When the "Making Of" movie is better than the movie itself

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Example: American Movie is about the making of an ultra-low budget horror short film, Coven, so the guy can raise money for his more ambitious film, Northwestern. While Coven has its charm, American Movie is simply a much better film.

Some claim that Burden of Dreams by Les Blank (haven't seen it) is a better film than its subject, Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. And a small minority say that Hearts of Darkness (also haven't seen it) is more fascinating than the film of its focus, Apocalypse Now.

Also, how many more levels down can you go in analysis? Like, the making of American Movie (which actually, from what I read, was also quite a struggle).

What are some other examples? A "making of" featurette is typically a half-assed effort (probably made to be a DVD special feature selling point), so it's always nice to see one with some concerted effort, thought, and style going into it.

Ernest P., Tuesday, 29 October 2002 15:25 (twenty years ago) link

There are also peculiar cases like Terry Gilliam's "Lost in La Mancha" where the film itself didn't actually get made, but the documentary typr thing is lauded in its own right. Maybe it's just Gilliam, bless 'im.

Liz :x (Liz :x), Tuesday, 29 October 2002 15:32 (twenty years ago) link

not quite the same thing - but i really enjoyed the commentary versions with christopher guest and eugene levy on both 'best in show' and guffman (esp. best in show) - and all of the cut scenes, some of which were just as good, if not better than the actual movie.

i also enjoyed watching the making-of thingy on waking life. it's not better than the movie, but it was really interesting hearing about the animation process.

so i can't think of a real example of what yr talking about. fake one: 'living in oblivion' is great, vs. the crap one they are shooting.

i doubt it was an actual theatrical production, but 'looking for richard' was a great movie

ron (ron), Tuesday, 29 October 2002 15:40 (twenty years ago) link

Star Wars Ep1 doc 'The Beginning' is certainly much, much better than 'The Phantom Menace'.
I would also point to 'The Hamster Factor' - by the same documentary team as 'Lost In La Mancha' of course - but I really like '12 Monkeys' as well.

DavidM (DavidM), Tuesday, 29 October 2002 18:32 (twenty years ago) link

hearts of darkness owns thread.

piscesboy, Tuesday, 29 October 2002 23:01 (twenty years ago) link

I think Hearts of Darkness is more fascinating than Apocalypse Now.

"The Battle of Brazil" (for Brazil) is also a great one...

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 29 October 2002 23:41 (twenty years ago) link

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