bashir
IOUSA
Bigger Stronger Faster
We Jam Econo - Minutemen
This is It
Six O Clock News
Hell House - my friends did a restaging of this live - AMAZING
Jesus Camp
Hospital - OOP Fred Wiseman - if you can find a copy PLEASE let me know
Times of Harvey Milk - also a great doc
Decline of Western Civilization 2 - The Metal Years !!!!!!!! (as good as it gets)
Decline of W. Civ. 1 - also good but nothing compares to 2.
Sick - Not the Moore one - the S&M one
Spellbound / Word Wars
Dark Days
A Lawyer Walks into a bar
Sherman's March

As the day goes on I might add to the list. Let me know if any of you disagree. Some of these are better than others naturally but still fun...
Best,
Mike in M.

EDIT - someone else suggested but I 100% agree - Street Fight & Style Wars are fantastic!
Also, Constantine's Sword! A must!

DanFromBrooklyn

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2010, 11:18:24 AM »
Blair Witch Project
Diary of the Dead
Cannibal Holocaust

gravy boat

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2010, 12:18:14 PM »
Another thumbs up for "You're Going to Miss Me"  Thumbs down for the Townes Van Zandt for petty reasons. It was well-made but made me like him less.

Someone on this board (Martin maybe) previously recommended "Dear Zachary" -- that was great but it is really heartbreaking stuff that haunted me.  I don't cry much from movies but that one had me sobbing. 

I haven't seen "Dig!" mentioned. One of my favorite music docs. 

MikeInManhattan

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2010, 01:15:48 PM »
Another thumbs up for "You're Going to Miss Me"  Thumbs down for the Townes Van Zandt for petty reasons. It was well-made but made me like him less.

Someone on this board (Martin maybe) previously recommended "Dear Zachary" -- that was great but it is really heartbreaking stuff that haunted me.  I don't cry much from movies but that one had me sobbing. 

I haven't seen "Dig!" mentioned. One of my favorite music docs. 

Dig! is great to watch with all 3 commentaries (one from the Dandies, one from BDM, and one from Ondi the filmmaker and co.). Really worth it!

Bryan

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2010, 01:22:44 PM »
Someone on this board (Martin maybe) previously recommended "Dear Zachary" -- that was great but it is really heartbreaking stuff that haunted me.  I don't cry much from movies but that one had me sobbing. 


I saw that one too, on the basis of an FOT rec. I went in cold, knowing nothing about it, as the recommender had said I ought to, and holy shit, is it upsetting. A true feel-bad movie, but a pretty fascinating story.

I also like the Adam Curtis collection, mentioned above. I recently watched Jon Ronson's series "Crazy Rulers of the World" which was adapted into "The Men Who Stare at Goats." It seems totally nutty to have turned this into a fiction film, because the whole appeal of it is seeing real footage with real people demonstrating and explaining the crazy stuff that the U.S. military was/is doing. It's not totally convincing, but it's pretty interesting and funny. Also: worst title ever - what were they thinking?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbXKuwzwfxE[/youtube]

Paul DePhiladelphia

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Re: Documentary recs
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2010, 03:02:45 PM »
Someone on this board (Martin maybe) previously recommended "Dear Zachary" -- that was great but it is really heartbreaking stuff that haunted me.  I don't cry much from movies but that one had me sobbing. 

The tear factory opened up with this one. I cry a lot when death comes up. That mixed with happy images/old film of a happy version of the deceased. But there is one specific part of that movie that had me audibly bawling. It's movies like this that I find it so hard to find the right time to rewatch, always worried that I'm not in the right frame of mind.

 

anything