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Favorite Documentaries
nycvegan2sum Posted at 2006/05/12 7:32pm reply to

nycvegan2sum
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Hey Guys,

Just curious--what are your favorite documentaries?  I am big fan of the format, and here are my all time top picks:

1. Grizzly Man -- just saw this a couple months ago and it blew me away.  The subject is a troubled, tortured, sensitive soul, and the self-shot footage, raw honesty, and untouched wild scenery in this very personal film are achingly beautiful in my opinion.

2. Berkeley in the Sixties -- When I first saw this on PBS during college it made me wish I had a time machine, or better yet the climate for a new revolution!  

3. Capturing the Friedmans -- a very disturbing, raw, and painful look into a deeply dysfunctional family and a community gripped by hysteria.

4. Farenheit 9/11 -- Such a powerful trip, and very provocative for the biggest grossing doc film ever.

5. The Devil and Daniel Johnston -- This is fascinating and heroic/tragic.  It really stuck with me after seeing it the other week and now I want to watch it again already.

Other honorable mentions:

DIG!
The Animals' Film -- hard hitting epic 80s doc about animal liberation
Dogtown and Z-Boys
Bowling for Columbine
Roger and Me
Supersize Me
Hated: G.G. Allin and the Murder Junkies

By the way, if anyone has Netflix and wants to be Netflix Friends, I have rated over 700 movies and like to share recommendation!

Jeff
Jamie Posted at 2006/05/12 8:39pm reply to

Jamie
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we're always looking for movies for the sustainable living movie nights if you have any to recommend... permaculture, veganism, biking, resource management etc are some topics we look for

my mom has netflix... I'll ask for her info so we can share recs

"Hands on a Hard Body" is a pretty funny documentary
pete Posted at 2006/05/12 9:57pm reply to

pete
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I just saw "The Corporation" a little while ago, which was awesome.  Check out the thread I created on it in this section of the board.
John Posted at 2006/05/12 11:48pm reply to

John
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check out these:

Loose Change (http://www.loosechange911.com/)
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
Beyond the Mat
Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads
vegtarat Posted at 2006/05/13 12:43am reply to

vegtarat
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My stomach twisted and turned throughout the entirety of "The Corporation".
Check out "Invisible Children". PLEASE.
peter Posted at 2006/06/19 8:30am reply to

peter
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I had to bring this topic to the top again because I just saw "Murderball" last night. It was a beautiful film that I highly recommend. It's about quadriplegic rugby. Austinite Mark Zupan was the filmmaker behind it, and he is one of many guys profiled in it. You might remember him gracing the cover of the Chronicle a while back when he was promoting the film. Awesome movie.
Ross Posted at 2006/06/19 8:54am reply to

Ross
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haven't seen that one pete, thanks for the recommendation.

Favela Rising - this is a great documentary about a group started by some people in the most dangerous slum of Rio de Janeiro. They start a group dedicated to giving kids something and someone to look up to instead of the violent gang members/activities of the slums. Through music, the arts, and a message of taking care of yourself(including no drugs) they create a massive movement that inspires thousands to drop the guns and care about life. Great movie.
peter Posted at 2006/06/19 9:18am reply to

peter
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That sounds like a good one. In relation to that topic, check out "City of God" which is also about the condition of Rio's slums and the people growing up in them. However, this is a drama based on a true story rather than a documentary. It's pretty raw, I liked it a lot. It's in Portuguese with subtitles.
Ross Posted at 2006/06/19 10:09am reply to

Ross
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yeah city of god is one badass movie. it's so intense.
lmyers04 Posted at 2006/06/19 10:58am reply to

lmyers04
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lil' ze!
Ross Posted at 2006/06/19 11:17am reply to

Ross
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sho nuff!
chris Posted at 2006/06/19 11:54am reply to

chris
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if you're into brazilian favela stuff, "Bus 174" is a good doc about the "City of God" situation.
as for Herzog, "Little Dieter Needs To Fly" and "La Soufriere" are good, though no Grizzly Man.

Other favorites:
Sherman's March (best of all time)
Rivers and Tides
Same River Twice
My Architect
Marjoe (anti-evangelical)
Darwin's Nightmare
American Family (PBS' original reality TV)
Stone Reader

By Errol Morris:
Thin Blue Line
Gates of Heaven
Fog of War
Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control
Brief History of Time
Vernon Florida
Ross Posted at 2006/06/19 12:29pm reply to

Ross
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sherman's march is awesome!!

as well as bus 174
Jacob Posted at 2006/06/19 1:00pm reply to

Jacob
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I sorta liked "9-11: Martial Law and the Rise of the Police State".  Alex Jones giving a lecture before and after the movie made it twice as good.
nycvegan2sum Posted at 2006/06/19 2:45pm reply to

nycvegan2sum
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Hey--glad this thread got resurrected!

happy

I love City of God too.  I will definitely have to check out some of your picks, Chris!  I love Thin Blue Line and Fog of War, didn't like Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control.

One I forgot on my list is The Cruise.  Really excellent.

I just watched Loose Change (2nd edition) online, by the way.  It was riveting and definitely raises lots of good questions.  I don't think it presented a truly cohesive theory of what it posits did happen, but that is pretty hard to do.

Texter Posted at 2006/06/19 11:04pm reply to

Texter
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Hi,
I had to get in here, because I worked in documentary film production and distribution before grad school, and love the genre.

I love Sherman's March! Hard to teach, though...
And yes, American Family! A classic.

I recommend:
- Harlan County, USA - wonderful film
- American Dream - Both by Barbara Kopple, both won Academy Award

-Hey, Chris, have you seen Errol Morris' latest 'Mr. Death'?  Strange film!

What else?

High School by the cinema verite artist Frederic Wiseman (see all his stuff)
Black is, Black Ain't by Marlon Riggs
The Darker Side of Black by Isaac Julien
Silverlake Life: the view from here (a film prof films his own and his lover's deteriorating health and eventual death from AIDS; provocative)

many independent films on POV

so many many more, but I'm tired...


John Posted at 2006/06/20 11:26am reply to

John
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Has anyone seen Metallica - Some Kind of Monster? I thought it was going to be bad but it was great! I'm really surpised that it was realeased because it makes all the band members look really bad. Anyway, if you haven't seen it you should. it's well worth it.

Also, I just saw a great documentary called "You See Me Laughin'" which focuses on the last of the Mississippi delta blues artists.
chris Posted at 2006/06/20 12:57pm reply to

chris
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>>-Hey, Chris, have you seen Errol Morris' latest 'Mr. Death'?  Strange film!

yeah, i like all his stuff, though Mr. Death and his tv series are the works i don't tend to rewatch, mostly because they didn't have the same emotional impact on me as stuff like Gates of Heaven/Thin Blue Line/Fog of War.

>>Has anyone seen Metallica - Some Kind of Monster?

yep, it's pretty great.  i saw it around the same time i saw "Overnight", which is entertaining for people interested in the film business.

as for Loose Change, i think it's tripe...both in execution and factual inaccuracies.  i like conspiracies as much as the next guy, but you should check out the Loose Change Viewer's Guide or the Wikipedia article on Loose Change to see how silly it is.  so many omissions and all that bad music and "revealing" blurry photos!  ugh.  
http://loosetrains911.blogspot.com/
that website tells the TRUTH, complete with much better photographs.
nycvegan2sum Posted at 2006/06/20 7:58pm reply to

nycvegan2sum
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Gotta check out S.K.O.M., especially since it makes the band look bad!

Chris, I just checked out the Wikipedia stuff on Loose Change--pretty wild!  I did think it was odd to set the argument for what would be the world's most diabolical cover-up ever to casual loungey hip hop music!  Loose Trains is hilarious too.  

I still found Loose Change very entertaining, if only as a way far out conspiracy trip.  It just seems like there are many simpler and more likely theories involving U.S. complicity than this one.
chris Posted at 2006/06/20 11:13pm reply to

chris
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of course, we're forgetting all the Noam Chomsky docs like Power and Terror, Manufacturing Consent, Distorted Morality, etc.  
why is he never on tv or at least PBS?  he isn't even a crackpot, just an intellectual.  i don't even think many of his ideas are very far out there.
"all power structures are inherently violent..."
peter Posted at 2006/06/21 12:15am reply to

peter
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>of course, we're forgetting all the Noam Chomsky docs like Power and Terror, Manufacturing Consent, Distorted Morality, etc.  
>why is he never on tv or at least PBS?  he isn't even a crackpot, just an intellectual.  i don't even think many of his ideas are very far out there.
>"all power structures are inherently violent..."

I think he goes into that a bit in "Manufacturing Consent", just how shows like that are biased towards the professional class and how most of them are short on time. But yeah, he rocks.
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