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The Documentary Thread

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Okay - after telling myself I was going to do this for a couple years I am actually starting this thread.

 

I feel like documentaries tend to fly under the radar around here (not that they aren't watched and enjoyed) but more discussion tends to get buried under the more main stream things. So in the hopes of feeling like I am not the only person who watches these things I wanted a thread specificially for documentaries.

 

Two trailers hit that look fan-fucking-tastic that was part of the reason this finally pushed me into doing this.

 

Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me

 

No No: A Dockumentary

http://youtu.be/yCjEycxCet0

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I am a huge true crime film buff, so I was thrilled to see that there is a documentary about John Wojtowicz aka the bank robber that inspired the film, Dog Day Afternoon.

 

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Also - I was SHOCKED how good the Katy Perry documentary was.

 

Granted it helps that I like her music but still. They lucked into filming her when he marriage with Russell Brand fell apart so those things added a lot of depth to the proceedings

 

 

Now I am trying to remember what else I saw recently that I remember that I liked

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You will not be able to turn your eyes away from Man On Wire.

 

 

It is seriously compelling and its 90 minute runtime will fly by in no time flat.

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Oh yeah - Man on a Wire was amazing.

 

I have to go back and look but I am pretty sure it was the highest placing Documentary on the Best of the 2000s

 

EDIT - Yup #57

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Oh yeah - Man on a Wire was amazing.

 

I found it by mistake.  I was trying to stream Man on Fire with Denzel on my XBox Netflix account, found this gem, watched it, and was spellbound.

 

I remember my folks talking about this when I was a kid and now I know the full details.

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The obligatory plug for When We Were Kings.

 

 

THE KING IS COMING BACK TO RECLAIM HIS THRONE, SUCKA~!

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Also - I was SHOCKED how good the Katy Perry documentary was.

 

FACT. I work out to the Katy Perry Documentary.

 

This looks good: 

 

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Sunshine Superman is getting a lot of attention at TIFF.  A documentary about base jumping, with lots of first-person shots - people wearing cameras on their helmets while base jumping.  Not something I'd personally be able to watch in a theatre.

 

I don't think there's a trailer (no one's picked it up for distribution yet), but here's a review: http://www.indiewire.com/article/toronto-review-sunshine-superman-is-one-of-the-best-us-docs-of-the-year-20140906

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Also - I was SHOCKED how good the Katy Perry documentary was.

 

 

FACT. I work out to the Katy Perry Documentary.

 

This looks good: 

 

http://youtu.be/MspO5rC6Vps

 

Yeah, this is on my list of stuff to see.    If that interests you then you need to check out:

 

 

Everything you wanted to know about the Zodiac without any of Robert Graysmith's psycho babble.

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This documentary about the hacking collective, Anonymous, was on Pivot last week.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7tQ1VtLMyk

 

It was pretty good, IMO.   It should not surprise you that the "hacktivists" are as technically gifted and socially clubfooted as you'd imagine they'd be.

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There are a lot  of great music docs on netflix right now. Muscle Shoals, 20 Feet from Stardom, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, The Punk Singer, Hit So Hard...  all worth watching.

 

A few different ones that I've watched recently that I really liked.

 

 

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I just watched The Punk Singer last night. It was really good and well-done. It almost got to a point where I couldn't listen to any more of the really serious feminist theory-type people talking about that. But the documentary balanced it out by showing what a good sense of humor about things Kathleen has. I also didn't know how insanely sick she got. I knew she had lyme disease but I didn't know it was that bad. But good documentary.

The Big Star documentary was great, too. I dozed off near the end of it so I'll need to rewatch it. There was one great moment of unintentional comedy in this. I forget what song they're playing (maybe Goodo?) and one of the rock critics who drools over Big Star does the drum line with this ridiculous face that tells the world he would be absolutely grotesque at lovemaking.

I saw a documentary a few months ago when it toured called "Kids For Cash." It's about these juvenile judges up around Scranton who were placing juveniles in jail for the dumbest infractions because the people who built the facility bribed them. It's truly awful and really does a good job of showing how this whole thing ruined a lot of lives. There's a book of the same name and it's obviously a lot of the same source material. The book gets into the whole sordid corruption culture of that region, whereas the movie skimmed over it. I wish the film did touch it because it made it seem like the two judges in question were on an island but the book really captures about how corrupt institutions can affect us.

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There are a lot  of great music docs on netflix right now. Muscle Shoals, 20 Feet from Stardom, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, The Punk Singer, Hit So Hard...  all worth watching.

 

20 Feet From Stardom!!!

That was another one I saw recently that fucking ruled

 

It really could have been called "Darlene Love is fucking awesome"

 

I am glad that - of the things that ended up being nominated that year - that that one won Best Doc

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I highly recommend Rivers and Tides, about the artist Andy Goldsworthy.  He's makes brilliant natural art, but is pretty much a stone weirdo.  Watching him work is hypnotic.  And the whole thing is free on youtube.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQiHfgFnY_A

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Was Olympia the only doc we have done for the DVDVRMC?

Errol Morris. Nuff said.

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Another one of my favorites is Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles.

 

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No No: A Dockumentary

http://youtu.be/yCjEycxCet0

 

I've heard of that only because being a Pirate fan, it's been mentioned a few times on the broadcasts. That's the first time I've seen an actual trailer though and, man, that does indeed look fantastic. Can't wait to see it.

 

Somewhat related, I suppose this doesn't really qualify as "fly under the radar" - and was probably already mentioned in the Sports folder - but I just watched Battered Bastards of Baseball on Netflix and it was tremendous. If it had been one of ESPN's 30 for 30s, I'd rank it somewhere in the top 5. Given Kurt Russell's close involvement with the story, I'm kind of shocked nobody every thought to translate that story into a movie before going the doc route. Although I guess it would kinda be a little too close to Major League.

 

But, yeah, I had recently read an excellent baseball book by Roger Kahn about the year he owned an independent minor league team, the Utica Blue Sox, so this documentary followed that really nicely. And tying everything together, the part of BBB that was most fascinating to me was Jim Bouton getting blackballed from MLB for writing his book and having to seek refuge at a low A indy team just to get his foot back in the door. 

 

Well, that and the doc giving me a nostalgic hankering to find a pouch of Big League Chew.

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Was Olympia the only doc we have done for the DVDVRMC?

 

 

We also did that 5 Challenges one that involved Michael Haneke

 

I remember no other details other than I did not like it

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Was Olympia the only doc we have done for the DVDVRMC?

 

 

We also did that 5 Challenges one that involved Michael Haneke

 

I remember no other details other than I did not like it

 

 

The Five Obstructions, yeah.  And it was Lars Von Trier, not Haneke.  That was my pick.  I don't remember anyone liking it as much as me but there was a decent amount of discussion on it.

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I knew it was one of the directors I wanted to punch in the face

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I knew it was one of the directors I wanted to punch in the face

 

Directors that I'd like to punch in the face is a whole nother thread.

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No No: A Dockumentary

http://youtu.be/yCjEycxCet0

 

Man, that story is still getting told.  Never mind that Dock's story changed over the years and other aspects have been disputed.

 

Ellis agreed to make the documentary but died before filming started so the stuff you see of him in it is from HBO/Bob Costas.

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I watch documentaries on Netflix all the time.  Some thoughts:

 

Man on Wire - This bored me.  Was very disappointed in it after all the good stuff I'd heard.

 

Battered Bastards of Baseball - off-the-charts great story on baseball in the northwest.  The profanity in it is a little off-putting - you kind of expect the doc to be family-friendly - but this is really, really great.

 

The King of Kong - Amazing documentary on Steve Wiebe's quest to become the Donkey Kong world champion.  There's some questions about its timelines and editing but this is an incredible doc.  Track down the DVD and watch it with the director's commentary.

 

Wikileaks: War, Lies & Videotape - Pretty blah doc on Wikileaks.  Nothing special.

 

The Baseball Chronicles - 1980s documentary/special on baseball.  This one is just flat out awful.  A disorganized, uninteresting mess.

 

Undefeated - high school football team trying to win their first playoff game.  GREAT documentary.

 

Downloaded - the story of Napster, complete with interviews with all the principals.  Another great one.

 

The Last Gladiators - Good documentary on fighters in the NHL, focusing on Chris Nilan.

 

Dear Mr. Watterson - Bad documentary that's just a ripoff of a book by someone else.  Dude tries to learn about the Calvin & Hobbes creator.

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