Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Movies
Byrne Robotics > Movies
Topic: Favorite Documentaries Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Tim O Neill
Byrne Robotics Security


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9697
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 1 post reply


Robert Zemeckisí current WELCOME TO MARWEN is based on Jeff Malmbergís 2010 documentary about Mark Hogancamp called MARWENCOL.  Based on the reviews, itís probably a better idea to stay away from the Zemeckis film and check out the better reviewed documentary instead.

This got me thinking of how much I like documentaries, so I thought Iíd ask the JBF - what are your favorite documentaries?  

I have quite a few, but I will kick it off with one of my favorites that is not the usual historical fair - itís a great one from Errol Morris called FAST, CHEAP,  AND OUT OF CONTROL (1997).  Morris turns the camera on a robotics designer, a lion tamer, a hairless mole rat expert, and a topiary gardner.  Itís amazing how he weaves these four disparate jobs together into one film.  Morris is an amazing director and this one if worth checking out.

What are your favorites that you can reccommend? I am putting this in the Movies Forum, but docs made for TV are in bounds, since that seems to be the platform we see them most.





Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11518
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 10:22am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I enjoyed The Fog of War (2003), more than anything just a long-form interview with Robert S McNamara.

When We Were Kings (1996) is also good -- one I actually went to the cinema to watch, lo more than 20 years ago now. A reminder of just how charismatic a figure Ali was. Ali, Norman Mailer and George Plimpton all dead now...

Senna (2010) is a remarkable film. I had little interest in Formula 1 at the time I watched, but found it fascinating nonetheless.


Edited by Peter Martin on 27 December 2018 at 10:22am
Back to Top profile | search
 
David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2158
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

BURDEN OF DREAMS by Les Blank, about Werner Herzog's remote Amazonian insanity shoot for FITZCARRALDO, a movie in which Herzog decided the only way to effectively convey the madness of a man determined to drag a ship over a mountain was the drag a ship over a mountain himself.

GATES OF HEAVEN by Errol Morris, ostensibly about the closing of a couple of pet cemeteries, but with so much to say about life and mortality. There are plenty of heartbreaking moments for animal lovers, although I think they're more of an accidental inevitability considering the subject matter, less than Morris's intent.

GIMME SHELTER, by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, documenting the Rolling Stones' disastrous 1969 US tour, which culminated in the murder of Meredith Hunter in the audience at Altamont. Amazing performances provide the soundtrack, as the directors seemingly capture the exact moment the Sixties ended.
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Stephen Churay
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 March 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 8320
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

RIDING GIANTS-Stacy Peralta. I had no
knowledge of the history of surfing or the
current trend of big wave surfing started
by Laird Hamilton. I found the story
interesting and the cinematography is
beautiful. After seeing it on tv, I
actually bought the dvd.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Jozef Brandt
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 March 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2447
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 3:10pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply


The Wrecking Crew

Muscle Shoals

The Cutting Edge (about movie editing)


Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12751
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 3:15pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS by Seth Gordon

Itís about the world of competitive vintage arcade gaming, specifically one personís attempt to set the world record for highest score in Donkey Kong. I didnít think going in that thereíd be much to talk about, but Gordon crafts the story into a good guy vs bad guy narrative that is oddly compelling.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Petter Myhr Ness
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 02 July 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 3018
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I love a good documentary. One of my absolute favourites is SEARCHING FOR SUGERMAN. Some artistic license aside, it's a compelling look into one seriously underrated musician. 

Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 26064
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 4:09pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

THE WRECKING CREW is far and away my favorite. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3647
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 4:27pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I tend to enjoy documentaries quite a bit , but I really cannot recall seeing one at the theater. So the ones I recommend or remember most are from the tv side.

BLACKFISH (2013)- Eye opening.

GRIZZLY MAN (2005)- Disturbing watch but I couldn't take my eyes off this trainwreck.

Like Michael THE KING OF KONG- I wasn't much of a Donkey Kong player back then but pop culture from the early eighties is going to have me glued to the set.

BASEBALL by Burns (1994)- A mini series instead of a film. I was in heaven during this series. I still have the VHS cassettes and book I ordered from PBS.

Just about every one of the ESPN 30 FOR 30 docs.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11518
Posted: 27 December 2018 at 7:50pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Really enjoyed the 30 for 30 doc about Reggie Miller, 'Winning Time'.

I also enjoyed Ken Burns' Baseball, including the extra inning that followed more than a decade after the original series.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 175
Posted: 28 December 2018 at 7:32am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Storyville have done some crackers - James Randi, Kim Philby, George Blake, the Vietnam war, RFK.

Indoctrinate U was interesting.

The BBC did a very good documentary, debunking a lot of conspiracy myths surrounding the JFK Assassination, called 'Beyond Conspiracy', I think.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Ted Downum
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2080
Posted: 28 December 2018 at 9:35am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The Bridge (2006), about a year's worth of suicidal jumps from the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm not sure I would call it a "favorite" given its subject matter, but it has stayed with me for years.

I'll cast another vote for Baseball by Ken Burns. It's my favorite of his works by far. I'm also a fan of 30 for 30, like Peter and Doug.

It's been years since I've seen it, but I was rattled by the first Paradise Lost doc about the West Memphis Three. As with The Bridge, awful subject matter but gripping film.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Rodrigo castellanos
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 July 2012
Location: Uruguay
Posts: 298
Posted: 28 December 2018 at 2:55pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I wasn't terribly interested by the premise of MAN ON WIRE but I watched it by chance and wow! What a film. Way beyond my expectations, a very moving piece about motivation, creativity and the human condition. It brought me to tears near the end.

Coincidentally, Zemeckis also directed the live action version THE WALK. It's watchable and I believe is on Netflix. But see the original instead if you can.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Ed Aycock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 05 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 972
Posted: 04 January 2019 at 8:40am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

GRIZZLY MAN - as somebody above mentioned, a real trainwreck of a guy but hard to not watch

PARIS IS BURNING- quite the entry into the world of voguing and drag houses. 

GREY GARDENS- the life of the Jackie Onassis' aunt and cousin in their ramshackle East Hampton home. 
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Andrew Bitner
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5692
Posted: 04 January 2019 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brandon Frye
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 November 2004
Posts: 1171
Posted: 06 January 2019 at 9:12pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Titanic: The Complete Story: Great 2-part documentary by A&E that had interviews with historians and some of the actual survivors

The Man Who Ate Himself To Death: A sad, but informative documentary about a 900 lb. man fighting (an ultimately losing) his battle with obesity and food addition

I Am Bruce Lee: One of the best documentaries I've seen on Lee focusing on his life and career and intercut with interviews from many of his friends, family, and martial artists. 

Making of King Kong: Great documentary on the 1933 film that came with the 2-disc DVD release from 2005. Great detailed synopsis on the creation of the film and awesome interviews with Ray Harryhausen, Fay Wray, and Rick Baker among others.   


Back to Top profile | search
 
Tim O Neill
Byrne Robotics Security


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9697
Posted: 08 January 2019 at 9:43pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply



Great suggestions, all - especially GRIZZLY MAN, which I saw on release and will likely not revisit, but I will not forget!

I saw LOVE, GILDA when it made its TV premiere on CNN last week - a really well done doc on Gilda Radner.  

I also caught the THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT series on TCM recently.  Well, I caught the first two and remembered how much I liked these, so I grabbed the DVD box set.  The third installment is my favorite - it was released in 1994 (well after the first two) and gives some rare and behind the scenes clips.  I'm not big into the MGM brand of musical, but when they are featured as they are here - mercifully free of poor storytelling - I quite like them!


Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 26064
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 6:55am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I wish Netflix would hurry up and get the one on Fred Rogers. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Shawn Kane
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 04 November 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 2681
Posted: 09 January 2019 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I really enjoyed THE HISTORY OF THE EAGLES and TEAM FOXCATCHER.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Pete Carrubba
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 22 June 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2716
Posted: 09 February 2019 at 1:32am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The Exodus Decoded, which I believe is available on Amazon Prime Video, was a great informative documentary. Highly recommended. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12751
Posted: 09 February 2019 at 1:47am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I wish Netflix would hurry up and get the one on Fred Rogers. 

-----

It's airing on PBS tonight (2/9).
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11518
Posted: 09 February 2019 at 6:55am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I recently watched a fascinating documentary called Identical Strangers, which recounts a story about triplets separated at birth. The tale has a few twists and turns, which the documentary reveals in a skilfully-paced way -- just when you think you've got your head around its tale, it peels back a layer to reveal its next secret.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 26064
Posted: 09 February 2019 at 7:01am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Thanks, Michael!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Floyd
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 July 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6326
Posted: 09 February 2019 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Add me to the KEN BURNS' BASEBALL train. And I also own the book.

GIMME SHELTER and KING OF KONG are also on my list.

Quite a bit of ESPN's 30 for 30s. Especially the Ric Flair, SMU death penalty, and Michigan basketball point-shaving scandal episodes.

I'll have to go think a bit more, as I've not watched a lot of documentaries in a while.

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Jozef Brandt
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 March 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2447
Posted: 10 February 2019 at 4:05am | IP Logged | 25 post reply


Battered Bastards of Baseball (on Netflix) is another favorite I should have mentioned.  I have friends who do not even like the sport, who love the documentary.  It's about the independent Single-A baseball team The Portland Mavericks, owned by actor Bing Russell. 

Another music doc I just watched was called Hired Gun about no-name (well some of them) musicians who are hired for tours and then often forgotten.
Back to Top profile | search
 

If you wish to post a reply to this topic you must first login
If you are not already registered you must first register

  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login