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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Five great documentaries

Have you seen any good documentaries lately? I'd love to share five great ones...

Life Itself remembers beloved film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert. Known for his wit and candor (in his review of The Human Centipede, he refused to award it any stars at all, saying, "The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don't shine"), Ebert was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer, wrote over a dozen books and was regarded as one of the most powerful critics of all time. Ebert was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, which cost him the lower portion of his jaw. But even when he could no longer speak or eat, he wrote every day, right up until his death in 2013. We haven't actually seen this documentary yet—it opens on July 4th—but early buzz has been fantastic.
Finding Vivian Maier tells the story of a mysterious nanny who secretly took more than 100,000 photos of people on the streets of New York and hid them in storage lockers. Although she was one of 20th century's greatest photographers, her work wasn't discovered until a 26-year-old real-estate agent bought a box of old negatives at an estate auction in 2007. In this captivating film, her story is finally brought to light.
The Queen of Versailles tells the extreme riches-to-rags tale of billionaires Jackie and David Siegel, owners of Westgate Resorts. The film opens with the couple building the largest single-family house in America—a 90,000 square foot palace with 9 kitchens, 13 bedrooms and 25 bathrooms, plus a bowling alley and movie theatre. But over the next two years, they stop construction and put the property up for sale, as their company falters after the economic crisis. The Economist calls the film "an uncomfortably intimate glimpse of a couple’s struggle...What could have been merely a silly send-up manages to be a meditation on marriage and a metaphor for the fragility of fortunes, big and small."
Alex convinced me to watch When You're Strange on vacation a couple years ago—and as soon as the movie started, I was hooked. Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the Doors, died mysteriously in 1971 at the age of 27—and ever since then, countless books and films have made him out to be a supernatural force: a modern day shaman, a genius poet, maybe even immortal. But that's why we loved this documentary: It digs beneath the myths to look at the real person. Drawing on amazing behind-the-scenes footage and an intelligent script, the film, narrated by Johnny Depp, takes an honest look at how a shy Navy brat with a taste for brainy books transformed himself into a rock deity in leather pants, and how the journey ultimately destroyed him.
The new documentary Fed Up examines America's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in it. For example, 80 percent of food items sold in America have added sugar—of course, you'd expect candy and ice cream to have sugar, but tomato sauce? Chicken soup? Bread? Yogurt? This topic is near and dear to my heart, as we try harder and harder to keep our children from eating too much sugar during the day. (At Toby's school, they give the kids birthday cupcakes at 10am! Drives me crazy!). Side note: Check out their two great movie posters.

Thoughts? Any others you'd recommend? I'd LOVE to hear...

P.S. 20 amazing documentaries.

109 comments:

girlnamedallyn said...

I really enjoyed (?) Queen of Versailles. Proof that money really doesn't buy happiness, and even it it does for a moment, the second the money is gone, so is the happiness. Pretty sad, yet fascinating.
I'm really looking forward to the Ebert film and Fed Up. I make so much of our food from scratch (on top of a typical NYC job) just because I'm so sick of not being in control of the ingredients. It's insane what they put in food now. Drives me crazy!

HDemaray said...

I was so surprised at how much pathos I felt for Jackie when I saw Queen of Versailles. It's not the documentary you think it will be, and that's good.

Supermensch is at the top of my list. Mike Meyers (yep, that Mike Meyers) makes a documentary about the most famous talen manager you've never heard of--Shep Gordon. I heard them both on NPR's Fresh Air--so fascinating!

heather marie said...

These all sound great!! I want to watch all of them!! Can you stream any on netflix?

Joanna Goddard said...

@hdemaray, i agree! she was so open and forthright and likable, which i hadn't expected. i felt the same way when i watched The Girls Next Door years ago—the show about hugh hefner's girlfriends! did you ever see it? they were so sweet and winning and relatable and you understood their circumstances and it smashed your expectations...

wanderlustywriter said...

That last one sounds great. I've been trying to make my parents stop buying processed foods for that very reason (not to mention all the other crap they put in it) but my mom insists she doesn't "have time" to cook from scratch every night, and that organic food is "too expensive" . There are so many ways to eat whole foods without it being expensive or time-consuming, and I hate that the food industry makes it seem that way. Maybe this documentary will help...

Ashely Schneider said...

Muscle Shoals! Your beloved Rolling Stones are featured in it :)

angharad said...

Great recommends! I'd add 'Man on Wire', which I'm sure everyone has seen by now, but which I still think about often - nerve-shreddingly good stuff.

Lynn @ TheActorsDiet.com said...

My husband Abe loves documentaries (his twitter handle is @filmingdocs!) - I’m trying to think of recent ones we’ve seen/loved but the only thing coming to mind is Cutie and the Boxer, which was nominated this past year for an Oscar.

Trina said...

One of my favorite documentaries, though it's a few years old now, is The Rape of Europa. It sheds light on the struggle to save the artistic and cultural heritage of Europe from Nazi plunder in WWII (and does a much better job of conveying the urgency of doing so than did George Clooney's Monuments Men movie) and is so full of hope and drama.

Trina said...

P.S. The cool thing is that several of the works mentioned as missing in The Rape of Europa have actually been recovered. :)

Megan McGee said...

This post came just at the right time. I'm teaching a film class, and I want to show one documentary and have been struggling to pick just one! Thanks!

Bonnie Cauble said...

Vivian Meyers was a nanny on the North Shore and took photos in Chicago, not New York. She was born in NYC, but spent most of her life in Chicago.

K8 said...

I recommend 'Somm'. It's a documentary about four guys working to pass the Master Sommelier Exam. Super interesting inside look into the mysterious world of wine and what it takes to become a master. https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/somm/id658623737

Kerry said...

"A Lot Like You," written and filmed by a friend. It starts off as one thing but turns into a completely different type of film by the end. We loved it, and we love Eli, the filmmaker. All women should see it. It brings up all sorts of discussion topics, big ones.

margot said...

Marwencol. It's the story of a man who survived a horrific beating and copes by creating this fictional worlds with figurines, etc. I think it's on Netflix.

Kaitlyn S said...

My husband and I love food and wine documentaries - my favorite is Kings of Pastry (on Netflix) about chefs competing in the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. My husband is currently obsessed with Somm (also on Netflix), about four sommeliers taking the Master Sommeliers exam. And of course a perennial favorite for us is Bill Cunningham New York (I saw Bill on the street the other day!). I have so many others I want to list!! But I'll keep it to those three - I'm sure you've seen them all too :)

Lauren E. said...

What a great list! I'm excited and terrified to read Fed Up.

And I'll second "Kings of Pastry." I cried at the end... I cried hard.

Lacey Eldersveld said...

Our daughter's preschool goes overboard on the sugar factor as well. After reading "French Kids Eat Everything", it even drives me nuts that they have to have a mid morning snack! Not to mention, the snacks they serve are processed and completely void of nutrition! Ok, i'm done now. :)

Shannon said...

Loved Queen of Versailles. Great documentary. For me, I really thought she's be the "villain" but as I watched she seemed like a smart ambitious woman (who definitely has her problems) married to the real villain. I thought her husband was just awful.

I really want to see Fed Up! But I also highly recommend "The Bridge" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bridge_%282006_documentary_film%29). Haunting documentary looking at the number of suicides that occur off the Golden Gate Bridge in the course of a year. Includes an interview with a survivor.

Christina said...

We loved 180 degrees South, which we watched based on one of your recommendations on one of your gift lists. I also loved Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport. I saw this movie years ago in the theaters. It was wonderfully moving. I really want to watch Following the Ninth about Beethoven's ninth symphony, but haven't been able to find it on DVD or Streaming yet.

Mona Alice Oakenfold said...

I love food documentaries, so I recommend Somm, Kings of Pastry, and Spinning Plates!

Connie Chung said...

Thank you so much for posting about Fed Up! The trailer gave me chills. So glad that we're continuing to bring more attention to this topic. It can be so difficult to persuade a culture that glamorizes sugar. Desserts, no matter how beautiful and gourmet, are still all sugar. Kouign amanns, boysenberry glazed doughnuts, and brambleberry crisp ice cream, although delicious, still contain excessive amounts of sugar that exceed our daily allowance. Treats are meant to be shared in small, delicious amounts!

the cape on the corner said...

i'm sure you've seen this-20 feet to stardom, about the back up singers that won best documentary at the oscars last year.

Liz M C said...

I really liked Queen of Versailles. I watched it about a year or two ago and would LOVE to see an update.

Sarah said...

I highly recommend Advanced Style. I'm not sure how widely available it is right now (I saw it at a film festival), but it's incredible--all about stylish older women living life to the fullest.

http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/p/the-advanced-style-documenatry-film-page.html

Cozette said...

Maidentrip! It's about the incredible story of 17-year-old Laura Dekker's solo sailing trip around the world.

Ana Willenbrock said...

Love documentaries! Thanks for the suggestions! I just watched THE BUS MOVIE, a documentary about the Volkswagen Bus. This is the remarkable story of a vehicle that became an icon. http://www.busmovie.com

Judy Lewis said...

People have probably already seen Searching for Sugarman--but we just saw it last week. WOW! This story is too crazy to be true. We loved it. So sad to hear the producer/director took his own life recently.

It's about a Detroit man who made two records to no acclaim in the US only to learn that in S. Africa he was bigger than Elvis and influenced the artists fighting apartheid.

Christie said...

Jo, I agree with you on the sugar, and I want to see Fed-up. I don't fret about the cupcakes, though. I figure in the preschool class of 15, he'll have a max of 15 cupcakes in a year (and not everyone brings food in). I don't think the homemade baked goods are the problem. It's the ubiquitous sugar in processed foods. If people could manage to stay away from processed foods, they would cut out much of their sugar consumption. At least that's what I tell myself :-). Besides, I'd much, much rather have a homemade cookie than anything store bought.

madeleine said...

I agree with Bonnie—please don't be New York-centric in your bit about Vivian Maier. She's primarily known as a Chicago photographer, though she also shot in New York.

Tracey said...

Agree, Vivian Maier is a Chicago treasure! Any chance you can correct this? If anyone is interested, there's a great article in Chicago Magazine from 2010, not long after her photos were discovered: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2011/Vivian-Maier-Street-Photographer/

Alison Moore said...

These all sound like great suggestions! I wanted to see Queen of Versailles when it was at Sundance, but didn't make it. Happy to add these to my list of movies to catch.

Allison said...

I really enjoyed Lost in Living, which is about artists and motherhood. http://www.maandpafilms.com/lostinliving/

Christine said...

There was one documentary that blew my mind: searching for sugar man. great movie, great music!

Amy Kitch said...

Thanks for the great list! I am obsessed with documentaries -- last year I broke my ankle and I think I watched almost every one of offer on Netflix UK.

Press Pause Play is one that no ones mentioned. It features an Icelandic composer called Olafur Arnalds and I am enamoured with him now!

Cheveu said...

I cannot possibly recommend the documentary "Harlan County USA" more. It changes you.

http://www.criterion.com/films/777-harlan-county-usa

K. Soper said...

Great list! Love documentary suggestions! We really enjoyed Herb & Dorothy - a documentary about an art collecting couple in NYC. Have you seen it? It was fascinating!

Emily said...

Just watched 20 Feet from Stardom about back-up singers. It won the oscar for best doc. SO fantastic, and you can stream it on netflix. As you can imagine, the music in the film is fabulous.

figment said...

Try Mistaken for Strangers - it's less about the band, The National, and more about the salty and sweet relationship between two brothers - the lead singer and the filmmaker, who went on tour with the National. It's so relatable, takes you across the emotion spectrum and is just simple and fantastic!

Nicole said...

My favorites arfe Young@Heart, which follows a chorus of senior citizens in Massachusetts. You will love it! I also just watched the heartbreaking doc called The Loving Story, which followed the story of the Lovings, an interracial couple during the height of the Civil Rights era. Riveting, but sad.

Lynn said...

We watch these over the horrible winter last year and enjoyed them very much:
Searching For Sugar Man
A Man Named Pearl
Bag It
Blackfish

Lynn said...

We watch these over the horrible winter last year and enjoyed them very much:
Searching For Sugar Man
A Man Named Pearl
Bag It
Blackfish

Landry said...

Young At Heart is great. I had the opportunity to see them after watching the documentary and they're love of music and talent brought me both joy and some tears.

chelsie biehl said...

Searching for Sugarman & Black Fish are both fantastic!

chelsie biehl said...

Searching for Sugarman & Black Fish are both fantastic!

Annie said...

It may not be out yet, but look for The Food Cure - http://www.thefoodcurefilm.com/


Ceci Bean said...

I was just thinking about this topic. I love a good documentary. Some of my surprise favorite ones in the last year or so were:

20 Feet from Stardom
Hot Coffee
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Christina said...

YAY! thanks for the great documentaries recommendations!! i recently saw FEDUP and really loved it!! you should see TAPPED. the same maker, stephanie did that one a few years ago. its about bottle water-- everyone should see this doc.

Breanna Hanson said...

Thanks for the recommendations! All look wonderful, and I haven't seen a single one - yet. I love documentaries, but always forget to watch them! Many times, at the end of the day, I just want something a little more mindless, ya know?

I recommend the documentary Monica & David. Despite my previous paragraph, it is NOT a mindless movie, but rather it follows the first year of marriage for Monica and David, a couple who both have Down syndrome. I love how honestly, accurately (my sister also has Down syndrome), and compassionately it portrays the day-to-day with and for people with Down syndrome. It's worth the 60 or so minutes. And it used to be, and may very well still be, streaming on Netflix.

http://www.monicaanddavid.com/

Adalgisa Campos said...

have you seen 'Herb and Doroty?' It's fantastic.

Patricia O'Shaughnessy said...

I need Fed Up to come to computer. Nothing ever comes to Central Illinois I also try to avoid sugar for our family. It is even harder when they are in middle school than when they are little. You do not have the same control over the food they eat as they eat so much away from you. I just try to serve healthy at home and hope our eduction helps when they are away. I guess I am less worried about a cupcake treat than I am about the hidden sugar in items that should not have sugar.

On the film front, I really enjoyed Bill Cunningham New York. Very interesting profile of this man and his work.

Nina Leung said...

Just saw Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. It's a riveting examination of economic inequality in America. It's utterly fascinating. I learned a lot about the current economy from this.
I also loved Somm. A really fun, exciting account. Love documentaries!!

Jessica Quirk said...

I've seen a couple lately that I've enjoyed:

"Tiny" (on Netflix) is about a guy who builds his own tiny house and interviews other people involved in the Tiny House movement

"King of Kong" is about the classic arcade game and the people who aim to be the best in the world. I don't even care for video games and thought this was really compelling.

"Life 2.0" (on Netflix) wasn't the best film making in the world, but I can't stop thinking about it. It's about Second Life - an online virtual reality and follows three people who spend huge amounts of time on it.

"These Amazing Shadows" is about the National Film Preservation Act and the films that get added to the list every year. It gave us a lot of ideas for classic films we'd like to watch or re-watch!

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi" (on Netflix) makes you want to get yourself to the nearest sushi restaurant (and you have so many good ones to pick from in NYC!)

"The Woman Who Wasn't There" (on Netflix) is about a woman who claimed to be in one of the twin towers on 911. This one is crazy!

Happy Watching!


Deann Anderson said...

Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dear_Zachary:_A_Letter_to_a_Son_About_His_Father

Meadow said...

Don't have a kid yet, but I'd be more worried about what the kid eats at school day in and day out vs. the occasional birthday treat. Can someone who has a child please answer this question for me? Can you send your kid to school with a packed lunch anymore with all the peanut etc. allergies these days or do they need to be subscribed to one of those meal plans the school provides? Thx.

Lindsey Young said...

I highly recommend "Inequality for All" about the American economy. Such a well-done, entertaining and thought-provoking documentary! Watch it. It's on Netflix. :):):)

Ciara Bottrell said...

The Jim Morrison documentary (When you're strange) sounds like something I will enjoy incredibly, I have a slight obsession with him and how he died and all the theories concerning his immortality. And having Johnny Depp narrate it makes it sound even more tantalizing :}

Life in a Northern Town

JM said...

My boyfriend and I recently watched SOMM and we now can't drink a glass of wine without trying to figure out the region it's from (which is usually our local Trader Joe's)!

Christine said...

I want to see the one about the man behind Burts Bee..looks so interesting!

My favorite might be about the kids in nyc who learned ballroom dancing in school..too cute!

ximena velasquez lino said...

Hi Joanna!
Where can I watch Feed Up?

Amanda aka MamaRobot said...

LOVED Queen of Versailles. Have you seen "The Woman Who Wasn't There"? It's about a woman who claimed to be a survivor of 9/11...but wasn't.

Mia said...

I'm finding that I enjoy documentaries even more than fiction movies (except for summer blockbusters, those are awesome) so thank you for the suggestions! I, too, really enjoyed King of Kong. It's several years old now, so maybe lots of readers have seen it. If not, it's incredibly well told and entertaining. One that I'd like to see is Stripped, about comic strip artists.

smash said...

I would love to watch Fed Up. I found some of the other healthy food documentaries like Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and Supersize Me really good. I also LOVED The Short Game (about little kids competing in a golf tournament) and Som (about becoming a master sommelier). Anna Kournikova's little brother is in The Short Game and easily steals the show.

City Mom Loves said...

I loved Cutie and the Boxer and the F-Word. Cutie and the Boxer I believe even won an Oscar. It's about the marriage of an eccentric Japanese artist couple. The F-Word is about fatherhood and it features punk rock guys who are fathers now. Both are superb.

http://www.citymomloves.com

Dorothy Lin said...

Great recs! I absolutely LOVED Finding Vivian Maier. Such an interesting story and her photos are some of the best street photography I've ever seen. I am looking forward to checking out the others.

GrapeJelly said...

I highly recommend 20 feet from Stardom. I can't listen to a Rolling Stones song the same again. And Luther Vandross as a back up singer? Say what? The documentary was so well done. Sound City and Searching for Sugarman were also great music documentaries. Escape Fire is an important look into our medical system. Amour - one of the truest of love stories I've seen in awhile - isn't a documentary in the formal sense, but in many ways it is because it's the story of so many married couples today. Short Term 12 is also not a documentary but it was like a breath of fresh air in the filmscape.

Heather Brennan Sullivan said...

Wild! I just did a post on this same thing yesterday:
http://greenandplenty.blogspot.com/2014/06/fathers-day-gift-ideas-list-of-20-best.html

Great minds think alike :)

Heather said...

I agree with the recommendations for King of Kong! I saw it in the movie theater when it came out, and the audience gave a standing ovation when the credits rolled. I'm not generally interested in video games, but the storytelling is so compelling that you can't help but get caught up in the narrative.

Dalia said...

Loved Queen of Versailles! It was like a train wreck and I just couldn't look away!

Danielle Schroeder said...

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. I'm a sucker for a band documentary and this delivers the sometimes heartbreaking story of a band that should be more than a cult favorite.

The Parking Lot Movie. More compelling than you would ever imagine.

Kelsey said...

Exit Through the Gift Shop (About street artist Banksy) & 180 degrees South (fills you up with sense of adventure & keeps you grounded all at once)

Emmy M. said...

Vivian Maier is known for her work in Chicago, not New York.

sarah said...

Blackfish made me cry and Searching For Sugarman told the story of my childhood, growing up with Rodriguez obsessed parents in apartheid South Africa. (obviously it isn't about ME exactly, haha. It'Us about him)

jennifer said...

For art lovers, Herb & Dorothy is wonderful! He worked for the USPS, and she was a librarian - they amassed a HUGE collection of minimalist art. You can't help but love them. My husband and I wanted this two nights in a row we loved it so much (but then we are atsy types...)

Amy Mo said...

One night I watched Queen of Versailles and then, as an antidote of sorts, the documentary Happy. Both are excellent, and when you watch them in this order you end the evening on a high note! The latter uses the stories of several people who describe themselves as happy despite having every reason to be miserable (severe poverty for example) to explore what really makes people enjoy life, and what we can do to improve our own happiness. You can see a trailer for it here: http://vimeo.com/11335940

allison said...

Definitely, definitely watch Searching for Sugarman - cannot recommend it enough!

Carli said...

Cutie and the Boxer and The Missing Picture, an amzing documentary about the Khmer Rouge years in Cambodia. Very haunting and uniquely presented.

Catherine said...

It's not new, but I'd add crumb to the list. My husband and I go through documentary marathons a few times a year.

mw said...

I loved Queen of Versailles. It was much more than I anticipated . However 20 Feet from Stardom took my breath away, brought tears, and had me rockin in my chair. Would watch it again, also the tv documentaries Nine for Nine honoring Title IX and women in sports. They are must sees for every woman (and man). My adult daughter gave them to me for Christmas after we watched them.

Rebekah R said...

Queen of Versailles is so sad. They are miserable, and they try so hard to pretend that they are happy!

Elizabeth Duvivier said...

hey Jo-- you might like this one HAVEN BROTHERS http://havenbrothersmovie.com/

Haven Brothers: Legacy of the American Diner "tells the story of Haven Bros. Diner, the oldest operating diner on wheels. The original “fast food,” the original food truck, this late night lunch cart has diligently served patrons for over 120 years." Located in the birthplace of the American diner, Providence, RI

Lana said...

51 Birch Street! I stumbled across it late one night and could_not_stop_watching. It was fascinating, and so interesting to learn how children discover that their parents are PEOPLE, not just parents. Also, I am 7 months pregnant and just watched The Business of Being Born. So cool.

cupcakelibrarian said...

Have you checked out the Tomi Ungerer Story? The American Library Association will actually be screening it at the annual conference this year! http://www.faroutthemovie.com/

ewlake said...

Here's one on a dancer I think you will love, Jo:

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq - available on Amazon for pre-order on DVD - it has also been showing at various locations around NYC, and will air as a PBS American Masters program on June 20th.

Sandra Lashley said...

Sister Helen: a mother who later became a nun and worked with people with addiction. Poignant and beautiful really.

Lou Lou B said...

Yes, Queen of Versailles was so fascinating! And just tragic. I'll have to check out K8's recommendation for Somm, as I have recently decided to pursue my Master Certification!

Caroline Sistare said...

Blood Brother is a truly amazing film! Incredibly close to my heart, it follows an American man and his journey as a permanent resident in village outside of Chennai, India. His life is transformed by the Aids orphanage he spends all of his time volunteering at. The filmmaker is his best friend from back home and is a very personal and intimate story. It was made this year and has become a favorite film already.

Heather Pool said...

I'm surprised Searching For Sugarman didn't make your list. It's the best documentary I've ever watched. I also enjoyed 20 Feet From Stardom and the one you recommended a while back, The September Issue.

Heather Pool said...

I'm surprised "Searching For Sugarman" didn't make your list! I enjoyed it so much! Also liked "20 Feet From Stardom" and the one you mentioned a while back, "The September Issue".

sage m said...

Sugar is also commonly a GMO, unless it's certified organic cane sugar. GMOs are knowns to cause cancers of all kinds, which may have something to do with why the president has yet to fulfill his promise of requiring GMOs to be labeled. Pharmaceutical companies run this country and it's a damn shame.

grey-nyc said...

any of herzog's documentaries are worth watching. wings of hope, about the sole survivor of a 1971plane crash (a flight herzog himself was supposed to be on) is just one example.

Holly said...

Muscle Shoals. You will be AMAZED at all of the incredible music that was recorded in Alabama (my home state!).

E said...

Jodorowskys Dune is the best movie I've seen in theaters this year!

Maywyn Studio said...

Thank you! I didn't realize about M&Ms until reading your blog post they are 7 teaspoons of sugar! I search Internet to read American Heart Association recommends 6 teaspoons a day for women, 9 for men.

There's a documentary on YouTube about the history of Britain that's interesting. There's another about literature or paper making that I forget the name of. A blonde Brit narrates using a tablet. Of course Joseph Campbell's, "The Power of Myth," is a must watch.

Teresa Lee said...

Thanks for sharing - I want to watch all of these!

One of my favourite documentaries is "Spellbound" (2002) - it's about kids competing in a national spelling bee.

"Wordplay" (2006) is another good one about people who love crossword puzzles - lots of cameos, including Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton!

Finally, "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" (2012) is a great documentary about America's war on drugs.

Laurel Ridge Publications Class said...

I really liked 180 Degrees. About a surfer/explorer dude who makes his way to Pategonia in part to retrace the trip Yvon Chouinard made in the 60's. More thought provoking than I'd anticipated. And, just...beautiful.

Tracy Fontaine said...

Many of my documentary faves have already been mentioned. So, I'd like to give a shout out to Showtime's most recent docu-series, "Years of Living Dangerously," about climate change. They cover some of the traditional angles, like polar ice melt and weather pattern changes, but also some interesting religious and political perspectives. I learned some very interesting things about the effects of methane leaks from both fracking and our aging natural gas infrastructure, as well as global social unrest due to drought. I highly recommend it.

meig said...

I always love when you post your reviews/suggestions of documentaries! I love to watch them but hardly know where to start (some seem so promising only to fall so short) when choosing one to watch. I'm looking forward to checking a few of these out!

becka said...

I love documentaries! Can't wait to see Fed Up.

I second to those who recommend Exit Through the Gift Shop, and I highly recommend Crazy Love, both available on Netflix Watch Instantly!

Allison said...

Some older docs I loved are The Art of the Steal, Startup.com, and Pressure Cooker.

Elle said...

I'd like to see the Sriracha documentary

I just watched and Loved:
The Animal Communicator - about S. African Anna Breytenbach and what's possible when we listen, fascinating. There's a youtube clip from the movie called, How Leopard Diablo Became Spirit...so good.
Everybody Loves Babies, older but great, and alternative and also great:
Birth As We Know It, about a new approach to giving birth.

Also loved many of the other commenters rec's - can't wait to see Searching for Sugarman!

Alane said...

Have you seen Good Old Freda, about the Beatles Secretary it's great!

Beth Moore Baker said...

I saw Finding Vivian Maier tonight & totally loved it! I'm a photographer that loves her work, but it was very interesting to find out more about her strange, reclusive life.

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Have you seen "SOMM?" It's about the ridiculously hard test to become a sommelier, it was really good! On Netflix.

Grisgawa said...

Recently watched "The Crash Reel" w/my hubby and we both thought it was GREAT and so interesting on many levels. We really enjoy extreme sports and love snowboarding, so it was particularly fascinating to watch this movie about snowboarder Kevin Pearce and his climb in the sport, his tense rivalry w/Shaun White, his horrific accident just prior to the Vancouver Olympics, his recovery, and to learn about several other elite athletes in extreme sports who have been affected by similar injuries.

And if you are into food-centric movies, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" is a good one (especially if you love sushi as much as I do!).

diana wilkinson said...

I liked "Magic Beyond Words" about Harry Potter author JK Rowling, and also "With Great Power" about Stan Lee. I also thought Queen of Versailles was very interesting!! Also i'm sure many of you have heard of Super Size Me.

Emily said...

I couldn't get over The Queen of Versailles. I want to see Fed Up!

charlie. said...

I'm trying to get my daughter off of sweets for dinner. No bread, no jam, no cereal, etc. But I am a bit lost as to what to feed her for breakfast. Any great ideas?

Max @ SBT said...

I watched Life, Itself this weekend. Very sweet.

My favorite is King of Kongs (for real) - its such a wonderful human story.

Max
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