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Documentary DVD Discussion Revised Edn: Includes Guide to Academy Award Docs

Discussion in 'DVD' started by TimJS, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    I am moving the initial post to post number 15 and will use this space from this point forward to announce updates. I have “archived” the January 31st update at the bottom of the thread.

    UPDATE for March 5, 2006
     
  2. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    **35 Years of Academy Award Winning Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**
    [​IMG]
    March of the Penguins (Winner 2005)

    In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family. This courtship will begin with a long journey - a journey that will take them hundreds of miles across the continent by foot, in freezing cold temperatures, in brittle, icy winds and through deep, treacherous waters. They will risk starvation and attack by dangerous predators, under the harshest conditions on earth, all to find true love.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG]
    Born Into Brothels (Winner 2004)

    Admist the apparent growing prosperity of India, there is a dark underbelly of poverty of another side of the nation that is little known. This film is a chronicle of filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's efforts to show that world of Calcutta's red light district. To do that, they inspired a special group of children of the prostitutes of the area to photograph the most reluctant subjects of it. As the kids excel in their new found art, the filmmakers struggle to help them have a chance for a better life away from the miserable poverty that threatens to crush their dreams.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG]
    The Fog of War - Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (Winner 2003)

    The Fog of War, the movie that finally won Errol Morris the best documentary Oscar, is a spellbinder. Morris interviews Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and finds a uniquely unsettling viewpoint on much of 20th-century American history. Employing a ton of archival material, including LBJ's fascinating taped conversations from the Oval Office, Morris probes the reasons behind the U.S. commitment to the Vietnam War--and finds a depressingly inconsistent policy. McNamara himself emerges as--well, not exactly apologetic, but clearly haunted by the what-ifs of Vietnam. He also mulls the bombing of Japan in World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis, raising more questions than he answers. The Fog of War has the usual inexorable Morris momentum, aided by an uneasy Philip Glass score. This movie provides a glimpse inside government. It also encourages skepticism about same.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon


    [​IMG]
    Bowling for Columbine (Winner 2002)

    Michael Moore's superb documentary (following in the footsteps of Roger & Me and The Big One) tackles a meaty subject: gun control. Moore skillfully lays out arguments surrounding the issue and short-circuits them all, leaving one impossible question: why do Americans kill each other more often than people in any other democratic nation? Moore focuses his quest around the shootings at Columbine High School and the shooting of one 6-year-old by another near his own hometown of Flint, Michigan. By approaching the headquarters of K-Mart (where the Columbine shooters bought their ammo) and going to Charlton Heston's own home, Moore demands accountability from the forces that support unrestricted gun sales in the U.S. His arguments are conducted with the humor and empathy that have made Moore more than just a gadfly; he's become a genuine voice of reason in a world driven by fear and greed.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG]
    Murder on a Sunday Morning (Winner 2001)

    The Academy Award-winning documentary Murder on a Sunday Afternoon, which originally aired on HBO as part of its America Undercover series, is a troubling look at modern police investigation that unfolds in a story as compelling and suspenseful as any fictional drama. French director Jean-Xavier De Lestrade's intimate camerawork pulls viewers into the jury box to help decide the fate of 15-year-old Brenton Butler, a black resident of Jacksonville, Florida, who becomes the prime suspect in the shooting death of an elderly white woman simply because he was seen in the vicinity of the crime. Butler's attorney, a magnetic public defender named Patrick McGuinness, must pit his legal skills against a mountain of shoddy investigative work and corruption to save his client from life in prison. Similar in intent to HBO's Paradise Lost, Murder's white-knuckled pacing and a wealth of courtroom fireworks should leave true-crime and documentary fans breathless--and angry.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon

    [​IMG]Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (Winner 2000)

    This Academy Award®-winning documentary (produced with the cooperation of the United States Holocaust Museum) chronicles one of the lesser-known stories of the Holocaust: that of the kindertransport, which saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children. In the late 1930s, England agreed to accept these children seeking refuge from Nazi oppression. They were placed in foster homes and hostels. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris (who received an Oscar® for his 1997 Holocaust documentary The Long Way Home), this devastating and deeply moving film bears witness to the kindness of these "simply wonderful people" and to the resilience of the kinder, now elderly, who recall in haunting stories the unimaginable grief of being suddenly torn from their parents, the trauma of not knowing whether they would ever see them again, and the difficulties some faced in their new homes. Recalls one, "None of the foster parents with whom I stayed could stand me for very long. But all of them had the grace to take in a Jewish child." But despite having their youth uprooted, many possess an indomitable spirit. One woman speaks of devoting her adult life to human rights and social justice causes. "I can't pay back or thank some of the people who helped me," she states, "But I can do something for other people."

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG]One Day in September (Winner 1999)

    On September 5, 1972, eight Palestinian terrorists killed two Israeli athletes and took nine others hostage at the Munich Olympic Village. The event stopped the games, gripped the world, and perhaps for the first time fully illustrated the volatile state of affairs in the Mideast to the world. Kevin Macdonald's 1999 Academy Award(r)-winning documentary painstakingly reconstructs the events, shedding light on what the world saw on television with the exasperating revelation of behind-the-scenes blunders.

    This visceral, tense film uses riveting news footage to great effect, weaving in affecting interviews. Macdonald mourns the deaths of the innocent Olympic hostages and dutifully gives a voice to the Palestinian cause through interviews with Jamal al-Gashey, the only survivor of the eight terrorists, who briefly came out of hiding for the film. He earnestly but half-heartedly sketches a picture of the social and political situation that fueled the act, reserving his anger for the grossly unprepared German police force. The tragedy that erupted at the Fürstenfeldbruck air base becomes all the more upsetting in light of the incompetence and unforgivable mistakes: botched rescues, poor planning, bad intelligence, and lack of contingency plans. Even the irresponsibility of the media circus gets off lightly. It's a sobering, angering, often frustrating piece of non-fiction cinema, a thorough piece of historical research brought to life with an angry immediacy. Macdonald simply doesn't know what lessons to draw from it all.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG]The Last Days (Winner 1998)

    In the last year of World War II, German defeat was inevitable. Yet rather than reinforcing his troops and focusing his efforts on battle, Hitler chose to renew his campaign to eliminate the Jews of Europe. Hungary, which had remained mostly untouched during the war, found her Jews being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps where they were systematically and brutally killed during these last days. This documentary, directed by James Moll and produced through the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, whose goal is to document the memories of those who lived through the Holocaust, records the stories of five Hungarian Jews who managed to survive.

    While the stories are tragic and watching this documentary is a tearful experience, the final message is one of hope, as the five people return to Hungary and the camps with their families to confront their pasts and say their prayers. While the occasionally graphic footage will disturb, this Oscar-winning film is one that should be shared with family as a way of educating and reminding us, "Never again."

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon
     
  3. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    **15 Years of Academy Award Nominated Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**
    ][/b]2004-2005
    Darwin's Nightmare
    : Some time in the 1960's, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world.
    Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo… Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent.
    This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world’s biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.
    NOT YET ON DVD: Official Site[​IMG] Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room : Based on the best-selling book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a multidimensional study of one of the biggest business scandals in American history. The chronicle takes a look at one of the greatest corporate disasters in history, in which top executives from the 7th largest company in this country walked away with over one billion dollars, leaving investors and employees with nothing. The film features insider accounts and rare corporate audio and video tapes that reveal colossal personal excesses of the Enron hierarchy and the utter moral vacuum that posed as corporate philosophy. The human drama that unfolds within Enron's walls resembles a Greek tragedy and produces a domino effect that could shape the face of our economy and ethical code for years to come. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon[​IMG]Murderball: A film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs - overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
    DVD AVAILABLE:AmazonStreet Fight: Street Fight chronicles the bare-knuckles race for Mayor of Newark, N.J. between Cory Booker, a 32-year-old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School grad, and Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent and undisputed champion of New Jersey politics.
    Fought in Newark's neighborhoods and housing projects, the battle pits Booker against an old style political machine that uses any means necessary to crush its opponents: city workers who do not support the mayor are demoted; "disloyal" businesses are targeted by code enforcement; a campaigner is detained and accused of terrorism; and disks of voter data are burglarized in the night.
    Even the filmmaker is dragged into the slugfest, and by election day, the climate becomes so heated that the Federal government is forced to send in observers to watch for cheating and violence.
    The battle sheds light on important American questions about democracy, power and -- in a surprising twist -- race. Both Booker and James are African-American Democrats, but when the mayor accuses the Ivy League educated Booker of not being "really black" it forces voters to examine both how we define race in this country. "We tell our children to get educated," one Newarker says, "and when they do, we call them white. What kind of a message does that send?"
    Street Fight tells a gripping story of the underbelly of democracy where elections are not about spin-doctors, media consultants, or photo ops. In Newark, we discover, elections are won and lost in the streets.
    DVD AVAILABLE (from Official Site):Official Site2004-2005[​IMG] The Story Of The Weeping Camel : When a Mongolian camel gives birth to a rare white calf and then refuses to nurse it, the nomadic family that owns the herd tries desperately to keep the calf alive. They turn at last to a traditional remedy, enlisting the help of a musician to play a song that is said to make a mother camel weep and reclaim her child. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon[​IMG] Super Size Me : Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock examines the effects of a steady diet of fast food by pledging to eat three meals a day at McDonald's for one month. After undergoing a series of medical exams prior to the experiment, Spurlock records both the physical and psychological repercussions of his new regimen. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon[​IMG] Tupac: Resurrection: Drawing on hours of interviews and film footage, this portrait of gangsta rap star Tupac Shakur traces his brief life from his childhood with his mother, Black Panther Afeni Shakur, and his early musical promise to his meteoric rise as a recording artist and the many personal problems that dogged his success. DVD AVAILABLE :Amazon[​IMG] Twist Of Faith : When firefighter Tony Comes learns that the priest who sexually abused him as a boy lives just a few miles away, he decides he can no longer keep his past experience a secret. Comes's decision to acknowledge the trauma that has infected every aspect of his adult life forces him at last to confront emotions and fears he has long suppressed. DVD AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER:Amazon
     
  4. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    Here is a preliminary listing of 'other' Awards. I may link to IMDB or Amazon/retail.

    IDA - International Documentary Association

    Annual Feature Awards

    2005 - Favela Rising & Our Brand is Crisis
    2004 - Fahrenheit 9/11 & Born Into Brothels
    2003 - Balseros & The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
    2002 - Mai's America & Señorita extraviada
    2001 – Children Underground & Startup.com
    2000 - Gulag & Swedish Tango
    1999 - On The Ropes & A Place Called Chiapas
    1998 - Dancemaker & Little Dieter Needs to Fly
    1997 - Donka, radioscopie d'un hôpital africain & Waco: The Rules of Engagement
    1996 - Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern (1995) & War Within: A Portrait of Virginia Woolf, The
    1995 - Crumb & Diablo nunca duerme, El &
    Eternity
    1994 - Black Harvest & Freedom on My Mind & Hoop Dreams & I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School & Moving the Mountain
    1993 - Intimate Stranger & Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, The & Silverlake Life: The View from Here & Something Within Me
    1992 - Brief History of Time, A & Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance Vs. Judas Priest & Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse & History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige
    1991 - Absolutely Positive & American Dream & Color Adjustment &
    Soldiers of Music
    1990 - Adam Clayton Powell & Berkeley in the '60s & Hello, Do You Hear Us? Red Hot & Paris Is Burning & Roger & Me
    1989 - Chasseurs de miel & For All Mankind & Let's Get Lost & Twilight City & Who Shot President Kennedy?
    1988 – Broken Noses & Nadie escuchaba &
    Thin Blue Line, The & Who Killed Vincent Chin?
    1987 - Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker & Threat & Thy Kingdom Come... Thy Will Be Done & Vai viegli but jaunam?
    1986 - Bacio di Tosca, Il & Jacques Cousteau: The First 75 Years & Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, Las & Shoah & Soldiers in Hiding & Sun City/The Making of Sun City
    1985 - 16 Days of Glory & 28 Up & America and Lewis Hine & George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey & Times of Harvey Milk, The

    National Board of Review Awards
    2005 - March of the Penguins
    2004 - Born into Brothels
    2003 - The Fog of War
    2002 - Bowling for Columbine
    2001 - The Endurance
    2000 - The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
    1999 - Buena Vista Social Club
    1998 - Wild Man Blues
    1997 - Fast, Cheap & Out of Control
    1996 - Paradise Lost
    1995 - Crumb

    Director's Guild of America

    2005 Grizzly Man
    2004 The Story Of The Weeping Camel
    2003 My Architect
    2002 The Smith Family
    2001 Startup.com
    2000 High School Boot Camp
    1999 On the Ropes
    1998 Vietnam: Long Time Coming
    1997 Riding the Rails
    1996 Looking for Richard
    1995 Crumb
    1994 Hoop Dreams
    1993 Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson
    1992 Brother's Keeper
    1991 American Dream

    Los Angeles Film Critics Association

    2005 - Grizzly Man
    2004 - Born Into Brothels
    2003 - The Fog of War
    2002 - The Cockettes
    2001 - The Gleaners And I
    2000 - Dark Days
    1999 - Buena Vista Social Club
    1998 - The Farm: Angola USA
    1997 - Riding the Rails
    1996 - When We Were Kings
    1995 - Crumb
    1994 - Hoop Dreams
    1993 - It's All True
    1992 - Black Harvest
    1991 - American Dream
    1990 - Paris is Burning and Portraits of the Oldworld
    1989 - Roger & Me
    1988 - Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie
     
  5. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    This will be for non-theatrical docs...Ken Burns's Civil War, Vietnam: A Television History, etc.
     
  6. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    Werner Herzog...

    Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)

    Preacher Trilogy:
    Huie's Sermon (1980)
    God's Angry Man (1980)
    Faith and Currency (1980)

    Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984)

    The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1984)

    Les Gauloises (1988)

    Echoes From a Somber Empire (1990)

    Bells from the Deep: Faith and Superstition in Russia (1993)
     
  7. Al Stuart

    Al Stuart Well-Known Member

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    Note that Small Wonders (1995-96 nominee) is available on DVD, via the 2 disc version of Music of the Heart, on disc 2. The Streep/Craven film was loosely based on the documentary and so it was included as an extra.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...v=glance&s=dvd
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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  9. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    **15 Years of Director’s Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**[​IMG]
    Grizzly Man (Winner 2005)

    In his mesmerizing new film, acclaimed director Werner Herzog explores the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell, who lived unarmed among grizzlies for 13 summers.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Amazon

    [​IMG]
    The Story Of The Weeping Camel (Winner 2004)

    When a Mongolian camel gives birth to a rare white calf and then refuses to nurse it, the nomadic family that owns the herd tries desperately to keep the calf alive. They turn at last to a traditional remedy, enlisting the help of a musician to play a song that is said to make a mother camel weep and reclaim her child.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Amazon

    [​IMG]
    My Architect: A Son's Journey (Winner 2003)

    World-famous architect Louis Kahn (Exeter Library, Salk Institute, Bangladeshi Capitol Building) had two illegitimate children with two different women outside of his marriage. Son Nathaniel always hoped that someday his father would come and live with him and his mother, but Kahn never left his wife. Instead, Kahn was found dead in a men's room in Penn Station when Nathaniel was only 11. Nathaniel travels the world visitng his father's buildings and haunts in this film, meeting his father's contemporaries, colleagues, students, wives, and children.


    Reel.com, IMDB, Amazon

    [​IMG]2002: The Smith Family[​IMG]Startup.com (Winner 2001)

    Directors Chris Hegedus (The War Room) and Jehane Noujaim couldn't have imagined the drama that awaited when they began documenting the creation of the pioneering e-commerce site govWorks.com. For over a year they followed the company, the brainchild of childhood-friends-turned-business-partners software geek and doting single dad Tom Herman, and ambitious young business-school-grad-turned-company-CEO Kaleil Isaza Tuzman. During the rise of the Internet investment frenzy and the subsequent crash of the dot-economy, the cameras remain keyed into the human dynamic: the lifestyle compromises, the personal sacrifices, and the clash of philosophies and personalities that ultimately tear boyhood buddies Tom and Kaleil apart...almost. Startup.com's portrait of the cutthroat nature of American business culture and the choices one makes (or doesn't) to succeed poses the one question most documentaries ignore: Is it worth it?

    Reel.com, IMDB, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG] High School Boot Camp (Winner 2000)

    Wake up call is 4 a.m. Entertainment is a bucket of ice water on your head. Welcome to boot camp! Winner of the prestigious DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, HIGH SCHOOL BOOT CAMP is an eye-opening look at the controversial world of a youth boot camp. Award-winning filmmaker Chuck Braverman takes us through an intensive six-month drill at the Eagle Acadmeny in rural Belle Glade, Florida, where another class of "at-risk" youths has voluntarily enlisted in the hopes of getting back on track. But as these cocky recruits approach on the inbound bus, they have no idea what’s in store for them. Can they endure such tough discipline? Will they survive the Marine-type training? What exactly will it take to change their self-destructive ways? It’s not exactly summer camp--but for these kids and their families, it may be their last hope.

    IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon

    [​IMG] On the Ropes (Winner 1999)

    That every cliché and stereotype has some basis in fact is axiomatic. Boxing movies have long relied on archetypes such as the tough-but-big-hearted trainer who acts as a mentor, the crooked promoter, the hard-nosed kid who fights his way from the streets to the top. On the Ropes has all of these, but the kicker is this film isn't fiction; this is a remarkable documentary that follows three young boxers, George, Noel, and Tyrene, in and out of the ring as they struggle with tough circumstances in their Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood while they train relentlessly for the Golden Gloves. Trainer Harry Keitt has his share of problems as well, going from a pro career and a stint as sparring partner for Muhammad Ali to crack addiction, homelessness, and jail, then taking up coaching as a road to redemption. A peek inside the personal lives of the three young athletes shows them to be tough but vulnerable kids, likable, courageous, and incredibly determined to see their way out of Brooklyn via a boxing career (there's another of those clichés come to life). As the three progress and move beyond the Bed-Stuy Boxing Center, Keitt must cope with seeing them leave his sphere of influence and move on. Filled with warm and very human characters, On the Ropes is a first-rate documentary and a behind-the-scenes look at a sports world that few of us ever see.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG]1998: Vietnam Long Time Coming[​IMG] Riding the Rails (Winner 1997)

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, and perhaps no time in America's history has been so desperate as the Great Depression. Hundreds of thousands of young men and women left home seeking work and money wherever they could find it, and many of them took to hopping trains as a means of cheap, speedy (though by no means safe) travel. Riding the Rails lets survivors tell their stories of thrills, humiliation, and boredom from a distance of 60 years. You'll be amazed at the strength and determination of these folks to survive the difficult times, and find their reminiscences beautiful, sometimes angry, sometimes poetic. Contemporary newsreel footage and songs from such depression-era chroniclers as Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers make the 1930s come alive and evoke the vitality and suffering of a generation.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon

    [​IMG]Looking For Richard (Winner 1996)

    A workshop of William Shakespeare's Richard III inspires actor-director Al Pacino's breezy documentary, which aims to make the playwright accessible to contemporary American audiences. Though a noteworthy cast of stage actors and Hollywood stars (including Kevin Spacey, Winona Ryder, and Alec Baldwin) gathers to work on the play, Looking for Richard does not present a straightforward filmed version of the scheming, deformed king's rise and fall. Instead, Pacino turns the cameras on the rehearsal process and his own exploration of Shakespeare's history and meaning. Scenes in full costume alternate with readings in street clothes, while interviews gather the opinions on the Bard of everyone from renowned scholars and Shakespearean actors to random New Yorkers. A trip to England allows brief visits to Shakespeare's birthplace and the Globe Theater, but Pacino's focus remains on the United States and his desire to prove that American actors can act the plays without mimicking their British counterparts. Clearly a labor of love for Pacino, the film benefits from his passionate persona and direct, no-nonsense attitude; while the performances may vary in quality, the film manifests a refreshingly casual, unpretentious, and enthusiastic approach to Shakespeare.

    IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Amazon

    [​IMG] Crumb (Winner 1995)

    Robert Crumb is known for his disturbing, yet compelling, underground cartoons: his most famous works made countercultural icons out of Mr. Natural ("Keep on Truckin'...") and Fritz the Cat. Terry Zwigoff delves into the odd world of the cartoonist in his documentary film Crumb, and the picture that emerges is not always pretty--at moments, it's almost repellent--but it's a fascinating glimpse into a very strange mind. Interviewing immediate family--Crumb has one suicidal brother, one semi-psychopathic brother, two sisters who declined to be interviewed, and a tyrannical mother--Crumb begins to look a bit saner. Given his surroundings, it's remarkable that he has survived so well. His hostilities toward women may turn some viewers off, but his wife, Aline, seems to be a grounding point, and she provides a solid counterbalance to the man. No one shies away from discussing incredibly intimate things (namely, sex!), which explains much of R. Crumb's cartoons. This documentary can definitely be considered a masterpiece for the cult crowd, and as for the rest of us, it's sure to make us feel a little better about our own lives!

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon[​IMG]Hoop Dreams (Winner 1994)

    A highly acclaimed, Oscar-overlooked documentary about the hopes and dreams of two inner city youths who see basketball, and especially acceptance to a school known for its outstanding basketball program, as their ticket out of poverty. Appearances by Isiah Thomas, Dick Vitale, Spike Lee and Bobby Knight. Academy Award Nominations: Best Film Editing. Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.


    Reel.com, IMDB, pre-order @ Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, pre-order @ Amazon

    [​IMG]1993: Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson[​IMG] Brother's Keeper (Winner 1992)

    One of the best films of 1992, this acclaimed documentary focuses on the alleged murder in June 1990 of 64-year-old Bill Ward by his brother Delbert, 59, a simple dairy farmer whose defense became a rallying cause for the citizens of Munnsville, a tiny farming community in central New York. Known by all of Munnsville as harmless hermits, the Ward brothers (also including Lyman and Roscoe) live an 18th-century lifestyle in their tiny, grimy shack, sleeping in the same bed through cold winters and tending daily to their hayfields and livestock. Semiliterate and stunted by minimal exposure to the outside world, the Wards are disheveled children in the bodies of aging men; and when Delbert is charged with suffocating his ailing brother Bill, he's a prime target for legal manipulation and a media circus that's immediately drawn to his case. Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky spent nearly a year with the Wards and the Munnsville citizens who rallied to Delbert's defense, and their efforts prove that reality is often more compelling than even the richest fictional drama. As a slice-of-life study of eccentricity, country-folk stereotypes, small-town wisdom, and the power of the media, Brother's Keeper is funny, fascinating, and full of compassionate humanity. It's also a riveting courtroom mystery with characters that no casting director could improve upon, tracking the course of justice while leaving the viewer to mull over the truth behind Delbert Ward's alleged crime.


    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon

    [​IMG]American Dream (Winner 1991)

    Director Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning rendering of a crippling strike at a Minnesota meat-packing plant may look dated, but the underlying theme of individuals crushed by big business remains all too timely. Using a briskly engrossing combination of first-person interviews, news broadcasts, and fly-on-the-wall encounters, Kopple creates an indelible document of a community's dissolution at the hands of larger forces. (The film is clearly on the side of the workers, but at the same time it refuses to ignore the petty infighting that eventually helped contribute to their ruin.) An alternately depressing, uplifting, and often profanely funny film that, at times, echoes Michael Moore's Roger and Me , but without that movie's distancing smarm. A movie's title has never seemed quite so bitterly apt. The director, who had previously won an Oscar for the equally arresting Harlan County USA, would later go on to document yet another traumatic event with Woody Allen's Wild Man Blues.

    Reel.com, IMDB, Deepdiscountdvd, Lasersedge, Amazon



    Latest update: 01/29/2006 – Grizzly Man added.
     
  10. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    **International Documentary Association's "20 Best All-Time Documentaries"
    DVD Availability Chart**[​IMG]1. Bowling for Columbine (2002): Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for murder and other violence and the connection to attitudes about guns and gun control compared to other countries.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge [​IMG]2. The Thin Blue Line (1988): Errol Morris probes the 1976 murder of a Dallas policeman, and the wrongful conviction of one of the two men implicated in the killing.
    DVD Available for Pre-Order: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge[​IMG]3. Roger & Me (1989): Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger Smith to talk about massive downsizing by the auto manufacturer and the effects on his hometown of Flint, Michigan.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge [​IMG]5. Hoop Dreams (1994): Filmmaker Steve James follow the lives of two inner-city basketball players who harbor legitimate hopes of playing professional basketball.
    DVD AVAILABLE FOR ORDER(From Criterion): Amazon, Official Site[​IMG]5. Salesman (1969): Albert and David Maysles follow four employees of a company that makes expensive, ornate, illustrated bibles as they attempt to sell the items door-to-door.
    DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge [​IMG]6. Nanook of the North (1922): Robert Flaherty documented one year in the life of Nanook, an Eskimo (Inuit) and his family. It is a story of life and love in the Arctic.
    DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, Lasersedge [​IMG]7. Night And Fog Nuit et brouillard (1955): Alain Resnais' probing remembrance of the Holocaust using contemporary images of the abandoned camp at Auschwitz along with newsreel footage of the atrocities that occurred there.
    DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, Lasersedge [​IMG]7. Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976): Barbara Kopple chronicles the fight of 190 coal mining families for dignity and fairness in Harlan County, Kentucky.
    AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON DVD: Amazon, Lasersedge,Official Site[​IMG]9. Grey Gardens (1975): Albert and David Maysles document the story of the eccentric aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who live in a world of their own in their decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as 'Grey Gardens'.
    DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge [​IMG]10. The Civil War (1990): Ken Burns compiles a nine-part series recounting the story of the most important event in American history through the heroic actions and poignant words of the people, great and small, who lived through it.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD[​IMG]11. Crumb (1994): Director Terry Zwigoff chronicles the life and times of Robert Crumb, the cartoonist/artist who drew Keep On Truckin', Fritz the Cat, and played a major pioneering role in the genesis of underground comix.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge[​IMG]12. Gimme Shelter (1970): Albert and David Maysles followed the ill-fated Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont Speedway in December 1969.
    DVD AVAILABLE (From Criterion): Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge[​IMG]13. The Up Series (1963-1998): (6 Films: Seven Up!, 7 Plus Seven, 21, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up). Michael Apted interviewed 14 British children, all age seven, but diverse in gender, race and economic background. Apted follows up with the children every seven years.
    DVD SET AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge[​IMG]14. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997): This film by Errol Morris interweaves the stories of four obsessive men, each driven to create eccentric worlds of their dreams, all involving animals.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge [​IMG]
    [​IMG]15. Titicut Follies (1967): Frederick Wiseman chronicles life inside a Massachusetts institution for mentally ill convicts, and their abuse at the hands of the guards and doctors. The only American film banned from release for reasons other than obscenity or national security. After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sued the filmmakers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the film constituted was an invasion of privacy and ordered the withdrawal of the film from circulation. The film was banned in Massachusetts for decades and was largely unseen in other than very special educational screenings. Finally, in the early 90s, it was allowed a one-time-only showing on PBS (from which many bootlegs exist)-- but a DVD release is unlikely. A VHS educational veriosn is available from Zipporah for $500.
    NOT YET ON DVD: Amazon Book About This Film, Filmmaker's Website[​IMG]16. When We Were Kings (1996): Director Leon Gast profiles the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge [​IMG]17. American Movie: The Making of Northwestern (1999): Chris Smith documents aspiring filmmaker Mark Borchardt's three-year effort to produce a short horror film.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge [​IMG]18. Shoah (1985): Claude Lanzmann directed this 9-1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust by interviewing survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (without using a single frame of archive footage).
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge [​IMG]19. The Man with a Movie Camera Chelovek s kinoapparatom (1929): Dziga Vertov travels around a Russian city, with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling inventiveness. Editions of this film have been released on DVD by Image, Kino, and Caroline.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon (Image Version), Amazon (Kino Version), Amazon (Caroline Version), DDD (Kino Version), Lasersedge (Kino Version) [​IMG]20. Sherman's March (1986): Ross McElwee attempts to document the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War-- while continually being sidetracked by his personal life, his dreams of nuclear disaster, and Burt Reynolds.
    DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge

    Last Update: 05/31/2005 - Added Thin Blue Line
     
  11. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    The IDA’s 2004 Pare Lorentz Award (The award is presented by the Pare Lorentz Foundation to one or more individuals whose work best represents the democratic sensibility, activist spirit and lyrical vision of the legendary documentarian) winning documentary Oil On Ice is available from www.oilonice.com for $19.95.

    Oil On Ice examines the battle over oil development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and how it affects the Gwich'in Athabascan Indians and Inupiat Eskimos who rely on wildlife in this area for subsistence.

    I picked this one up as part of a free promotion from the Sierra Club & it’s not just a bare bones disc (includes Bonus interviews with Amory Lovins, Carl Pope and Wade Davis). When I retrieve it from loan I will fill in the remaining specs.

    Tim
     
  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have Image's recent release of The Man Who Skied Down Everest? How is the transfer? Is it 2.35:1 anamorphic, as listed?
     
  13. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Well-Known Member

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    wow what a great thread and will have more time to read and possible buy some of the dvds
     
  14. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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  15. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    I have agreed to take over the maintenance of this page initially assembled by Vince Maskeeper (BIG round of applause for Vince).

    In addition to the Vince’s Academy Awards Guide, I am reserving the first two slots in the thread for non-academy Award Doc Guides.

    I am not a documentary film expert, Nor do I play one on TeeVee. If any of you have suggestions for improvement to any of the guides, feel free to pm me.

    Let’s please keep the discussion on-topic. Off-Topic discussions such as whether a film/disc should be considered a legitimate documentary (vs. propaganda) should take place elsewhere on the forum.

    Thank You,
    Tim
     
  16. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE for May 31, 2005

    I updated the Academy Noms (post No.3) to reflect availability of
    Prisoner of Paradise, Colors Straight Up, & D-Day Remembered .
    Don’t know how D-Day slipped thru, it’s a 2003 street disc, IMDB doesn’t show availability either.

    I updated the IGN “20 Best All-Time” list (post No.10) to reflect availability of
    The Thin Blue Line .

    Be advised that Oil On Ice (post No.11) is available for Pre-Order (8/9/2005 street) from Amazon .

    I missed Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst aka. Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army when it aired on The American Experience recently, but this award-winning doc (Grand Jury Award: Florida Film Festival) is available from PBS .

    Until next time, ponder this: now that Deep Throat has ‘outed’ himself, when will we get a decent doc on Watergate?

    Tim
     
  17. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Well-Known Member

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    thanks for keeping the list up to date
     
  18. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE for June 20, 2005
     
  19. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE for July 12, 2005
     
  20. TimJS

    TimJS Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE for August 4, 2005
     

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