Friday, July 1, 2016

Question: I just read your documentary films list from 2014, and I thought of a lot of great docs you didn't list. Could you revisit this?

Here's the original 2014 post:

Let's revisit!

Different Top Twenty Docs

20) When We Were Kings (1996) Some claim this movie about the 'Rumble in the Jungle' fight is the greatest sports doc of all time. They may be right.
19) Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2014) Decided to include some HBO stuff, this time. There might be better exposes of the Church of Scientology, but for me, knowing nothing, this was a comprehensive and terrifying look into their way of life.
18) Bully (2011) Kids getting bullied. Not cool.
17) Love Child (2014) A story about internet/gaming addiction and the very real life (and death) consequences.
16) Super Size Me (2004) I like Morgan Spurlock more and more as I watch his CNN series. This documentary was very fun to watch, and still his best work to date.
15) Until the Light Takes Us (2008) Perhaps the worst looking doc on this list, and least professional, it's arguably the most haunting. It tells the story of the birth of Black Metal, the burning of churches by aimless suburbanites, and a cold-blooded murderer.
14) Amy (2015) Bios aren't my favorite sort, but this documentary was a thorough telling of the story of a great talent dealing with the stress of fame.
13) Capturing the Friedman's (2003) Just barely missing the honorable mentions the last time I did a doc list, this movie, after it's own revisiting, was underappreciated by yours truly. A seemingly normal family rocked by child pornography allegations.
12) It Might Get Loud (2008) The wackiest entry in terms of form and format. The premise is to get Jack White, Jimmy Page and the Edge in a room together. Along they way, we're shown personal stories about the way each guitarist approaches his art.
11) My Kid Could Paint That (2007) A documentarian's dream! Amir Bar-Lev starts out with the intention of documenting a child prodigy, before learning that things might not be as they seem. We are with him every step of the way on his journey to discover the bigger story developing before his camera lens.
10) The Imposter (2012) A kid from Spain shows up in Texas claiming to be a family's long lost son. Whaaaaaat? A powerful story about the power of full denial.
9) Searching for Sugar Man (2012) Ever heard of Rodriguez? You should have!
8) The Queen of Versailles (2012) A glimpse at how the other side lives. Unless you're a billionaire, this will interest you.
7) Crumb (1994) The life and times of Fritz's Robert Crumb. He was an interesting cat.
6) Jesus Camp (2006) A woman recruits children into the army of Christ, because there's a war coming. It's terrifyingly hard to watch indoctrination in real time.
5) Cropsey (2009) The less said the better. What if your urban legend turned out to be true?
4) Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) All the great things about documentary filmmaking come together for this one. Banksy sets out on one mission, before discovering the story in front of the lens is actually about a fan with big dreams. A scathing look at the world of art and how easily people are led.
3) The Act of Killing (2012) Former Indonesisan death-squad leaders are challenged to recount their glorious feats through the art of film. A long, hard look into man's justification of violence with a horrific and satisfying conclusion.
2) Zoo (2007) Not for everyone, this doc tells the story of a man and his horse, and how loneliness can turn very, very bad.
1) Overnight (2003) I think I gave this an Honorable Mention as kind of an afterthought on the last list, but this movie is far more than that. Watch Troy Duffy burn every bridge in town as his quick rise to Hollywood stardom turns him into a narcissistic d-bag. You can actually feel his career dying through your eyeballs.

Short Answer: Honorable Mentions: Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden, Senna, Religulous, Spellbound, West of Memphis

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