OT: tell me your fave documentaries

actually got away from my workstation tonight for a few min and met some friends out. A random convo about Robert McNamara and The Fog of War sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole researching some of my fave docs. here they are in no particular order. What are yours?

1.) Capturing the Friedmans
2.) The Flat
3.) The Kid Stays in the Picture
4.) Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse
5.) OJ: Made In America
6.) Waltz with Bashir
7.) Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart


Just about any Werner Hertzog doc.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly
Happy People of the Tiaga


Lost in La Mancha
The Hamster Factor
Jodorowky’s Dune


Alan mentioned Herzog. He exec produced what is the most memorable and chilling doc I have ever seen (three times).


Ah, Terry Gilliam, I could tell some tales about working with Terry


The King of Kong.



“Pina is a 2011 German 3D documentary film directed by Wim Wenders that is about German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch.”


Also, The Buena Vista Social Club documentary by Wim Wenders:

“Buena Vista Social Club is a 1999 documentary film directed by Wim Wenders about the music of Cuba. It is named for a danzón that became the title piece of the album Buena Vista Social Club. The film is an international co-production of Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Cuba”


Pina is a visual masterpiece. One of the few films worth watching in 3D!

Insane Vietnam War Doco:

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Tim, you can also watch it in plain 2D version!

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Gates of Heaven, Crumb, The Act of Killing, The Decline of Western Civilization I-III, Apted’s “Up” Series.

I would love to hear them!

A lot of people always want to work with him, but not after they have worked with him!
That being said, after working with him on 4 films, I always got on well with him.
He loved Flame as its a more visual and instant way of working.


agreed! didn’t mean to insinuate that it’s only good in 3D - it’s amazing in 2D! the director was just so thoughtful and creative about using stereoscopic as well unlike 99% of the movies that were made in stereo. Wim Wenders is just a true artist in any medium.

@glennteel if you liked Lost in Mancha check out Hearts of Darkness about the making of Apocalypse Now.

I’ve seen it. So good! It’s been a while so I need to rewatch it.

Apted’s Up series. Titicut Follies has been on my mind for a few weeks . . . And speaking of behind the scenes, let’s not overlook Burden of Dreams. Gapped Toothed Women made a a great positive impression on one of my daughters when she was young. 20 feet from Stardom was great.
I might add that I’ve had the privilege of working on some excellent ones. Notably, Errol Morris’ doc about Temple Grandin, Stairway to Heaven, and Taxi to the Dark Side, Alex Gibney’s exploration of state sanctioned torture, which won an Oscar.

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“Grey Gardens” is seminal in my book. So weird and funny and heartbreaking. (‘Salesman’ is another Maysles masterpiece.)

“Gates of Heaven” Early Errol Morris, fascinating look at how truly bizarre and beautiful and moving the mundanity of America can be.

“Harlan County, USA” hits so hard. Unbelievable what Barbara Kopple was able to capture. Revealing, intense, and still prescient after all those years.

“Life of Crime: 1984-2020” is devastating. Jon Alpert presents an unflinching view of crime and addiction, failure and redemption, dreams and nightmares. It shook me. Highly recommend.