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Old 01-30-2007, 05:50 PM   #26
wet work
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Re: Documentaries

My Best Fiend- documentary about Klaus Kinsky by Werner Herzog.

Crumb is an excellent recommendation too.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:51 PM   #27
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Re: Documentaries

Many find them cloying, but I greatly enjoy Ken Burns' films, particularly The Civil War.

Another that deserves mention is Lost In La Mancha, which is about Terry Gilliam and Johnny Depp's quixotic journey to film a Don Quixote movie.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:52 PM   #28
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Re: Documentaries

Two of the best ones that haven't yet been mentioned are:

The Times of Harvey Milk -- a terrific and very moving look at the controversial gay San Francisco politician who was assassinated. I cried.

Startup.com -- I defy anyone to find a better exploration of the dot-com boom and bust.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #29
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Re: Documentaries

Noah: I thought Rize was visually great and enjoyed the dancing, but as a documentary I thought it was pretty bad in terms of creating a compelling story. I wouldn't recommend it.

Claunchy: Small Town Ecstasy was crazy, highly recommend it. Yeah, I try to watch all those HBO documentaries.

syf: Dope Sick Love was such a downer. I recommend it, but pretty sad stuff.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #30
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:

Spellbound - spelling bee
Word Wars - scrabble
Your mentioning these reminded me of Wordplay, focusing on the annual crossword puzzle tournament founded by Will Shortz, crossword editor of the New York Times. The documentary is interspersed with interviews of puzzlemakers, and puzzle doers (some pretty entertaining clips including Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart).
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:55 PM   #31
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Re: Documentaries

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dig! - follows the rise(?) and fall of two bands - the dandy warhols and the brian jonestown massacre. it's billed as being a comparison between the two frontmen - courtney taylor and anton newcombe, but taylor is so uninteresting that most of the footage follows necombe as he creates trainwrecks at every opportunity. though he is compared to dylan and lennon and plays over 80 instruments, his addictions and mental health problems leave him nothing more than tragic. the film was shot over seven years and cut from 1500 hours of film. i enjoyed it.
Dig! is excellent. I watched it on a flight to London a little over a year ago. It was the most interesting of the 5 or 6 movies I watched on those flights. The fact that it spans such a long period of time allows it to tell a really interesting story of the contrasts of these two bands struggles and successes from near the very beginning of their existences.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:56 PM   #32
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
The Michael Apted 7 Up series.
I recently read about this and it sounded like a really interesting idea. Can I start viewing this from any movie or do I need to start from the beginning to really get it?
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:56 PM   #33
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Re: Documentaries

TiK,

I thought Wordplay was OK, but largely becasue I find the subject matter so interesting. Overall I was pretty disappointed and don't think it's nearly as good as those two.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:59 PM   #34
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Re: Documentaries

American Experience on PBS is probably my favorite show right now. The pieces they did on The Quiz Show scandal, and on Fidel Castro's story were absolutely incredible. I've like almost everything else they've done. I would suggest anyone into documentaries put it on their season pass.

Also History Viewpoint is a British series has some pretty good stuff. There's one I found moving called "The Germans We Kept" about German POWs that stayed and helped rebuild Britain after the war.

A lot of new history has come out in the last 5-10 years with the Soviet Union opening their files. Discovery Channel (I think) had a documentary called Russian Roulette about this incident that will curl your hair. Apparently 4 Russian subs were patrolling around the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis--in horrid living conditions, with tactical nukes, and very vague orders about when they were allowed to fire. There were a few confrontations where we were literally a bad gesture away from WW-III. The US had no idea until a few years ago that these subs were nuclear armed.

Once every few weeks or so I try to scan through every show on DirectTV (A-Z) looking for interesting stuff. Otherwise it's just too hard to know what's out there with all the channels. It takes a few hours to do.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:02 PM   #35
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Re: Documentaries

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Also very good was Capturing the Friedmans. Particularly since that was a huge bit of local news for me when I was growing up.
Can't believe I forgot about this one. A great documentary that caused me to feel a wide range of emotions from sympathy, to disgust, and confusion.

I highly recommend this one.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:02 PM   #36
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Re: Documentaries

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I thought Wordplay was OK, but largely becasue I find the subject matter so interesting. Overall I was pretty disappointed and don't think it's nearly as good as those two.
Agreed.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:04 PM   #37
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Re: Documentaries

Holy crap I just realized no one's mentioned Endless Summer yet. One of my favorite films--documentary or not. The stuff in Africa where they surf with some of the locals and become the first people to surf a pristine beach are highlights.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:05 PM   #38
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Re: Documentaries

i have only seen a bit of it, but a good friend always recommended American Movie

Plot : A hapless amateur filmmaker struggles to produce his latest horror film, "Coven."
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:06 PM   #39
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
Quote:
Also very good was Capturing the Friedmans. Particularly since that was a huge bit of local news for me when I was growing up.
Can't believe I forgot about this one. A great documentary that caused me to feel a wide range of emotions from sympathy, to disgust, and confusion.

I highly recommend this one.
Yeah this immediatly came to mind for me too. The eldest son really sells me on the father being guilty. He is probably the worst actor in the world and obviously faking a lot of what he says. I wonder what happened to his career after that documentary came out.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:09 PM   #40
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Re: Documentaries

suzzer,

Riding Giants is another one about surfing that I really liked.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:11 PM   #41
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Re: Documentaries

I was being a little sarcastic on the Hookers on the Point thing. It's one of those so-bad-it's-good things to me, but doesn't belong alongside Pumping Iron or many of the others mentioned. American Pimp was legitimately well done IMO.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:11 PM   #42
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
suzzer,

Riding Giants is another one about surfing that I really liked.
Have you seen Endless Summer? Old doccumentary following two surfers going around the world.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:13 PM   #43
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:

Also there was a good documentary about Rikers island prison but i can't remember the name.
Was it Lock-up: The Prisoners of Rikers Island?
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:14 PM   #44
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
I really enjoyed The Fog of War which is about former secretary of Defense Robert Mcnamara. It gave a interesting historical account but I thought the best parts were the words of wisdom Mcnamara himself provides as the film moves along.

I found Fog of War absolutely fascinating. You're listening to one of the leaders of the US talk about being on the edge of total nuclear war 3 times and only escaping because they were lucky.

Somehow you always feel the guys at the top know more than you. It's scary to realize they don't.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:16 PM   #45
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
Riding Giants is another one about surfing that I really liked.
I enjoyed Step Into Liquid as well.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:16 PM   #46
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Re: Documentaries

The Fog of War is a great movie. I'm amazed still at the moral compromises that McNamara is willing to accept in himself.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:25 PM   #47
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Re: Documentaries

I saw one titled The Cats of Mirikitani this past Tribeca Film Festival. I'm not going to do the description justice, so from the website:

Quote:
Eighty-year-old Jimmy Mirikitani survived the trauma of WWII internment camps, Hiroshima, and homelessness by creating art. But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker brings him to her home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy's painful past. An intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing powers of friendship and art, this documentary won the Audience Award at its premiere in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
Apparently, the filmmaker initially intended the film to chronicle four seasons in the life of a homeless NYC artist, until 9/11 happened and she ended up taking the guy in, at which point she learns his history (i.e. his being in an internment camp, his having his American passport revoked, etc.). It was very moving. Probably more so for me being that I'm Japanese-American. But I recommend it to all.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:27 PM   #48
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Re: Documentaries

Grizzly Man has some depth. It was interesting to see that someone with basically an "unsuccessful" life could do something original, defining himself. Even if he was incredibly stupid in some ways.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:36 PM   #49
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Re: Documentaries

There was a "100 best" countdown on documentaries about a year ago in the UK. After it they showed "Touching The Void", a documentary film telling the story of two mountaineers who got in to difficulties up some *big* mountain in a snowstorm, with one of them breaking a leg.

film

book

Truly remarkable
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:55 PM   #50
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Re: Documentaries

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco -- pretty cool film whether or not you're a fan of Wilco's music. An interesting glimpse into the lives of working musicians. Filmed durring the recording of "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." Also chronicles the corporate fiasco that had the band dropping their label and signing a new one mid-production.


Comedian -- Kick a film that documents Jerry Seinfeld's return to stand-up post-sitcom. At the same time, documents a 'rookie' comedian working for a big break. Pretty intriguing.
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