Documentary (Recommendations)

JoshuaHeterJoshuaHeter Omaha, NE
What are some of your favorite documentaries? I have an elliptical and an ipad and when I'm working out, I'm in desperate need of things to help me forget that I'm working out. 

Here are some that I'd highly recommend. 

1. Baseball (Ken Burns) 
2. Louis & Clark (Ken Burns) 
3. Going Clear
4. New York City (Ric Burns)
5. The Donner Party (Ric Burns)
6. The Fog of War
7. Free Solo
8. Leaving Neverland
9. O.J. Made in America
10. Hoop Dreams
11. 30 for 30 
     a. Catching Hell
     b. The Fab 5
     c. Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?
     d. Pony Express
     e. The Best that Never was.
12. Assault in the Ring
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Comments

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I have less than zero interest in either jazz or baseball, but years ago I happened across these Ken Burns series and was riveted. That’s the mark of a good doco - they can take a subject you don’t care about and make you sit there and learn something. 

    Louis Theroux is great too - he has a way of getting people to speak frankly that is such a rare skill. 
    JoshuaHeterMurderbear
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    personally i love music docs. here are a few that come to mind..

    Don't Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker
    The Fearless Freaks
    Shut Up and Play the Hits
    The Clash: Westway to the World
    Stop Making Sense (more of a concert film but whatever, amazing!)
    Dig!
    A Band Called Death
    Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
    Beastie Boys Story
    Searching for Sugar Man
    The Devil and Daniel Johnston
    CretanBull
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    Chinaski said:
    personally i love music docs. here are a few that come to mind..

    Don't Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker
    The Fearless Freaks
    Shut Up and Play the Hits
    The Clash: Westway to the World
    Stop Making Sense (more of a concert film but whatever, amazing!)
    Dig!
    A Band Called Death
    Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
    Beastie Boys Story
    Searching for Sugar Man
    The Devil and Daniel Johnston
    All of these are great, I especially love Dig!

    Also, I think you forgot "The Toronto Raptors: Season of Champions"  :#
    ChinaskiNoel
  • DoubleA_RonDoubleA_Ron San Diego
    The Jinx.
    Noel
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    Also, I think you forgot "The Toronto Raptors: Season of Champions"  :#
    i was only referring to music docs.

    sports docs on the other hand.. The Toronto Raptors: Season of Champions..

    I Heart You GIFs  Tenor

    :|
    NoelCretanBull
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    Senna is one of my favorite movies, and I didn't follow or know anything about Formula 1 the first time I saw it. It's a really amazing story about one of the best to ever do what he did in an era where the cars were exploding death traps and drivers died or were seriously injured all the time. The way they describe how he drove on a wet track while watching him from the driver view camera is one of the things that pushed me into watching F1.  

    Three Identical Strangers is a recent one that the less you know about it going in the better. It's the story of the lives of three triplets who were separated at birth and an investigation into why they were separated. 

    If you somehow haven't seen it or know what happens, The Jinx on HBO has the best ending of any true crime documentary. 
    ChinaskiCretanBull
  • MichelleMichelle California
    I'm with @Chinaski on the music docs.  It's not super serious filmmaking, but I used to love watching VH1's Behind The Music.  Also, Axs TV has a series called Classic Album where they dive into the making of various classic albums, one album per episode.  Aside from all that, I agree with you and @Dee about the Ken Burns docs.  I feel like you can pick any one of them and be entertained.  
    DeeChinaskiCretanBull
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    Michelle said:
    I'm with @Chinaski on the music docs.  It's not super serious filmmaking, but I used to love watching VH1's Behind The Music.  Also, Axs TV has a series called Classic Album where they dive into the making of various classic albums, one album per episode.  Aside from all that, I agree with you and @Dee about the Ken Burns docs.  I feel like you can pick any one of them and be entertained.  
    VH1 Motley Crue behind the music was so good! better than the lame biopic that came out last year on Netflix.
    Michelle
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    Three Identical Strangers is a recent one that the less you know about it going in the better. It's the story of the lives of three triplets who were separated at birth and an investigation into why they were separated.
    that was a pleasant surprise i stumbled onto. good shout out.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited July 9
    Chinaski said:
    Michelle said:
    I'm with @Chinaski on the music docs.  It's not super serious filmmaking, but I used to love watching VH1's Behind The Music.  Also, Axs TV has a series called Classic Album where they dive into the making of various classic albums, one album per episode.  Aside from all that, I agree with you and @Dee about the Ken Burns docs.  I feel like you can pick any one of them and be entertained.  
    VH1 Motley Crue behind the music was so good! better than the lame biopic that came out last year on Netflix.
    That *was* a good one.  Have you seen this one?  I totally forgot that the Biography channel used to do these.


    There's a pretty good Behind The Music playlist of full episodes starting here:

    Chinaski
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Mostly true crime stuff

    Capturing the Friedmans
    The Staircase
    The Jinx
    OJ: Made in America
    Abducted in Plain Sight
    Dear Zachary
    Three Identical Strangers
    Harmontown
    There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
    I Love You Now Die
    At the Heart of Gold
    The Cheshire Murders
    Leaving Neverland
    Mommy Dead and Dearest
    The Jeffrey Dahmer Files
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I don’t know how available this is but there’s a really good documentary about The Easybeats and AC/DC called Blood and Thunder: The Story Of Alberts. I am not into either of those bands but it was another one I stumbled on while flicking channels and ended up glued to. 
    Chinaski
  • kuman07kuman07 Kansas City
    A couple i just recently watched I thought was pretty good:

    Time: The Kalief Browder Story- Netflix. 
    Outcry-Showtime
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited July 9
    Behind The Curve
    Fyre
    Hoop Dreams
    Jiro Dreams of Sushi
    1991: The Year Punk Broke
    Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story

    [edit] One more:  Until The Light Takes Us

    CretanBullNoel
  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    Sour Grapes- doc about the underground world of selling fraudulent wines
    Paradise Lost- about the West Memphis Three and the case
  • HunkuleseHunkulese Québec, Canada
    Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau is wild and on Amazon Prime.

    I didn't really know any of the beside the scenes drama that went on, but I remembered being extremely confused about what the hell I just watched after seeing Dr. Moreau.

    I'll just say that the director getting an actual warlock to do warlock things to ensure his meeting with Marlon Brando goes well isn't even close to the craziest thing that happened while making the movie.
    bizmarkiefader
  • edited July 9
    Crumb:
    About Robert Crumb, the underground comic artist of the 60s and 70s. Man, that dude had a singularly fucked up family, and it really did a number on him psychologically, which he poured out relentlessly into his comics and into his relationships with women. "Neurotic and self-loathing" hardly begins to capture his state of mind. Somehow, though, in his late middle-age Crumb managed to find some way through all that eventually to reach some measure of peace with himself. If you are looking for something in these awful times to feel a little bit better about the human capacity to change for the better, this might be it, although you have to wallow through his years of being a miserable SOB to eventually get to that. Also, it has an absolute top-notch soundtrack of early 20th century blues and jazz, and Crumb's cynicism and sour view of humanity is very charming and funny. 
    cdrive
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    Hunkulese said:
    Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau is wild and on Amazon Prime.

    This movie is amazing
  • Chinaski said:
    A Band Called Death
    Haven't seen this, but that was an amazing band with an amazing story. 

    If you've ever wondered what it would have sounded like at the moment when Thin Lizzy decided to stop being Thin Lizzy and instead start becoming Bad Brains, that Death album is that moment. 
    Chinaski
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Hunkulese said:
    Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau is wild and on Amazon Prime.

    I didn't really know any of the beside the scenes drama that went on, but I remembered being extremely confused about what the hell I just watched after seeing Dr. Moreau.

    I'll just say that the director getting an actual warlock to do warlock things to ensure his meeting with Marlon Brando goes well isn't even close to the craziest thing that happened while making the movie.
    It's awesome to see that he has finally managed to make another movie recently after pretty much being ostracized. Color Out of Space has done really well, to the point where he is already working on a couple more Lovecraft'ian flicks. 
  • United Red Army:

    As opposed to Crumb, woo boy is this the opposite of a movie to make you feel better about anything. I’m stretching the “documentary” category here, but the first hour, while dramatized in parts, is more or less straight-forward documentary. 

    So this is the story of the Asana Mountain Lodge incident in Japan in 1972, wherein a group of leftist revolutionaries holed up in a ski lodge and fought a days long battle with the police. This was a huge event -- something like 90% of people watching TV in Japan on the last day of the standoff were watching live coverage of it. 

    The director of this movie , Kōji Wakamatsu, was a fellow traveler with these folks around that time and knew lots of them personally, and this is his attempt to make the youth of Japan aware that this even happened, explain to them how people became so intensely radicalized, as well as provide a cautionary tale about how catastrophically off the rails such a movement can fly. 

    The first hour is a firehouse of history about the leftist student reaction against the Japanese post-war government and United States involvement in Japanese politics. It's overwhelming in all of the details, but simultaneously left me wanting to know much more than it gave me*. Still, it's a fascinating glimpse into an important history that essentially no one in the United States (or, apparently, anyone in Japan born after 1980) have ever heard of. 

    The rest of the movie stops being documentary and is just historical drama, so maybe that’s a decent stopping point because It gets really dark. Really, really dark. No exaggeration, the second hour may be the single most difficult thing I have ever watched. If you've ever wondered what happens when you mix Maoist Cultural Revolution-inspired fervor for self-criticism sessions with the most extreme form of Japanese bullying culture, here you have it. It's horrific. It’s worth it, though, to force yourself through it to get to the culminating standoff at the ski lodge. I think these specifc people were the ones Wakamatsu was friends with, and his portrait of them and their desperation, especially after the horror they had just been through in the previous hour, is very poignant and sad. 

    Also, there’s a cool soundtrack by sometime member of Sonic Youth Jim O’Rourke.

    * For instance, why did elements of the Japanese far left got tangled up with the Marxist flavor of the Palestinian liberation movement? I.e. not Fatah or the PLO, but groups like the PFLP. If any of you all are old enough to remember the machine gunning down of dozens of people in an Israeli airport in the early 70s, that was the Japanese. How on earth did Japanese leftists come to care so intensely about Israel, Jews, or Palestinians? I've never been able to figure that out. (The Carlos miniseries, at least the first two parts, is a gripping tale of that era of Middle Eastern politics. Also, it has some of the weirdest anachronistic choices for a soundtrack ever. Like, The Feelies?  What possible connection ties The Feelies in time or spirit to Carlos the Jackal in the 1970s???).



  • fidozfidoz Houston
    Chinaski said:
    personally i love music docs. here are a few that come to mind..

    Don't Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker
    The Fearless Freaks
    Shut Up and Play the Hits
    The Clash: Westway to the World
    Stop Making Sense (more of a concert film but whatever, amazing!)
    Dig!
    A Band Called Death
    Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
    Beastie Boys Story
    Searching for Sugar Man
    The Devil and Daniel Johnston
    I assume you've seen the Roky Erickson doc You're Gonna Miss Me.
    Chinaski
  • Chinaski said:
    personally i love music docs. 
    Genghis Blues is worth a watch. Paul Pena wrote Jet Airliner, had his recording career destroyed by the giant asshole who owned the record label he had a contract with (Albert Grossman, who also conspired with another gigantic asshole, Robbie Robertson, to dick over the rest of The Band), taught himself how to sing Tuvan throat singing, and triumphantly wowed everyone when he was invited to Tuva to perform in a throat singing festival. Another heartwarming break from our current awful world. 
    Chinaski
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    cdrive said:
    Behind The Curve

    Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story

    The Stax movie is great...I've always been interested in soul music, but as I've gotten older and mellowed a bit from my metal/punk-rock/hip-hop youth I find myself listening to a TON of soul music and the stuff on Stax leads the way for me.

    Behind The Curve...I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but for the last 3 years or so I've been a part of the flat-earth debunking community.  Embarrassed because I've spent a shameful amount of time arguing with idiots about basic science.  I 'know' (have interacted with dozens of times online) almost everyone in that movie...the only two who I haven't dealt with are the two main characters - Mark Sargent and Patricia Steere.  I know pretty much everyone else (definitely not proud of that, they're idiots).

    cdrive
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    fidoz said:
    I assume you've seen the Roky Erickson doc You're Gonna Miss Me.
    i have not, will have to check it out.

    good WW2 doc series I really enjoyed was World War II in Colour. i remember watching it for the first time i was blown way how much color added to that footage. it also made me realize how much i didn't know about WW2.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited July 10
    I never miss an opportunity to recommend The Parking Lot Movie. 10/10.
    It's on Vudu for free right now.


  • fidozfidoz Houston
    Freddy said:
    I never miss an opportunity to recommend The Parking Lot Movie. 10/10.
    It's on Vudu for free right now.


    Is that the one with one of the members from Yo La Tengo?
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    Ancient Aliens....
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    fidoz said:
    Freddy said:
    I never miss an opportunity to recommend The Parking Lot Movie. 10/10.
    It's on Vudu for free right now.


    Is that the one with one of the members from Yo La Tengo?
    Sure looks like it. He sure showed that teacher.
    fidoz
  • It would be of interest to only a limited crowd, but I watched "Murder in the Front Row" on Amazon Prime today.  It's a documentary about the emergence of the thrash metal scene in San Francisco.  It mostly focuses on Metallica and Exodus, but there's plenty of Slayer, Megadeth, Death Angel, Testament etc in there too.
    ChinaskiNoel
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