babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Favourite Documentaries?

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Favourite Documentaries?
Willowdale Wizard
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3674

posted 07 May 2003 03:59 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
in toronto, the "hot docs" festival is finishing, and i've always loved the documentaries at the "inside-out" festival (beginning not this but next weekend),

what are the best that people have seen ever? do people think that "bowling for columbine" by that guy in the baseball hat is going to increase documentary movie-going?

mine is: tongues untied by marlon riggs. but nearly all of his films rock.


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1425

posted 07 May 2003 04:59 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Life and Debt (IMF and WTO versus Jamaica)


Atomic Cafe (Documentary footage from the '50s USA shows Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose... but it's funny.

What Happened to Jack Kerouac? (great interviews capturing the heady life of the Beats in '50s and '60s "square" America)

Manufacturing Consent (Ohhh, give me a Noooam, where... Great!)


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2595

posted 08 May 2003 02:51 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hoop Dreams !
From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 08 May 2003 02:55 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
BTW, tonight at 9 on Vision TV:

quote:
May 8 – Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause [WORLD PREMIERE]

for more info...


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 08 May 2003 03:18 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
damn! gotta get cable....
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
clarabel
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3245

posted 08 May 2003 04:24 PM      Profile for clarabel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gates of Heaven by Errol Morris. Gotta love almost everything that guy has done.

[ 08 May 2003: Message edited by: clarabel ]


From: Halifax | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
mighty brutus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3148

posted 08 May 2003 04:27 PM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Beyond the Mat" by Barry Blaustein. Oscar-nominated in 2000.
From: Beautiful Burnaby, British Columbia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
spindoctor
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 958

posted 09 May 2003 10:28 AM      Profile for spindoctor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Last Just Man
Don't know the director, but it's the documentary on Romeo Dallaire and the Rwanda Massacre. Unbelievably dramatic and explains the complex politics very well.

From: Kingston, Jamaica.....oh alright....Kingston, Ontario | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy Shanks
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3076

posted 09 May 2003 10:54 AM      Profile for Tommy Shanks     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Sorrow and the Pity.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 May 2003 11:22 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Along the same lines, "Shoah" and "Night and Fog" (Nuit et brouillard). Also have very early memories of "The War Game".

Edited to add: And a very recent one by a filmmaker I know "The Haunted Land" by Mary-Ellen Davis, about efforts to unearth the graves of victims of the genocidal massacres of Mayan peasants in Guatemala, and discover the truth at great risk. A film that also touches on both the importance as witness and the terrible beauty of forensic photography, and the power of the aboriginal Guatemalans' native culture against terrible oppression.

[ 09 May 2003: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2595

posted 09 May 2003 11:25 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tommy:

Why

quote:
The Sorrow and the Pity.
?

I saw it at Cinemateque in Toronto last year and I did think it was compelling but I didn't understand why it's so well known.

Any ideas ?


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 May 2003 11:29 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, it wouldn't make as much sense now. This film won prominence because it exposed the extent of collaboration with Nazism in Vichy France, against the then-current myth of "La France résistante".

Unfortunately nowadays the myth has been turned around and bellicist Americans are fond of repeating that French people were all cowards and collaborators. I know several who weren't, who fought bravely, hid resistants and Jews, etc. Some are still alive, as they were very young back then.

[ 09 May 2003: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 May 2003 11:30 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Culloden, by Peter Watkins (1964).

A dramatized reconstruction rather than a straight doc:

quote:
Many who saw it then have never forgotten the power of its images, and its influence on subsequent film and television has been immense.

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2595

posted 09 May 2003 11:34 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
On "The Sorrow and the Pity":

I remember reading that it was banned from broadcast on French Television. I suspect it was because they told a story about Giscard d'Estaing (sp?) the French president.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 May 2003 11:34 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We really seem to be into genocides here ...

One week, I was writing something about "The Haunted Land", working on a documentary on music and children's creations at the Nazi concentration camp Terezin and translating stuff on the Rwandan genocide... Not pleasant dreams.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 09 May 2003 12:20 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Sorrow and the Pity is Alvy Singer's favourite film in Annie Hall. He takes Annie to see it on their first date. That's how I first heard of it.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 983

posted 09 May 2003 01:25 PM      Profile for dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Would Baraka be considered a documentary? If so, that's mine.
From: pleasant, unemotional conversation aids digestion | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
glennB
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3993

posted 09 May 2003 01:53 PM      Profile for glennB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I second Noam Chomsky's MANUFACTURING CONSENT. Should be the documentary of the century!

Does Oliver Stone's JFK count?

Whoa, that is gooooood


From: Canada | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1425

posted 09 May 2003 02:13 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love documentaries and in thinking back over those that made an lasting impression, I recall a wonderful, moving 1973 French documentary called L'affiche Rouge.

The story concerns a troupe of French actors who mount an outdoor play commemorating the lives and deaths of 23 Resistance fighters who were arrested by the Nazis in 1943, interrogated, then executed in 1944. Most of the actors are children of the heroes whose lives they celebrate, and each one acts his/her parents' last hours . The film's title comes from the fact that the Nazis covered walls and buildings throughout Paris with red posters carrying the photographs of a dozen of them in an attempt to discredit their heroism by labelling them as "Jewish, Armenian and other stateless terrorists."

A French poet, Louis Aragon, wrote a poem,"L'Affiche Rouge" ("The Red Poster") , which was later set to music by Leo Ferré. Below is the poster in question.


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 May 2003 02:37 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, that was an extraordinary film and kicked off a lot of discussion on the historical role of "parias" and exiles in resistance movements. Note how the Spanish and Italian immigrants who had fled fascism in their own countries were branded "anarchists" or "reds", but to be an Armenian or a Jew - a victim of past or ongoing genocide - was enough as a mark of infamy.

A friend of mine who is almost 82 now saw that poster as a very young man. Seeing people with the guts to fight back was one of the key factors in him joining a resistance maquis.

He named his maquis, in French "Que ma joie demeure" after the famous work by JS Bach (believe it is "Jesus' joy of man's desiring in English?) . A way of expressing his conviction that the Resistance was not a fight against "Les Boches" but that the Nazis were destroying all that was admirable in German, as well as French, culture.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy Shanks
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3076

posted 09 May 2003 04:04 PM      Profile for Tommy Shanks     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry, everyone, for my brief post and not responding.

Legatta explained it well.

For me though, its one of the few documentaries that demanded I watch. I was riveted seeing other people try to get out of the myths and moral strait-jackets they had created to deal with their role in the war.

I can understand people mitigating what they had or had not done, but to see them enduring the judgemental silence of the film-maker and them trying to come to terms with their actions was quite compelling. In some instances it seemed that happy, well-adjusted people degenerated in front of you to suspicious, angry, and guiltly justifiers of their part in WWII.

Other docs I've liked:

Crumb
Life and Times of Hank Greenburg
Don't Look Back
7, 14, 21, 28, 35 Up (a film series)

Scariest almost doc?

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 May 2003 04:09 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is "Henry" about Kissinger?

I'm happy that we are turning the topic "pop culture" into "arts and culture" here: don't see how documentaries about various genocides and nuclear war can be considered "pop culture"...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 09 May 2003 04:23 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One of my favourite documentaries is called Visions of Light. It came out around 10 years ago, and is all about the history of cinematography.

I'd never given much thought to the photography side of movies before watching this, just plot and characterization and like that. It was a revelation. I haven't watched movies in the same way since.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 May 2003 04:38 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Do we consider Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers, to be a doc?

My entire cohort were mesmerized by this film.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 09 May 2003 04:58 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
NFB's To a safer place. Incredible documentary.

[ 09 May 2003: Message edited by: clersal ]


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
tyoung
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3885

posted 09 May 2003 05:05 PM      Profile for tyoung        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If the world starts getting to you, just check Song of the Paddle out at your local library...
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2776

posted 09 May 2003 05:45 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lats year's skater doc "Dogtown and Z-Boys."
Dude, like, Spicoli narrates! Rad!

From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3674

posted 09 May 2003 07:35 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
yes, i think baraka is a documentary of sorts, it just documents places and things and processes, not talking people. i agree about the "7 up" series and "dogtown and z-boys".

two more:

War Photographer

and

The Times of Harvey Milk


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
themorninglight
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3050

posted 10 May 2003 05:44 PM      Profile for themorninglight   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A Place Called Chiapas, directed by Nettie Wild

anything by Alanis Obomsawin

and Manufacturing Consent


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Dr. Mr. Ben
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3265

posted 10 May 2003 06:39 PM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Lonely Boy," the NFB documentary about Paul Anka. It's really great in terms of its documetnary technique, plus seeing the fuss made about Paul Anka in the '50s is hilaritastical.
From: Mechaslovakia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mohamad Khan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1752

posted 10 May 2003 06:51 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Baraka was quite the spectacle.

dunno whether i could choose. but i have to say i was enthralled by Derrida earlier this year. despite the irksome problematics of making such a product, it was really interesting to see the guy moving about and speaking. what struck me in particular was his age...he's not decrepit by any means, but certainly in some sense he's the very picture of an aged Jewish grandfather. it was such a strange thing to see, knowing the life that pulses through his writings.

and what a withering reply he had for that green British interviewer:

"deconstruction does not produce sitcoms."


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
glennB
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3993

posted 10 May 2003 07:07 PM      Profile for glennB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"deconstruction does not produce sitcoms."

That was one of my favorite parts as well. When the journalist asks him if the TV show Seinfeld partipates in Deconstruction.

Derridas tells them to switch off their televisions and to pick up a book. Sweet!


From: Canada | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3453

posted 11 May 2003 04:07 AM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
one of my favorite doc series' is the 7up, 14up, 21+, etc, series.
for those who don't know, a doc film maker forty years ago interviewed about a dozen seven year olds (hence 7 up) about their lives. Seven years later, he interveiwed the same people, and he continued to do so every seven years, releasing a film for each seven years.
These docs give the best breakdown of the british class system that i've ever seen.its an ongoing project.

From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 11 May 2003 11:07 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I saw that too kingblake. It was excellent.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 11 May 2003 05:31 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I liked the 7-Up series too. The fellow who struggled with depression for so long, became a wanderer, and then fetched up on the Orkneys, I think having settled in and become a local councillor -- he was especially haunting, although so many of the individuals come back, don't they?
The upper-class twit who dropped out when he married up (her daddy wouldn't have approved of his continued public profile in the series) was amusing -- bet he's not glad to know that we all remember him so well.

There is a doc about Derrida? I didn't know that. Where did y'all see it?

And Dr Mr Ben: Do you know that my friends and I, in Calgary in the summer of 1964, in order to see A Hard Day's Night three times in a row, had to sit through Lonely Boy twice??? I mean, cruel and unusual, eh?

I will never forget the sight of Anka padding about his motel room in his baggy briefs. Ewww. And, of course, he just got worse in years to come.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
xrcrguy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1562

posted 11 May 2003 06:55 PM      Profile for xrcrguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michael Apted, the man who did the 7uip series also directed one of my favorite documentaries Incident at Oglala. It's also nararrated and produced by Robert Redford.

I haven't seen the 7up series but you've got my interest piqued. Perhaps the library has a copy.


From: Believe in ideas, not ideology | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3453

posted 11 May 2003 07:11 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
incident at oglala is a brilliant doc. have you seen its fictional counterpart, "Thunderheart", whose profits funded incident at Oglala. its excellent, both politically and artistically, and is based largely upon what happened at Oglala.
re: Michael Apted. its quite hard to find each video from the 7up series, though each and every episode can stand alone. ps. he is currently in the midst of a new documentary, whose name escapes me, which follows the relationships of a handful of newlyweds. i only saw the first one, and it was very disappointing. he also has directed a few crappy hollywood films, like the latest 007.

From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 12 May 2003 11:40 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's one I rather liked, although I don't know if any of you have seen it.

http://www.maplelake.mb.ca/thbq.html

And another, which I absolutely loved.

http://www.nfb.ca/obachansgarden/


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 12 May 2003 02:17 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes to Visions of Light. Brilliant movie. Other great documentaries about movies/moviemakers:

Burden of Dreams and its companion My Best Fiend about Herzog and Kinski.

Wenders meditation on Ozu: Tokyo-ga and his deeply moving tribute to Nicholas Ray Lightning Over Water.

The documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now, Hearts of Darkness is actually better than the film it's about.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1425

posted 12 May 2003 02:31 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I shall try to weasel some "on-threadness" out of this post since the movie I just saw is not a documentary. I took your advice, ronb, and borrowed Aguirre, wrath of God this weekend.
Wow.
I watched it two days in a row. It is truly great. I disagree about Hearts of Darkness being superior to Apocalypse Now, though the former is a great film, but I would say that Herzog's river is a far more potent character than Coppola's. If Brando were capable of even aspiring to one-tenth of the insanity that Kinski has oozing out of each pore, Apocalypse Now would have been a better film by far. I especially loved the weird quirky humor in Aguirre: "Long arrows have become fashoinable.", and the little touches, like the humming henchman: "La la la la.". Great soundtrack, too.

Not that it matters, but apparently Herzog took great liberties with the real story of Aguirre's search for El Dorado.

The real Aguirre was a more interesting character.


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 12 May 2003 03:30 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am SO glad you liked it. There are too many great elements to mention, but the insane priest who mutters "these savages are so difficult to convert" while cleaning his blade and the canoe dangling from the side of the ship wedged in the tree stand out for me, as does Kinski leaning at an impossible angle, governing his kingdom of monkeys. Haunting score too.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy Shanks
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3076

posted 13 May 2003 10:10 AM      Profile for Tommy Shanks     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Aguirre is one of my favourite flicks as well. I would be really interested in seeing a doc about the relationship between Herzog and Kinski. I wanna know if the story about Herzog threatening Kinski with a gun if he didn't act is true.

Kinski was (!!!!) a true original, a;beit rather repellent. Anyone ever read his biography? Seems he was fueled primarily by substance abuse and sex, in every way, shape, and form.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
grrril
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4050

posted 13 May 2003 03:36 PM      Profile for grrril     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Have to agree with ronb about Heart of Darkness. So many good documentaries out now. One of my favourites, though not a documentary in the strictest terms, The Laramie Project looks at the beating death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie Wyoming. Members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie and spent over a year interviewing locals and produced a play. The film is based on the play and is presented as a series of interviews and journal entries showing how the people of Laramie reacted to the murder.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?U2C621D84

Also

Devil’s Playground

Lucy Walker looks at Amish teenagers on their Rumspringa – their coming of age where they are allowed to party in the modern world before deciding on their commitment to the Amish way of life.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?N1F625


Wenders documentary on the Buena Vista Social Club was quite good too.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?U26761D84


From: pinkoville | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca