My Ten Favorite Documentaries

Gorman Bechard is a tremendously talented filmmaker, and while he is most noted for his documentaries like Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements and A Dog Named Gucci (which would likely have made this list) he has also done some wonderful narrative films.  I recently watched two of them, I Am Alone and Broken Side of Time.  Discussing my thoughts on those films with him led to a discussion of other films, and of documentaries.  Tonight he asked me to give him my favorite ten documentaries.  As usual, in my “do it now or procrastinate forever” way, I put this list together on the fly, which I now present to you AND to him.

For obvious reasons, I barred myself from including any of Gorman Bechard’s films.  For unknown reasons – because I like to make things harder on myself – I am also excluding concert films from the list.  That means Gimme Shelter, Stop Making Sense, The Last Waltz, Woodstock, (I suppose even The Song Remains the Same) and similar films are not allowed on this list.  Color Me Obsessed WOULD have been allowed, but it is barred by the “no Gorman Bechard” rule.  And I can’t include the upcoming “Who is Lydia Loveless?” both because of that rule and because I haven’t seen it yet.

The final rule I gave myself is that the documentary needs to hold up to multiple viewings.  I had great love for Capturing the Friedmans and Stone Reader, for example, but they don’t carry the impact they did when I first saw them.  They’re worth seeing you’ve never watched them, but they didn’t make the list.

Looking at my list I realize that sports documentaries don’t do it for me.  When We Were Kings and Hoop Dreams have received universal praise, but they don’t make my list.  It’s simply personal preference.  Well, the whole list is personal preference.  I also have an aversion to where the filmmaker is as important as the story.  That’s why I have never enjoyed Michael Moore’s work.

I also can see immediately that my love of film causes me to also have a preference for documentaries about film.  That’s me, tough luck.

So, in no particular order, here are my ten favorite documentaries.  I offer them to you with very little comment.

Jesus Camp – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0486358/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – At some points (the radio commentator who we see in studio, for example) this film can get a bit preachy (no pun intended).  Otherwise I haven’t gotten tired of it after ten years.

My Kid Could Paint That – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0912592/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – Modern Art and obnoxious parents: a great combination.

The Imposter – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1966604/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – People can convince themselves to believe anything.

Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120126/?ref_=nv_sr_8 – A film about incurable disease, coping, and masochism.

Jodorowski’s Dune – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935156/?ref_=nv_sr_2 – It might have been a classic for the ages.  Or is it simply an all-consuming obsession?

Blackfish – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2545118/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – I was never able to think of Sea World the same after this film.

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1664894/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – Werner Herzog had to make the list somewhere.

Hearts of Darkness – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102015/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – The making of Apocalypse Now.

The Thin Blue Line – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096257/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – Almost 30 years later I can still watch and enjoy this.

Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3966544/?ref_=nv_sr_3 – Things can spiral out of control quickly.

Honorable mention goes to:

Dear Zachary – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1152758/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – I defy you to watch this and not shed one tear.

Paradise Lost – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117293/?ref_=nv_sr_2 – Modern day Salem Witch trials.  I think this documentary spawned two sequels.

 

So that’s my list.  What’s yours?  Post it in the comments here on After Some Wine or email it to me at doug@aftersomewine.com

 

After Some Wine Episode 2 – “The Guitar” and Other Childhood Fun

Episode Two of After Some Wine: Post-wine confused ramblings on my mother, childhood, anxiety, “The Guitar,” morbid debates and conversations, and other fun aspects of the Whining Kent Pig household, for your enjoyment (or not) on video.  (and to answer the obvious question….no, I do NOT watch these before I post them.  Record, export, upload, post.  That’s it).

Remember to follow After Some Wine on Twitter at @aftersomewine, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/aftersomewine/

Requests, comments, or ideas can be left as comments or emailed to me at doug@aftersomewine.com

After Some Wine #1 – Lydia Loveless

Episode One of After Some Wine: Post-whiskey confused ramblings on Lydia Loveless and her music, on video.   (and to answer the obvious question….no, I do NOT watch these before I post them.  Record, export, upload, post.  That’s it).

Links of interest:

www.lydialoveless.com – Lydia Loveless website

www.whoislydialoveless.com – Homepage for documentary film “Who is Lydia Loveless?” (available soon on DVD)

https://www.bloodshotrecords.com/artist/lydia-loveless – Bloodshot Records’ Lydia Loveless Page (where you can order a CD or an LP; do it!)

 

Remember to follow After Some Wine on Twitter at @aftersomewine, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/aftersomewine/

Requests, comments, or ideas can be left as comments or emailed to me at doug@aftersomewine.com

 

Saturday Night….

I was hoping to do my first video blog tonight, most likely explaining about I grew up in a house full of anxiety and describing some of the “games” we played with each other as a result.

Sadly, privacy is a major issue in my home at the moment.  I have two friends and their little boy staying with me while they look for an apartment or a house to rent, and a one-month commitment has just passed the three month point.

Between people coming in and out, a screaming youngster, and my inability to relax in this environment, I can’t attempt a recording.  Actually, on a stress and emotional level it isn’t that different from the anxiety of my childhood family.

I haven’t spent any time telling people about this site yet, so it isn’t as if anybody will be disappointed.  Except me…but that will be resolved soon.  In a few nights I’ll get some time alone and if the mood is right…

In th meantime, if anybody has any requests for particular stories, just email me at doug@aftersomewine.com or leave a comment.

A Brief Introduction…

After Some Wine is meant to be nothing more than a safe and distant peek into my mind.  Each episode will be a video where – after I’ve had some wine – I will introduce you to music you need to hear, movies you need to see, or books you need to read.  On occasion I won’t do any of that, and instead I’ll ramble on about something in my life or from my past.

 

I still have to work out some of the production details, but hopefully you’ll find at least SOME of the written or video blog entries to be entertaining, informative, or just a decent time kill.