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The 10 Best Documentaries Of The Decade (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Narrative non-fiction films have been popular since Nanook Of The North debuted in 1922. Documentaries take viewers on an informative and often emotional journey into the lives of other people, secrets of the past and even remote locations. We love to be transported into a true story. The genre has exploded as film making becomes accessible to nearly anyone with an idea and a camera.

Related: Martin Scorsese's Music Documentaries Ranked Worst To Best (According To IMDb)

Over the last 10 years some incredibly groundbreaking, moving and entertaining documentaries have told stories never before heard and delved deeper into familiar subjects. The ten documentaries in this list are the highest rated by the most viewers and critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Each one has it's own style and story to tell.
See full article at Screen Rant »

D.A. Pennebaker’s Voluminous Music Movies, From ‘Dont Look Back’ to Depeche Mode

  • Variety
D.A. Pennebaker’s Voluminous Music Movies, From ‘Dont Look Back’ to Depeche Mode
D.A. Pennebaker had already been making documentaries for 12 years when he got a historic assignment in 1965 to document Bob Dylan at his most mercurial. Once “Dont Look Back” was released in 1967, followed a year later by “Monterey Pop,” Pennebaker’s path as popular music’s preeminent documentarian was set — or at least the biggest part of his legacy was, since he continued to take on dozens of socially conscious, non-musical subjects, to not always quite as much attention.

For decades, the patina of those two films attracted musicians from John Lennon to Depeche Mode. Some were shorts or made for television, and many got held up over issues that saw them being released years or even decades after they were shot. Pennebaker was famous for skewing toward the grittiest, least slick end of the scale in his concert coverage, favoring spontaneous 16mm shoots that were the very opposite of the
See full article at Variety »

Cinereach Bestows $50,000 Awards to 4 Independent Film Producers (Exclusive)

Cinereach Bestows $50,000 Awards to 4 Independent Film Producers (Exclusive)
Cinereach announced the four recipients of 2019’s Producer Award, a $50,000 filmmaking prize as part of the Cinereach Producers Initiative, on Friday.

The indie film company has selected Jessica Devaney (“Always in Season”), Alexandra Lazarowich (“Fast Horse”), Kishori Rajan (“Random Acts of Flyness”) and Jamund Washington (“Tramps”) as independent producers that have demonstrated vision and integrity, contributed to the film community as mentors and leaders, and enriched the culture through their films.

“This year’s group of recipients is particularly exciting because Jessica, Alexandra, Kishori and Jamund have each created poignant, culturally thoughtful work that breaks down barriers on a multitude of platforms. Their commitment to this type of work is shifting our industry in meaningful ways,” Merrill Sterritt, head of partnerships and creative initiatives at Cinereach, said in a statement.

Also Read: How to Be a 'Real' Producer: Know Your Audience and 'Fight for Your Life'

“We are proud to
See full article at The Wrap »

Thick Descriptions: Jean Rouch's Ethno-Fictions

  • MUBI
Mubi's retrospective, The Groundbreaking Ethnography of Jean Rouch, is showing December 2018 – February 2019 in the United States.Jean RouchWhen asked by Robert Gardner, on his TV interview program “Screening Room,” whether he primarily considered himself a filmmaker or an anthropologist, Jean Rouch gave a customarily playful answer. “Anthropologists consider me as a filmmaker. When I’m with filmmakers they consider me as an anthropologist . . . you see I’m a Gemini by birth, which means I’m in two places [at] the same time.”1 To understand how Rouch could stand so completely between chairs, one should have a bit of background in the state of ethnographic film before Rouch, and for that matter, a bit of context for his impact on the larger world of cinema. Ethnography has, of course, been primarily a written form, an adjunct discipline to anthropology, its humanistic or literary side, if you will. Nevertheless, ethnographers, like anthropologists generally,
See full article at MUBI »

Robert Greene Talks ‘Bisbee ’17,’ the Need for New Documentary Forms, and ‘Her Smell’

Every two years or so, there comes a new Robert Greene film whose beautiful images, fascinating subjects, and thorough investigation of both immediate and surrounding concepts become overrun by the true-false question — what control Greene wields, where the spontaneous and constructed do or don’t collide. His latest, Bisbee ’17, sometimes plays like a provocation towards those assumptions, heavily relying on the reenactment of a horrific, little-known strike against working-class citizens (as our admiring review handily summarizes), parlaying the filmmaker’s strengths for documentary portrait and narrative whats-it into what may be his densest work to date.

Catching up with Greene a few weeks before Bisbee ’17 opened at Film Forum –where it just began a theatrical run in advance of an ambitious, cross-country tour — I found myself, as usual, in a long, long conversation that easily branched from the work at hand to the conversation that’s surrounded it. In his world,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Power and Perspective in Storytelling: How To Support Each Other, Authentically Represent Characters, and Dismantle The White Power Structure

Discussing the Other, race, and privilege in documentaries is no straightforward task. Who can tell whose story to whom using whose story-telling techniques have been questions since before 1922’s Nanook of the North, and when we toss in why, and whose paying for it, it doesn’t get simpler. At a panel on perspective and point of view in storytelling at Doc NYC Pro, filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña deftly moderated as five award-winning filmmakers who present as non-white grappled with some of the issues around representation, the white gaze, and what we as individuals can do to support each other, act authentically […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Birth, Death, and Dramatization: The Invention of the Modern Documentary

By Jacob Oller

Truth needs a little creativity sometimes. n the early 1920s, director Robert Flaherty decided to film the incredible and different society of Inuits that he’d stumbled upon. He ruined the first draft, then went back and reshot what later became 1922’s Nanook of the North, a feature-length docudrama that became the controversial catalyst for a […]

The article Birth, Death, and Dramatization: The Invention of the Modern Documentary appeared first on Film School Rejects.
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

The Beautiful Lies of Robert J. Flaherty’s "Moana with Sound"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Robert Flaherty's Moana with Sound (1926 / 1980) is playing August 30 - September 29, 2017 on Mubi in most countries around the world.Slowly, slowly, the tufunga taps his comb of bone needles into the young man’s lower back. His movements are practiced and precise, each tap marking the young man for the rest of his days. The young man winces in agony, sweat pouring down his face as his relatives wipe away the blood and excess ink with tapa cloth. A witch-woman stokes a fire and burns candlenut stalks to make more soot for the tufunga’s ink. The infernal tapping continues, now on his upper back, now on his flanks, now on his knees—the most painful part of the ceremony. Outside the hut, a crowd of men dance and sing. “Courage to Moana,” they cry, “Courage to Moana!
See full article at MUBI »

‘Documentary Now!’: The Secrets to Recreating Film History the Right Way

‘Documentary Now!’: The Secrets to Recreating Film History the Right Way
IFC’s “Documentary Now!” has always gone for more than the cheap laugh. While it’s a mockumentary of public-tv programming and the documentaries they feature, the real pleasure lies in watching how it will create homages to great nonfiction filmmaking.

“We really wanted you to be clicking through the channels, landing on our show and thinking that it is a real documentary, and then suddenly say, ‘Hey, hold on for a minute — that’s Fred Armisen, what’s he doing in this documentary?'” said Alexander Buono, the executive producer who has co-directed and served as cinematographer on every episode of the show’s two seasons.

Buono and his fellow co-director, executive producer Rhys Thomas, started their collaboration on “Saturday Night Live” where every week they were charged with creating send-ups of everything from a suspense drama to a pharmaceutical commercial to a music video.

Read More: How ‘The
See full article at Indiewire »

When In Disgrace With Fortune and Men's Eyes: Close-Up on Nicholas Ray's "In a Lonely Place"

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place (1950) is playing June 2 - July 2, 2017 on Mubi in the United Kingdom as part of the series The American Noir.Although mostly remembered now by the public for his 1955 classic Rebel Without a Cause, Nicholas Ray left behind him a legacy of over twenty feature films. A veritable cinematic explorer, Ray traversed genres ranging from noir, western (most notably his 1954 gender-bending cult Trucolor extravaganza Johnny Guitar), melodrama, epic and experimental film. He dared as few would to shoot in remote and forbidding locations such as the Arctic and Everglades National Park. What are Ray’s films about? As in his signature piece Rebel, despite Ray’s wide-ranging endeavors in genre and subject matter we are often met with anti-hero protagonists who struggle and rail against authority while lamenting their meaningless and circumscribed existences.
See full article at MUBI »

Carrie Fisher on Catastrophe: A Recap of Her (Hilarious) Final TV Performance

Carrie Fisher on Catastrophe: A Recap of Her (Hilarious) Final TV Performance
It’s still hard to believe that Carrie Fisher is no longer with us. But at least now, we can finally see the final role the iconic Star Wars actress filmed before her sudden passing last December: her hilarious work as Rob’s prickly mother Mia on Season 3 of Amazon’s Catastrophe.

RelatedFamily Guy Honors Carrie Fisher With Winter Premiere Dedication

Fisher played Mia in all three seasons of the U.K.-based comedy, starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney as a mismatched married couple — she’s Irish, he’s American — raising kids in London. Season 3 debuted on Amazon last Friday,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Icarus Films Releases Two DVDs Looking At The Early Days Of Non-Fiction Cinema

Over the last decade or so, non-fiction and documentary cinema has been the breeding ground for some of cinema’s most interesting films and film-makers. However, for many cinephiles the history of this world of cinema has been vastly undervalued and works vastly underseen. Be it the earliest days of silent cinema to the importance of documentary films in global conflicts, non-fiction directors have crafted some of the greatest and most influential works in all of the art form.

And thankfully two great, if light, histories of some of the great films are finally available on DVD.

From Icarus Films comes the release of three films, across two DVDs, that take a direct look at the early days of documentary cinema, ostensibly from the beginning with films like Nanook Of The North to the work of German propagandists like Leni Riefenstahl and Us news reels which would see names like
See full article at CriterionCast »

Episode 179 – Criterion Collection Wish List for 2017

Episode Links Past Wish List Episodes Episode 63.9 – Disc 3 – Top Criterion Blu-ray Upgrades for 2011 Episode 110 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2012 Episode 136 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2013 Episode 146 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2014 Episode 154 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2015 Episode 169 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2016 DVD to BluRay Wish Lists Aaron: The Shop on Main Street Pickup on South Street Arik: Cleo from 5 to 7 Berlin Alexanderplatz Mark: Taste of Cherry Sisters David: Do the Right Thing Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Ld to Blu-Ray Wish Lists Aaron: Blue Velvet (Announced as Ld Spine #219 but never released) Early Hitchcock Box (Sabotage, The Secret Agent, Young and Innocent, The Lodger, The Man Who Knew Too Much) Arik: A Night at the Opera Singin’ in the Rain Mark: 2001: A Space Odyssey The Producers David: I Am Cuba Letter From an Unknown Woman
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Eagle Huntress: how a Mongolian teenager triumphed over tradition

Otto Bell’s documentary mixes the traditional and modern to thrilling effect

Related: The Eagle Huntress review – Kazakh falconry was never so family-friendly

At first glance, Otto Bell’s The Eagle Huntress looks like one of those archetypal ethnographic documentaries with which Robert Flaherty kicked off the whole history of documentary film-making a century ago. Just like in 1922’s Nanook Of The North, Bell tackles a vanishing way of life – an ancient people in a harsh, unforgiving climate – and one might be forgiven for thinking it celebrates a wilful anachronism as it slides over history’s horizon. But you’d be wrong: there is enough of the new and the now to make this enthralling viewing.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Newswire: R.I.P. Lupita Tovar, Mexican star of Hollywood’s golden age

Lupita Tovar, the 1930s film actress who starred in the acclaimed Spanish-language version of Dracula and the first Mexican talkie, Santa, has died. She was 106.

Born the oldest of nine in a poor and very religious household in a small town in the southernmost part of Mexico, Tovar moved with her family to Mexico City in the later years of the Mexican Revolution. It was there, as a teenager studying dance and gymnastics, that she was discovered by Robert Flaherty, the docu-fiction film pioneer who directed Nanook Of The North and Man Of Aran. At the time, Flaherty was preparing his collaboration with F.W. Murnau, Tabu: A Story of the South Seas, and he wanted Tovar for the lead role. However, after coming to Hollywood, she ended up signing a contract with Fox; Tovar would later claim that this was an attempt by the studio to get back ...
See full article at The AV Club »

‘Moana’ Review: Dazzling Visuals, Dwayne Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda Sustain This Animated Disney Musical

‘Moana’ Review: Dazzling Visuals, Dwayne Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda Sustain This Animated Disney Musical
Disney’s animation roster has a history of playing with culturally insensitive fire, from the “siamese” cats in “Lady and the Tramp” to the savage Middle Eastern stereotypes in “Aladdin.” The same directors of that movie, Ron Clements and John Musker, reteam for “Moana,” the tale of a young Polynesian woman who commands the high seas to save the world. But the movie has two other co-directors, Don Hall and Chris Williams, whose credits include more recent Disney efforts such as “Big Hero 6.” While the quartet of credits may contribute to the movie’s uneven tone, it also suggests a merging of Disney’s past and present.

Visually dazzling and loaded with charm, the movie is also blatant in its quest for cultural sensitivity: It has memorable songs by “Hamilton” phenom Lin-Manuel Miranda and a first-rate mystical soundtrack by Samoan composer Opetaia Tavia Foa’i, in addition to a
See full article at Indiewire »

Sliff 2016: Tribute to King Kong Nov. 6th – Here’s a Retrospective on the 1933 Original

A Tribute to King Kong takes place as part of the The St. Louis International Film Festival Sunday, Nov. 6 beginning at 6:00pm at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium. The first film screened will be the new documentary Long Live The King, which explores the enduring fascination with one of the biggest stars — both literally and figuratively — in Hollywood history: the mighty King Kong. Produced and directed by Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger, the creative team behind the award-winning “Beast Wishes,” the documentary devotes primary attention to the 1933 classic, celebrating the contributions of filmmakers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, stars Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot, writer Edgar Wallace, and especially stop-motion innovator Willis O’Brien. But Kong’s legacy is also fully detailed: the sequel “Son of Kong,” the cinematic kin “Mighty Joe Young,” the Dino DeLaurentis and Peter Jackson remakes, even the Japanese versions by Toho Studios.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Documentary Now’: A Missed Opportunity Reveals The IFC Show’s Biggest Flaw

  • Indiewire
‘Documentary Now’: A Missed Opportunity Reveals The IFC Show’s Biggest Flaw
The most impressive thing about “Documentary Now,” the Bill Hader/Fred Armisen/Seth Meyers collaboration that’s just launched its second season on IFC, is the attention to detail. In creating these stand-alone tributes to iconic docs like “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and “Grey Gardens,” the team prides itself on accuracy beyond compare for all elements of production, even going so far as using 1920s camera lenses for the first season’s “Nanook of the North” homage, or traveling to Tijuana to capture that edgy “Vice” feel.

Read More: ‘Documentary Now!’ Exclusive First Look at ‘Globesman’ & ‘Parker Gail’s’ Posters

That stunning ability to recreate the look and feel of the original documentaries is of course accompanied by jokes. But to some degree, it’s the basic act of recreating the docs with Hader and Armisen in the lead that serves as the primary gag — and it’s now clear
See full article at Indiewire »

Documentary Now! Season 2 Review

Four episodes were provided prior to broadcast.

Returning to IFC this fall is one of the most peculiar, inventive comedies on TV, the veritable documentary spoof factory Documentary Now! Created by SNL MVPs Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and their ever-loving godfather Lorne Michaels, the show found its niche on the “always on, slightly off” cable network by spoofing some of the most popular documentaries of all time, appealing to the indie-minded set while providing enough surface-level humor to appease fans of their famous late-night shenanigans. The show’s first season goofed on classics like The Thin Blue Line, Grey Gardens and Nanook of the North, and now the comedy triumvirate is back with a new lineup of 20-minute spoofs.

The new one-off episodes each have unique charms, from “Globesman,” a take on Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin’s Salesman, to “Bunker,” a timely homage (considering the
See full article at We Got This Covered »

‘Documentary Now!’ Season 2 Trailer: Fred Armisen and Bill Hader Return for More Mockery

‘Documentary Now!’ Season 2 Trailer: Fred Armisen and Bill Hader Return for More Mockery
The funniest fake documentary show on television now has a trailer for its second season.

Read More: ‘Documentary Now!’ Season 2 First Clip: Watch The Twisted & Morbid Spin on ‘The War Room

Season two of IFC’s “Documentary Now!” starring “Saturday Night Live” alums Bill Hader and Fred Armisen will parody films including Albert and David Maysles’s “Salesman,” Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads music documentary “Stop Making Sense,” D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’ presidential election doc “The War Room,” and David Gelb’s “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”

For anyone who hasn’t seen the show, every episode is shot in a unique style of documentary filmmaking to honor “some of the most important stories that didn’t actually happen.” The seven-episode first season earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. The new season will have a total of six episodes.

Season one parodied films including “Grey Gardens,
See full article at Indiewire »
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