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Old 01-31-2007, 01:18 AM   #76
Eagles
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Re: Documentaries

Ken Burns' documentary on Baseball is excellent. I found it very entertaining even though I wasn't alive for like any of it.


Another very good sports documentary was When We Were Kings
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:55 AM   #77
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Re: Documentaries

How can any list be complete without "Scared Straight"?

You get such classic lines as: "I ain't never heard the sounds of no birds chirping, but I do know what it sounds like to hear a mean screaming 'cause he's got two dicks in his ass!"

and

"Give me your shoes... GIVE ME YOUR DAMNED SHOES!!!!!!!!"

Plus, the narrator is Columbo. How does it get better than that? Memories of watching that film in 8th grade is priceless. Ahh, public school...

Oh yeah. "Hoop Dreams" was probably the best doc ever made, IMO. What a great film.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:59 AM   #78
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Re: Documentaries

One recent documentary I really enjoyed was the History Channel's "The Revolution" about the Revolutionary War, which covers the colonies' unrest with taxation to Washington's becoming the first President of the United States. It's amazing to realize just how underfunded and overstressed the colonial soldiers were in the harsh northern winters, how Washington managed to rally his troops year after year, how Benedict Arnold's defection came about, and how the war turned from a supposed British onslaught to a complete British surrender. I watched it every week.

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Old 01-31-2007, 02:03 AM   #79
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Re: Documentaries

One I haven't seen mentioned yet is "Winged Migration." The footage of migratory birds -- and the story of how the filmmakers were able to get it -- is amazing. I thought I would be bored by it, as I'm not a bird-watcher or anything, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I also third the nomination of "American Movie." It alternates between being hilarious, depressing (the main character is a bit of a loser) and inspiring (despite a ton of setbacks, the guy just will not stop chasing his dream).
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:17 AM   #80
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Re: Documentaries

Can anyone tell me the name of this documentary? I saw it on the indie film station a year or so ago but never caught (or don't remember) the name.

The film focussed on a group of homeless people living underground in the New York subway system. They created a makeshift village with plywood homes and even discovered a way to route electricity to these homes. The conditions were horrible but somehow it was working for them. The city eventually forced them to leave after setting some of them up with affordable housing. I remember they didn't adjust so well to life in their new homes. I'd like to see this again and be able to recommend it to others but I haven't come across it again since that first time.

Another one I recommend is Black Tar Heroin. The director followed a group of kids who used for a year or two. It was incredible to see how quickly and mercilessly the drug destroyed these people.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:20 AM   #81
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Re: Documentaries

Reversal of Fortune - What happens when a homeless man is given $100,000 to do with whatever he chooses. I really enjoyed this one, think about all the possibilities and watch the reality.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:29 AM   #82
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
Can anyone tell me the name of this documentary? I saw it on the indie film station a year or so ago but never caught (or don't remember) the name.


The film focussed on a group of homeless people living underground in the New York subway system. They created a makeshift village with plywood homes and even discovered a way to route electricity to these homes. The conditions were horrible but somehow it was working for them. The city eventually forced them to leave after setting some of them up with affordable housing. I remember they didn't adjust so well to life in their new homes. I'd like to see this again and be able to recommend it to others but I haven't come across it again since that first time.
uh, you might want to read the op.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:31 AM   #83
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Re: Documentaries

la,

HHAHAAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHHA
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:52 AM   #84
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Re: Documentaries

Year of the Bull
Year of the Bull is a stunning look into the life of one high-school football player determined to get out of the inner-city and into a Division I collegiate program. This documentary follows an entire season with the Miami Northwestern Bulls and Taurean Charles, an All-American, blue-chip prospect battling standardized tests, societal pressures, family conflict and internal struggles. In addition to the standout’s problems, he is faced with trust issues because everyone surrounding him has an agenda.

The War Room
A behind-the-scenes documentary about the Clinton for President campaign, focusing on the adventures of spin doctors James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Bill Clinton himself is almost never seen.


American Movie
On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it's making movies. Using relatives, local theater talent, slacker friends, his Mastercard, and $3,000 from his Uncle Bill, Mark strives over three years to finish "Covan," a short horror film. His own personal demons (alcohol, gambling, a dysfunctional family) plague him, but he desperately wants to overcome self-doubt and avoid failure. In moments of reflection, Mark sees his story as quintessentially American, and its the nature and nuance of his dream that this film explores.

Journey's with George
The film by Nancy Pelosi's daughter that follows George W. Bush campaign in 2000

Paradise Lost
Berlinger and Sinofsky's documentary of a gruesome triple murder in West Memphis, Arkansas and the subsequent trials of three suspects, takes a hard look at both the occult and the American justice system in 'small-town' America. Three teenagers are accused of this horrific crime of killing three children, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. As in their previous documentary, things turn out to be more complex than initial appearances and this film presents the real-life courtroom drama to the viewer, as it unfolds.

Baraka
Without words, cameras show us the world, with an emphasis not on "where," but on "what's there." It begins with morning, natural landscapes and people at prayer: volcanoes, water falls, veldts, and forests; several hundred monks do a monkey chant. Indigenous peoples apply body paint; whole villages dance. The film moves to destruction of nature via logging, blasting, and strip mining. Images of poverty, rapid urban life, and factories give way to war, concentration camps, and mass graves. Ancient ruins come into view, and then a sacred river where pilgrims bathe and funeral pyres burn. Prayer and nature return. A monk rings a huge bell; stars wheel across the sky.

War Photographer
Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever.

The Blue Planet
Seas of Life collection by the BBC
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:02 AM   #85
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Re: Documentaries

yeah - that george w one was great - and im not a gw hater either.

war room was good too.

startup.com, mentioned earlier, is probably my favorite ever. pure comedy. so many morons. corporate espionage!
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:06 AM   #86
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Re: Documentaries

CDS,

Journeys with George, yeah that was great.

I just saw her most recent HBO documentary, Friends of God about the evangelical Christian movement across the US. Very good stuff.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:24 AM   #87
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Re: Documentaries

All,

My friend Rambo recommended these three movies.

the corporation - about, well, corporations. he liked it a lot.

devil's miner - about a young bolivian kid working in a dangerous mine. this one he felt was slow, but still interesting.

why we fight - focuses on the 'military industrial' complex and as the title says, why we fight. he also found this one a little slow.

Of those I've only seen The Corporation, which I thought was a little slow, overly dense, and dry.

ED: Edited recs above.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:04 AM   #88
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:

My friend Rambo recommended these three movies.

the corporation - about, well, corporations. he liked it a lot.

devil's miner - about a young bolivian kid working in a dangerous mine. this one he felt was slow, but still interesting.

why we fight - focuses on the 'military industrial' complex and as the title says, why we fight. he also found this one a little slow.

Of those I've only seen The Corporation, which I thought was a little slow, overly dense, and dry.
I agree that the corportation was kinda dry and slow, but you have to keep in mind that a lot of these documentaries are made for 'regular people'. The things that you (or most 2+2ers) would consider common knowledge, most people wouldn't know.

I showed clips from the Corporation to a grade 12 class and they loved it. They had no idea how corporations work, and what they are capable of.

My biggest problem with it (and most documentaries), is that it was obviously pushing an "evil empire" agenda.

ED: Edited quote.
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:07 AM   #89
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Re: Documentaries

I really liked

Waco: The Rules of Engagement: In one of the most tragic face-offs in the history of law enforcement, the deadly debacle at Waco pitted the Branch Davidian sect against the FBI in an all-out war. This Academy Award-nominated documentary directed by William Gazecki makes the most of footage and recordings to examine how the events that led to the tragedy of April 19, 1993, unfolded, and how the FBI's unrelenting approach made what was already a bad situation much worse.


I'm an athiest and a liberal and I can't help but side with the davidians. One very interesting thing about this documentary is how bad the democratic congressmen look. They clearly are not up to conducting meaningful oversight of the executive branch when the president is a democrat, in the same way that we've had essentially no oversight of the Bush administration while congress was controlled by republicans.


---------------------------------------------------
Hearts and Minds: An Academy Award-winning documentary that casts a sharp eye toward the U.S. government's costly -- in terms of lives, budget and honor -- all-out effort during the Vietnam War. Director Peter Davis uses his own war footage, newsreels, presidential speeches and interviews with the likes of Robert Kennedy, Gen. William Westmoreland and Daniel Ellsberg to provide a compelling argument against war.

Fascinating film with many amazing clips.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:48 AM   #90
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Re: Documentaries

I enjoyed This Film Is Not Yet Rated.
If you are interested in movies this gives you a good understanding of the challenges filmmakers go through with the MPAA ratingsboard.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:13 AM   #91
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
Another one I recommend is Black Tar Heroin. The director followed a group of kids who used for a year or two. It was incredible to see how quickly and mercilessly the drug destroyed these people.
Second that. Very disturbing.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:37 AM   #92
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Re: Documentaries

One of my favorites is the Iceman Richard Kuklinski. They did 2 interviews with him, about 10 years apart, from the prison that he is in and made a film for each one. He was hit man for the mob and admits to killing many people (exact #'s escape me). The person interviewing him is some kind of shrink and throughout the piece they cut in and out of the interview, some reenactments, and actual pictures of the crime scenes. This documentary was very compelling and I've watched it several times. If you like the mafia type stuff, you should really check these out. They are on HBO on demand every once in a while.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:41 AM   #93
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Re: Documentaries

You guys should check out Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends.

It was a BBC docu series made a few years back where he would explore various 'weird' groups in America, eg. neo-nazis, wrestlers, swingers, rappers, survivalists, etc. Always interesting and usually hilarious.

He was the first person I saw who covered the young blonde twins who sing racist songs, since then I've seen their story mentioned a few times on various shows.

He recently got commissioned to make 10 new documentaries and the first, entitled 'Gambling In Las Vegas' airs this Sunday on the BBC. Should be good.

Also, I don't believe a US airdate has been announced yet, but David Attenborough's Planet Earth was unreal. Some incredible camera work.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:53 AM   #94
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Re: Documentaries

Ken Burns documentary "The Civil War".

I try and watch it at least once a year on DVD. I like the personal stories from the soldiers perspectives as well as the many vintage photos he uses to tell the story.

From imdb:

Quote:
This highly acclaimed mini series traces the course of the U.S. Civil War from the abolitionist movement through all the major battles to the death of President Lincoln and the beginnings of Reconstruction. The story is mostly told in the words of the participants themselves, through their diaries, letters, and Visuals are usually still photographs and illustrations of the time, and the soundtrack is likewise made up of war-era tunes played on period instruments. Several modern-day historians offer periodic comment and insight on the war's causes and events.
Orange
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:00 AM   #95
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Re: Documentaries

uh, you might want to read the op.

Of course. I just wanted to see if YOU were paying attention.


Can't believe I overlooked that.

While reading this thread I jotted down the names of a half dozen or so docs I want to see. Didn't even notice El D. already had that one covered in his OP.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:18 AM   #96
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:
Ken Burns documentary "The Civil War".

I try and watch it at least once a year on DVD. I like the personal stories from the soldiers perspectives as well as the many vintage photos he uses to tell the story.

From imdb:

Quote:
This highly acclaimed mini series traces the course of the U.S. Civil War from the abolitionist movement through all the major battles to the death of President Lincoln and the beginnings of Reconstruction. The story is mostly told in the words of the participants themselves, through their diaries, letters, and Visuals are usually still photographs and illustrations of the time, and the soundtrack is likewise made up of war-era tunes played on period instruments. Several modern-day historians offer periodic comment and insight on the war's causes and events.
Orange
You beat me to this. It was just replayed on PBS. There is a newer DVD release with some extras , Maps and photos too. If you dig history and/or the Civil war this is really a must you can srsly watch all the DVD's in a row and not care that you lost a day of your life.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:02 PM   #97
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Re: Documentaries

Louis Theroux's first series is amazing. Kinda odd ball take on things and very funny. Cant wait till sunday.

A few others that come to mind.

tarnation

Cost $218 to make and is produced by Gus van sant(elephant). Quite quirky , often painful to watch doc of Jon Caouettes family. Has an array of differnt types of footage which add to the interest but for me it didnt quite live up to its billing. Lots of friends loved it mind.

march of the penguins

Not sure how my girlfriend tricked me into thinking this was a cartoon but loved it anyway. Awesome take on the love life of these little animals. Narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Touching the viod

Not really a lot here to say other than watch it.

Bus 174

Intense and very insettling. People talk about Rio as being very unsafe, this kinda shows why. Basic plot...guy boards bus, takes passenagers hostage, gets shown on live on TV.

Scratch

Gives the a little history of hip-hop DJing. Not for everyone but has a good vibe.

dogtown and stoked

Again not for everyone but if you enjoy skateboarding it might be of interest.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:15 PM   #98
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Grizzly man!

[censored] speaking man gets eaten in alaska with his wife by grizzlys, how does it get more badass than that?
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:07 PM   #99
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Re: Documentaries

The Fog of War is definitely my favorite documentary. I won't bother explaining more since others have...

The one recommendation I have that others have not mentioned here is A League of Ordinary Gentlemen . This is a fascinating documentary about the PBA. I saw it and Murderball around the same time, and I found the bowling movie much more interesting.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:10 PM   #100
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Re: Documentaries

Quote:

The War Room
A behind-the-scenes documentary about the Clinton for President campaign, focusing on the adventures of spin doctors James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Bill Clinton himself is almost never seen.

Forgot about this. Interestingly, Carville names people who he thinks are behind the adultery leaks during the NH primary and one, Roger Ailes, is now head of Fox News.
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