Documentaries

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by phas3, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. phas3 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I would like to compile a list of documentaries to put on to my "to-watch list". I don't have a specific category or preference so whatever is a good watch, please post. Recent documentary that I watched was "Inside Job" talks about how we ended up in this financial turmoil, amazing documentary.
     
  2. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Louis Theroux does some fantastic documentaries for the BBC.
     
  3. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #3
    Planet Earth (2006) IMO best wildlife documentary ever.
    The World At War (1973) IMO best WWII documentary ever.

    As above, Louis Theroux is very entertaining and thought provoking,
     
  4. Thetonyk123 macrumors 68000

    Thetonyk123

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    Planet Earth was amazing! I got the whole set to.
     
  5. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I loved planet earth, there where two versions of it one by Discovery and one by BBC. I preffered the BBC version better.

    ----------

    I also found John Adams intriguing however it was a mini-series rather than a documentary but supposedly was down to a T.
     
  6. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #6
    Louis Theroux (The Collection is the best place to start).
    Carl Sagan's Cosmos.
    Planet Earth, Blue Earth.

    Dark Days. But that's a documentary film.
     
  7. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #7
    I find BBC documentaries are amongst the best. As the BBC is funded by tax payers they don't have to worry about just appealing to large audiences. In fact they are required to make niche programmes, I remember watching a 3 part documentary a few years ago on thermodynamics!

    I find documentaries on other channels (and from other countries) tend to dumb down a lot to have mass appeal. Plus, unlike the BBC, they have adverts so something like a wildlife documentary has to have a dramatic voiceover with dramatic footage of some animal being killed to keep your attention for those 3 minute ad breaks!
     
  8. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I'm full of questions today: Do you guys think documentaries are better than books? Or are the two at different points of the spectrum?
     
  9. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #10
    Attenborough, Dark Days, Into Eternity, even the regular stories such as Touching the Void are just full of visual inspirational... (for me).
     
  10. phySi0 macrumors member

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    #11
    Planet Dinosaur
    Walking With... series

    Supersize Me
    Hackers: Wizards of the Computer Age
     
  11. cwerdna macrumors 6502

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    #12
  12. leitmotif macrumors regular

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    #13
    I like more biographical documentaries with the doc subject actually in them. I recently watched Candyman: The Dave Klein Story about the guy who invented Jelly Belly.

    I also really liked King Corn about corn production and sales in America.

    Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was pretty good.

    There is one called Overnight. It is about Troy Duffy who made the Boondock Saints and his sort of overnight success as it was happening.

    I don't like their music but Talahina Sky about Kings of Leon was pretty good and has a ton of footage from their early days.

    King of Kong is about the world record for Donkey Kong and how this guy from Washington beat a 25 year old record for high score.

    The Wild and Wonderful Whites is about a crazy family from West Virginia. It was produced by the same people as Jackass.

    Brother's Keeper is from the early 90's iirc and is about some inbred metally challenged brothers and the trial for the murder of one of them.
    This acclaimed documentary from filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky explores the odd world of the four elderly Ward brothers -- illiterate farmers who have lived their entire lives in a dilapidated two-room shack.

    GasLand - In this Oscar-nominated documentary, director Josh Fox journeys across America to examine the negative effects of natural-gas drilling, from poisoned water sources to kitchen sinks that burst into flame to unhealthy animals and people. Is natural gas a viable alternative to the country's dwindling energy resources, or do the potential harmful consequences outweigh the positives? Fox's film raises these and many more probing questions.

    Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
    Based on the book of the same name by Peter Elkin, director Alex Gibney's documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the powerful energy company whose downfall forever changed the landscape of the business world. With a blend of fascinating footage, fast-paced interviews and a wealth of information, this film is a serious lesson in the potential trappings of dishonesty and unethical behavior dogging corporate America.

    Just a few of the one's I like
     
  13. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #14
    Some of the BBC stuff is superlative: All of the stuff by David Attenborough (Planet Earth etc) is outstanding, as has already been noted by several posters; Carl Sagan's excellent series "Cosmos"- is still well worth watching; Jacob Bronowski's sublime series from the 1970s, "Ascent of Man", and Kenneth Clark's history of (western) civilisation called, not surprisingly, "Civilisation", both show their age a bit but are still very, very good. "The World at War" is excellent.

    Personally, I really like the 'Cinema Verité' style of documentary: Claude Lanzmann with "Shoah" and Marcel Ophuls (who did an excellent documentary on Klaus Barbie) have both done stunning documentaries on the Halocaust and related matters.

    More recently, the BBC did an excellent series "The Fall of Yugoslavia" and another very good series on the Gorbachev years in the USSR (which was broadcast just before the attempted coup in 1991).

    No, I don't think documentaries are better than books, and neither are books better than documentaries; indeed, I see no reason to exclude one at the expense of the other. Each can do what it does very well, and they each have different strengths and weaknesses. In their respective worlds, each can do an excellent job of exploring a topic, and I readily use (or read/watch) both.
     
  14. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #15
    I enjoyed BBC's Life, Life in Cold Blood, Planet Earth. They also have a bunch of other smaller series that are interesting as well... you pretty much can't go wrong with BBC documentaries.

    The book is better.
     
  15. acidfast7 macrumors 65816

    acidfast7

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    #17
    The Death of Yugoslavia...

    highly recommended.
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    I stand corrected; it is a decade and a half since I watched the programme on BBC, but I recall that it was excellent.
     
  17. acidfast7 macrumors 65816

    acidfast7

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    #19
    It's also still pertinent today, moreso than ever. BTW, I wasn't trying to correct you, just to direct him to the correct torrent (I don't get BBC, unfortunately.)
     
  18. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #20
  19. ender land macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Planet Earth was probably the best TV series I ever watched.

    Whenever (if?) I get a blu-ray player I am most definitely getting Planet Earth.
     
  20. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

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    #22
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Gasland
    Inside Job
    Restrepo
    Fahrenheit 911
    Sicko
    Capitalism: A Love Story
    Bowling for Columbine
    Food Inc.
    Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
    Super Size Me
    An Inconvenient Truth
    King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
    Man on Wire
     
  21. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23

    Thanks for this i've watched maybe 3 on this list but I've watched the trailers for most and they are all good! Man on Wire, I like that one the most :)
     
  22. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #25
    If you liked Inside Job, I highly recommend The Corporation. Fantastic film.

    I remember seeing part of Why We Fight and being impressed. It's available online for free, so I plan to finish watching it. It's all about the US military complex over the last 50 years.

    The Commanding Heights is a fantastic multi-part PBS documentary based on an equally fantastic book. If you're into economics and financial systems, it's a must-see.
     

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