An Impossible Job: ILX's 40 Favorite Documentaries

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

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 (nine years ago) link

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

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=NoelMegahey/salesman5.jpg_30042007

20 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQdQPtcX9Y8

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:49 (nine years ago) link

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

http://images.greencine.com/images/article/filth-fury.jpg

20 points/3 votes

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

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:53 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

salesman is on the watch list.

sonderangerbot, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:57 (nine years ago) link

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

http://ethiopia.limbo13.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/the-gleaners.jpg

20 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKgjjEJvMbM

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 14:57 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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

http://www.miketidmus.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/times_milk_400.jpg

20 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkN8OZQ0EK8

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:01 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

#38: Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

http://cdn.mos.totalfilm.com/images/i/inside-job-00-470-75.jpg

22 points/3 votes

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

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:14 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_DTMUexn4UAo/Sr5H9BMhyhI/AAAAAAAAAYI/g5EoHaew7PU/s400/gimmeshelter.jpg

24 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=keh2paoGIrM

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:21 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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

http://rpmedia.ask.com/ts?u=/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/ae/Le_Peuple_Migrateur.jpg/275px-Le_Peuple_Migrateur.jpg

24 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q40h8dPmgwQ

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:24 (nine years ago) link

Love that Gimme Shelter still.

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

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 (nine years ago) link

#34: Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz, 2002)

http://www.movie-film-review.com/files/images/filmimages/spellbounddocu.jpg

25 points/2 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5n_nMqH7CU

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:30 (nine years ago) link

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

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

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

Ismael Klata, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:35 (nine years ago) link

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

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/07_01/WWIIL_468x313.jpg

25 points/2 votes

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:36 (nine years ago) link

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

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:36 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

hahaaaaa

xp

A41 (admrl), Friday, 12 August 2011 15:39 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

sb'd you ismael

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

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 (nine years ago) link

yeah, sb'ed myself too

Ismael Klata, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:40 (nine years ago) link

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

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rLhnrqgHqhw/SlKnb26rjzI/AAAAAAAAAEw/UkxZZm65-Xg/s400/Los+Angeles+Plays+Itself+%282003%29+4.JPG

25 points/3 votes

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

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:43 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

already havent heard of a few of these!

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

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 (nine years ago) link

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

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_nOqp-9qvh9g/S7K_zRqjkpI/AAAAAAAAABc/cDPtExaU6Y8/s1600/ross+pat.jpg

25 points/4 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZC2_FAcYlU

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:51 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C9klPY5snd0/TWWtv-e_TII/AAAAAAAAA0s/5BgsRY5BMCY/s1600/anvil2.jpg

26 points/2 votes

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

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:58 (nine years ago) link

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

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:58 (nine years ago) link

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

http://bobmccurdy.com/JoniMitchell.jpg

26 points/4 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BREYCGWOouw

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:02 (nine years ago) link

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

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

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 (nine years ago) link

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

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/images/reviews/177/1182304636_1.jpg

27 points/2 votes

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

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:06 (nine years ago) link

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

sonderangerbot, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:08 (nine years ago) link

Sherman's March.. jakldsfjklsdf

Jeff, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:10 (nine years ago) link

what does that mean, Jeff

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

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

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_m47RlRiYoAg/S9qSW4OYzAI/AAAAAAAAHnc/hEemo1InSAA/s1600/The.Fog.of.War.20031.jpg

27 points/3 votes

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfPwR00HXM0

clemenza, Friday, 12 August 2011 16:10 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

lol @ straub

and my soul said you can't go there (schlump), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:57 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

spurlock's list was designed to cover the last 25 years only.

anorange (abanana), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:36 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

motherfucker just super-sized my interest in the moving dramas of the everyday

Gukbe, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:39 (nine years ago) link

lol

and my soul said you can't go there (schlump), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:40 (nine years ago) link

abanana, sorry, make your own Holocaust doc w/ tons of fast cutting

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:47 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

"Ok, bye thread"? That was my favourite.

clemenza, Friday, 7 October 2011 10:09 (nine years ago) link

two months pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlvRFfoSk1U

really gritty docu by paul schrader's brother, lenny

maghrib is back (Hungry4Ass), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 20:29 (nine years ago) link

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 (nine years ago) link

crazy that this was morbs's last poll

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Saturday, 17 March 2012 23:38 (nine years ago) link

lmao

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Saturday, 17 March 2012 23:44 (nine years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

wallofilmgina

i petted a bodega cat today. (forksclovetofu), Monday, 18 March 2013 05:54 (eight years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

interesting Apted interview about UP here with Roger Ebert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGu470P7yfc

piscesx, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 06:55 (eight years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

Also wtf is "content"?

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:26 (eight years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

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 (eight years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

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 (seven years ago) link

Cool thread.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Wednesday, 16 April 2014 03:10 (seven years ago) link

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 (six years ago) link

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 (six years ago) link

Yea but that other 21 tho.

You are exactly why people root for the apes (Eric H.), Friday, 1 August 2014 16:24 (six years ago) link

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 (six years ago) link

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 (six years ago) link

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 (six years ago) link

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 (six years ago) link

Goofed--it's the earlier Primary I saw. Would love to see the Wallace film.

clemenza, Friday, 22 August 2014 22:21 (six years ago) link

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 (six years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwX1Y-BGR58

clemenza, Sunday, 3 January 2016 16:57 (five years ago) link

two years pass...

the NYC Quad is having a Claude Lanzmann retro... anyone ever seen his first feature, Israel, Why (1973)? The only iMdB-linked reviews are in German.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069115/fullcredits/

https://quadcinema.com/film/israel-why/

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 16 November 2018 15:29 (two years ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.