An Impossible Job: ILX's 40 Favorite Documentaries

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I was going to post the results on the thread that was in progress, but a couple of people suggested a new one. The top 40 looks like a sensible cutoff point: everything from 40 up got at least 20 points, and only one film got in there with a single vote. I'll go up to #26 today, do 15 more on Monday, then the top 10 on Tuesday. Whatever links I can find for clips will be found just under the ranking/still/vote totals; I won't embed them, though. I'll start making note of first-place votes as soon as that applies. Thanks a lot to everyone who sent in a ballot--I think the results are a good mix of obvious inclusions and quirkier surprises.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:44 (five years ago) Permalink

#40: Salesman (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1968)

20 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQdQPtcX9Y8

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:49 (five years ago) Permalink

#40: The Filth and the Fury (Julien Temple, 2000)

20 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-kdhRoAEQY

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:53 (five years ago) Permalink

I haven't seen this but I remember mark s was very critical of it.

The multi-talented F.R. David (Billy Dods), Friday, 12 August 2011 14:54 (five years ago) Permalink

salesman is on the watch list.

sonderangerbot, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:57 (five years ago) Permalink

#40: The Gleaners & I (Agnes Varda, 2000)

20 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKgjjEJvMbM

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:57 (five years ago) Permalink

i found salesman incredibly mundane & get that that is sorta the point but idk. also just the concept of paying for a bible in installments blows my ever lovin mind

johnny crunch, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:59 (five years ago) Permalink

I just remembered forgetting to vote for Love & Diane, but then again hardly anyone else has seen it.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:01 (five years ago) Permalink

#40: The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984)

20 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkN8OZQ0EK8

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:01 (five years ago) Permalink

Had to get those ties out of the way--28 Up, 7 Up, Chronicle of a Summer, The Heart of the Game, and Seventeen also received 20 points, but with fewer voters. I'm so sloppy on this board when it comes to mistakes...If a moderator gets a minute to fix those missing end brackets on the first two films, that would be appreciated. I'll try to be careful.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:05 (five years ago) Permalink

#39: Être et Avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002)

21 points/2 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gHuxjtsp38

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:10 (five years ago) Permalink

#38: Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

22 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzhWodFE7E0&feature=relmfu

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:14 (five years ago) Permalink

If anyone's taking the time to look at the clips, try this one instead for Être et Avoir: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDcqQuoWnFI. I don't think the one I posted above is even from the film!

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:16 (five years ago) Permalink

#36: Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1970)

24 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=keh2paoGIrM

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Just saw Inside Job a couple of days ago. It was good, though it seems to oversimplify things a bit, I think. It makes want to read a good book about what exactly happened. I still don't understand how derivatives are supposed to work.

peter in montreal, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:23 (five years ago) Permalink

#36: Winged Migration (Jacques Perrin/Jacques Cluzaud, 2001)

24 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q40h8dPmgwQ

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Love that Gimme Shelter still.

Mucho! Macho! Honcho!: Turn Off The Dark (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:25 (five years ago) Permalink

Man, I hate Winged Migration. One of my old gfs made me watch it with her because she was fweakin cwazy about birds, and I feel like it had nothing to offer to anyone who wasn't already a bird fanatic. Aside from a surprisingly cool soundtrack (Robert Wyatt & Nick Cave iirc)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:29 (five years ago) Permalink

#34: Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz, 2002)

25 points/2 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5n_nMqH7CU

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:30 (five years ago) Permalink

^nothing to offer to anyone who wasn't already a nerd fanatic

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Winged Migration looks great, come on. Plus who doesn't like birds?!

Ismael Klata, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:35 (five years ago) Permalink

#34: The World at War (Hugh Raggett/John Pett/David Elstein/Ted Childs/Michael Darlow/Martin Smith, 1973/74)

25 points/2 votes

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:36 (five years ago) Permalink

This is interesting (and good work, clemenza)...but weird

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:36 (five years ago) Permalink

i like birds, but i dont like watching nothing but birds flying from point A to point B for 100 minutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Oops - I voted for World At War even though I haven't seen it, I just read about it and thought it looked amazing. Didn't think I'd be influencing things.

Ismael Klata, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:39 (five years ago) Permalink

already hate ILX for not repping for seventeen & actively punishing agnes varda. etre et avoir a good one. i think i found spellbound a lil frothy?, but i forget.

It makes want to read a good book about what exactly happened. I still don't understand how derivatives are supposed to work.

apparently the john lanchester one's good; i read the start and was only distracted by other books, not by it being boring or impenetrable etc.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:39 (five years ago) Permalink

hahaaaaa

xp

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Couldn't find a clip for World at War. Spellbound was my #1--I wanted to find a useable still for someone other than Harry (ideally, the Chateaubriand girl), but no luck.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:39 (five years ago) Permalink

sb'd you ismael

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:39 (five years ago) Permalink

don't wanna interrupt your countdown, but do enthuse about spellbound when you've a sec, clemenza -- would be curious to hear someone zealous about how good it is, i remember it fairly plainly

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:40 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, sb'ed myself too

Ismael Klata, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:40 (five years ago) Permalink

#33: Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003)

25 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hYg01uqz9U

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:43 (five years ago) Permalink

writing a draft list of shitty novels to submit to any future books polls you run
xp

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:44 (five years ago) Permalink

I've written about Spellbound a few times--I'll post some thoughts when I get a second. (I'm finding commenting difficult as I search for stills and clips.)

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:45 (five years ago) Permalink

already havent heard of a few of these!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:47 (five years ago) Permalink

you have to disable safe search to find stills for 'HATED: the gg allin story', fyi
xp

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:48 (five years ago) Permalink

#32: Sherman's March (Ross McElwee, 1986)

25 points/4 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZC2_FAcYlU

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Yay, thanks for doing this, clemenza.

Did I miss discussion of The Gleaners & I somewhere? Looks really interesting to me.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:51 (five years ago) Permalink

You'll be glad to know that Hated finished 214th among 214--dead last (but ahead of many, many documentaries that got no votes).

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:53 (five years ago) Permalink

#31: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi, 2008)

26 points/2 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYxZBTgi-gI&feature=fvst

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:58 (five years ago) Permalink

I haven't seen this, but obviously the greatest title ever.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:58 (five years ago) Permalink

#30: The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978)

26 points/4 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BREYCGWOouw

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:02 (five years ago) Permalink

If there's zero Fred Wiseman on this, including Anvil! makes perfect sense

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:02 (five years ago) Permalink

i don't know that there was any real dedicated gleaners discussion, emil.y; furthermore she's threadless, here, but i think there's quite a lot of discussion of it in a chris marker thread, iirc. it's v charmingly made and very interesting, if you've not seen it.

i actually wouldn't go near hated but i can see why someone'd vote it.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:02 (five years ago) Permalink

#29: WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makavejev, 1971)

27 points/2 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FNha0znnnA

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:06 (five years ago) Permalink

i can see how anvil! is not for everyone. for instance, if you hate life.

sonderangerbot, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:08 (five years ago) Permalink

Sherman's March.. jakldsfjklsdf

Jeff, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:10 (five years ago) Permalink

what does that mean, Jeff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:10 (five years ago) Permalink

#28: The Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003)

27 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfPwR00HXM0

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:10 (five years ago) Permalink

I voted for Anvil - it's another of those modern docs that have a real way with a good narrative yarn and emotional connection without seeming obscenely fake.

Finally remembered the name of a doc that gareth told me about that I was trying to find before voting: The Moon and the Sledgehammer. This looks awesome.

And my friend just got this for his birthday yesterday: Here's a Health to the Barley Mow: A Century of Folk Customs and Ancient Rural Games

And, you know what, I just realised that B.S. Johnson's short on the making of The Unfortunates may well have counted. This is what happens when you rush voting.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:11 (five years ago) Permalink

(I'm guessing the Barley Mow vid wouldn't count as 'a documentary', I think it's more of a collection, but still looks relevant to the interests of the thread)

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:12 (five years ago) Permalink

#27: My Best Fiend (Werner Herzog, 1999)

29 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4sg459P8m4

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:13 (five years ago) Permalink

the weirdest thing about Hated to me is that it was directed by todd phillips.

fog of war was the top erroll morris contender for me, though i ended up not voting for it. spectacular movie

now that I see how low the point threshold was for a movie to rank, I wish I'd spread my points around to some more unconventional pictures. I was coming right off the U2 poll, where my top songs didn't rank at all, so i guess i thought i'd be wasting points.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:15 (five years ago) Permalink

#26: Brother's Keeper (Joe Berlinger/Bruce Sinofsky, 1992)

30 points/1 vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlDSGMAyUrE

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:17 (five years ago) Permalink

urgh, i never sent in a ballot

of what's been posted so far, 'spellbound' (for admittedly personal reasons) and 'los angeles plays itself' would def have been on it

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:21 (five years ago) Permalink

huh, brother's keeper looks great. i'll have to watch for it.

puerile fantasies (Matt P), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:24 (five years ago) Permalink

I'll stop there for today. Brother's Keeper was the only film to get in on the maximum support from one voter--which is fine. One of things I love about documentaries is that a film like Anvil! The Story of Anvil can end up being every bit as compelling as The Fog of War--I had a film about bowling on my list, but not The Sorrow and the Pity. That's just the way it goes. Schlump asked earlier for some thoughts on Spellbound--just so I don't repeat myself, I'll be really lazy and link to some stuff I wrote when I listed it as my favourite film of the '00s (where I see I link to something I'd written on the film even earlier).

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:27 (five years ago) Permalink

yea i didnt vote for it, but i ttly love brother's keeper

johnny crunch, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:27 (five years ago) Permalink

Fog of War is my least fave Morris. McNamara's confessional spin doesn't interest me.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:29 (five years ago) Permalink

brother's keeper is great

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:29 (five years ago) Permalink

I had mixed feelings on The Fog of War too, but I found it better the second time. I think the whole point of the film is watching McNamara spin--except I wouldn't reduce it to spinning, he does seem to agonize his way through whatever it is he's trying to say.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:32 (five years ago) Permalink

I still don't understand how derivatives are supposed to work.

I think I've seen about six documentaries that try to explain this, and I'm still lost.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:35 (five years ago) Permalink

Since they came out around the same time, I always compare FoW to Capturing the Freidmans, even though they are so different. Love CtF so so so much more.

Jeff, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:35 (five years ago) Permalink

i always liked amateurist's posts on fog of war:

the film is perhaps most interesting for excavating, in part and not wholly convincingly--more on that later--the milieu out of which this guy and others who shaped cold war foreign policy came. he was a kind of technocrat, perfectly embodying the spillover between industry academia and the military.

what bugs me most--and i don't mean this as a criticism of the fil necessarily--is how much he claims innocence of the historical and political phenomena he was encountering in vietnam. when he said that he didn't understand the vietnamese hostility toward the chinese; or the fact that th e north vietnamese saw it as a liberation struggle...why not? books had been written, editorials published, etc. well before america's involvement in the region. were his circumstances and intellectual horizons really so circumscribed that mcnamara missed this completely? or is his claiming innocence--and by extrapolation the innocence rumsfeld et al may claim 30 years hence--just a way of bucking responsibility?

the film lacked a thorough enough feel for the period to throw these questions out--it remains mcnamara's story. which i believe was morris's intention and it might be a worthwhile one. why bother to make another film castigating our vietnam policy when so many exist already (or do they?)?

etc

― amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, January 19, 2004 7:14 AM (7 years ago) Bookmark

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:36 (five years ago) Permalink

I left Spellbound off my list and I feel terrible about it now. Sorry, clemenza.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:39 (five years ago) Permalink

WR: Mysteries of the Organism

is this a documentary? imo this is like 'any film that isn't a straightahead fictional narrative or an abstract/art/___ film'

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:41 (five years ago) Permalink

well, The Last Waltz isn't a doc either; it's a staged event.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:43 (five years ago) Permalink

Just went and read up on it (so thanks for mentioning it as I now desperately want to see it) and it sounds like it counts: all the reviews suggest there is a documentary element mixed up with collage/artyshit, which seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable way of shaping one's work without discounting it. I don't see why a documentary can't be arty.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:47 (five years ago) Permalink

Surely you should have psychically divined that I wanted Spellbound to win, Emily...It's such a great film. I assume Morbius's nerd comment upthread was directed at Spellbound (maybe Winged Migration, I'm not sure). If so, I think that's so far off the mark.

As I said numerous times in the previous thread, I didn't set guidelines as to what counted as documentary (not that I have any idea where I'd set them if I were to try). People who voted decided that WR and The Last Waltz are documentaries, and that's fine with me.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Uh. I also voted for brothers keeper. Did my ballot go missing?

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:51 (five years ago) Permalink

WR is mostly documentary - apart from a couple of short fictional scenes set in (then) Yugoslavia.
Also I mentioned this on the other thread, but I first saw WR when I was 16, and it blew my mind. Well worth checking out.

Hysterically Hardcore (snoball), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:53 (five years ago) Permalink

i actually wouldn't go near hated but i can see why someone'd vote it.

I voted for Hated - the main thing for me is the massive gulf between what GG thought he was doing and what other people, even his fans, were getting out of it.

Hysterically Hardcore (snoball), Friday, 12 August 2011 16:57 (five years ago) Permalink

Jjjusten--I'm so glad you caught that, and many apologies. I'm going to make the adjustments right now. It's an easy fix; I'm just got to move Brother's Keeper up, and retabulate points for a film that hasn't come up yet. Let me do that, and I'll be back in a few minutes to post the proper #26 (and will re-post Brother's Keeper again on Monday).

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:59 (five years ago) Permalink

I almost voted for hated as well

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh and no apologies needed obv

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:03 (five years ago) Permalink

well, The Last Waltz isn't a doc either; it's a staged event.

o_0

oh boy

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:11 (five years ago) Permalink

just ignore him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:13 (five years ago) Permalink

it's hard!

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:14 (five years ago) Permalink

#26: Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985)

(30 points/2 votes)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W0WcZu9O74

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:17 (five years ago) Permalink

Bravo

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:18 (five years ago) Permalink

although on second thoughts a lot of that is so clearly staged, it has no place here. I find it hard to believe those guys are still walking around the camps so many years later and the camera crew just found them there

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:19 (five years ago) Permalink

^^^ set up for a really edgy joke

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:21 (five years ago) Permalink

That's the real #26--Brother's Keeper has moved up. As I'm sure everybody says when they mess up a countdown, I'm not sure how that happened--I'd acknowldged jjjusten' ballot when it came in. Anyway, most of jjjusten's votes were solitary, so it was as easy a fix as I could've hoped for in such a situation.

You can't find a Shoah clip on YouTube. Just the trailer, or the whole film in 59 parts.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:21 (five years ago) Permalink

I definitely enjoyed most of these, I think, aside from Spellbound and Brother's Keeper. Winged Migration is the one so far I haven't seen. Looks hard to get excited about, tbh.

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:22 (five years ago) Permalink

Sad realization about what that means about the rest of my ballot slowly sinking in

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:28 (five years ago) Permalink

d00d you're intense

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Sorry to people who voted for them but IMO anvil was sorta bland who cares rock doc and inside job was just awful in every way

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:29 (five years ago) Permalink

the Anvil doc barely made an impact on me, and I *like* '80s metal.

polyphonic, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:30 (five years ago) Permalink

it's no 'night mail'

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Man now I am also wishing I had 30 pointed my top 2 and gotten them in here - something tells me impaler isn't going to make it

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:31 (five years ago) Permalink

voters should have seen at least 20 documentaries total.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:31 (five years ago) Permalink

I was kind of touched by Anvil. Not a big metal guy.

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:32 (five years ago) Permalink

did you even vote Morbius?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:32 (five years ago) Permalink

I did, Tammy Tam Tam, and since Shoah is my #1, ah'm dreading the rest.

There are going to be about 10 decent eps of "Behind the Music" in this

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:33 (five years ago) Permalink

I didn't vote, btw.

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:33 (five years ago) Permalink

i considered a few metal docs, but i settled on... i guess we'll see if it places. i'm betting not

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:33 (five years ago) Permalink

another opinion 4 u: talking about what is/isn't a documentary is pretty much the most boring insufferable thing ever. n.b. i got a year of that bullshit in school. IT DOES NOT MATTER, AT ALL.

dr morbius seriously? go fuck yourself

puerile fantasies (Matt P), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:33 (five years ago) Permalink

easy now

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:34 (five years ago) Permalink

another opinion 4 u: talking about what is/isn't a documentary is pretty much the most boring insufferable thing ever. n.b. i got a year of that bullshit in school. IT DOES NOT MATTER, AT ALL.

ehhhh it kind of matters

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:35 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't know why you make these crazy assumptions, Morbius.

Here's the list so far:

#40: Salesman (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1968) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Filth and the Fury (Julien Temple, 2000) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Gleaners & I (Agnes Varda, 2000) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984) -- 20 points/3 votes
#39: Être et Avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002) -- 21 points/2 votes
#38: Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010) -- 22 points/3 votes
#36: Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1970) -- 24 points/3 votes
#36: Winged Migration (Jacques Perrin/Jacques Cluzaud, 2001) -- 24 points/3 votes
#34: Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz, 2002) -- 25 points/2 votes
#34: The World at War (Hugh Raggett/John Pett/David Elstein/Ted Childs/Michael Darlow/Martin Smith, 1973/74) -- 25 points/2 votes
#33: Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003) -- 26 points/2 votes
#32: Sherman's March (Ross McElwee, 1986) -- 25 points/4 votes
#31: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi, 2008) -- 26 points/2 votes
#30: The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978) -- 26 points/4 votes
#29: WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makavejev, 1971) -- 27 points/2 votes
#28: The Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003) -- 27 points/3 votes
#27: My Best Fiend (Werner Herzog, 1999) -- 29 points/3 votes
#26: Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985) -- 30 points/2 votes

Sorry (again!) for delivering preemptive bad news about your favourites, jjjusten.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:35 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't think that it does matter, but not in the way this fellow means it.

xp

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:36 (five years ago) Permalink

jeez, I'm kinda semi-joking. If I'd included 'concert films' my list woulda changed. (Gimme Shelter is different)

xxxxp

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:36 (five years ago) Permalink

it kind of matters bc there's a question of comparing like with like. i like 'the world at war', but it's a compilation of clips from various sources. that's absolutely unlike 'shoah', which in turn is absolutely unlike 'primary', which in turn is absolutely unlike 'north sea'...

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Love Makavejev's The Switchboard Operator

xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:37 (five years ago) Permalink

a lot of movies are unlike other movies; i dont really understand the complaint

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:38 (five years ago) Permalink

Morbs speaks the truth. Too loudly, but still ...

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Yes ok but that's why I don't really get polls like this, much as I respect the efforts of everyone involved in voting and compiling it, it's nice to have stuff to talk about.

xxxp

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Out of 40, already 9 are from the last 10 years, et al.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:40 (five years ago) Permalink

a lot of movies are unlike other movies; i dont really understand the complaint

(Princess TamTam), Friday, August 12, 2011 6:38 PM (58 seconds ago) Bookmark

this is like doing a poll of 'books that aren't novels' or something.

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:41 (five years ago) Permalink

No argument that there's no consistency as to how people interpreted the concept of "documentary," but would it be possible to set definitive guidelines that would please everyone? That's why I'd rather let voters decide, and, as it worked out, for a film to place in the top 40 at least two different people would have had to agree that it belonged.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:41 (five years ago) Permalink

As Alfred Hitchcock famously said, "It's just a poll."

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:41 (five years ago) Permalink

no that seems fair enough.

xp

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:41 (five years ago) Permalink

ok sorry dr m. i think what something claims to be and what it might/might not be matters a lot, but trying to slot things along the lines of documentary/not-documentary is a fool's game and can be misleading.

puerile fantasies (Matt P), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:42 (five years ago) Permalink

Love Makavejev's The Switchboard Operator

― xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:37 (2 minutes ago)

yeah, lotta fun, immediate like the french '60s stuff. makes me feel i ought to be watching WR.

'is this a documentary' is not so much 'not important' as it is 'a really interesting referendum on cinema', imo, just a pretty challenging thing to define + discuss + consider. understand how a year of school can kill this joy for you though.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:43 (five years ago) Permalink

We never discussed this in my school, fwiw

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:44 (five years ago) Permalink

Eric H.: surely you knew that there'd be a pronounced tilt towards stuff from the last 10-15 years. I plead guilty myself--as I said before, I didn't start watching documentaries regularly till the mid-'90s, and I imagine many people would be in the same boat. Because of Moore and Morris and Hoop Dreams and some other things, they just started to get a much higher profile around then.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:47 (five years ago) Permalink

h8 sherman's march

☝ (am0n), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:48 (five years ago) Permalink

That one seems to be a polarizing film, my wife hates it too

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:50 (five years ago) Permalink

The World At War (#34) was my #1. It's one of the earliest docs on WW2 (with Laurence Olivier narrating in full-on gravely sincere mode) and still the best. It's largely shot by soldiers on the front lines, and even at 34 hours feels like it just scratches the surface. Pretty essential stuff for anyone with even a vague interest in history.

Cosmo Vitelli, Friday, 12 August 2011 17:55 (five years ago) Permalink

It's one of the earliest docs on WW2

errrrrr no, what???

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:56 (five years ago) Permalink

it came out in about 1973. they made docs about the war as it happened. and used clips from them to make... 'the world at war'.

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:57 (five years ago) Permalink

i only voted for 4 docs from the 2000s, but i dont think there's anything wrong with privileging recency. i think it's inevitable for any poll that isn't era-specific, and if that's an undesirable outcome to you then you gotta put your money where your mouth is like morbs did and lay big points on your old tymey favs. clemenza's point about the 90s documentary boom is a good one too

'what is a documentary' is a pretty tedious line of discussion to me when we could be talking about the docs themselves, but whatever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:58 (five years ago) Permalink

it's a way of talking about the docs

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 17:59 (five years ago) Permalink

Love Makavejev's The Switchboard Operator

― xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:37 (2 minutes ago)

yeah, lotta fun, immediate like the french '60s stuff. makes me feel i ought to be watching WR.

Fun Fact: Makavejev came across the true crime that inspired the fictional part of WR while researching the crime that Switchboard fictionalizes.

I thought about throwing a vote towards his Innocence Unprotected, which is a really poignant doc about the first Serbian talkie. It's in the Eclipse box.

Mucho! Macho! Honcho!: Turn Off The Dark (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:02 (five years ago) Permalink

I wish you'd sent in a ballot, history mayne. Maybe when we finish you can post a list.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:04 (five years ago) Permalink

feel too conflicted over it

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:05 (five years ago) Permalink

Over "what is a documentary?", or polls/lists themselves?

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:06 (five years ago) Permalink

ffs history mayne, poor show

Ismael Klata, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:07 (five years ago) Permalink

Haven't seen many of the others *sigh* so can't comment on the apples and oranges controversy.

Anvil is horrible tho'. Guess Spinal Tap is going to win *deeper sigh*

Hoping Night and Fog makes it.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:07 (five years ago) Permalink

i love innocence unprotected!

puerile fantasies (Matt P), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:08 (five years ago) Permalink

hah, i didnt even consider that someone would vote for spinal tap. it'd be funny if it placed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:08 (five years ago) Permalink

unless that was a joke!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:08 (five years ago) Permalink

spinal tap definitely isn't a documentary. LOL

puerile fantasies (Matt P), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:08 (five years ago) Permalink

#15 best in show

☝ (am0n), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:09 (five years ago) Permalink

All-Guest "Top 3".

(x-post)

Mucho! Macho! Honcho!: Turn Off The Dark (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:10 (five years ago) Permalink

#1 'the office'

☝ (am0n), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:11 (five years ago) Permalink

why do u h8 shermy's march amon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:12 (five years ago) Permalink

it came out in about 1973. they made docs about the war as it happened. and used clips from them to make... 'the world at war'.

― we started this punning display name shit (history mayne),

oh, my mistake, thought it came out in the '60's. either way that was 40 years ago. And obviously it's largely constructed with clips from other sources. It's a documentary.

Cosmo Vitelli, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:13 (five years ago) Permalink

you cant write it off as a 'clip compilation' though because they shot a shitload of interviews with important dudes for it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:15 (five years ago) Permalink

true, forgot that. i wasn't writing it off anyway -- some of my favourite... audio-visual things are compilations. like adam curtis's stuff, whatever that is. (again, it seems to me legitimate to include tv documentaries. they've never had good theatrical distribution.)

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:17 (five years ago) Permalink

i guess it's coz my phd is (partly) on documentary in the grierson-flaherty sense.

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:19 (five years ago) Permalink

<3 john grierson

puerile fantasies (Matt P), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:21 (five years ago) Permalink

i probably could've done a list entirely of tv docs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:21 (five years ago) Permalink

If there's one way I could expand what I've seen, it would be to see a lot of TV stuff over the years that aired and then more or less disappeared--An American Family being the obvious example, but there are others.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:22 (five years ago) Permalink

hah, i didnt even consider that someone would vote for spinal tap. it'd be funny if it placed

(Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 Bookmark

Seems like its all up for grabs w/this poll. No idea if its been nominated or what.

Curtis is what Makavejev sounds like -- video essay. Like Curtis v much apart from the last one. Even less of an argument with not enough golden nuggets in the archives. xxp

xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:22 (five years ago) Permalink

i have a fluctuating relationship w/ curtis's stuff. didn't like 'the trap', did like the most recent, even though it was completely mental.

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:23 (five years ago) Permalink

i'd include 'century of the self' in my list of er, non-fiction films

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Me too. It Felt Like A Kiss is the one I like best and it is probably the least "documentary"

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:24 (five years ago) Permalink

The World at War is the That's Entertainment! of bombing.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:25 (five years ago) Permalink

priceless

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:26 (five years ago) Permalink

Urgh, I hated the last Curtis. Bad premises. Loved and voted for The Power of Nightmares, though.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:27 (five years ago) Permalink

lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:27 (five years ago) Permalink

Urgh, I hated the last Curtis. Bad premises. Loved and voted for The Power of Nightmares, though.

― emil.y, Friday, August 12, 2011 7:27 PM (49 seconds ago) Bookmark

yeah, sort of feel this is 'generation very much in character'. i think the premises of both series are pretty bad, the resulting films good. but people object more to the premise of ALOBMOLG. the last ep is transcendent imo.

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:29 (five years ago) Permalink

woah never seen you get so effusive, maybe take a lie down

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:30 (five years ago) Permalink

I agree with you too! craziness

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:30 (five years ago) Permalink

I must confess I didn't watch the last one, as I'd been so annoyed by the first two.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:32 (five years ago) Permalink

ALOBMOLG was great

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:33 (five years ago) Permalink

The last one really stood out

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:33 (five years ago) Permalink

*AWOBMOLG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:34 (five years ago) Permalink

If you're going to praise something, at least get its name right. 'All Licked Over By Machines of Loving Grace'? (lol xp)

Not gonna retread why I hated it in detail, though - pretty sure I posted a few annoyances on the dedicated thread.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:35 (five years ago) Permalink

I didn't know a thing about Adam Curtis until this conversation started. This is good. (Not sure how I'll see this stuff if it's BBC, though.)

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:35 (five years ago) Permalink

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:36 (five years ago) Permalink

www.rapidshare.com

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:36 (five years ago) Permalink

most of them are on youtube or google video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:37 (five years ago) Permalink

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Not one for downloading films, and really hate watching anything longer than a short clip off the computer.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:38 (five years ago) Permalink

^^ 'generation very much in character'

sonderangerbot, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:38 (five years ago) Permalink

i doubt the good old beeb would sue. like 'la plays itself' i don't think it could be put on dvd even if there were a market, because it uses loads of copyright material. (like broadcast is governed by different rules than dvd or something.)

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:42 (five years ago) Permalink

I voted for one Adam Curtis: The Mayfair Set.

Alba, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:42 (five years ago) Permalink

(at least, I think I did)

Alba, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:43 (five years ago) Permalink

"la plays itself" is a gay porn film. just sayin'

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:43 (five years ago) Permalink

You did vote for The Mayfair Set, yes. And there is an Adam Curtis film in the top 25.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:45 (five years ago) Permalink

i haven't seen AOLOLBLOGOMG

☝ (am0n), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:45 (five years ago) Permalink

Either The Trap or Power of Nightmares, prob. the latter

xp

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:45 (five years ago) Permalink

"la plays itself" is a gay porn film. just sayin'

― A41 (admrl), Friday, August 12, 2011 7:43 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark

wrongly naming that film has become just an annoying thing that i do.

we started this punning display name shit (history mayne), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:46 (five years ago) Permalink

It's actually a really interesting film, I mean both of them are. u shld check it out

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:48 (five years ago) Permalink

why do u h8 shermy's march amon

(Princess TamTam), Friday, August 12, 2011 2:12 PM

not sure, iirc it was really long and the narrator seemed overly-sedate. just total snooze-fest. should i watch it again, its been years since i've seen it

☝ (am0n), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Limp Bizkit is surprisingly front and centre in this thread.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:52 (five years ago) Permalink

I do keep on getting confused by the auto-embed of TamTam's display name.

emil.y, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:52 (five years ago) Permalink

i havent seen it in a long time myself, but i gave it 5 points anyway. i need to watch it again

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:52 (five years ago) Permalink

im hoping that it confuses someone into clicking on it looking for a hot documentary clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:53 (five years ago) Permalink

Wow, I had no idea this was in progress. "Gleaners & I" is so good, and casually profound. "WR: Mysteries of the Organism" I can't stand. "Winged Migration" I can watch all day. The perfect example of a doc that shows you something common from such a (literally) different angle it changes the way you think about said something, in this case, um, wings. But man, are those flapping/gliding wings so cool.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 12 August 2011 18:56 (five years ago) Permalink

Wd have voted for LA Plays Itself if I knew we were opening up slots to gay porn.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:58 (five years ago) Permalink

im hoping that it confuses someone into clicking on it looking for a hot documentary clip

I'm stealing your idea for something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LStRxwN7hI (Pleasant Plains), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:58 (five years ago) Permalink

xpost So we can discuss the "doc"/"not a doc" veracity of full penetration and non-waxed ass.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Friday, 12 August 2011 18:59 (five years ago) Permalink

I showed Winged Migration to my two grade 6 science classes last year, and most of them were pretty attentive through most of it.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 19:02 (five years ago) Permalink

The only thing I really remember about Winged Migration is that I bought a bottle of wine and some brie and crusty bread to consume while I watched it.

jaymc, Friday, 12 August 2011 19:05 (five years ago) Permalink

that really sounds delicious

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 19:07 (five years ago) Permalink

Obviously I provided my students with wine and crusty bread.

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 19:08 (five years ago) Permalink

wd do the same w/ showing a class Sex Positive

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 August 2011 19:15 (five years ago) Permalink

three of mine placed so far. (i was the other shoah voter if it makes you feel any better morbs.) (on the other hand, i voted for fog of war.) enjoying this so far. thanks, c.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Friday, 12 August 2011 19:42 (five years ago) Permalink

whoops, make that four. i figure about another three have a shot. the other three, not so much.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Friday, 12 August 2011 19:42 (five years ago) Permalink

i think i have ~10 that still have a shot at placing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Friday, 12 August 2011 20:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh man I haven't had a chance to read through this yet but I'm psyched that brother's keeper placed. I gave it a lot of points iirc. I think I may have voted for hated too but I can't remember.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Friday, 12 August 2011 23:00 (five years ago) Permalink

Brother's Keeper is so heartbreaking, the non-fiction equiv. of "A Simple Plan."

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 13 August 2011 00:19 (five years ago) Permalink

Loved it, have to see it again.

Fans of Anvil who wished it had more pathos and OCD dramedy should check out Driver 23, which is almost a companion piece to American Movie (American Metal?). I didn't vote for any of those but they'd make my Top 100.

Pete Scholtes, Saturday, 13 August 2011 00:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Josh you were the one who recommended it to me on the netflix thread! :)

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Saturday, 13 August 2011 03:18 (five years ago) Permalink

I thought Brother's Keeper was really quite boring

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 05:21 (five years ago) Permalink

i would love to see driver 23 but it is oop yes?

also how in the world is brothers keeper boring

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Saturday, 13 August 2011 07:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Like, it bored me. It seemed realllllly drawn out and ultimately rather pointless. It just wasn't "well-crafted" (can't think of a better term, sorry)

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:19 (five years ago) Permalink

huh. experiences differ etc i guess

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:22 (five years ago) Permalink

i found it engaging but i wasn't really blown away. it's a unique and sad story, but formally it's a very familiar kind of doc.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:23 (five years ago) Permalink

i guess i can see that - the story outweighed the style for me prob - which is super true of one of my other choices but im not saying anything because i am still holding out hope that it places

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:25 (five years ago) Permalink

oh yeah i'm not making a style v. substance argument here. i mean i prefer to have both, but "transparent style" is also a style etc etc.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:26 (five years ago) Permalink

i need to revisit it, but like admrl, i was left v v cold by BK a few years ago.

apologies for not participating in this (seventeen would have made it, i bet!), good work getting this together clemeneza, etc. but srsly fuck the canon, it's missing almost everything i love.

✇ (Tape Store), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:26 (five years ago) Permalink

clemenza*

✇ (Tape Store), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:27 (five years ago) Permalink

here's a question i meant to ask during the nominations thread, but forgot to: has anyone on ilx ever MADE a doc?

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:27 (five years ago) Permalink

yes, someone on this thread is a very good filmmaker

✇ (Tape Store), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:28 (five years ago) Permalink

I have. And gbx has. And s1ocki made a faux-documentary. Sure there are others

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:29 (five years ago) Permalink

i knew dr. morbius would finally put his money where his mouth is.

xpost: oh well thanks for ruining my joke ADAM.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:30 (five years ago) Permalink

seriously though where/how can i see your film?

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:30 (five years ago) Permalink

(i was referring to adam, idk about gbx and s1ocki's films)

✇ (Tape Store), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:30 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't get it! =/ But I don't think I want it explained

xp

me? I don't know...which film? Are you in Baltimore or Philadelphia or something? Let's save this for another thread!

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:31 (five years ago) Permalink

that was to strongo

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:32 (five years ago) Permalink

haha! i am everywhere you want to be. but yes.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:33 (five years ago) Permalink

me? I don't know...which film? Are you in Baltimore or Philadelphia or something? Let's save this for another thread!

― A41 (admrl), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:31 (2 minutes ago) Bookmark

you shouldn't be so modest/should agitate for yr work to be discussed in the 'top 40 documentaries' thread. i'd be innarested ...

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:35 (five years ago) Permalink

As I mentioned on the previous thread, I was in Alan Zweig's Vinyl for about half a minute. And I once had an idea to make a documentary about Denny McLain. The next step of actually doing anything about it was just too much to bear.

I'm a little lost--which person has made a documentary?

clemenza, Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:36 (five years ago) Permalink

Haha, I do not think my film would be on this thread even if every ilxer ever had seen it and I don't really much want to talk about it on ILX. I also wouldn't presume that because I have worked on documentaries, I know anymore about what makes a good one than any of you guys. If y'all want to rep for Brother's Keeper, that's cool.

xp I saw Vinyl! Are you a record nerd and/or sad person?

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:38 (five years ago) Permalink

Hmmmmn...Both? A friend posted my clip on YouTube a few years ago, so here's a non-embedded link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCAGSnsnkVA.

clemenza, Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:40 (five years ago) Permalink

Ha! I love that after my clip, the "Up Next" one is "8-1/2 minutes with Robert Crumb."

clemenza, Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:41 (five years ago) Permalink

Woaaaaah! I remember you!

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:42 (five years ago) Permalink

I think I posted that clip on I Love Vinyl, actually

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:43 (five years ago) Permalink

i keep meaning to hassle gbx into seeing his doc - it was about seeland, and theres a thread around here somewhere

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:43 (five years ago) Permalink

And it showed on a bus!!

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:44 (five years ago) Permalink

s1ocki's film(s) is also great, fwiw, but not an actual documentary. And his new film is hilarious

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:44 (five years ago) Permalink

I was hoping for Vinyl: The Next Generation and Vinyl: The Final Conflict, but the franchise just never happened.

clemenza, Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:45 (five years ago) Permalink

It was a good film about record collecting, but it made my wife sad (she is not a record person, though).

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:45 (five years ago) Permalink

If Vinyl is #1 in this poll, I will now be very suspicious...

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:46 (five years ago) Permalink

oh whoops "sealand", seeland was the negativland label thing

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:46 (five years ago) Permalink

I did a search on "Seeland"--a band?

(I gave it 164 points, just enough to take #1.)

clemenza, Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:46 (five years ago) Permalink

"Island nation"

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:47 (five years ago) Permalink

As in, it's about the island nation of sealand, that's not what the film is called.

A41 (admrl), Saturday, 13 August 2011 23:55 (five years ago) Permalink

i have been mulling a doc for several years now but have no idea how i'd get started etc etc. hats off to anyone who's done is, is my take.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:15 (five years ago) Permalink

I would like to see a strongo doc, do it!

A41 (admrl), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:16 (five years ago) Permalink

ugh you actually made me say doc

A41 (admrl), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:16 (five years ago) Permalink

i have been mulling a doc for several years now but have no idea how i'd get started etc etc. hats off to anyone who's done is, is my take.

i know nothing about filmmaking but: i think i would probably feel better about starting making a doc casually, & digitally, & spontaneously, than i would a feature. like have you seen the recent, digital, agnes varda films? they seem to've been made v piecemeal, and are very charming.

hats off, still, obviously.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:24 (five years ago) Permalink

like have you seen the recent, digital, agnes varda films? they seem to've been made v piecemeal, and are very charming.

no, but i will check them out! sometimes i feel like i need to make a movie at some point just to justify the $17k of film school debt i still have hanging around my neck.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:28 (five years ago) Permalink

ha, yeah. i went to (read about films do not touch the camera) film school + usually end up pondering whether working towards a thing is valid irrespective of whether you achieve it - like it is more about the time you spent, rather than whether that's retroactively invalidated by its conclusion. but yeah making a film would really sock film school in the jaw (doubly so if it isn't about someone being stalked, w/grainy long-shots & a haunting cello score).

watch 'the gleaners & i', if only to join my chorus of 'this deserved better, ilx documentary thread' - i think since she got a handheld camera, AV carries it in her bag and just shoots very freely & without necessarily having a surrounding apparatus of sound-men, &c - so there are these brief, very intimate passages of self-reflection, and glanced sights on her travels, etc, and she digresses to follow whatever's piqued her interest. which i think she's always done, but which you can imagine is easier with a compact production unit + which she mightn't still be doing if it still required like huge financing and pre-planning and pre-approval, &c.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:36 (five years ago) Permalink

"Vinyl" was also made by just one guy and his camera, unless clemenza knows otherwise.

A41 (admrl), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:38 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah indeed. tarnation also.
sorta at a tangent but not really; whenever, in docs, you see old super 8 footage blown up & featured, i always think it holds up stunningly well - there are those passages in the daniel johnston doc of films he'd make as a kid, i think with his brothers, and dub over with voices, and they're just beautiful to look at, very full and warm + alive. like i feel like you can make a doc as a pretty varied tapestry of different sources & still thread it together somehow.

long time since i've seen vinyl but i remember it as looking like it was shot on video

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:41 (five years ago) Permalink

But yes, it really doesn't have to take all that much. I try to shoot either on my own or maybe with one other person for sound (though I sometimes do both at once), but I have not made or worked on anything much longer than 30 minutes. Sometimes I feel like if you aren't blessed with the breadth of ideas and quickness of thought that someone like Agnes Varda has, you do need a few more people just to give you some flexibility, but it is a tradeoff.

A41 (admrl), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:43 (five years ago) Permalink

oh I wonder if The Devil And Daniel Johnston will be in here. I would have voted for that!

A41 (admrl), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:43 (five years ago) Permalink

Yes, Alan was on his own for Vinyl, and also for the next two (I Curmudgeon and Loved)--I was interviewed but wasn't used. He made another one after that, and seems to be doing well now--he got a retrospective at last year's Hot Docs festival here--so maybe he's got others who go on shoots now. I wish I could remember the film I saw that sparked the Denny McLain idea. The director spoke beforehand, and said he'd never touched a camera till he started whatever film he showed that night. (Wondering if it was the Arthur Kane documentary.)

I was surprised that Tarnation didn't get a single vote. The Devil and Daniel Johnston got a couple.

clemenza, Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:54 (five years ago) Permalink

i think i'd be de-railing if i went too far into my thoughts on the DJ doc here, partly b/c i assume it's discussed elsewhere & partly because my complaints are fairly vague and not well remembered, but i think i was less enthusiastic about it than some. i kinda feel like it never reconciled the key weird paradox with him, which is how the sort of heaviness of everything meets the artist part. like there are such heavy moments in which he's gone off the rails, + been in terrible situations, and i didn't feel they connected with the portrait of him other than as sort of detail, as biography. i don't know.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:57 (five years ago) Permalink

when i saw tarnation i loved it; i think it's probably suffered since from seeming unique as a production rather than as a film, or for maybe seeming a little emotionally heavy-handed (which obv how could it not be, but). i think there are weird things about it.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Sunday, 14 August 2011 00:59 (five years ago) Permalink

Of the two, I liked the Daniel Johnston better at the time. But I remember very little in terms of specifics now, other than Tarnation was the more unconventional.

clemenza, Sunday, 14 August 2011 01:02 (five years ago) Permalink

i remember loving tarnation too; i think i considered putting it on my ballot but thinking id need 2 watch it again and make sure it was actually good

johnny crunch, Sunday, 14 August 2011 01:40 (five years ago) Permalink

I saw some new work by Jonathan Caouette recently...I kind of wish I hadn't

A41 (admrl), Sunday, 14 August 2011 03:17 (five years ago) Permalink

TARNATION is an atrocious film. Ignoring all the narcissism, I find it mindboggling that anyone found it aesthetically exciting ("lol 2003"?)

✇ (Tape Store), Sunday, 14 August 2011 07:03 (five years ago) Permalink

The narcissism was intriguing enuff, but the iMovie raindrop overlay was a bit too much.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Sunday, 14 August 2011 07:08 (five years ago) Permalink

i hate tarnation so fucking much. like in that thinking of it makes me angry sort of way.

otoh i was one of the votes for devil daniel johnston etc. so it is DOOMED

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Sunday, 14 August 2011 07:55 (five years ago) Permalink

I love you guys who hate Tarnation. I wasn't going to say anything, so I'm glad you did.

Jeff, Sunday, 14 August 2011 08:30 (five years ago) Permalink

Receiving a vote from jjjusten was the latest blow for Daniel Johnston in a life filled with tragedy.

clemenza, Sunday, 14 August 2011 12:16 (five years ago) Permalink

I'll resume this with #25 tomorrow morning. My only regret so far is not naming the thread "Documentaries! The Story of Documentaries."

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 04:15 (five years ago) Permalink

feel terrible using this thread for non-top-40-related material, but it seems so much smarter than reviving another docu thread, since everyone's here:

skimming this earlier, i wondered if anyone has seen any of tsuchimoto noriaki's films

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 12:04 (five years ago) Permalink

I said I was going to make note of first-place votes, and then forgot all about it. I'll start doing that with today's films. It's a little ambiguous on a few ballots, where there are point values but the films aren't numbered, and two or three films are tied at the top with the most points. I'll assume the one that's listed first is that person's #1.

There were three films not in the Top 40 that each drew one first-place vote: With Orson Welles: Stories from a Life in Film, Sans Soleil, and Eyes on the Prize. Of the films I counted down on Friday, each of these also received one first-place vote: Être et Avoir, The World at War, Spellbound, WR: Mysteries of the Organism, and Shoah.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:26 (five years ago) Permalink

Sans Soleil

ILX, you fucking bastard!

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 14:28 (five years ago) Permalink

#25: Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990)

32 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydA7-qCv570

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh shit, there's a Ronald McDonald biopic?

JimD, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:34 (five years ago) Permalink

#24: Winter Soldier (Fred Aronow/Robert Fiore/David Gillis/David Grubin/Jeff Holstein/Michael Lesser, 1972)

32 points/4 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucmDbv-Ck60

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:35 (five years ago) Permalink

No director is listed for Winter Soldier, so I listed the cinematographers. To head off any complaints, I chose the Kerry still simply because its dimensions were most suitable--if I remember correctly, he's not in the film much.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Don't be afraid to watch WS, Kerry's not in it that much.

xp!

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 14:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Not only did I psychically divine complaints, I psychically divined where they'd come from!

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:45 (five years ago) Permalink

#22: The Century of the Self (Adam Curtis, 2002)

35 points/2 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUYFr-uDQgg

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:46 (five years ago) Permalink

#22: Hype! (Doug Pray, 1996)

35 points/2 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZh_qP6lv98

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:52 (five years ago) Permalink

Don't be afraid to watch WS, Kerry's not in it that much.

For a second, thought there was a documentary called "Would Smash"

Mark G, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:52 (five years ago) Permalink

Nice that Paris is Burning placed, but I'm reading you all so hard over the Marker snub.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 14:55 (five years ago) Permalink

#21: Don’t Look Back (D.A. Pennebaker, 1967)

35 points/3 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc6HcA6kEJc

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 14:56 (five years ago) Permalink

Don't give a shit.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 14:56 (five years ago) Permalink

I like DLB fine but didn't vote for it. Hype! is nice but for fuck's sake.

who voted for Paris Is Burning besides Eric and me?

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 14:59 (five years ago) Permalink

#1 in this poll is gonna have, like, 6 votes total.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:01 (five years ago) Permalink

#20: Grey Gardens (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Ellen Hovde/Muffie Meyer, 1975)

35 points/5 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyaRYMFWYxs&feature=related

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Eric, you're not even close. But by all means, keep the complaints coming.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Happy gay day, An Impossible Job: ILX's 40 Favorite Documentaries poll thread.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Century of the Self was my adam curtis selection.

I'm really glad someone gave Hype! a first place vote. I gave it 5 points and wasn't sure if it would rank, but I think it owns really hard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:02 (five years ago) Permalink

The banana I ate for breakfast is as close to being the best documentary ever.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:04 (five years ago) Permalink

But by all means, keep the complaints coming.

I'll keep quiet so long as stuff like Grey Gardens are in the mix.

But the next lame music doc that shows up, I'm paging Tape Store to thread.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:05 (five years ago) Permalink

#19: Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982)

35 points/6 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY4L5npPdao&feature=related

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:06 (five years ago) Permalink

damn, wouldn't have even thought of koyaanisqatsi. forever since i saw it, also.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:07 (five years ago) Permalink

I voted for it. Koyaanisqatsi was a very moving experience the first time I watched it. Powaqqatsi bored me to tears, and I never saw the third one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:08 (five years ago) Permalink

#18: Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984)

38 points/5 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHJmPcILfg8&feature=related

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:10 (five years ago) Permalink

also don't look back is excellent just as a study of bob dylan's bubble, milieu, brain, fans, times, &c, irrespective of it being a music doc.

i actually think powaqatsi's good, just incredibly frustrating if you go in expecting something molded by recurrence and rhythm, like the first. it has that great really-long-train shot. koyaanisqatsi's one of those things that i loved first seeing, but was p young when doing so, so am inherently suspicious of my judgment of.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:10 (five years ago) Permalink

Eric, there isn't much music in Don't Look Back; I don't think you hear BD perform a complete song aside from the Subterranean Homesick "video."

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:10 (five years ago) Permalink

I haven't seen Stop Making Sense since it came out--not a fan--so I hope the YouTube clip is indeed from the film.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:11 (five years ago) Permalink

Srsly, people.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:11 (five years ago) Permalink

as I've said, Demme's is my favorite concert film, but I chose not to consider them documentaries. Just like many of you apparently chose not to consider political films documentaries.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:12 (five years ago) Permalink

i ignored concert films with one exception, but Stop Making Sense is way up there with the best and a personal fav. good album too

i actually think powaqatsi's good, just incredibly frustrating if you go in expecting something molded by recurrence and rhythm, like the first. it has that great really-long-train shot. koyaanisqatsi's one of those things that i loved first seeing, but was p young when doing so, so am inherently suspicious of my judgment of.

― bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, August 15, 2011 11:10 AM (34 seconds ago) Bookmark

yeah you might be right. my predominant memory of it is as a movie consisting of slow shots of indian peasants herding cattle. it didnt have the same pizzazz for me, i guess

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:13 (five years ago) Permalink

what do you mean by political films, morbs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:13 (five years ago) Permalink

#17: Brother’s Keeper (Joe Berlinger/Bruce Sinofsky, 1992)

40 points/2 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlDSGMAyUrE

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:14 (five years ago) Permalink

The corrected totals for Brother's Keeper.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:14 (five years ago) Permalink

I mean documentaries about political matters. xxp

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:14 (five years ago) Permalink

There are at least a couple political docs upthread iirc.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:16 (five years ago) Permalink

#16: Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

41 points/6 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=22_KBgOxQL8&feature=related

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:18 (five years ago) Permalink

#15: Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955)

48 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeEfkPlnie0&feature=related

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:23 (five years ago) Permalink

#14: The Up Series (Michael Apted/Paul Almond, 1964-2005)

48 points/5 votes/2 first-place votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJj-fc6h0fo

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Didn't count Stop Making Sense as a documentary, though it is an awesome concert. Haven't watched it in a little while, so I may be wrong, but I'd only class a concert film as a documentary if it had some commentary and/or behind-the-scenes action, which SMS doesn't have. Having said that, I briefly considered voting for 1991: the Year Punk Broke, which has lots of non-music scenes, but still discounted it, I guess for lacking a narrative thrust? Now I'm thinking I probably should have voted for it actually, damn.

Three films have come up in this lot that I really would have liked to see before voting. Firstly, I feel strangely guilty about having never watched Don't Look Back - I guess it's something of a touchstone for a certain type of music obsessive and it seems somehow wilfully ignorant for me to have never seen it. Not really sure how much I'd like it but I know lots of people who adore it. Secondly, a couple of my friends have raved about Grey Gardens recently and I've been desperate to watch it for a little while now, so not getting myself together to do so before the poll seems idiotic. And lastly, another one I really should have seen: Man With a Movie Camera. I am rubbish.

xpost and I hadn't seen enough of the Up series to feel comfortable voting for any of it.

emil.y, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:29 (five years ago) Permalink

that up picture breaks my heart

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:30 (five years ago) Permalink

the up series has always been a blind spot for me. i need to watch them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:31 (five years ago) Permalink

I said I'd make note of the total points for Up-related votes. The whole series received 48 points, and there were also separate votes for 28 Up (20), 7 Up (20), and 21 Up (10). Added together, the 98/10 votes points would have placed it second.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:32 (five years ago) Permalink

i did so in a week or two, a few months ago, having got a box set from the library, & found it incredibly rewarding. i think it'd be quite a good thing to do socially (like up club) just because it's so compelling and alternately funny and moving while still being tv-watchable. what's probably even more interesting is having seen it unfold over a forty years in tandem with your life, but either works, the fast-forward nature of watching it in compression weirdly satisfying.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:33 (five years ago) Permalink

#13: Man on Wire (James Marsh, 2008)

49 points/4 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEU7lrtehDs&feature=related

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:36 (five years ago) Permalink

I didn't vote for Man on Wire (it just missed my list of 20), but if you haven't seen it, take a look at the clip--beautiful.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Terrifying.

Jeff, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:40 (five years ago) Permalink

#12: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (Seth Gordon, 2007)

49 points/5 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K7wpatALDQ

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:41 (five years ago) Permalink

ok, bye thread

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:43 (five years ago) Permalink

#11: When We Were Kings (Leon Gast, 1996)

52 points/4 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=N44vdCqI7LI

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:44 (five years ago) Permalink

I'll stop there and do the top 10 tomorrow. I now wish I'd voted for The King of Kong, which I loved--5 more points would have pushed it into the top 10, possibly triggering some kind of highly entertaining meltdown for Morbius.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:47 (five years ago) Permalink

How difficult isShoah to watch? On one hand I have a fairly strong interest in Holocaust history, but on the other I don't know if I can commit to watching it all. For instance, It took out Night and Fog from the library like 4 times before watching it because - as someone who generally has difficulty committing to watching anything - I seemingly couldn't find 30 minutes of free time to do it (which is essentially an excuse to avoid a difficult watch).

qpә (EDB), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the King of Kong was great, don't be such a grouch Morbs.

emil.y, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:48 (five years ago) Permalink

I mentioned my own experience with Shoah on the thread that preceded this one. If you mean in a theatre, make sure you've had major rest beforehand--I hadn't and couldn't last. That wouldn't be a problem at home.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:50 (five years ago) Permalink

great pics on the last two.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:51 (five years ago) Permalink

i havent seen when we were kings since i was a child, and it was certainly mesmerizing, but i wonder if i'd find it overly reverent towards ali today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Anybody ever tried Billy Mitchell's BBQ sauce?

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:52 (five years ago) Permalink

I liked When We Were Kings a lot, but I like this VHS I once picked up of the entire Ali-Foreman fight even better--including a post-fight interview with David Frost that's amazing. Probably Leon Gast used some of the footage from this broadcast.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:54 (five years ago) Permalink

Here's the list so far:

#40: Salesman (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1968) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Filth and the Fury (Julien Temple, 2000) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Gleaners & I (Agnes Varda, 2000) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984) -- 20 points/3 votes
#39: Être et Avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002) -- 21 points/2 votes/1 first
#38: Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010) -- 22 points/3 votes
#36: Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1970) -- 24 points/3 votes
#36: Winged Migration (Jacques Perrin/Jacques Cluzaud, 2001) -- 24 points/3 votes
#34: Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz, 2002) -- 25 points/2 votes/1 first
#34: The World at War (Hugh Raggett/John Pett/David Elstein/Ted Childs/Michael Darlow/Martin Smith, 1973/74) -- 25 points/2 votes/1 first
#33: Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003) -- 26 points/2 votes
#32: Sherman's March (Ross McElwee, 1986) -- 25 points/4 votes
#31: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi, 2008) -- 26 points/2 votes
#30: The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978) -- 26 points/4 votes
#29: WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makavejev, 1971) -- 27 points/2 votes/1 first
#28: The Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003) -- 27 points/3 votes
#27: My Best Fiend (Werner Herzog, 1999) -- 29 points/3 votes
#26: Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985) -- 30 points/2 votes/1 first
#25: Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990) -- 32 points/3 votes
#24: Winter Soldier (Fred Aronow/Robert Fiore/David Gillis/David Grubin/Jeff Holstein/Michael Lesser, 1972) -- 32 points/4 votes/1 first
#22: The Century of the Self (Adam Curtis, 2002) -- 35 points/2 votes
#22: Hype! (Doug Pray, 1996) -- 35 points/2 votes/1 first
#21: Don’t Look Back (D.A. Pennebaker, 1967) -- 35 points/3 votes/1 first
#20: Grey Gardens (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Ellen Hovde/Muffie Meyer, 1975) -- 35 points/5 votes
#19: Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982) -- 35 points/6 votes
#18: Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984) -- 38 points/5 votes
#17: Brother’s Keeper (Joe Berlinger/Bruce Sinofsky, 1992) -- 40 points/2 votes
#16: Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) -- 41 points/6 votes
#15: Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955) -- 48 points/3 votes
#14: The Up Series (Michael Apted/Paul Almond, 1964-2005) -- 48 points/5 votes/2 firsts
#13: Man on Wire (James Marsh, 2008) -- 49 points/4 votes
#12: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (Seth Gordon, 2007) -- 49 points/5 votes
#11: When We Were Kings (Leon Gast, 1996) -- 52 points/4 votes/1 first

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:56 (five years ago) Permalink

Rattle and Hum is gonna be #1, right

CLUB PISCOPO (DJP), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:58 (five years ago) Permalink

King of Kong is so good. Ranking of Hype! suddenly reminded me of Dig!.

One of the many remarkable things about Night and Fog was that the French gov had two problems with it: showing all the bodies and showing the complicity of French officers. Resnais reportedly had to obscure the latter to include the former, and so it remained until ... only recently?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 15:59 (five years ago) Permalink

Morbs OTM

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 15:59 (five years ago) Permalink

Can't tell you how much I disagree with what seems to be the underlying issue with some of Morbius's complaints about King of Kong and the Anvil film: that documentaries must be about serious matters to be valid. Unless he just wanted a more artistic film on the intricacies of Donkey Kong.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:01 (five years ago) Permalink

Eric--you voted for Jackass Two. Haven't seen it, but I'm interested to know what kind of an aesthetic values Jackass Two but deems The King of Kong frivolous.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:04 (five years ago) Permalink

I can think of few docs as honestly, surprisingly moving as King of Kong and Anvil. Flashing back to King of Kong and the wife's support for this guy who's been dealt such a bad hand ... the Anvil guy's family stepping up to help this super good-natured, optimistic, hard-working dude fulfill his belated dream ... not every doc has to be a freakshow or war tragedy. And Anvil even has a holocaust angle!

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:05 (five years ago) Permalink

xp: sex sells

CLUB PISCOPO (DJP), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:05 (five years ago) Permalink

It's better.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:07 (five years ago) Permalink

And King of Kong is kinda pretty serious about its subject. Jackass doesn't pretend it's about anything so important as Donkey Kong.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:08 (five years ago) Permalink

the Anvil film video just isn't very well made, and the music is dreadful.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:08 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm not even a non-fan of Kong or Man on Wire. But c'mon; 12th and 13th best of all time?

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:08 (five years ago) Permalink

but hey, Frederick Wiseman, lighten up!

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Come on, it's not fair to demerit the Anvil doc for the music.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:11 (five years ago) Permalink

If those are the issues you guys have, no problem. I'm reading more your exasperation.

But c'mon; 12th and 13th best of all time?

Were you expecting the very large sample of 30 voters not to come up with some quirky rankings? People were voting for their favourites, not trying to assemble a correct list.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:11 (five years ago) Permalink

You were expecting us not to bitch?

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:13 (five years ago) Permalink

Free to be you and me--fair point.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:14 (five years ago) Permalink

I'd sure bitch if something as turgid as Wiseman's "Belfast, Maine" made it to the list.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:14 (five years ago) Permalink

I do think Man on Wire should've been a lot lower. it's a solid movie, but I feel like a better one could've been made about the subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:15 (five years ago) Permalink

The issue isn't that these are quirky rankings so much as they betray the sample size's very ILM mentality.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:16 (five years ago) Permalink

haha i just looked up belfast, maine. 245 minutes! with this glowing review on imdb:

This is not a film for anyone under 35. Wiseman manages to portray Belfast as some sort of hellish retirement community. The entire film is done without a hint of humor, and Wiseman seems to be taking these people's gray little lives as over-seriously as they do. Rarely do any of the people of Belfast crack a smile - it's as if living in Belfast has literally sucked all of the joy out of their lives.

This film fails on every level. As entertainment, it fails miserably. As serious documentary, it fails because it grossly distorts your image of Belfast - the youth of the town are completely ignored, and the elderly, the infirm and the retarded are represented again and again. As character study it fails because of episodic nature of the film - we never stay with any person long enough to really learn anything about them.

"Belfast, Maine" is one of the worst mistakes in the history of the documentary. A poor, poor film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:17 (five years ago) Permalink

People were voting for their favourites, not trying to assemble a correct list.

Never get this distinction, but carry on.

(Among music docs, some of you could at least have gone for Theremin)

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:18 (five years ago) Permalink

I'd rather listen to Anvil than two hours of Theremin (/barely hyperbole).

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:20 (five years ago) Permalink

is man on wire good? tbh i find that kind of dangerous feat of skill really stupid and careless and annoying rather than awesome. total dick move imo.

jed_, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Titicut Follies is pretty spry and entertaining, fwiw.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:22 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Man on Wire's filmmakers seem to adequately work the dick angle.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:22 (five years ago) Permalink

Theremin got three votes, including one from me, but not enough points.

I've gotten into many discussions about that favourite/best distinction over the years, but it's a long one and probably a separate thread. I do not make such a distinction when drawing up lists, but I've encountered people who do.

As for Wiseman, he got votes for a number of films, but it was the old problem of spreading the votes around.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:23 (five years ago) Permalink

who voted for Paris Is Burning besides Eric and me?

I did!

polyphonic, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:25 (five years ago) Permalink

tightrope walking btwn towers >>>>> Philippe Petit saying "EET WASS MY DWEAMMM" for two hours

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:28 (five years ago) Permalink

This is not a film for anyone under 35.

i HAVE to see this now

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:35 (five years ago) Permalink

I didn't like Man on Wire. King of Kong was great. I wish I had voted in this.

Gukbe, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:35 (five years ago) Permalink

xpost You really don't have to see it.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 16:36 (five years ago) Permalink

i am going to lobby so hard for "not suitable for anyone under 35" to become an MPAA rating

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:36 (five years ago) Permalink

"rated ADD"

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 16:38 (five years ago) Permalink

(Among music docs, some of you could at least have gone for Theremin)

― satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, August 15, 2011 5:18 PM (58 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

I'd rather listen to Anvil than two hours of Theremin (/barely hyperbole).

― Josh in Chicago, Monday, August 15, 2011 5:20 PM (56 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Probably would have voted for it had I seen it seeing as it's tough to make LT's life boring. And Josh, that is sacrilege. Anvil really isn't about the music at all for me, anyway. It's about the story.

emil.y, Monday, 15 August 2011 17:19 (five years ago) Permalink

I liked Anvil better as American Movie.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 17:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Me too. Still liked both, though.

emil.y, Monday, 15 August 2011 17:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Man On Wire was my no.1, you philistines. For giving me an even stronger image of the towers than their destruction, somehow - I cam out feeling euphoric, there was something religious in the way it was done I think. Worth watching for the stills alone.

Ismael Klata, Monday, 15 August 2011 17:48 (five years ago) Permalink

xpost I was mostly just referring the Morbs' comment that "the music is dreadful" as a demerit against the film's quality.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 17:58 (five years ago) Permalink

I've mentioned before that I don't like crying in documentaries. One instance where I find it moving is when the guy with the big mop of white hair breaks down while recalling the Twin Towers walk. It happens all of a sudden--we just see him cover his face with his hands. (It's in the clip above.)

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:01 (five years ago) Permalink

I didn't like the way they filmed scenes to make it look like a heist film.

Gukbe, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:02 (five years ago) Permalink

nearly all the music-related picks so far pale before the Metallica doc (and I'm not crazy about their music either).

I will reluctantly watch docs related to metal, but videogame players? No fucking way.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:04 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah but it's not really about video games

Gukbe, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:05 (five years ago) Permalink

perhaps not, but you have to look at some

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:07 (five years ago) Permalink

The Metallica film also got three votes. Again, not enough points.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:08 (five years ago) Permalink

gross!
xpost

L.P. Hovercraft (WmC), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:08 (five years ago) Permalink

I came to The King of Kong as someone who had literally never played a video game in my life--regular pinball back in high school, yes, but not video games. That was a large part of its fascination, the idea that this world still existed in 2011.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:12 (five years ago) Permalink

The peaks of the Metallica film are super high, but there are enough valleys to detract from them. Some of my fave stuff is in the deleted scenes, like Kirk in driving school or Lars whining that no one ever throws him birthday parties.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:15 (five years ago) Permalink

THE METALLICA FILM IS CALLED "SOME KIND OF MONSTER".

*ahem*, sorry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LStRxwN7hI (Pleasant Plains), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:22 (five years ago) Permalink

smh at this list

✇ (Tape Store), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:27 (five years ago) Permalink

<3 U

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:28 (five years ago) Permalink

smh at this list

― ✇ (Tape Store), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:27 (1 minute ago) Bookmark

u were gone tape store, watch what happened. what is yr top ten

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Well, you should have voted--I spent two-plus weeks trying to solicit votes. Morbius and Eric at least voted.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:30 (five years ago) Permalink

Man On Wire was my no.1, you philistines

Mine too. Glad to see it get a decent placing.

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:37 (five years ago) Permalink

ILX Members of the Academy

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:41 (five years ago) Permalink

god i don't know, xxpost

but very quickly, a tiny handful of the many major omissions on this list:
seventeen, demon lover diary, portrait of jason, fucking fred wiseman!!!, a married couple, en construccion, west of the tracks, in vanda's room, godspeed you! black emperor, sans soleil, sayonara cp, close-up, on the bowery, the seasons, perfumed nightmare...

✇ (Tape Store), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:41 (five years ago) Permalink

Three of those received votes, plus four or five Wiseman films. To make the Top 40, a film needed 20 points/2 votes minimum. Seventeen and Sans Soleil you could have moved into the Top 40 for sure, probably top 25.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:46 (five years ago) Permalink

just to be clear, clemenza, i don't think anyone is attacking you--it's cool that you put this together, it was bound to disappoint me (half of the list i just posted is pretty hard to find, unless you belong to the right website or have money to buy from overseas)

✇ (Tape Store), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:46 (five years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't put Close-Up and On the Bowery as docs, m'self

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:47 (five years ago) Permalink

I've felt very much under assault today. I've been commiserating with Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich on Facebook.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Serious question, Tape Store: have you seen most/all of the results so far and are dismissing them because yours are better or do you just not like the look of the results? I'm asking because the discussion on the ballot thread and so far here shows me that there's a *lot* of documentary films that I've never seen.

(clemenza, you've done a stand up job with this poll and I've enjoyed the useful contributions to this thread plenty)

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:50 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Clemenza, it's not your fault or anything, but these results are pretty wan.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:50 (five years ago) Permalink

Even by ILX film poll standards.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:50 (five years ago) Permalink

I am just gonna listen to ten albums this year (up from 2 last year) and vote in the year-end ILM poll

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:52 (five years ago) Permalink

Bill, I've seen 24 of the films on this poll (I'm not big into music films).

✇ (Tape Store), Monday, 15 August 2011 18:56 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm just kidding about feeling under assault. I honestly don't understand getting the least bit worked up over the results when you're dealing with such a small sample size, though. Maybe I'm just too open-minded when it comes to documentaries--much more so than with narrative films--but I look at the list so far and I see a lot of good films of those that I've seen, and a few more that look really interesting of those that I haven't. I'm also not sure why Morbius assumes that voters haven't seen lots of documentaries. The assumption really comes down to, "I know you haven't seen many documentaries, because if you had, you'd of course be voting for the same films as me." Why would you think that? (And for what it's worth, 10 of your 20 made the Top 40--seems like a pretty good percentage to me. Only two of mine made it, and I'm okay with the results.)

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 18:58 (five years ago) Permalink

I look at the list so far and I see a lot of good films of those that I've seen, and a few more that look really interesting of those that I haven't.

THIS.

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:01 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah same

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:09 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't get why people bitch about ILX film polls as though they were published lists in Sight and Sound or whatever. I prefer to treat polls like this one as: "Here's what a bunch of people who have similar tastes and interests as I do (given that we post on the same message board) think are some good documentaries." (And since ILX is not principally a film board, I would hardly expect to find a list teeming with old, obscure, and foreign-language titles.)

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:15 (five years ago) Permalink

xposts, so yeah, I agree with the last few posts

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:17 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't get why people bitch about bitching on ILX film polls as if they should be so markedly different from the bitching that goes on on ILM polls.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:19 (five years ago) Permalink

ilm doesnt have anything to do with this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:19 (five years ago) Permalink

i dont usually read ILM polls though i recently participated in my first, and it was a really civil thread. maybe cuz u werent posting in it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:20 (five years ago) Permalink

#1 should be future ILX documentary

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:23 (five years ago) Permalink

Suggested title: The Sorrow and the Pity.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 19:24 (five years ago) Permalink

xxpost Maybe because the results were better?

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:24 (five years ago) Permalink

More well informed?

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Eric, don't you get it, movies are JUST FUN! They're not something where any kind of expertise or aspirations toward completism factor in at all.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:24 (five years ago) Permalink

SB'd u and me for still being here.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:25 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't get why people bitch about bitching on ILX film polls as if they should be so markedly different from the bitching that goes on on ILM polls.

They're not! I roll my eyes at Lex, too!

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:26 (five years ago) Permalink

agree with people who are treating this casually; kinda seemed to be devised that way throughout its genesis, too, just an informal poll that might define a few consensus picks - us all going, damn, that mining strike film is good - & throw out some recommendations.

seventeen, demon lover diary, portrait of jason, fucking fred wiseman!!!, a married couple, en construccion, west of the tracks, in vanda's room, godspeed you! black emperor, sans soleil, sayonara cp, close-up, on the bowery, the seasons, perfumed nightmare...

this is a great list, however, even if a few are on the other side of the wall from my documentary definition. i was v tempted to vote for perfumed nightmare, but sorta think of it as pure cinema, in its deployment of technique and creativity, rather than intentional, recorded documentary. is demon lover diary good? i think for some reason i thought it would be underwhelming. & the diptych of en construccion & west of the tracks (which bravo for even having got through) seems really interesting. i'm helping out programming a season of films on cities at the moment and hopefully will show the former, i'm glad to hear someone testify that it's great as i've not seen.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:26 (five years ago) Permalink

Eric, don't you get it, movies are JUST FUN! They're not something where any kind of expertise or aspirations toward completism factor in at all.

If clemenza had said, "You shouldn't vote in this poll unless you consider yourself an expert on film and have seen at least X amount of documentaries," then only like five people would've voted.

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:28 (five years ago) Permalink

xxpost Maybe because the results were better?

― third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, August 15, 2011 3:24 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

More well informed?

― third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, August 15, 2011 3:24 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark

no, it was definitely the You factor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Let me just The Index of ILX Film Snobs

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Required reading if we're to continue with this discussion.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:32 (five years ago) Permalink

ok, let's be civil and wait to see if the wrong Herzog doc and the wrong Spike Lee doc finish 1-2.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:32 (five years ago) Permalink

Civil?! FUCK THAAAAAAAT!

:knocks over salt shaker:

L.P. Hovercraft (WmC), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:34 (five years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't put Close-Up and On the Bowery as docs, m'self

Or Perfumed Nightmare =)

A41 (admrl), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:36 (five years ago) Permalink

They're not something where any kind of expertise or aspirations toward completism factor in at all.

TBF I'm only really interested in making lists, not so much watching movies.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:37 (five years ago) Permalink

^adapted from Metropolitan?

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:38 (five years ago) Permalink

Dunno. Never watched it.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:39 (five years ago) Permalink

ha
xp

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:40 (five years ago) Permalink

I am just gonna listen to ten albums this year (up from 2 last year) and vote in the year-end ILM poll

― satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, August 15, 2011 7:52 PM (41 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

People do this. If you listen to 10 and love 8, why would you not want to bump up those 8? Obviously you'll be making less of an impact there than you would here as more people vote in those, but why the hell not?

Funnily enough one of the nicest polls to run of late was the 1950s music poll, where nobody threw their weight of supposed expertise around or insisted that there was an objectively correct list and an objectively wrong one.* Everyone got to discover a bunch of interesting stuff and also rep for their favourites, and it enthused most of us to go and listen to more music from that era, rather than making people uptight and hostile towards each other.

*Well, except for me and my insistence that everyone should vote for '50s electro, but... I was right.

emil.y, Monday, 15 August 2011 19:46 (five years ago) Permalink

I wish I could find all the Voice polls going back 10 years--I can't. I wanted to compare their results to the ones here that Morbius and Eric H. are decrying. All I can find online for the documentary category are the past four years.

2010 -- Exit Through the Gift Shop (didn't make our Top 40, but drew three votes)
2009 -- Anvil! The Story of Anvil (#31 in our Top 40; drew more votes than The Beaches of Agnes or La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet in the Voice poll)
2008 -- Man on Wire (#13 on our list)
2007 -- No End in Sight (no votes here)

In their films of the century poll, their highest ranking documentary was Man with a Movie Camera, #16 on our list. Conceding that the Voice is hardly the last word in anything, and also that there's not a lot there to compare, I don't think our results look all that different.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 19:47 (five years ago) Permalink

Woe is me! Our results have been validated by VV!

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:54 (five years ago) Permalink

You mean as opposed to "Our results have been invalidated by Morbius and Eric H."?

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 19:55 (five years ago) Permalink

i for one appreciate morbs & eric's dissent

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:57 (five years ago) Permalink

I think those are BOTH Dr. Morbius

A41 (admrl), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:58 (five years ago) Permalink

i like to think my thread-pissing was productive rather than... not

cloud computing, robotics, 3G wireless connectivity, Skype, (history mayne), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:58 (five years ago) Permalink

Like away.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 19:59 (five years ago) Permalink

i want this thread to be made into a documentary so i can never watch it and never vote for it.

goole, Monday, 15 August 2011 19:59 (five years ago) Permalink

The point I'm making is that you seem to be adamant that the list here has been generated by a bunch of clueless people who don't see many documentaries. So I'm assuming you extend that to the people who vote in the Voice poll.

I have no problem with dissent. I do have some ideas on how to go about it.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 19:59 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm starting to think that the only film I voted for that was released after 1990 will not be on the list. :(

polyphonic, Monday, 15 August 2011 20:03 (five years ago) Permalink

I think those are BOTH Dr. Morbius

"It's like a kind of torture / To have to watch the poll!"

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:05 (five years ago) Permalink

Here, polyphonic, take a seat.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 20:08 (five years ago) Permalink

i sorta feel like the top ten is gonna be down-the-line enough to straighten out the concern over presentism?, like probably. if things like man on wire, which everyone seemed to love, & totally got emotionally rather than cinematically driven votes, placed somewhere lower, i assume we all stuck to our guns on the crucial stuff that should have ranked high up.

similarly, continuing tape store's thing about not necessarily having been in the right place to catch a lot of docus, i feel like the probable absence of wisemans, for example, is complicated by the lack of a consensus pick & their pretty drastic unavailability/lack of exposure for most of the past thirty years

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:08 (five years ago) Permalink

moreso than ilx's particularly dilettantish docu habits

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:09 (five years ago) Permalink

This is true. Still, I see the opening to act the jerk and I'm gonna take it this time.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:09 (five years ago) Permalink

You fuckers snubbed Chris Marker.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:09 (five years ago) Permalink

In favor of Billy Mitchell.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Welfare was my #3, and I would have loved for it to finish in the top 10. But I also know it's not the easiest thing in the world to see. I'm lucky to live in a city where we had a Wiseman retrospective, and where there are two or three video stores that have it on the shelf.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 20:11 (five years ago) Permalink

you guys have driven me and Eric back into a coalition of the damned.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:11 (five years ago) Permalink

you guys have driven me into a coalition with Morbs

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:14 (five years ago) Permalink

This is true. Still, I see the opening to act the jerk and I'm gonna take it this time.

ha. you gotta post up your top ten when this is through; i am curious, & will make a concerted effort to atone for my un-rigorous, semi-frivolous list by eating some of the greens that pepper your list.

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:14 (five years ago) Permalink

i don't even like 'sans soleil'... or 'grin without a cat'

but id like to see more of his old ones

cloud computing, robotics, 3G wireless connectivity, Skype, (history mayne), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:16 (five years ago) Permalink

Based on what I've read about it, A Grin Without a Cat is one of the things I most want to see from the ballots that came in.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 20:19 (five years ago) Permalink

speaking as a dude who watches tons of documentaries and thx to some vote tally problems already knows that only 2 of my 40 make the list, so u can all shut it imo xposts

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:19 (five years ago) Permalink

i don't even like 'sans soleil'... or 'grin without a cat'

but id like to see more of his old ones
--cloud computing, robotics, 3G wireless connectivity, Skype, (history mayne)

You are disgusting.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:28 (five years ago) Permalink

A41 (admrl), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:35 (five years ago) Permalink

I quite liked Grin Without a Cat but mostly remember Fidel trying to move that microphone. I also recall liking Sans Soleil... and don't remember anything from it.

And c'mon, World at War and Eyes on the Prize are longform TV shows, pure and simple.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:36 (five years ago) Permalink

it's partly that the 'grin' we have is some revisionist 1993 cut, i wanna see the original

cloud computing, robotics, 3G wireless connectivity, Skype, (history mayne), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:39 (five years ago) Permalink

not *that* much though

cloud computing, robotics, 3G wireless connectivity, Skype, (history mayne), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:39 (five years ago) Permalink

ok, let's be civil and wait to see if the wrong Herzog doc and the wrong Spike Lee doc finish 1-2.

had no idea Morbs was a booster for "Kobe Doin' Work"

CLUB PISCOPO (DJP), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:39 (five years ago) Permalink

World at War and Eyes on the Prize are longform TV shows, pure and simple.

I meant to link to this list of sports documentaries: http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertainment/articles/2011-06/13/gq-film-best-ever-sports-documentary-movies/review. I wish'd I'd voted for Burns' baseball film after I looked at it.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2011 20:41 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm sure everything that's wrong with grin w/o cat stems from that disastrous decision to revise in 1993.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:44 (five years ago) Permalink

That's the only version I've seen.

Was thinking 4 Little Girls, DJP.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:47 (five years ago) Permalink

ah, I was hoping you'd run with that joke

CLUB PISCOPO (DJP), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:52 (five years ago) Permalink

(I should watch more documentaries; "4 Little Girls" has been on my list for a long time but I almost never want to watch or read about real-life events outside of news media)

CLUB PISCOPO (DJP), Monday, 15 August 2011 20:53 (five years ago) Permalink

I've only seen the original Grin Without A Cat, on a crusty VHS belonging to one of the filmmakers who polled above (/namedrop)

A41 (admrl), Monday, 15 August 2011 21:15 (five years ago) Permalink

(/hint of namedrop)

A41 (admrl), Monday, 15 August 2011 21:15 (five years ago) Permalink

namedrop of filmmaker awarded low-ranking poll-place in widely condemned internet vote

bruce actual springsteen (schlump), Monday, 15 August 2011 21:33 (five years ago) Permalink

hahaaaa

A41 (admrl), Monday, 15 August 2011 21:47 (five years ago) Permalink

The top 10. I expect the nature of today's complaints will have to do with predictability--past #10, which came out of nowhere on the last few ballots to arrive--there aren't really any surprises.

I found this Time Out list of the greatest documentaries: http://newyork.timeout.com/arts-culture/film/599047/the-50-best-documentaries-of-all-time?page=0,1. They've got Shoah at #1 and Sans Soleil at #2--thank god for small miracles--and after that, a list that looks a lot like this one. Except ours has The King of Kong and theirs doesn't, so obviously this one's better.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:05 (five years ago) Permalink

#10: Streetwise (Martin Bell, 1984)

53 points/4 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcCFdPZ4IGI&feature=related

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:09 (five years ago) Permalink

I will not comment on this thread today. You're welcome.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:10 (five years ago) Permalink

I gave Streetwise a first place vote. great movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:11 (five years ago) Permalink

clemenza sets the stage for a predictable finish, only to unveil one behind-the-scenes musical dvd extra placing after another

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:12 (five years ago) Permalink

that was a good one, I recall

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:13 (five years ago) Permalink

I honestly don't understand getting the least bit worked up over the results when you're dealing with such a small sample size, though. Maybe I'm just too open-minded when it comes to documentaries--much more so than with narrative films--but I look at the list so far and I see a lot of good films of those that I've seen, and a few more that look really interesting of those that I haven't.

Totally OTM.

3 of mine have made it so far and I now have a lot of others I'm excited to watch. I had no idea that all documentaries are supposed to be such serious business. Just don't get why some people seem to get a rise sucking all the fun out of a casual poll.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:14 (five years ago) Permalink

#9: The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988)

53 points/5 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoJq8IflYB4

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:15 (five years ago) Permalink

Just kidding around, Eric--your commentary is very welcome.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:16 (five years ago) Permalink

Just don't get why some people seem to get a rise sucking all the fun out of a casual poll.

hi, it seems you just arrived at ilxor.com. pull up a chair, there's some shit we need to go over before you decide to stick around or not. 1.) ned raggett...

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:16 (five years ago) Permalink

look guys, Eric and I write about film. It shouldn't be that surprising that we have more historically-oriented expectations, right?

TTBL is an entirely respectable choice, I just went for Gates of Heaven.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:17 (five years ago) Permalink

I've never even heard of "Streetwise" but just read the description and it sounds amazing and like something that I, for various personal/professional reasons, would be very interested in watching so thanks thread!

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:18 (five years ago) Permalink

lol Jess I know, I know

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:18 (five years ago) Permalink

(and let's not dwell on the World at War voter who thought it sounded good) xxp

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:19 (five years ago) Permalink

#8: Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris, 1978)

61 points/5 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjEZv6y_YO4

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:19 (five years ago) Permalink

"look guys, i and many other people on this very thread write about music. but i'm not gonna go take a big drama queen dump all over the beach boys poll when "good vibrations" takes no. 1 over some side b album cut from surf's up."

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:19 (five years ago) Permalink

big drama queen dump

lol

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:20 (five years ago) Permalink

Strange--you can find lots of YouTube clips for Gates of Heaven, but almost nothing for The Thin Blue Line.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:20 (five years ago) Permalink

btw is looks like all of Streetwise is up on Youtube.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:21 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah i'm psyched for streetwise, too, & hadn't heard of it. the anecdote i just read looking it up is interesting, too:

The first night of shooting, Bell was able to earn the trust of the kids by doing something unexpected. They were filming in the Dismas Center, a facility that provides food, counseling, and recreation for kids. Suddenly Chrissie, a sixteen-year-old street kid, became very angry with Bell for filming her. To everyone's amazement, Bell opened his camera magazine and gave her the exposed roll of film. Chrissie stormed out, holding the roll of film, which was later found crumpled on the sidewalk. After that incident, whenever Chrissie saw Mark and Bell on the street, she wanted to be filmed and to be their friend. By giving Chrissie the exposed film, Bell showed her and the other kids that he was not trying to steal something from them. If the kids wanted to be part of the film that was fine, but if they didn't want to, that was OK. too. Bell understood that it was hard for these kids to trust anyone, but he hoped they would learn to trust him enough to make the film.

slightly confusing for britishes on being by a martin bell however.
psyched gates of heaven placed

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:23 (five years ago) Permalink

#7: American Movie (Chris Smith, 1999)

64 points/8 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=cugo51RqZWI

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:23 (five years ago) Permalink

Oi! xps

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:24 (five years ago) Permalink

x-post - Yeah that anecdote is really interesting. I filmed some at-risk teenagers for a video project during an internship a couple years ago so stuff like that is really interesting to me. One of the things I found that got them talking/opening up was giving them the camera and letting them film each other but, yeah, that's very neat.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:25 (five years ago) Permalink

there's a chilling scene in Streetwise where tiny's talking to roberta about how dangerous hooking is ("girls get killed out there"); roberta was later killed by the Green River Killer. also the opening shot is extraordinary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:27 (five years ago) Permalink

#6: Hoop Dreams (Steve James, 1994)

68 points/8 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWUYDZzwybc

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:27 (five years ago) Permalink

x-post - seriously? I'm also vaguely obsessed by the Green River Killer's story. Fuck. I know what I'm doing tonight.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:28 (five years ago) Permalink

I've been trying to post short clips (or, if stuck, trailers) rather than full-length films, because I figure they're going to get pulled at some point.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:28 (five years ago) Permalink

i have not seen so many of these films, both the nomination process & the results have reminded me how sketchy i am w/docs

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh also, I'm happy to see American Movie even though I figured it would show up today.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:29 (five years ago) Permalink

#5: The Sorrow and the Pity (Marcel Ophüls, 1969)

70 points/5 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1FXDKE3HWk

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:31 (five years ago) Permalink

blarg i did not need to skim the green river killer wiki at this moment in time

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:31 (five years ago) Permalink

getting better!

i and many other people on this very thread write about music

^doesn't get worse

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:34 (five years ago) Permalink

#4: Harlan County U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple, 1976)

78 points/5 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCiVMngILEI

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:34 (five years ago) Permalink

sorry schlump :(

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:35 (five years ago) Permalink

harlan county was my other first place vote. incredible movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:35 (five years ago) Permalink

sorry schlump :(

no it's okay!, you kind of know what you're getting, but just jesus, brutal. there's sorta so much information & such a volume of detail that it kinda obscures what was even happening. terrible.

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:37 (five years ago) Permalink

#3: Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki, 2003)

88 points/8 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVY4ehqJjAA

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:39 (five years ago) Permalink

well, that's one of mine today.

xpost!

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:39 (five years ago) Permalink

and another I need to see

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:41 (five years ago) Permalink

starting to feel prudish at things i didn't persevere with :/

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:42 (five years ago) Permalink

#2: Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)

98 points/8 votes/1 first-place vote

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rP5DHbyOwQ

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:42 (five years ago) Permalink

look guys, Eric and I write about film. It shouldn't be that surprising that we have more historically-oriented expectations, right?

Not if you recognize that the rest of us *don't* write about film...?

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:42 (five years ago) Permalink

i didnt vote for any herzog, but i would've gone with grizzly man if i did. i figured it wouldnt need any help placing though

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:43 (five years ago) Permalink

x-post

^ Was one of my two first place votes thanks to a rec from an ILXor. Brother's Keeper was the other.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:43 (five years ago) Permalink

I do recognize it, jaymc, but nevertheless expect you to see the same stuff.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:45 (five years ago) Permalink

#1: Long Hard Road Out of Hell: The Making of Good Burger (Strongo Hulkington, 2012)

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:45 (five years ago) Permalink

#1: Crumb (Terry Zwigoff, 1994)

163 points/13 votes/4 first-place votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlT4QZchxQw

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:45 (five years ago) Permalink

lol strongo

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:46 (five years ago) Permalink

and there it is then.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:46 (five years ago) Permalink

I do recognize it, jaymc, but nevertheless expect you to see the same stuff.

Why?

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:46 (five years ago) Permalink

was that the only herzog to place, btw?

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:46 (five years ago) Permalink

bcz critics are not rational ppl, as we learn every day here. xp

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:47 (five years ago) Permalink

bravo clemenza, for taking our polls and taking our shit, you bastard, for orchestrating a poll so unkind to so many directors, goddammit, wtf

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:47 (five years ago) Permalink

no, schlump, the kinski doc placed too.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:47 (five years ago) Permalink

and yes, thanks clemenza!

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:48 (five years ago) Permalink

It wasn't even close--almost half the voters (13/30) listed Crumb, and 15% had it as their #1. If anyone wants to post his or her list now, please do.

No problem. I love documentaries, so this was great for me. Thanks for voting.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, thank you Clemenza!

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:48 (five years ago) Permalink

#1: Land of Hope and Change: The Con of Barack Obama (Michael Moore, 2014)

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:49 (five years ago) Permalink

No way I'm posting my ballot in these shark-infested waters. I am, however, currently compiling a list of the all ones from here I now need to see.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:49 (five years ago) Permalink

my list:

Crumb - 20 points
Night and Fog - 20 points
The Filth and the Fury - 10 points
The Fog of War - 10 points
Shoah - 10 points
Harlan County USA - 10 points
Histoire(s) du Cinema - 5 points
Salesman - 5 points
High School - 5 points
Burden of Dreams - 5 points

boooooooring

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:50 (five years ago) Permalink

Herzog got votes for three or four other films. When I post the final list of 40, should I also post the other 182 films that got votes (or would that be redundant alongside individual lists)?

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:50 (five years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the work on this one, clemenza!

L.P. Hovercraft (WmC), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh whatever (also p boring I guess but they're all good!)

Grizzly Man - 30
Brother's Keeper - 30
Grey Gardens - 5
American Movie - 5
Capturing the Friedmans - 5
Little Deiter Needs to Fly - 5
Roger and Me - 5
Don't Look Back - 5
Stop Making Sense - 5
Murderball - 5

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:53 (five years ago) Permalink

WmC: Would you be able to add end-brackets after the date on the first two films posted way above (Salesman and The Filth and the Fury)? I've learned to live with all the stupid typos I make when posting, but I obsess over little things like that.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:53 (five years ago) Permalink

Man On Wire
Fog of War
Hoop Dreams
The Blue Planet
When We Were Kings
One Night In Turin
Buena Vista Social Club
Power of Nightmares
Winged Migration
Rattle & Hum

Once in a Lifetime: the extraordinary story of the New York Cosmos
Colossus (a Niall Ferguson tv doc)
This Is It (the Michael Jackson one)
What's Happening! The Beatles in the USA
Koyaanisqatsi
The World At War
The Battle of Chile
7 Up series
An Impossible Job - was holding out for this at #1 as per thread title
Hillsborough

snipe away

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:53 (five years ago) Permalink

Aw, I missed the top 10 countdown. Thanks for running this, clemenza.

No way I'm posting my ballot in these shark-infested waters. I am, however, currently compiling a list of the all ones from here I now need to see.

― ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:49 PM (2 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

cosign times a million (xps - I'm not relenting on this one)

emil.y, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:54 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh, and thanks clemenza!

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:54 (five years ago) Permalink

i only gave crumb 5 points, but despite that its my favorite documentary ever and one of my favorite movies period. the portrait of charles crumb's mental illness by way of his evolving art is unforgettable and unsettling in the extreme. i often used to wonder if i'd end up more like charles or robert.

in retrospect it probably would've been an even better movie if they could've interviewed crumb's sisters, but at the same time how can you blame them for not talking

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:54 (five years ago) Permalink

heres my ballot

1. Harlan County, USA (1976) (30 points)
2. Streetwise (1984) (30 points)
3. Capturing the Friedmans (2003) (5 points)
4. Crumb (1994) (5 points)
5. Koyaanisqatsi (1982) (5 points)
6. Marjoe (1972) (5 points)
7. Wattstax (1973) (5 points)
8. Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986) (5 points)
9. American Movie (1999) (5 points)
10. Dancing Outlaw (1991) (5 points)
11. Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997) (5 points)
12. Titicut Follies (1967) (5 points)
13. 30 for 30: Once Brothers (2010) (5 points)
14. The Corporation (2003) (5 points)
15. Sherman's March (1986) (5 points)
16. Hoop Dreams (1994) (5 points)
17. Pumping Iron (1977) (5 points)
18. The Death Of Yugoslavia (1995) (5 points)
19. The Century of the Self (2002) (5 points)
20. Hype! (1996) (5 points)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:55 (five years ago) Permalink

comics geeks ride again!

this was mine:

Shoah - 20

Hospital - 14

The Sorrow and the Pity - 12

Winter Soldier - 12

Paris Is Burning - 12

General Idi Amin Dada - 8

In the Year of the Pig - 7

Hearts and Minds - 5

Gates of Heaven - 5

Man with a Movie Camera - 5

Law and Order - 5

Stevie - 5

Grey Gardens - 5

Point of Order - 5

Gimme Shelter - 5

Genghis Blues - 5

Sherman’s March - 5

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer - 5

The White Diamond - 5

The Gleaners & I - 5

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:55 (five years ago) Permalink

^^ ha, word (@ emily & enbb). i think i had seventeen, a married couple, cocksucker blues, poto & cabengo, though.

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:55 (five years ago) Permalink

WmC: Would you be able to add end-brackets after the date

oh yeah, meant to do that a few days ago when you first mentioned it. fixed

L.P. Hovercraft (WmC), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:56 (five years ago) Permalink

I can't believe I forgot about Dancing Outlaw. Shit.

Also I didn't know if Heavy Metal Parking lot would count. I don't know I thought it wouldn't but I wasn't sure.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:57 (five years ago) Permalink

law & order is a long running tv drama & does not count, actually, morbs

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:57 (five years ago) Permalink

feel like heavy metal parking lot probably got robbed, slightly, with a lot of stuff like it - just nice time-capsule/subculture sorta things. wildwood NJ etc.

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:58 (five years ago) Permalink

My list:

1. Spellbound (20)
2. Heart of the Game (20)
3. Welfare (10)
4. Crumb (10)
5. No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (10)
6. Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film (10)
7. 28 Up (5)
8. A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (5)
9. Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (5)
10. Phil Spector: The Agony and the Ecstasy (5)

11. The Times of Harvey Milk
12. Mayor of the Sunset Strip
13. Bobby Fischer Against the World
14. Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
15. Arguing the World
16. Stevie
17. The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia
18. Encirclement
19. The Stone Writer
20. Let’s Get Lost

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

(things I also considered)

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Man on Wire
Dying at Grace
The Weather Underground
Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst
The Celluloid Closet
Capturing the Friedmans
The War Room
Tyson
My Architect
End of the Century
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
Histoire(s) du cinema
Visions of Light
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
The Year of the Yao
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein
Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:58 (five years ago) Permalink

if heavy metal parking lot isn't a doc then i don't know what is

if i'd done a list of 20 i'd probably have voted for his lancelot link doc lol

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:58 (five years ago) Permalink

grizzly man: the document of one man's glee that the nincompoop crown of uncritical nature-worship is now his! (previous holder eaten by bear):

mark s, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:58 (five years ago) Permalink

x-post - I think because it's so short? Idk. Dumb, I know.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:59 (five years ago) Permalink

(x-post)I think they've both been surpassed by the guy in Project Nim.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

lol mark

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

stay outta the comedy clubs, schlump.

I'll spare you the list of bad documentaries I've had to review in the last few years. Way worse than Man on Wire.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, this is some other stuff i was considering:

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)
30 for 30: The Two Escobars (2010)
30 for 30: The U (2009)
Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004)
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
Secrets of the Tribe (2010)
The Anatomy of Hate (2008)
Unnatural Histories (2011)
Assault in the Ring (2009)
The Largest Street Gang in America (2009)
New York Doll (2005)
Genghis Blues (1999)
Our Brand Is Crisis (2005)
The Farm: Angola, USA (1998)
Grizzly Man (2005)
Roger & Me (1989)
Looking for Richard (1996)
Skinheads USA: Soldiers of the Race War (1993)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

My ballot is a lowbrow embarrassment, I'll just leave it at that.

L.P. Hovercraft (WmC), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:01 (five years ago) Permalink

Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids
Hoop Dreams

I considered both those as well as King of Kong and Hated.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:02 (five years ago) Permalink

stay outta the comedy clubs, schlump.

ha, it was just bc you're a fred thompson fan

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Just one other technical thing. Before posting, I would test every still on the HTML board as I went along, just to make sure nothing came up blank. I don't know if it makes a difference, but there are about 50 images there that can be removed.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:03 (five years ago) Permalink

feeling idiotic for missing off glawogger's workingman's death, which'd have made mine i think. underexposure maybe explains it not being a big thing, it is a fine film.

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:03 (five years ago) Permalink

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

^ That is by the same people that did Brother's Keeper, right? I've been meaning to see that.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:04 (five years ago) Permalink

i also briefly considered trolling the poll by submitting nothing but Shoot Interviews. these would've been my top 2:

1. Brickhouse Brown Shoot Interview (2009) (30 points) - Little-known Memphis wrestler Brickhouse Brown shares a succession of awesome hood anecdotes, brags that he "got Jeff Jarrett his first piece of black pussy."
2. Face Off Vol. 2: Iron Sheik, New Jack & Honky Tonk Man (2007) (30 points) - New Jack, Iron Sheilk and the Honky Tonk Man smoke a lot of crack and talk shit about Benoit for 30 minutes before someone from the Hotel bangs on the door and tells them they're making too much noise and have to leave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:04 (five years ago) Permalink

The Paradise Lost films would have made it to the top 40 if votes had been combined (25 points/5 votes). But four of the voters made it clear they were voting for one of them only.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:06 (five years ago) Permalink

ive completely forgotten the name of the 70s british documentary about a family that lives in the country (surrey?) untouched by modern life

colby, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:06 (five years ago) Permalink

I forgot to send a ballot:

Gates of Heaven
The Gleaners & I
Las Hurdes
Paris is Burning
Capturing the Friedmans
No End in Sight
Grizzly Man
Phantom India
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
The Thin Blue Line
Looking For Richard
Harlan County USA

a 'catch-all', almost humorous, 'Jeez' quality (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:07 (five years ago) Permalink

colby: The Moon and the Sledgehammer?

emil.y, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:07 (five years ago) Permalink

Looking For Richard owns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:08 (five years ago) Permalink

No End in Sight was one of a few that surprisingly got no votes. From my own list of runners-up, I would've thought The Celluloid Closet and My Architect would get some votes.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:11 (five years ago) Permalink

this was mine;
yea looking for richard is really engaging, should be shown in schools

Crumb - 30 pts
Capturing the Friedmans - 30 pts
Genghis Blues - 10
I Like Killing Flies - 10
Land of Silence & Darkness - 5
Forbidden Lie$ - 5
Harlan County, USA - 5
Lets Get Lost - 5

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:11 (five years ago) Permalink

celluloid closet's good, but the book is so much better that i have a hard time rating the doc anymore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:11 (five years ago) Permalink

colby: The Moon and the Sledgehammer?

― emil.y, Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:07 AM

thanks thats the one! i clean forgot, even tho i bought the (bootleg?) dvd earlier this summer, but havent got round to watching yet

colby, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:12 (five years ago) Permalink

For all the bitching, I was expecting the Morbs list to be some truly esoteric shit.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Just want to post the final list as easy reference before ducking out:

#40: Salesman (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1968) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Filth and the Fury (Julien Temple, 2000) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Gleaners & I (Agnes Varda, 2000) -- 20 points/3 votes
#40: The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984) -- 20 points/3 votes
#39: Être et Avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002) -- 21 points/2 votes/1 first
#38: Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010) -- 22 points/3 votes
#36: Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin, 1970) -- 24 points/3 votes
#36: Winged Migration (Jacques Perrin/Jacques Cluzaud, 2001) -- 24 points/3 votes
#34: Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz, 2002) -- 25 points/2 votes/1 first
#34: The World at War (Hugh Raggett/John Pett/David Elstein/Ted Childs/Michael Darlow/Martin Smith, 1973/74) -- 25 points/2 votes/1 first
#33: Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003) -- 26 points/2 votes
#32: Sherman's March (Ross McElwee, 1986) -- 25 points/4 votes
#31: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi, 2008) -- 26 points/2 votes
#30: The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978) -- 26 points/4 votes
#29: WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makavejev, 1971) -- 27 points/2 votes/1 first
#28: The Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003) -- 27 points/3 votes
#27: My Best Fiend (Werner Herzog, 1999) -- 29 points/3 votes
#26: Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985) -- 30 points/2 votes/1 first
#25: Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990) -- 32 points/3 votes
#24: Winter Soldier (Fred Aronow/Robert Fiore/David Gillis/David Grubin/Jeff Holstein/Michael Lesser, 1972) -- 32 points/4 votes/1 first
#22: The Century of the Self (Adam Curtis, 2002) -- 35 points/2 votes
#22: Hype! (Doug Pray, 1996) -- 35 points/2 votes/1 first
#21: Don’t Look Back (D.A. Pennebaker, 1967) -- 35 points/3 votes/1 first
#20: Grey Gardens (Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Ellen Hovde/Muffie Meyer, 1975) -- 35 points/5 votes
#19: Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982) -- 35 points/6 votes
#18: Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984) -- 38 points/5 votes
#17: Brother’s Keeper (Joe Berlinger/Bruce Sinofsky, 1992) -- 40 points/2 votes
#16: Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) -- 41 points/6 votes
#15: Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955) -- 48 points/3 votes
#14: The Up Series (Michael Apted/Paul Almond, 1964-2005) -- 48 points/5 votes/2 firsts
#13: Man on Wire (James Marsh, 2008) -- 49 points/4 votes
#12: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (Seth Gordon, 2007) -- 49 points/5 votes
#11: When We Were Kings (Leon Gast, 1996) -- 52 points/4 votes/1 first
#10: Streetwise (Martin Bell, 1984) -- 53 points/4 votes
#9: The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988) -- 53 points/5 votes/1 first
#8: Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris, 1978) -- 61 points/5 votes/1 first
#7: American Movie (Chris Smith, 1999) -- 64 points/8 votes/1 first
#6: Hoop Dreams (Steve James, 1994) -- 68 points/8 votes
#5: The Sorrow and the Pity (Marcel Ophüls, 1969) -- 70 points/5 votes/1 first
#4: Harlan County U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple, 1976) -- 78 points/5 votes/1 first
#3: Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki, 2003) -- 88 points/8 votes
#2: Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005) -- 98 points/8 votes/1 first
#1: Crumb (Terry Zwigoff, 1994) -- 163 points/13 votes/4 firsts

I'm not Glenn McDonald, but I'll probably compile a few basic stats on which directors totalled the most overall points, and which got votes for the most number of films.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:22 (five years ago) Permalink

1. Brickhouse Brown Shoot Interview (2009) (30 points) - Little-known Memphis wrestler Brickhouse Brown shares a succession of awesome hood anecdotes, brags that he "got Jeff Jarrett his first piece of black pussy."

holy shit

goole, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:28 (five years ago) Permalink

For all the bitching, I was expecting the Morbs list to be some truly esoteric shit.

The bitching came from: you guys really didn't hafta try that hard. Just hang up on the Dem phone marketers and you'll have time to watch Shoah.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:31 (five years ago) Permalink

big ups to d*m p*ss*nt*no for the shoot recs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:34 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm sure I would've included "truly esoteric shit" that I've just plumb forgot some bcz they're not constantly talked about in the cultural conversations I hear. I'm just as susceptible to that as anyone, moreso with the death of my middle-aged brain cells.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 15:56 (five years ago) Permalink

Just hang up on the Dem phone marketers and you'll have time to watch Shoah.

But if they're that desperate they have to start lobbying people in the UK I feel it would be awfully rude to curtail their call.

I'm sure I would've included "truly esoteric shit" that I've just plumb forgot some bcz they're not constantly talked about in the cultural conversations I hear. I'm just as susceptible to that as anyone

Hm. You say you're just as susceptible to that as anyone and yet you pretty much deny the possibility that this happened to anyone else - rather, we're all a bunch of ignoramuses in your eyes.

Anyone, I do agree with Josh, it's extra infuriating when the person on a thread who does the most shouting about how everyone is ill-informed and barbaric turns out to be incredibly middlebrow.

emil.y, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 16:07 (five years ago) Permalink

My list:

1. Up Series (28 Up, if I need to pick one)
2. Man with a Movie Camera
3. Koyaanisqatsi
4. Tokyo Olympiad
5. Triumph of the Will
6. Grey Gardens
7. Sherman's March
8. Paris is Burning
9. Restrepo
10. Burden of Dreams

polyphonic, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 16:49 (five years ago) Permalink

so much stuff on this list i haven't seen/need to see! a friend of mine was raving about 'streetwise' to me recently - apparently the original camera negative is lost :/

my list would've had the following, had i voted (not sure of order):

gates of heaven
sans soleil
inextinguishable fire
hoop dreams
spellbound
portrait of jason
paris is burning
my best fiend
harlan county usa
heavy metal parking lot
stop making sense
high school
enron: the smartest guys in the room
man with a movie camera

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 16:52 (five years ago) Permalink

You and tape store both mentioned Portrait of Jason. I've got a home-taped VHS that a friend gave me a while back--will have to watch it.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 16:56 (five years ago) Permalink

The Moon And The Sledgehammer is great! As for great filmmakers who have not yet been mentioned (and apologies, maybe they have), I cannot recommend both Raymond Depardon and Johan Van Der Keuken (one of my personal favorites) enough.

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:08 (five years ago) Permalink

oh shit i forgot one i love: forough farrokhzad's 'the house is black', which can be viewed here:

http://www.ubu.com/film/farrokhzad_house.html

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:11 (five years ago) Permalink

and of that gorin CA trilogy, i probably would've picked 'routine pleasures'

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:12 (five years ago) Permalink

Me too! That is also one of my all-time favorite movies! =)

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:12 (five years ago) Permalink

oh! and 'word is out'

man why didn't i vote :/

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:13 (five years ago) Permalink

"Let's Get Lost" looks so beautiful but I cannot listen to Chet Baker again after watching it. A friend of mine worked on that movie (just as a PA/grip, but still...)!

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:15 (five years ago) Permalink

And I too need to see Streetwise. I noticed it was part of this (rather amazing!) programme curated by Harmony Korine and I had never heard of it before:
http://www.cphdox.dk/d/a5.lasso?e=1&s=2010119

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:18 (five years ago) Permalink

I gave Let's Get Lost the last spot on my list because of how much effect it had on me when I first saw it (I've mentioned that the mid-'80s was when I first paid attention to documentaries). I watched it two or three more times after that, but that was a while back--not sure how it would hold up today. Baker's dissembling is very sad.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:22 (five years ago) Permalink

harmony korine's dad made documentaries! i've seen this one:

http://www.harmony-korine.com/news/2008/06/sol-korineblaine-dunlap-dvd/

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:23 (five years ago) Permalink

('mouth music', that is)

clams cassingle (donna rouge), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:23 (five years ago) Permalink

oh wow i hated "let's get lost" sooo much.

goole, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:25 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't feel bad for not voting now, my 30 points would have only pushed Gates of Heaven to third.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:28 (five years ago) Permalink

my list, in no order whatsoever:

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About his Father
Impaler
Fall From Grace
Blood In The Face
Not Quite Hollywood
One Day In September
The Thin Blue Line
Brothers Keeper
The Rape of Europa
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Paradise Lost 2
Dark Days
Crips and Bloods: Made In America
Exit Through the Gift Shop
The Bridge
Best Worst Movie
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
The Wild and Wonderful Whites
Bomb It
The Architecture of Doom

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:35 (five years ago) Permalink

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About his Father

I have been warned not to watch this because I'll cry for days or something like that. Is it really that sad?

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:38 (five years ago) Permalink

It's not only very sad, it's a terrible, terrible movie

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:38 (five years ago) Permalink

As in it made me uncomfortable, it is just so morally dodgy (and atrociously made, but that almost seems irrelevant). File alongside Catfish, which was also revolting in a similar way.

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:40 (five years ago) Permalink

my weirdo picks, if i'd participated (saw these at a fest years ago when someone slipped me a pass)

The Ister
The Great Communist Bank Robbery

goole, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:40 (five years ago) Permalink

Dammit I knew I forgot something, and it was Let's Get Lost.

I also want to point out that, partially because of all the, ahem, discussion that took place above, this 40-film poll reveal thread is longer than some of the old ilx 100-film. Decade poll threads.

Mucho! Macho! Honcho!: Turn Off The Dark (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:42 (five years ago) Permalink

Haha, I've been tempted by The Ister but never watched it.

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:43 (five years ago) Permalink

Also, super job Clemenza!

Mucho! Macho! Honcho!: Turn Off The Dark (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:44 (five years ago) Permalink

Yes, a round of applause for clemenza. I'm sure that despite all our differences, we have been glad of this opportunity to talk about this stuff.

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:46 (five years ago) Permalink

i can't even really recommend the ister tbh. it's very narrow in appeal

goole, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:47 (five years ago) Permalink

i might have thrown a troll vote to "f for fake", i'm a little surprised that didn't happen here. not even a mention in one of the dumb arguments up there

goole, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Good for Alfred for throwing in Las Hurdes, too

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:49 (five years ago) Permalink

Good for Alfred for throwing in Las Hurdes, too

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:49 (five years ago) Permalink

interesting list, jjj

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_qxQztHRI (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:53 (five years ago) Permalink

huh admrl, I hadn't heard those criticisms before. I'm sure I'll watch it eventually but I feel like I need to steel myself before doing so.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:58 (five years ago) Permalink

I thought The Wild and Wonderful Whites was OK but I liked Dancing Outlaw much better. Gah still made I left it off. It should have made my top ten tbh.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:59 (five years ago) Permalink

i might have thrown a troll vote to "f for fake", i'm a little surprised that didn't happen here. not even a mention in one of the dumb arguments up there

woulda been all over this but it seems such a quintessential essay film/not a docu/whatever it is that i couldn't, & i say that having voted for other essay-stuff like LA plays itself

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:24 (five years ago) Permalink

I liked Dancing Outlaw much better.

Yeah, way better. I hated the Jackass-style production values of Wonderful Whites.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:28 (five years ago) Permalink

I mean, It was still interesting and certain scenes will stick with me for a long time but I think that's probably what turned me off too.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:30 (five years ago) Permalink

I cannot recommend both Raymond Depardon and Johan Van Der Keuken (one of my personal favorites) enough.

+

oh shit i forgot one i love: forough farrokhzad's 'the house is black', which can be viewed here

YES

✇ (Tape Store), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:49 (five years ago) Permalink

Dear Zachary had a big emotional impact on me the first time I saw it. Its flaws became more apparent the second time around.

That said, I'm curious about some of the criticism leveled at Dear Zachary and Catfish, specifically the charges of moral irresponsibility. With Dear Zachary in particular, it struck me as a very personal film made from a specific POV, so it's hard to begrudge it for its biases.

I was actually more put off by the supposedly selective editing/staging in The King of Kong.

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:58 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, King of Kong twisted the hero/villain angle too far.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:04 (five years ago) Permalink

I had no idea that all documentaries are supposed to be such serious business. Just don't get why some people seem to get a rise sucking all the fun out of a casual poll.

non-fiction film is my passion/career. i'm used to these sort of lists, but they'll always irritate me.

✇ (Tape Store), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:17 (five years ago) Permalink

F for Fake got two votes and 15 points. That's a film I don't like at all.

partially because of all the, ahem, discussion that took place above, this 40-film poll reveal thread is longer than some of the old ilx 100-film decade poll threads

Yes--even though I was getting a little exasperated at points, it was Morbius and Eric H. who generated a lot of that. I did not, in any way, intend to chase Eric out of the discussion, which is why I was quick to say I was just having some fun with my initial post this morning.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:18 (five years ago) Permalink

Another obligatory 'Chris Marker wuz ROBBED' post.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:21 (five years ago) Permalink

i kid i kid -- its his fault for being so damn obscure (Le Joli mai is really good tho', try and catch it the next time your council commie screens it)

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:22 (five years ago) Permalink

The Battle of Chile

Good choice. Not sure how, but I only saw some of this as a kid and considered voting for it anyway. Does it screen anymore?

Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:31 (five years ago) Permalink

it's on dvd now. i saw a lot of it projected, but it's an all-dayer.

cloud computing, robotics, 3G wireless connectivity, Skype, (history mayne), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:32 (five years ago) Permalink

It actually just screened in Chicago a few weeks ago.

Get a Brain Rick Moranis (jaymc), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:33 (five years ago) Permalink

My ballot:

1. Eyes on the Prize (1987 TV documentary series)/Eyes on the Prize II (1990 TV documentary series)
2. The War At Home (1979)
3. Chronicle of a Summer (1961) [a.k.a. Chronique d'un ete]
4. The Sorrow and the Pity (1969) [a.k.a. Le Chagrin et la pitie]
5. American Dream (1990)
6. Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)
7. The Decline of Western Civilization (1982)
8. Metal and Melancholy (1994) [a.k.a. Metaal en melancholie]
9. Hoop Dreams (1994)
10. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)
11. Crazy (1999)
12. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)/Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000, TV documentary)
13. The Filth and the Fury (2000) [a.k.a. The Filth and the Fury - A Sex Pistols Film]
14. Style Wars (1983)
15. Winter Soldier (1972)
16. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
17. Trouble the Water (2008)
18. The Yes Men (2003)
19. The Take (2004)
20. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2002) [a.k.a. Chavez: Inside the Coup]

Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:38 (five years ago) Permalink

i feel like i should sum up what some of mine are about in case peeps have some interest:

Impaler (2007) - vampire runs for mn governor, but the story turns from the wacky and whatever to really sad. very surprising, although the production is low grade at best
Fall From Grace (2007) - westboro fred phelps doc that is utterly chilling
Blood In The Face (1991) - US neo-nazi doc that goes deep
Not Quite Hollywood (2008) - ozploitation doc that is absolutely amazing and hilarious
One Day In September (1999) - actually totally shocked that this didnt make it, assume people know about it
The Rape of Europa (2006) - nazi art theft and the difficulties in recovery of said art
Paradise Lost 2 - see one day in september - i do think part 2 is the better of the pair
Dark Days (2000) - story of the homeless people living in the underground tunnels of NYC
Crips and Bloods: Made In America (2008) - dogtown and z boyz director turns his eye to the historical roots of the crips and bloods, which has been done many times but never close to this well
The Bridge (2006) - camera crew films the suicides on the golden gate bridge for a year and talks to the people involved. dark dark stuff.
Best Worst Movie (2009) - the story of Troll 2, one of the funniest docs you are likely to see, sorry srs doc people.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000) - remarkably sympathetic look at tammy faye bakker
The Wild and Wonderful Whites - talked abt this too
Bomb It (2007) - sleeper amazing graffiti doc
The Architecture of Doom (1989) - powerful nazi doc framed by the bizarre aesthetic obsessions that drove it

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:07 (five years ago) Permalink

One Day in September is high on my need-to-see list--all the way through Munich, I was thinking about how much more I would rather be watching a good documentary on this. (Still have dim memories of the actual event.) I'd recommend the Joan Rivers film to anyone who likes The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:16 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah Joan Rivers was pretty fascinating because she seemed so candid about everything.

anyways judging from all the broken bottles i'm sorry i missed the party here. This was my ranked list:

1. The World At War
2. Phantom India
3. Harlan County USA
4. Grizzly Man
5. Crumb
6. Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples' Temple
7. The Cove
8. The Mystery of Picasso
9. Dig!
10. Tokyo Olymipiad
11. Hearts and Minds
12. American Movie
13. The Cockettes
14. American Dream
15. Hands on a Hard Body
16. Sherman's March (dir Ross Mcelwee)
17. Up Series
18. Roger and Me
19. Streetwise
20. Up the Yangtze

Cosmo Vitelli, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:25 (five years ago) Permalink

this was my ballot

When We Were Kings - 20
Capturing the Friedmans - 15
The Thin Blue Line - 15
Crumb - 10
Grizzly Man - 10
Touching the Void - 10
Hoop Dreams - 5
Exit through the Gift Shop - 5
Murderball - 5
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster - 5

peter in montreal, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Crips and Bloods: Made In America (2008) - dogtown and z boyz director turns his eye to the historical roots of the crips and bloods, which has been done many times but never close to this well

I feel like I am picking on jjjusten in particular, and I don't mean to, but Cle Sloan's "Bastards Of The Party" is a far more nuanced and complex (at least for the first half) history of LA gangs. It's on Netflix not, too!

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:31 (five years ago) Permalink

on Netflix now

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:31 (five years ago) Permalink

No I've seen that one and def preferred the peralta doc - I think we may just not see eye to eye on doc stuff

I dream of vodka sandwich (jjjusten), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:33 (five years ago) Permalink

I guess so. Stacey Peralta's schtick really started to annoy me in that film, found Bastards Of The Party not only more original but actually gave a view from the inside and offered some explanations/solutions for the gang problem.

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:35 (five years ago) Permalink

it's extra infuriating when the person on a thread who does the most shouting about how everyone is ill-informed and barbaric turns out to be incredibly middlebrow.

I never said "ill-informed and barbaric," but don't worry about it because, ladies and gentlemen, this is my last poll. (Except for the ones I start, like the Nicholas Ray one.)

But, yeah, "barbaric" applies in rating Anvil! ahead of all of F Wiseman.

Man, I hate/need this board just like NYC, apparently.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:44 (five years ago) Permalink

if you get caught between the moon and Werner Herzog

Mr. Que, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:48 (five years ago) Permalink

where did you come from??

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:49 (five years ago) Permalink

heaven.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:49 (five years ago) Permalink

don't worry about it because, ladies and gentlemen, this is my last poll

I'm not sure if the allusion's intentional or not, but I'm sure you can appreciate the strong echo:

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:50 (five years ago) Permalink

must be missing an aged

xp

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:50 (five years ago) Permalink

yes, clemenza, way to explain the jokes

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Interesting reading, thanks. I've not seen a great number of these (why I didn't take part), but I've added a ton to my must see list. Sounds like Streetwise needs some sort of follow-up, that tie in with the Green River Killer is horrifying and sad (but interesting, in a morbid way).

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:52 (five years ago) Permalink

Just doing my small part in unlocking the complexities of your mind.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:53 (five years ago) Permalink

morbsology.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:55 (five years ago) Permalink

but don't worry about it because, ladies and gentlemen, this is my last poll. =

Cosmo Vitelli, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 21:00 (five years ago) Permalink

Whats funny about Morbs' performance itt is that he has betrayed just how much he belongs here by engaging in two time-tested ilx techniques - consistent whining about a favorite being snubbed and threatening over and over to leave a thread without ever actually doing so.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 21:02 (five years ago) Permalink

He's the consummate ILXor, it's true

A41 (admrl), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 21:04 (five years ago) Permalink

that's the worst thing anyone's ever said about me

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 21:15 (five years ago) Permalink

remember, others may hate you...

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 21:18 (five years ago) Permalink

i havent seen when we were kings since i was a child, and it was certainly mesmerizing, but i wonder if i'd find it overly reverent towards ali today

After this was nominated for an Academy Award (and won I think?) it landed in a restored movie theatre where I saw it at a matinee along with three other people in attendence. Really liked it from what I remember. Also felt very sorry for George Foreman- Ali and company were relentless in their insults.

brownie, Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:25 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm away from home for a few days so if you can post my ballot clemenza, that would be lovely.

The multi-talented F.R. David (Billy Dods), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:54 (five years ago) Permalink

title - points - placement

Crumb 20 #1
Harlan County U.S.A. 20 #4
Microcosmos 10
Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. 10
The Sorrow and the Pity 10 #5
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts 10
Bowling for Columbine 5
Grey Gardens 5 #20
Grizzly Man 5
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster 5
Richard Williams: The Thief Who Never Gave Up (1982, Thames TV) 5
F For Fake 5
Monterey Pop 5
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills 5
The Thin Blue Line 5 #9

little mushroom person (abanana), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 03:14 (five years ago) Permalink

Here's Billy Dods' ballot (x-post):

1. With Orson Welles: Stories from a Life in Film
2. 7 Up
3. The Kid Stays in the Picture
4. The American Civil War
5. The Last Waltz
6. Oil City Confidential
7. The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon
8. Cosmos
9. Inside Job
10. From A to B: Tales of Modern Motoring

clemenza, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 03:24 (five years ago) Permalink

My submission:

Man on Wire (2008)
My Best Fiend (1999)
Grizzly Man (2005)
The King of Kong (2007)
Stop Making Sense (1984)
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Dogtown and Z-Boys (2002)
Night Mail (1936)
Dig! (2004)
For All Mankind (1989)

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 06:58 (five years ago) Permalink

10. From A to B: Tales of Modern Motoring

Yay! If I'd thought someone else might vote for it I might have given it more than 5 points.

Alba, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 08:01 (five years ago) Permalink

I feel unexpectedly disturbed and upset that I missed the poll for this.

online pinata store (Nicole), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 18:22 (five years ago) Permalink

you can probably still receive the kind of aggressive scrutiny and accusations of cinematic perjury from us that you would have got, had you voted in a timely fashion. just write up a top ten. the fall-out of this has really padded my list of stuff to watch, btw.

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 18:24 (five years ago) Permalink

I'd like to get my disdain for Nicole's credentials in early, please.

Alba, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 22:50 (five years ago) Permalink

this list is terrible; and not even on time; and such small portions

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Wednesday, 17 August 2011 22:56 (five years ago) Permalink

Her feminine "upset" at missing the deadline will of course colour whatever judgment she might once have had.

Alba, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 23:00 (five years ago) Permalink

So I finished Streetwise last night and it was, as everyone said, excellent. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil it for those who expressed interest in seeing it. It seems that Martin Bell made another film about Tiny in 2005 called "Erin". http://www.maryellenmark.com/films/titles/erin/erin_home_page.html There are clips there but I can't find the whole film online. If anyone else can I'd really appreciate it.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Thursday, 18 August 2011 13:27 (five years ago) Permalink

guy seemingly made a feature back in seattle featuring the smokingest & baddest jeff bridges, also, e:

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Thursday, 18 August 2011 13:33 (five years ago) Permalink

Damn, Jeff!

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Thursday, 18 August 2011 13:37 (five years ago) Permalink

would vote for best actor nom based on that one still alone

ps also nom in both senses, lookin good jb

sweatpants life trajectory (schlump), Thursday, 18 August 2011 13:40 (five years ago) Permalink

lol

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Thursday, 18 August 2011 13:41 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh and next up, as I plow through the ones I haven't seen, is Crumb which I should receive from Netflix tomorrow.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Thursday, 18 August 2011 13:44 (five years ago) Permalink

How did you see Streetwise? I thought it was unavailable. (We've got a cult-leaning store here that has everything--I haven't checked there.) I'm confident you'll find your first encounter with Crumb memorable.

clemenza, Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:03 (five years ago) Permalink

it's on the internet

old money entertainment (history mayne), Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:05 (five years ago) Permalink

It's on youtube. I think that one part might have been left out but if it was it was only about 8 mins. The rest is all there. Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about watching Crumb.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:10 (five years ago) Permalink

I'd like to find streetwise to see it uninterrupted and not on youtube somehow but idk if that's possible. Still glad i could watch it some way though.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:11 (five years ago) Permalink

i have streetwise on vhs but ive not watched it yet

johnny crunch, Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:14 (five years ago) Permalink

Right--I knew that from providing a link above, but forgot. I'm going to check that store, otherwise I'll probably wait and hope.

clemenza, Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Wow, so thankful to be tipped off to "Streetwise." That movie is incredibly well shot. The opening scene alone would be all time intro to any film, fiction or not.

Why is it out of print? Music clearances? Looks like it was produced by Willie Nelson!

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:31 (five years ago) Permalink

The opening scene alone would be all time intro to any film, fiction or not.

Yeah, Tamtam mentioned this upthread and it's so true.

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:33 (five years ago) Permalink

You guys are convincing me to break my rule about watching whole films off YouTube.

clemenza, Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:34 (five years ago) Permalink

(Aesthetic rule, not ethical.)

clemenza, Thursday, 18 August 2011 14:34 (five years ago) Permalink

i watched streetwise, really great. the 1st thing i thought was how the hell did they get these kids 2 trust them enough so that anecdote upthread is v cool

johnny crunch, Thursday, 18 August 2011 22:28 (five years ago) Permalink

I was reading yesterday that they are still following Tiny and think of her as a life subject and plan to release more work about her. They talk to her weekly on the phone.

So a bunch of people picked Paradise Lost, right?

Just saw this:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20094282-504083.html

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Friday, 19 August 2011 13:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Watching Crumb. Woah

ladies love draculas like children love stray dogs (ENBB), Sunday, 21 August 2011 00:47 (five years ago) Permalink

Was it here or somewhere else where I saw that "Paradise Lost 3" was completed and set to premiere at Toronto, but that the directors had to shoot a new ending! They were in court, I guess, when the guys were let out.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 21 August 2011 01:18 (five years ago) Permalink

Managed to get Streetwise (on VHS, no less) and A Grin Without a Cat at the video store I mentioned earlier on this thread--will watch them this week. I offered to buy Streetwise from them, but because it never got a DVD release, they want to keep it in the store.

clemenza, Sunday, 21 August 2011 04:29 (five years ago) Permalink

That Streetwise tape is probably 20 years old...

Mucho! Macho! Honcho!: Turn Off The Dark (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 21 August 2011 05:21 (five years ago) Permalink

ower bit bog oil, west yorkshire 1962

cherry blossom, Friday, 26 August 2011 12:30 (five years ago) Permalink

Has anyone seen the Morgan Spurlock-hosted 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die countdown?:
http://current.com/shows/fifty-documentaries/episodes/

jaymc, Friday, 26 August 2011 17:47 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah it's shit

zvookster, Friday, 26 August 2011 18:16 (five years ago) Permalink

only covers the last two decades iirc and is just really cheap and interviewing ppl at pressers and shit like that

zvookster, Friday, 26 August 2011 18:16 (five years ago) Permalink

Streetwise is good, but I didn't find it as compelling as the people who voted for it--except maybe the end, which came as a surprise.

A Grin Without a Cat was tough for me. The footage is great, and I think I could sit through it again as a silent. One problem was that I had a hard time hearing all the narration--partly because it was a little muffled to begin with (maybe the fault of the transfer), and also because it was often overtop people onscreen talking. The other problem was that I simply didn't have enough background knowledge to make sense of it all (that's where the narration would have helped). I'm usually pretty well grounded when it comes to the '60s and '70s, but much of the criss-crossing maze of events depicted here felt obscure. My limitation, not the film's.

clemenza, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:20 (five years ago) Permalink

I had the same trouble with the sound. I'm not an expert on the era (I was pretty lucky to have just read Brody's Godard book to get a better sense of the May 68 timeline), but once he got to the title (and the "Spearhead without a Spear" line), I just took it all as a deflated Marxist performing an autopsy on the last era of hope and its failure. It came in from Netflix and I wasn't keen on watching 3 hours of it, but I wound up getting through it all in one sitting.

Gukbe, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:35 (five years ago) Permalink

maybe u shld have watched it with subtitles

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:39 (five years ago) Permalink

i know the english narration of san soleil weirds me out

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:44 (five years ago) Permalink

>>>>>english dub

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:45 (five years ago) Permalink

Subtitles hadn't occurred to me--I'm going to check for the companion film, and if they've got it, I'll try that. I got the general sense of it being an autopsy for a lost era, but I missed the nuances. I wasn't sure if the tone was disillusionment or irony or what.

clemenza, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:02 (five years ago) Permalink

what's Harlan County about? never heard of it, but it's clearly crazy popular.

piscesx, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:06 (five years ago) Permalink

attempts at strike busting in a mining community. at one point one of the bosses' hired goons is caught shooting at strikers on film

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:09 (five years ago) Permalink

the subtitle track on Grin (as far as I saw) only translated the other languages into French. It didn't subtitle the English narration. I might not have seen the "For the hearing impaired" option though. xposts

Gukbe, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:13 (five years ago) Permalink

french narration, english subtitles wld be my preference based on sans soleil

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:14 (five years ago) Permalink

my local cinema showed grin during a marker season but i was a fuckin ass and didn't go

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:15 (five years ago) Permalink

no one repping for Hearts Of Darkness? kinda surprising.

piscesx, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:25 (five years ago) Permalink

hahaha it's really interesting if you like apocalypse now a lot, which i do, but it's all like "and we realized this was our own vietnam" no fuck off really

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:28 (five years ago) Permalink

I checked back, and Hearts of Darkness only got one vote--that surprised me. One thing I forgot to mention in either this thread or the voting thread was Cinemania. Not great, but worth seeing if you spend way too much time at the movies.

clemenza, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:33 (five years ago) Permalink

*whistles innocently*

zvookster, Monday, 29 August 2011 02:35 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I think Brody would look more favorably upon the ILX results. (Another "Before You Die" construction, just like all the song polls going on. These people are really out to scare you.)

clemenza, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 12:19 (five years ago) Permalink

LOL, Shoah isn't even on the Spurlock list?

Gus Van Sant's Gerry Blank (Eric H.), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 12:36 (five years ago) Permalink

(Spurlock's full list)

50. Spellbound (2002)
49. Truth or Dare (1991)
48. The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)
47. One Day in September (1999)
46. Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1998)
45. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988)
44. Burma VJ (2008)
43. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)
42. Catfish (2010)
41. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)
40. When We Were Kings (1996)
39. Biggie & Tupac (2002)
38. March of the Penguins (2005)
37. Inside Job (2010)
36. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
35. Paragraph 175 (2000)
34. Brother’s Keeper (1992)
33. Tongues Untied (1989)
32. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)
31. Jesus Camp (2006)
30. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
29. Man on Wire (2008)
28. Gasland (2010)
27. Tarnation (2003)
26. Murderball (2005)
25. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
24. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
23. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000)
22. Shut Up & Sing (2006)
21. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
20. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
19. Touching the Void (2003)
18. Food, Inc. (2008)
17. Street Fight (2005)
16. Bus 174 (2002)
15. Crumb (1994)
14. Dark Days (2000)
13. The Fog of War (2003)
12. Bowling for Columbine (2002)
11. Paris Is Burning (1991)
10. Grizzly Man (2005)
9. Trouble the Water (2008)
8. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
7. The Celluloid Closet (1995)
6. The War Room (1993)
5. Supersize Me (2004)
4. Waltz With Bashir (2008)
3. Roger & Me (1989)
2. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
1. Hoop Dreams (1994)

Gus Van Sant's Gerry Blank (Eric H.), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:35 (five years ago) Permalink

5. Supersize Me (2004)

classy

all the small zings (history mayne), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:38 (five years ago) Permalink

One spectator asked Costa whether the film was fiction or documentary, and before Costa could answer, Straub, with his impulsive bluntness, declared, “Documentary! What kind of a word is that, ‘documentary’!? What does a film have to do with documents? Who uses documents? The police!"

that's awesome, now I want to see all Straub-Huillet.

wolves lacan, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:44 (five years ago) Permalink

The problem with Spurlock’s list goes beyond the narrowness of his temporal and geographical range. Many of the films on his list are of interest for their subjects, and their subjects alone, which are captured in cinematically bland or unconsidered ways.

Morgan Spurlock, honorary ILXor

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:47 (five years ago) Permalink

lol @ straub

and my soul said you can't go there (schlump), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:57 (five years ago) Permalink

C'mon, Morbius, we went over this last time--fully half of your 20 made the ILX list. That's a pretty good percentage.

clemenza, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 14:36 (five years ago) Permalink

spurlock's list was designed to cover the last 25 years only.

anorange (abanana), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:36 (five years ago) Permalink

haha lol. i agreed with a bunch of brody's picks but that's sorta pertinent.

all the small zings (history mayne), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:37 (five years ago) Permalink

A good question would be WHY cover the last 25 years only? I assume it's like when ESPN puts up graphics of baseball records "since 1990" -- bcz old stuff is just boring.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:57 (five years ago) Permalink

The problem with Spurlock’s list goes beyond the narrowness of his temporal and geographical range. Many of the films on his list are of interest for their subjects, and their subjects alone, which are captured in cinematically bland or unconsidered ways.

Morgan Spurlock, honorary ILXor

― incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius)

Morbs you voted the Shoah #1, which is about as uncinematic as you can get.

A good question would be WHY cover the last 25 years only?

The reason he gives is that they've been more commercially successful:
http://youtu.be/t1M2Elfa_cI?t=45s

anorange (abanana), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:22 (five years ago) Permalink

not a brilliant reason. nor even that verifiable. bet 'nanook' did bigger numbers than most of the ones he names,

all the small zings (history mayne), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:31 (five years ago) Permalink

people don't like old shit, which is shit, but hey this is a list for plebs who have probably watched 3 documentaries in their lifetimes so let 'em get started with Hoop Dreams or something because it can't do no harm.

Gukbe, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:36 (five years ago) Permalink

maybe there's an army of kids who'll be like, oh word? formerly relevant gimmick-doc hero morgan spurlock voted this the 22nd best documentary of the last quarter-century?

all the small zings (history mayne), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:38 (five years ago) Permalink

motherfucker just super-sized my interest in the moving dramas of the everyday

Gukbe, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:39 (five years ago) Permalink

lol

and my soul said you can't go there (schlump), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:40 (five years ago) Permalink

abanana, sorry, make your own Holocaust doc w/ tons of fast cutting

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:47 (five years ago) Permalink

let 'em get started with Hoop Dreams or something because it can't do no harm

To me this is the key (although I'm not sure that's the best film to illustrate your point--Hoop Dreams is pretty great by almost any barometer). I just take Spurlock's list to be a general-interest introduction for people who have probably seen a Moore or two and nothing else. And that's good. That's the way I use lists, always hoping to discover something I didn't know about. Just from all the ILX votes that came in, so far I've watched three things I didn't know about: Street Smart, A Grin Without a Cat, and Lake of Fire. I plan to work my way through some others. Maybe someone else would complain that I should have known about them already, and furthermore should have seen them already, but so what. People who start investigating Spurlock's list will sooner or later find their way to Shoah and Harlan County. (Having said that, I've never had any desire to see Super Size Me.)

clemenza, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:52 (five years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

No Hoop Dreams or Steve James thread that I could find...Saw him give the best Q&A I've ever seen after Hoop Dreams tonight--what a storyteller. Didn't know that both Bo (Arthur's father) and Curtis (William's brother) were murdered--Curtis on 9/11/2001, no less.

clemenza, Friday, 7 October 2011 03:54 (five years ago) Permalink

Dr. Morbius actually says I few things on this thread that I almost kinda sorta consider the vague possibility of agreeing with

it's not exactly "OTM" but it's progress

Moonbear Currency (admrl), Friday, 7 October 2011 05:50 (five years ago) Permalink

"Ok, bye thread"? That was my favourite.

clemenza, Friday, 7 October 2011 10:09 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

really gritty docu by paul schrader's brother, lenny

maghrib is back (Hungry4Ass), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 20:29 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I saw Sherman's March for the first time this afternoon--part of "the Essentials" at our new theatre. I didn't love it, but it'll stay with me. I started to find McElwee's passivity tiresome very early on, and by the time he's pestering the last woman, he's flat-out annoying. (That he realizes he's annoying doesn't make him any less annoying.) The women were all interesting, though, most of all one he wasn't after, Charleen. How significant was this? I know there are lots of experimental/essay-type documentaries that predate it, but was there an earlier feature documentary (with some limited first-run release, as I remember it) so subjective/confessional? I don't know.

Favorite line: "My interest in linguistics continues to grow."

clemenza, Saturday, 17 March 2012 23:06 (five years ago) Permalink

crazy that this was morbs's last poll

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Saturday, 17 March 2012 23:38 (five years ago) Permalink

lmao

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Saturday, 17 March 2012 23:44 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I've clicked on a couple of titles, and this appears to be exactly what it says: 400 documentaries, many well known, you can watch online (via nice clean Vimeo transfers).

http://www.filmsforaction.org/walloffilms/

clemenza, Monday, 18 March 2013 03:38 (four years ago) Permalink

wallofilmgina

i petted a bodega cat today. (forksclovetofu), Monday, 18 March 2013 05:54 (four years ago) Permalink

A problem:

http://www.avclub.com/articles/if-documentaries-want-to-be-treated-like-movies-th,93354/

I'm guilty of falling prey to this, I know; I'll accept conventional filmmaking if the subject and people interest me enough (e.g., Knuckleball). But it's something I'm often aware of, most recently watching The House I Live In. It was good, and it was a passionate piece of advocacy. But I kept thinking that it could have been better.

clemenza, Monday, 18 March 2013 14:30 (four years ago) Permalink

interesting Apted interview about UP here with Roger Ebert

piscesx, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 06:55 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm guilty of falling prey to this, I know; I'll accept conventional filmmaking if the subject and people interest me enough (e.g., Knuckleball). But it's something I'm often aware of, most recently watching The House I Live In. It was good, and it was a passionate piece of advocacy. But I kept thinking that it could have been better.

This is an interesting argument, but I think the opposite can also be a problem. Searching for Sugar Man is a good recent example which suffers from the fact that the director wanted to make it too much like a conventional movie narrative. Large parts of the real story are excluded so that the movie could climax with the cathartic moment of Rodriguez, its subject, playing a comeback gig for a large South African audience in 1998, after (if the movie is to be believed) having been inactive and unsuccessful as a musician ever since 1971. In order to retain this "rise->fall->rise again" narrative formula the director conviently ignore the fact that Rodriguez had already had a similar (though somewhat smaller) revival success in Australia in the late 70s and early 80s. Also, the movie very much focuses on South African journalists' search for the mysterious musician, which makes for a nice detective story, but also means there's not that much material about Rodriguez himself and his life between 1971 and 1998.

So yeah, the movie is certainly more cinematic than your regular talking heads doc, but Rodriguez is such an interesting guy I would've preferred to watch a more traditional document with him and people close to him talking about his life. The liner notes to the reissues of the two Rodriguez albums actually give a more detailed and more interesting picture of his life than a feature-length documentary.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 10:19 (four years ago) Permalink

That would be a better argument if it was called "Rodriguez: His story", in fairness - it's a story about fans searching for him.

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 10:30 (four years ago) Permalink

I guess... But since the director was able to interview Rodriguez himself, and a whole lot of friends, relatives, and music business people who know him, he could've easily made the movie about his story, and not the about the search for him. To me, it seems he picked the "search" narrative because it made for more thrilling cinema, and it sorta does – Searching for Sugar Man certainly is more entertaining to watch than many other docs – but in the end the approach means the movie has less content than it could've had, makes the story look more one-sided than it could've been. The movie leaves you with with several unanswered questions, and they aren't all the sort of questions that are meant to be left hanging, they could've answered them if they wanted to. And that is my opinion on the subject: sure, make your doc more cinematic, but don't do it at the expense of content, because content is the main thing people want from (most) documentaries.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:00 (four years ago) Permalink

Would you have added more running time, or cut out the South African material? Because it does sound like you're wishing they made the movie you would like rather than the one they made, and I'd counter that I found the South African stuff far more interesting than "This dude was like Bob Dylan except not as good, then he dropped under the radar, here he is again"

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:23 (four years ago) Permalink

Also wtf is "content"?

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:26 (four years ago) Permalink

I didn't mean the South African stuff as a whole was uninteresting; the Afrikaaner equality movement and his influence on that was interesting stuff, you could've made a whole movie about that alone. But the search part, the detective story, it felt pretty superficial, because it didn't give you any new information on either of the main subjects of the doc (Rodriguez's influence on South African musicians and political activists, and his life in Detroit). That's what I mean by "content" in documentaries: new information on stuff that I didn't know about before.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:48 (four years ago) Permalink

So you'd be as happy with a wiki URL, the lights up, and an instruction that it's fine if you want to turn your phone on? :)

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 12:19 (four years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

maybe film snobs already know this but i didn't -- DEMON LOVER DIARY is now online! look!! http://vimeo.com/62618360
i watched the first few minutes and it reminded me how great this movie is.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Saturday, 16 November 2013 16:10 (three years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Dancers-Joy-Holiday/dp/B007BG5RUE

^this was really great fyi

johnny crunch, Thursday, 12 December 2013 01:45 (three years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Richard Brody's favourite documentaries, in advance of a Sight & Sound documentary poll:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2014/04/the-greatest-documentaries-of-all-time.html

clemenza, Wednesday, 16 April 2014 02:41 (two years ago) Permalink

Cool thread.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Wednesday, 16 April 2014 03:10 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Some show up shockingly low (e.g. Close-Up) until you consider many people probably don't categorize them as "documentaries."

You are exactly why people root for the apes (Eric H.), Friday, 1 August 2014 15:57 (two years ago) Permalink

No King of Kong, I don't get it.

I count 19 instances of overlap between their 50 and ILX's 40. Doesn't seem all that scandalous to me.

clemenza, Friday, 1 August 2014 16:22 (two years ago) Permalink

Yea but that other 21 tho.

You are exactly why people root for the apes (Eric H.), Friday, 1 August 2014 16:24 (two years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

The BFI site now has the complete results/ballots for the documentary poll + a sprawling graphic linking each film to each voter. http://www.bfi.org.uk/sight-sound-magazine/greatest-docs-full-poll

Did any ilxors get a vote?

Now I'm going to watch Grey Gardens.

I have a website, Glen is very active on Facebook. (cajunsunday), Friday, 22 August 2014 21:27 (two years ago) Permalink

Glad to see King of Kong got two votes, enough to finish ahead of one-vote-only Citizen Kane (also ahead of no-votes Vertigo). Personally I like Kane better, but it's close. (I'm in something that got one vote, Vinyl).

clemenza, Friday, 22 August 2014 22:06 (two years ago) Permalink

i saw this a couple weeks ago, highly recommended:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0263238/

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 22 August 2014 22:16 (two years ago) Permalink

I saw that four or five years ago, with Drew in attendance--yes, very good. I think it might be the beginning of cinéma vérité? The primary season as it existed then is unrecognizable next to today's circus.

clemenza, Friday, 22 August 2014 22:19 (two years ago) Permalink

Goofed--it's the earlier Primary I saw. Would love to see the Wallace film.

clemenza, Friday, 22 August 2014 22:21 (two years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

On Lanzmann and Shoah. Was watching it last night on TV, 2nd part next week.

The 30 min sequence in the Polish village is probably the best evidence of his skills, the way he could charm anyone into talking about themselves and ultimately their prejudices. There was certainly evidence of his -- not bullying -- but you could tell he was a prick. When he tells off the translator "I heard the word 'Capital' why haven't you translated?" when its a pretty tough interview of up to four women talking. Didn't think much of it at the time -- you could argue that these things happen on tough shoots -- but then you read his vile quote on female translators. There was certanly nothing they could do, even if they were half-cheering the 'extraction' of jews but its weird that Lanzmann doesn't think this could've happened in France when anti-semitism and racism are to be found in France (Sorrow and the Pity hello?)

Ultimately not too sure about the impact of re-enactments, and the camera focusing on any tear is pretty much pornography (nearly switched off after an hour) but there is so much powerful testimony, even if the methods by which he obtained some of it are questionable.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 26 January 2015 13:40 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I just saw Nicolas Philibert's "Louvre City" and LOVED IT SO MUCH! It was so observational and cinema verite in its very direct presentation of its subject matter and lack of overall narrative and yet it had so much cinematographic flourish, like really well conceived tracking shots and close-ups and thoughtful editing and it was so pretty and art-filmy and contemplative and just fun to watch and lull about in. This guy is so fucking great. I remember really liking Etre et Avoir but not like this.

WE WANT FET WAP (Stevie D(eux)), Saturday, 16 May 2015 02:59 (one year ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Just finished The Battle of Chile for the first time. Not in one sitting. I found the structure somewhat odd--it's in three parts, and the third part doubles back and covers some of the same ground as the first part, though from a different angle; 10 minutes in, I was worried I'd accidentally watched the discs out of order--but an often hypnotic cascade of words, almost always from one person speechifying as others look on and listen. Hope to see it again in a theatre one day; really impressive.

clemenza, Saturday, 19 December 2015 02:01 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I found the lead girl in Seventeen exceedingly annoying, so that interfered with all that was good about it. Great freeze-frame ending.

clemenza, Sunday, 3 January 2016 16:57 (one year ago) Permalink


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