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  1. #1
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    Your Favorite Documentaries?

    I've recently become a huge documentary junkie. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the fiction and learn something new (even though the biases are hard to avoid).

    So I thought I'd create a thread documenting the best/most interesting documentaries you've all seen. Here's my (pretty standard) list:

    • The Devil and Daniel Johnston
    • Helvetica (though this was a bit boring)
    • Waking Sleeping Beauty
    • Jesus Camp

    And I could have sworn I saw part of a documentary about the transition from 2D to 3D animation. Anyone know what this one is called?

    What are some other good ones?


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  3. #2
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    Recently i watched Crumb, and i most definitely recommend it, a very interesting and intimate view on the artist (Robert Crumb). I have to say i only knew him superficially by Fritz the Cat, watching the doc made me interested in looking for more of his work.

    Exit through the gift shop was also more interesting than i expected.

    I love documentaries, but i think i need some time to exercise my memory so i can mention more. I guess Painting with Fire about Frazetta would be an obvious call for people on this forum.

    Edit: Oh, just remembered this 2 great ones. American Movie and Anvil:The story of Anvil both really inspiring stories in their own ways.
    Last edited by JDSart; February 23rd, 2012 at 12:15 AM.

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  7. #4
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    So far, my favorite documentary is one called The Real Eve. I'm not a religious person so the concept in the documentary seems pretty plausible to me. Also, in it, it further proves that we as human beings, no matter what race are all brothers and sisters, which kinda warms my heart :3. I know I'm cheesy .

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    Between The Folds
    Man on Wire
    Conan O'brien Can't Stop
    The Pixar Story
    Darkon
    My Sketchbook

    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.

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    Frazettas Painting with Fire
    Metal: A Headbangers Journey

  10. #7
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    - Planet Earth
    - Life
    - Planet Dinosaur
    - Beast Legends

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    Last edited by biglu; February 25th, 2012 at 09:34 PM.

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  13. #10
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    The Lost generation

    Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye.

    The Line King: Al Hirschfeld Story

    Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist

    Biography - Norman Rockwell

    Standing in the Shadows of Motown

    Kurosawa
    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director

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  15. #11
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    I'm a massive fan of anything by Adam Curtis.

    The Power of Nightmares is a great starting point, but there's plenty more.




    Helvetica wasn't boring!

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    I thought "Hoop Dreams" was outstandingly good when I first saw it back in the mid-90s, and when I caught part of it on tv earlier this winter it still impressed me.

    Christian Frei's documentary about James Nachtwey, "War Photographer," is also excellent.

    There are probably a dozen others I could list, but I just can't think of them. It's like when someone asks you to tell them a joke, and you can't think of any, even though you know lots of jokes.

    Oh, and there are several World War II documentaries which I really like, but even though they're classics, by contemporary standards they tend to seem dated and sometimes embarrassingly biased or naive. (Then again, there's sometimes a very fine line between documentary and propaganda. Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will," is undeniably brilliant and important, but is it a documentary, a propaganda film, or both?)

    That reminds me, "The World at War" is a fantastic documentary. I think the complete thing runs 30+ hours, but several of its individual episodes could themselves qualify as first rate documentaries.
    --
    Michael

  17. #13
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    These are some I enjoyed


    Kimjongilia: personal accounts of those who have escaped North Korea

    Crossing the Line: about an American living in NK

    Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead: interesting account of 2 guys going through a radical health change

    The Cove: mass killing of dolphins, very heart breaking

    humm, I think documentaries are about the only thing I watch on netflix. These are the ones that came to mind.

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerefly View Post
    The Cove: mass killing of dolphins, very heart breaking
    But people don't give a shit about the mass killing of cattle and many other animals on a constant basis...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDSart View Post
    American Movie
    super good

    Also, "The Two Escobars" is awesome. Might still be viewable for free, in it's entirety, on youtube.

  20. #16
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    American Movie is great.
    Werner Herzog's "documentaries", like Grizzly Man and La Soufrière.
    I haven't seen any of Errol Morris' films, but I've wanted to see Gates of Heaven for quite some time.

  21. #17
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    I really liked For the Bible Tells Me So. It analyzes the acceptance of homosexuals from the perspective of a handful of Christians. It's really enlightening.

  22. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    But people don't give a shit about the mass killing of cattle and many other animals on a constant basis...
    Last I checked, we weren't running low on cattle.
    [url=http://galleryonefone.blogspot.com[/url] This would be my gallery in Sweden

    This would be my Pleine Air blog

  23. #19
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    Then you haven't seen the documentary, obviously. The endangering of the dolphins was not stretched, but rather the sheer horror and brutality of the mass killing of the dolphins. All I'm saying is that something very much akin to what happened with these dolphins happens on a daily basis within the US and throughout the world with other species of animals and most people simply don't care. I found The Cove to be very affecting, indeed. It's a great documentary. But yet it fascinates me how people can be so much more offended by the killing of dolphins than the killing of any other species. Conditioned thinking and behavior is the culprit, I think.

  24. #20
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    A few of the ones I've seen recently and liked

    Murderball
    Bigger, Stronger, Faster*
    Catfish

  25. #21
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    Anything by Ken Burns is worth watching but I particularly enjoyed Jazz and The Civil War. Also The Thin Blue Line by Earl Morris
    is worth a look.

  26. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    Then you haven't seen the documentary, obviously. The endangering of the dolphins was not stretched, but rather the sheer horror and brutality of the mass killing of the dolphins. All I'm saying is that something very much akin to what happened with these dolphins happens on a daily basis within the US and throughout the world with other species of animals and most people simply don't care. I found The Cove to be very affecting, indeed. It's a great documentary. But yet it fascinates me how people can be so much more offended by the killing of dolphins than the killing of any other species. Conditioned thinking and behavior is the culprit, I think.
    Eeeheh I knew The Cove was a risky one to list I do understand what you mean, though.
    I think this particular animal-doc may strike a different cord since it isn't typical of what people may think of when regarding animal slaughter--I assume as much, at least! Certainly, it doesn't mean people may regard other species as any less deserving of life or at least, a cruel-free life. I found it especially touching because of the back story, so it is understandable he had particular sympathy for these animals. I suppose you have to chose your battles, right?

    It's a tough subject, for sure! But yeah, if you love animals and all that good stuff, give it a watch if you think you can handle it. It won't save any dolphins, but it's compelling.

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    Don't watch many documentaries, but, somehow, I caught the one about John Howe. It was actually pretty good.

  28. #24
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    King of Kong was good. I was pissed at the unwavering support from the nerd-herd that the antagonist got and how he screwed over the good guy.

    I was having trouble sleeping and watched American Experience's one-hour documentary on Clinton. It was solid, I suppose.

    Exit Through the Gift Shop was spectacular.

    There was a series of docs on PBS about saving the San Francisco Bay. I think there were 6, one hour pieces. The first two were great. I loved seeing the history up until WWII. Lots of great cultural stuff to draw from.

    Catfish was interesting but it doesn't have much replay value.

    Cosmos is always great. It's back up on Hulu last time I checked.
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

  29. #25
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    A lot of you are recommending American Movie. I'll be watching that soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by manlybrian View Post
    Between The Folds
    Man on Wire
    Conan O'brien Can't Stop
    The Pixar Story
    Darkon
    Man on Wire was great. I thought the scene where he stripped naked to feel for the wire was especially humorous. That man is nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by s.ketch View Post
    Catfish was interesting but it doesn't have much replay value.
    Wasn't Catfish a pseudo-documentary? There's no way that wasn't significantly staged. Still interesting though, but yeah, I wouldn't watch it again.

  30. #26
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    Roger Scruton: Why Beauty Matters.

    Entertaining, thought provoking and relevant. Not for the lover of abstract/modern art or architecture. On second thoughts, it's probably exactly what they need.

    And it looks like you can watch for free...
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/why-beauty-matters/

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  32. #27
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    Press Pause Play


  33. #28
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    I just finished Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037. It was pretty fascinating, I think I'd add it to my favorites list.
    My Sketchbook

    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.

  34. #29
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    I loved We Live in Public.

    Also Religulous was, if not directly unbiased and fair, quite entertaining. It's not educational or eye-opening in any way, but I had a couple of laughs.

  35. #30
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    This must be one of my favorites..It's about New York gang culture in the seventies


    But the one I love most is Diary of a time square thief..


    you can watch it here but I don't know if this player works outside of the Netherlands.
    http://player.omroep.nl/?aflID=9772516
    Last edited by TheBigItch; March 1st, 2012 at 01:34 PM.

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