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The Documentary Thread

deep

TRIBE Member
About to throw on "War Photographer" , about James Nachtwey.



"If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough."

http://www.war-photographer.com/

http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/


"In a way, if and individual assumes the risk of placing himself in the middle of a war to communicate to the rest of the world what's happening, he's trying to negotiate for peace. Perhaps that's the reason for those in charge of perpetuating the war do not like to have photographers around. "
 

Krzysiu

TRIBE Member
I like the ones done but the french team that did Microcosmos and Winged Migration... haven't seen March of the Penguins yet, but looking forward to it.

would micheal moore's films beconsider documentarys or film essays (on topics we already are overexposed to)?


oh yeah, Highlander... best documentary ever. hands down
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Just a few that are very worthwhile:

"Fog of War" (political / historical)

"The Revolution will not be Televised" (political / historical)

"Born into Brothels" (sociological / cultural)

"Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism" (Journalism / media / politics)

"Capturing The Friedmans" (American culture / sociological)
 

deep

TRIBE Member
I enjoyed Fog of War. (on Robert McNamara, for those unfamiliar with it). I can appreciate that some might think it a bit apologist for the man, but I found it gave a personal and intriguing depiction of a person who had a significant effect on the past 50 years of the world. As well as underscore the complexity of major strategic decisions - the fact the people making them aren't always caricatures with a singular intent, and that there are often chaotic factors will encourage certain outcomes despite better intentions.

Equally, at certain points it did seem as though McNamara was dismissive of significant losses of human life, but who knows how a person's feelings on such matters change over time when they have some hand in it.
 

terrawrist III

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Just a few that are very worthwhile:

"Fog of War" (political / historical)

"Capturing The Friedmans" (American culture / sociological)
both are amazing...watching a teary eyed Mcnamara is enough to watch fog...

just bought CRUMB from HIV and it might be the best doc. ever made...too many to list here
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by terrawrist III

just bought CRUMB from HIV and it might be the best doc. ever made...too many to list here


Shit, I cannot believe I neglected to mention that one!

I think "Crumb" would appeal to *anyone*, whether you like art/comics or not.


Such an interesting story.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Hey, has anyone seen "Bloody Sunday"? I'm tempted to make tonight a movie night and just rent a couple of worthwhile documentaries... (good thread deep! :) )
 

dvs

TRIBE Promoter
two amazing doc/films on surfing i've seen recently...

"riding giants" and "step into liquid".

both are done incredibly well. i believe skate-legend stacey peralta (dog town and z boys) did the former and can't think of the other off the top of my head right now.

d
 

terrawrist III

TRIBE Member
easy riders and raging bulls!

great doc. about the new wave of american cinema to explore sex and violence to emerge in the late 60's and 70's...lots of great personal tales about drugs and the movie moguls involved
 

rentboy

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by dvs
two amazing doc/films on surfing i've seen recently...

"riding giants" and "step into liquid".

both are done incredibly well. i believe skate-legend stacey peralta (dog town and z boys) did the former and can't think of the other off the top of my head right now.

d
Riding Giants is fantastic.

Good call on Born into Brothels too.
 

rentboy

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Hey, has anyone seen "Bloody Sunday"? I'm tempted to make tonight a movie night and just rent a couple of worthwhile documentaries... (good thread deep! :) )

give it a shot. I believe that the director did a good job in portraying that era in Northern Irish history. The Brits really despised the Catholics and i thought the violence was well depicted.

I bought this for my mum and she loved it. She was even yelling at the tv :p
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by derek
fubar's pretty good. :p
Actually, Fubar is closer to the definition of documentary than most people think.

I would say it's in the cinema verite category like a sister to documentary. Because essentially, the documentaries that we as a Western public see a lot of, are not too far off from narrative film with its actors, writing, editing, camera work.

People who blast Michael Moore and give more credit to people who supposedly convey more truths really need to do a little more reading on the definition of documentary media. Because Fog of War, The Corporation or a Maysles brothers production is just as manipulative and subjective as something like Bowling for Columbine.

I think these people should also start watching more than just CBC.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
My pics:

Hardwood.

Tying the Knot.

Arna's Children.

Paris is Burning.

Grey Gardens (soon to be a motion picture).
 

terrawrist III

TRIBE Member
everyone busts a nut over Fubar which is mildly funny at best...'american movie" is not only closer to being called a documentary but is hella more funny!
 

deep

TRIBE Member
War Photographer:

This was pretty good. The imagery is stark, but not to the point of being unwatchable - there's enough commentary in between scenes so that you're not brow beaten with atrocities. It's not just about war, but the poverty and plight of people in terrible circumstances - pretty good for reminding you how much you take for granted. Another interesting characteristic is that unlike most docs the film is not centered on a particular conflict or issue but captures a good sampling of that which has gone to hell since Vietnam.

I found Nachtwey particularly interesting, beyond the obvious "the world is on an express elevator to hell" content of the movie. The respect he tries to communicate to people despite photographing their moments of sorrow, the quiet insight he has into the chaos he's seen. How most journalists start this kind of venture with a sort of wide eyed idealism about what they're about to do, then when confronted with the realities of it all, descend either into cynicism, alcoholism or pragmatic "this is how I make money" compensations.

He seems to be still driven by the desire to make a point to the world with the images he takes. That principle seems to shield him, equip him to handle fear, stick himself right in the middle of situations most would run from. Keeps him from becoming indifferent to a person at one moment living in front of him and dying in the next, even if it costs him a great shot - something apparently others aren't as restricted by. How and why he keeps on doing this.
 
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Chubbs

TRIBE Member
Step into Liquid is one of the most visually stunning movies I've ever seen. A beautiful look at the world of surfing. Good call on that, I'd copmpletly forgotten about it.

On a simiar note, anyone who has ever even ridden a skateboard before should obviously go watch dogtown and z-boys.
 

dvs

TRIBE Promoter
city of god

while techinically a movie, it's based on a true story and captures the essence of the poverty and resulting bloody gang violence and drug trade in rio de janeiro's slums vividly and truthfully without sugar-coating anything ala hollywood-styles. incredible film.

d
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Well, to continue on this Latin American slant, there is "The Motorcycle Diaries". I do not think it is really a documentary (ok, it isn't really) but it tries to interpret the events around Che Guevera's younger and influential years. The film has some flaws, but is definitely worth checking out.
 

enjiro

TRIBE Member
I'm in the middle of watching "The World at War", the mammoth 35 part BBC documentary on world war 2.

Narated by Lawerence Oliver, at that!

Even for such a large series it's still just a brief overview of that amazingly complex war. The footage from the time is unbelivable.
 

dvs

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by deep
Step Into Liquid sounds really interesting - will add that to my list to check out.
i guarantee you'll watch it more than once if you have any real interest in surfing whatsoever... a great history lesson and beautifully shot. highly recommended. riding giants is absolutely unreal but primarily focuses on big-wave surfers and the development of big-wave surfing. also highly recommended. (laird hamilton is one super-talented and equally crazy f*cking surfer. hands down the world's best big wave surfer EVER. wow.)

d
 
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