Documentaries Thread
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  • Seeing as we had one on the old (good) boards and I'm always up for seeing a good doc I thought i'd start a thread. Apologies if we've already got one - the search engine's a bit shoddy.

    Recommendations:

    Jonestown - Life & Death of the People's Temple

    trailer: 

    Full film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQYoHiM-Uko

    The weird world of Jim Jones and the People's Temple, in which 900-odd followers were persuaded to take their own lives in Jonestown. Really good objective documentary and not ruined with any conspiracy rubbish that sometimes gets tacked onto stories like this, just footage from the time and interviews with those who were there about life in the movement and the tragic ending in Guyana. 

    Shoah

    trailer: 

    The story of the Holocaust as told by perpetrators, victims and observers. Obviously a bit grim and you've got to be dedicated as it goes on for about 8 hours but it's fascinating and brilliant. Some of the interviews are just devastating.  Along similar lines: Auschwitz: the Nazi's & the Final Solution, The Nazis: A Warning From History, World At War etc

    Style Wars 



    80's hip-hopper's go graffiti crazy in run-down New York.

    General recommendations:

    Enron: the Smartest Guys In The Room
    The Corporation
    9/11 (the one by the two French brothers who were inside the Twin Towers)
    Hoop Dreams
    Hell In The Pacific
    Manufactoring Consent
    Hearts & Minds
    Hearts Of Darkness (about the filming of Apocalypse Now)
    Gimme Shelter (The Stones & Altamont)
    Don't Look Back/Eat The Document (Bob Dylan on tour in 65/66)
    The Beatles Anthology Director's Cut
    The Filth & The Fury (Sex Pistols rampage across the nation)
    The Kids are Alright (story of The Who)
    End Of The Century: the Story of The Ramones
    Spellbound
    King Of Kong
    Fog Of War
    Adam Curtis (Century Of Self, Power Of Nightmares etc)
    Dogtown & Z-Boys
    Dig!
    You're Gonna Miss Me
    The House I Live
    Planet Earth/Attenborough in general...

    I'll update with links and what-not or people can post links and do some embedding if they like.

    Forum Pics: 

    Control Room
    All watched Over By machines Of Loving Grace
    Requiem For Detroit
    Searching For sugarman
    The Imposter
    Story Of Film
    Être et Avoir
    Room 237
    Evicted
    Food Inc.
    Super Size Me
    Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
    Dear Zachary
    Deep Water
    The Parents, The Politician and the Carpetbagger
    People Like Us (BBC3)
    No Direction Home
    The Flaming Lips: Fearless Freaks
    The Devil & Daniel Johnson
    One Day In September
    Capturing the Friedmans
    Hotel California (LA music scene)
    American Movie
    Chasing Ghosts
    Scratch
    Man on Wire
    Murderball
    Jiro Dreams of Sushi
    Taxi to the Dark Side
    Bus 174
    Grizzly Man
  • Yossarian
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    Good call. I know that the whole of The Corporation is up on YouTube because that's where I watched it. I would chuck a link up here but I'm on my iPad so there'll be mobile site nonsense to contend with.

    And I second anything by Attenborough. His work on the BBC is simply some of (if not) the finest television ever made.
  • BBC red button was showing some of his (Attenborough's) old, B&W documentaries after recent episodes of Africa. 

    He was good even in them days, although he's toned down his Oxbridge voice a bit since then. Not sure if they're still up on iPlayer.
  • Before someone else says it: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

    Probably my fave doc ever.
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    Control Room. The whole thing is on youtube.
  • Requiem for Detroit is sublime, I always end up mentioning it on the documentary threads. 

    This won best documentary at the BAFTAs 6 years back and is one of the best UK docs I've seen. Heartbreaking stuff - this first 10 minutes is worth investing your time in. The rest of it is on Youtube. 


    If you can get hold of Anatomy of a Crime then they're sublime. They were on BBC sporadically a few years back. 

    Bought this series recently - brilliant if you can get passed his voice. Grates with some. 


    Loved The Imposter and Searching for Sugarman recently.
  • The mentioning of Detroit reminded me of this gem:



    BBC4 Music Doc's tends to be quite good. There was a similar one about Factory/Manchester that I remember being excellent. Rock Family Trees was a good Peel narrated show back in the 90's:



  • Être et Avoir, oui oui, c'est le plus superfilm, chiennes.
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    I'm looking forward to this



    As for ones I'd recommend not already mentioned..

    Food Inc.
    Super Size Me
    Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer

    All on Netflix. Though if you have any interest in documentaries you've almost certainly seen them already.

    This one you might not have

  • Recent ones I've liked were Dear Zachary and Deep Water. Both of which are worth watching without knowing anything. DZ can be a bit manipulative with the film-making but man, right in all the feels with that one. Same with Deep Water. I was a bit of a mess after watching them one after the other.



  • Quite a short one this, coming in at just under 1 hour in length. The Parents, The Politician and the Carpetbagger follows parents and teachers from Downhills School as they try to stop Education secretary, Michael Gove, forcing their school to become part of the Harris academy chain. 

    Obviously has a huge agenda, but it's interesting to see how some of the statistics about academies have been manipulated by Gove et al.
  • No Michael Moore mentioned yet?

    I've been watching the BBC3 show People Like Us (not the spoof of the same name) about life in North Manchester. A bit sensationalist (it is BBC3) but pretty good. Also I used to live there so it's part nostalgia trip and part validation for us getting the fuck out of there.
  • Yossarian
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    WorKid wrote:
    No Michael Moore mentioned yet?

    It's the Documentaries thread, not the Polemic thread. As much as I enjoy Michael Moore and agree with most of what he says, I expect docos to at least try to appear balanced and unbiased.
  • Some great mentions there. Shoah is full of amaze. Heard about it through Gene Siskel. Well worth the time. Another big shout for Hoop Dreams and No Direction Home. Dig! just about sums up the whole hipster problem. One look at what a huge massive dickhead the Brian Jonestown fella and how he sabotaged almost every chance the band had at success, should discount all of those bullshit Dandy Warhols sold out arse. Being acquainted with a fair lot of LA music heads, Dig was received rather harshly. A gut punch to the most affected lifestyle of credibility fetishists.

    I would also humbly recommend the American Experience documentaries from PBS. In particular:

    Robert E. Lee

    The American Civil War was really very recent, and with the divide in America obsessed with many of the same issues, it is interesting to get an insight into the way the South viewed the thing. It's still about slavery, obviously, but there are a lot of weird complexities to the people who were instrumental in it. Especially Robert E. Lee. A more conflicted and fucked up guy it is rare to encounter.

    The New York Triangle Fire

    I posted this in the Bioshock Infinite thread already but this is a wonderful look at how the worst workplace accident in New York's history altered the assumption that the state had no business interfering in business matters. As relevant as ever.

    Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl is excellent.



    It can be bought on iTunes, but the American Experience Surviving The Dustbowl is a good stand in.
    I'm a Sasquatch man and I'm watching you.
  • Forgot an obvious one. A pair of my favourite music related documentaries. 



    There is a danger in fetishising old Daniel's mental illness, or to see him as some tragic figure in order for the listener to get off emotionally. He is a prolific guy and still writes and performs today.



    My love of The Flaming Lips has cooled a bit in the past few years, but they are definitely one of the most important musical people in my forming, and what more they are the best live act I have ever seen. This is an uplifting, and informative bit of film. And keeping with the subjects, it is BIG FUN.
    I'm a Sasquatch man and I'm watching you.
  • regmcfly
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    Can I recommend One Day In September - despite being INCREDIBLY manipulative (hey, you've got the grandson of emeric pressburger making it) it is, as far as I can tell, the first documentary that went for that "thriller"/ fiction feel that's so popular now.
  • regmcfly
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    Oh and in music documentaries, LoudQuietLoud was alright I guess and I Am Trying To Break Your Heart is fucked up
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    Capturing the Friedmans is pretty amazing.
  • stylewars I love
    Currently playing; Mario Maker and Clash Royale
  • regmcfly
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    Capturing the Friedmans is amazing but also intensely difficult to watch at points.

    This is Not a Film and This Film Has Not Yet Been Rated are also ace
  • Dark Soldier
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    regmcfly wrote:
    Capturing the Friedmans is amazing but also intensely difficult to watch at points.

    How so? I've seen it thrice.

    TalHotBlond yo.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
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    regmcfly wrote:
    Oh and in music documentaries,

    Some Kind of Monster is amazing, possibly for all the wrong reasons.
  • regmcfly
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    regmcfly wrote:
    Capturing the Friedmans is amazing but also intensely difficult to watch at points.

    How so? I've seen it thrice.

    TalHotBlond yo.

    Tallhotblond is a belter. I just found the family's interactions very uncomfortable as they distanced more and more.
  • Yeah, it's hilarious. To a certain degree though, fair play for putting their shit honestly on camera. Aerosmith had a similar situation when they got over drugs and their fighting, and it worked. For a couple of decades anyway. I do like Metallica, and I guess what makes it funny is how hard edged their music has been and how fluffy and emotional they are as people. I guess if it was a different band, it wouldn't be so absurd.

    Here is a great documentary on LA music which you have probably all seen:

    I'm a Sasquatch man and I'm watching you.
  • Dark Soldier
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    Overnight was awesome too.

    Mod: I gave Room 237 about twenty minutes last night. Found the production values horrific, the theories about the film laughable, and ultimately it was all a bit dull.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
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    Gimme Shelter is a bit fucked up if you're into that sort of thang
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    Overnight was awesome too. Mod: I gave Room 237 about twenty minutes last night. Found the production values horrific, the theories about the film laughable, and ultimately it was all a bit dull.

    sadface.

    I'll still give it a look when I can.
  • Dark Soldier
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    American Movie
    Chasing Ghosts
    Scratch
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
  • Kubrick would be one of the few people who I could see actually having such outrageously specific hidden meanings in there. Mighty give it a watch. Saw the American cut in the cinema a few months back. So good.
    I'm a Sasquatch man and I'm watching you.
  • Dark Soldier
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    Kubrick would be one of the few people who I could see actually having such outrageously specific hidden meanings in there. Mighty give it a watch. Saw the American cut in the cinema a few months back. So good.

    The main one I heard was about tins of food in the bloody freezer bit. They kinda make sense, but in a batshit mental way. Problem being, they just repeat really.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
  • regmcfly
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    I saw Room 237 with Flora. The Shining is like one of her favest movies. I found the whole thing just completely bemusing, and the ramshackle nature of the actual film I think added to it.
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