Thursday, October 04, 2007

Documentaries

Next week in film history we're having a whirlwind tour of the history of non-fiction filmmaking. What are some of your folks' favorites that should be included? And favorite excerpts from the film would be helpful, too.

7 Comments:

Blogger Bryan Summers said...

I think Nanook of the North is great.

My all time favorite documentary is Stevie. That scene where Stevie is reunited with the religious parents that really loved him just breaks my heart.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

My favorite doc is Leon Gast's "When we were Kings". It's about so much more than boxing. I think the most amazing part is when Ali beats Foreman and it starts pouring rain (but that's not a good exerpt because it needs context). There is a great interview with Leon Gast on Elvis Mitchell's the The Treatment if you want some good background information too. I'm sure it's still in the archives on KCRW but I have it recorded somewhere too. I think the film was held up for 30 years because of music rights or something. The film is built so well, much better than Micheal Mann and Eric Roth's screenplay of "Ali". There is a great moment when Ali is on a plane and the pilots are all black and he can't believe it.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Cool. I am planning on showing some of Nanook, particularly the hunting (walrus?) and the igloo building sequences. I haven't seen Stevie or When We Were Kings yet, so I'll have to check those out. They both sound great.

Here's the list of things I got from the library: (* means I haven't seen it yet)
Gates of Heaven
Fast Cheap and Out of Control*
Mr. Death*
The Endless Summer
Why We Fight*
Walt Disney of the Front Lines (has some animated WWII documentaries)
Roger & Me
For All Mankind*
Dark Days*
Anderson Platoon*
Nobody's Business
The Civil War (disc1)
Triumph of the Will
Night and Fog
Sherman's March*
Primary*
The Cruise

Should be fun. Still don't know for sure what clips we'll watch or which ones we'll watch in their entirety.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

Here are some more docs that are all supposed to be pretty great - 1. Don't look back(1967) 2. Harlan County USA(1976) 3. Hearts and Minds(1974) 4. Times of Harvey Milk(1984)

4:20 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

Brandon, I almost forgot about "My kid Could Paint That". This is a documentary just out that every student should see because of the questions it raises about media, journalism, art, parenting, integrity, and exploitation. The film manages to ask questions about all these things without really answering any of them. I think this film will be standard cirriculum in most highschools and universities within the next five years. If I were teaching a class, this is the first thing I would show to get an open discussion. It is coming to the broadway soon so I don't know how you could show it, but it would be worth getting them to see it.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Did you see that at Sundance? It sounds really interesting.

From all the clips I showed last week, my students seemed to enjoy the ones from Microcosmos, Sherman's March, Roger and Me, and Nobody's Business the best. Today we watched clips from "Triumph of the Will" and Capra's "Why We Fight" and all of "Night and Fog" to show what was going on in the world during WWII. Which will lead us to the next unit: Film Noir.

I know you had a post about Noir stuff earlier here, Drew. Any new recommendations? The ones I got from the library that I'm considering are White Heat, Maltese Falcon, Lady from Shanghai, and On Dangerous Ground, but I haven't seen any yet except Maltese Falcon. I showed The Killing last year and they loved it.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

I bought a ton of Noirs over the summer but I haven't watched them all. I started with the more obscure ones so I haven't watched many of the classics yet. I did see Sam Fuller's "Pick up on South Street" recently and it was really good. There is no main character which is kind of interesting and non noirish. Sam Fuller is my new obsession, I just bought The Naked Kiss too. He is one crazy SOB! I'll look through them again and make a list.

7:57 PM  

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