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Tim O Neill
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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.





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Peter Martin
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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
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David Miller
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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.
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Stephen Churay
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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.
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 27 December 2018 at 3:10pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply


The Wrecking Crew

Muscle Shoals

The Cutting Edge (about movie editing)


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Michael Roberts
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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.
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Petter Myhr Ness
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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. 

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 27 December 2018 at 4:09pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

THE WRECKING CREW is far and away my favorite. 
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Doug Centers
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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.
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Peter Martin
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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.
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Steven Brake
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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.
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Ted Downum
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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.

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