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Documentaries: The Thread Hot Docs, and which ones we love!

#1 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:38 PM

So I realized that some others might like Documentaries as much as I do and thought they deserved their own thread since they don't fit properly into the "ye movie thread" category as they aren't really "movies" in the conventional sense.

So here it is, post here what documentaries you love, which ones you've seen recently, which ones are garbage ect. (This can include TV documentaries, and nature shows and the like as well)

In Toronto I normally attend the Hot Doc's Film Fest (documentary film fest) as it is programmed by someone I know, and it's always a good time.

To start us off I'll throw up some of my recently seen faves and some trailers for them. But feel free to chime in with your stuff too!

UP THE YANGTZE - This is a piece about the THREE GORGES DAMN and how the displacement of the water (which was so vast it actually WOBBLED THE EARTH IN IT'S FRIGGIN ORBIT apparently) unseated millions of people and how some of those locals work the cruise ships.



JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI - A film about one of the most well-respected sushi makers on the planet, a man with 3 michelin stars and a teeny restaurant in the Tokyo subway that books months in advance and impresses everyone who eats there. This is the best doc of 2012 so far for me, it's amazing well crafted, and fascinating.


This post has been edited by QuickTidal: 07 June 2012 - 01:53 PM

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#2 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:44 PM

THE 11TH HOUR - This one is kind of an overdone eco-message one with star power of DiCaprio behind it so you might want to dismiss it. It also spends about 45 minutes telling us how the world is going to hell in a handbasket and that a convergence of crises are going to end humanity. It's a little hard to watch as it beats you round the head a bit...though most of it is very true and with high caliber scientists like David Suzuki present you get the sense that it's not being done just for sensationalism...but it's the second half that REALLY shines...where they gather these people together and say, let's re-engineer engineerring itself, if we really apply ourselves we CAN effect a change. It spoke to me in the second half and deserves a watch.



MUSEUM SECRETS - The History Channel runs this show, and though it is pretty cheesy with its narration and even some of its ideas for things to investigate it actually never fails to surprise with subject matter. You will find out small, but really interesting things about history that you probably never knew, and therein lies the show's value.


"When the last tree has fallen, and the rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money, oh no." ~Aurora
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#3 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:51 PM

YOU'VE BEEN TRUMPED - This is a doc that was at Hot Docs this past year and it's a really compelling doc about a small Scottish seaside town or Balmedie and how they deal with the fact that Donald Trump wants to build a luxurious golf resort in their town...but when some people don't want to sell their land, Trump gets ugly and starts to be a bully. It was eye-opening.


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#4 User is offline   stone monkey 

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:27 PM

Two films that share a theme...





If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If some one maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants. Bertrand Russell
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#5 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:49 PM

Whoa. INTO ETERNITY looks really good. Thanks SM!
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#6 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:57 PM

I do watch a fair amount of docs, probably not nearly as much as you QT, but I've had my spurts and binges.

Some of my standard favorites (and I could go on much too long):
American Movie (probably my all-time favorite)
Dark Days (about subterranean dwellers in NYC)
Hoop Dreams/Stevie
Brother's Keeper/Paradise Lost etc
Country Boys (a long but excellent Frontline feature on two young men in the Ozarks both nearing the end of high school, and how they're dealing with the potential of the rest of their lives)
When We Were Kings
Silverlake Life
When the Levees Broke
Lake of Fire (exhaustive but never boring doc on abortion, from all angles)
Crumb
Roger & Me
Also like Errol Morris and Ross McElwee in general.
Best Worst Movie (about the feature film Troll 2)
Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns (they might be giants documentary)
My Kid Could Paint That
We Live In Public (absolutely insane stuff)

The worst documentary I've seen in recent years was Ringers: Lord of the Fans. I've found a lot of docs that try to replicate Trekkies' magic wind up not working out, but this was by far the worst.

I also wanna give a shout out to Dear Zachary which -- while not being the best made doc by any stretch -- is one of the most affecting at the gut level, and I'd recommend going into it with as little information as possible.

My experience with Louis Theroux is spotty, but I think his crowning achievements were his two docs with the Westboro Baptist Church, which are interesting and kinda heartbreaking. His two most recent specials called Tough Love -- one on Autism and one on Dementia -- were both excellent as well.

That's all off the top of my head, might add more later.
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#7 User is offline   stone monkey 

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:36 PM

This is a good one. Especially if you love cricket... and especially if you (like me) are of a certain generation and a certain family background...


If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If some one maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants. Bertrand Russell
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#8 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:08 PM

Cricket you say? I know next to nothing about it. I should have a watch.
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#9 User is offline   stone monkey 

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:19 PM

tbh it's not really a documentary about cricket; more about what cricket meant to West Indians at both home and in the UK. And a very particular cricket team (probably the best cricket team ever to put willow to leather....)
If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If some one maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants. Bertrand Russell
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#10 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:52 PM

View Poststone monkey, on 08 June 2012 - 07:19 PM, said:

tbh it's not really a documentary about cricket; more about what cricket meant to West Indians at both home and in the UK. And a very particular cricket team (probably the best cricket team ever to put willow to leather....)



Still, I would find that very interesting as I know nothing about it. :p
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#11 User is offline   Jakovasaurus 

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:41 AM

#threadresurrection

ESPN's 30 for 30 documentaries. Worth your time to watch some of the documentaries they have presented since 2009. Initially the concept was to present 30 documentaries to celebrate ESPNs 30 years as a network, but it has been expanded because the series is so popular.

http://espn.go.com/30for30/

Wiki
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#12 User is offline   Use Of Weapons 

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:37 PM

Favourite ever documentary: _Touching The Void_, 2003 documentary film based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson about Simpson's and Simon Yates' disastrous and near fatal attempt to climb Siula Grande (6,344m) in the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

http://en.wikipedia....the_Void_(film)
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#13 User is offline   Jakovasaurus 

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:53 AM

The Dust Bowl
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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:55 AM

History Channel's "Ancient Aliens" and "Nostradamus".

Not for any actual informational value, but for the epic lulz. I strongly suggest watching with a friend who (also?) likes to call shows on blatant contradictions and general lack of scientific method. I think I was laughing for pretty much the entire length of Nostradamus, honestly. My friend's brother thought we were on something. XD

So yeah, not exactly a 'serious' contribution, but still. :twoguns:
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<Vote Silencer> For not garnering any heat or any love for that matter. And I'm being serious here, it's like a mental block that is there, and you just keep forgetting it.



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#15 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Those shows are awesome. I watch them for the fun and after an hour I look at the time and think to myself "What the hell did I just watch for an hour?!" LOL

SO goofy.

But a blast for cheesy, cheese cheese entertainment value.

Also, I'm not saying it's aliens, but....aliens.
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#16 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Saw CHASING ICE this afternoon. This is one of the best, if not THE best documentary about climate change that's ever been made. Barnone.

It's the type of film that finally can show those in the world who believe greenhouse gases, global warming and climate change are "junk science" or in our heads that no it';s not in our heads...and here's the proof.

Gorgeously shot, but inherently down to earth even up to an including how much of a "mission" and how "driven" the man behind the study (called EXTREME ICE) is.

It's revelatory on a level that is simply undeniable. You get to watch as still cameras which took pictures for 3 years of huge glaciers in Iceland, Greenland, Alaska and Montana, are shown in time lapse and you see these glaciers recede TWICE as much in three years as they have in the last century. It's mind-blowingly scary, but beautiful at the same time.

If you see a doc this year, SEE THIS FILM.

http://youtu.be/HqknAn_3QpI

This post has been edited by QuickTidal: 24 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

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#17 User is offline   Gnaw 

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

Just noticed this thread. Damn good idea.

View PostQuickTidal, on 07 June 2012 - 01:38 PM, said:

UP THE YANGTZE - This is a piece about the THREE GORGES DAMN and how the displacement of the water (which was so vast it actually WOBBLED THE EARTH IN IT'S FRIGGIN ORBIT apparently) unseated millions of people and how some of those locals work the cruise ships.




I haven't see that one, but I've watched several on the project. Don't recall the name but one about an ancient, isolated culture that apparently lived only in the gorges and mummified their dead in caves in the canyon walls was damn good. completely under water now.


View Postworrywort, on 07 June 2012 - 08:57 PM, said:

American Movie (probably my all-time favorite)

Lake of Fire (exhaustive but never boring doc on abortion, from all angles)

My experience with Louis Theroux is spotty, but I think his crowning achievements were his two docs with the Westboro Baptist Church, which are interesting and kinda heartbreaking. His two most recent specials called Tough Love -- one on Autism and one on Dementia -- were both excellent as well.




Haven't seen but will look it up. Same. Have but haven't watched the Westboro; his 3(?) part on meth in the US was good.

View PostQuickTidal, on 24 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

Saw CHASING ICE this afternoon. This is one of the best, if not THE best documentary about climate change that's ever been made. Barnone.




It is excellent. There's one that should be out soon about a family who travel the northwest passage. Takes 3 or 4 months, but they do it. And damn near kill themselves in the process. I really want to see it.


My all time favorite is "The Day the Universe Changed". Just re-watched it a couple of months ago. 30 years old or so and still holds up damn well. The prediction of what the darpanet was going to grow into is spot on.
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#18 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 06:21 PM

Posted this over in the Butcher part of the forums, since it's about Sue...

but it's worth posting here as it looks like a pretty solid little doc.


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#19 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 02:24 PM

A few years ago I went to a pre-showing at the Sheffield Documentary Festival of Terry Pratchett's BBC docu on assisted suicide, called "Choosing to die", with Pratchett doing a Q&A afterwards. Very impressive, sobering viewing.


On a completely different note, I recently watched and really enjoyed 'Searching for Sugar Man', a documentary about two South Africans on a search to try and find out more about one of their most revered but enigmatic music heroes from the 70-ies.

This post has been edited by Gorefest: 10 December 2014 - 02:29 PM

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 01:25 PM

Just wanted to thank the thread and echo the recommendations for Chasing Ice. Superb. I especially liked the almost-a-footnote mention of the "but some glaciers are growing" issue: "we did a study of the Yukon glaciers. Four grew. 300 are gone entirely. 1300 shrunk." XD just liked that it was included, heads off any nonsense arguments.

Also: Inequality for All. I liked this more than I thought I would. Really makes the whole wealth gap thing easy to swallow: it's not oversimplified or condescending, though. Actually made me want to take Reich's class. XD
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Shinrei said:

<Vote Silencer> For not garnering any heat or any love for that matter. And I'm being serious here, it's like a mental block that is there, and you just keep forgetting it.



"For the record, I'm pretty sure my mind was shouting 'CLICHESTORM' over and over again during the opening of Skyrim...just putting that out there.." - Me.


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