Tuesday, December 11, 2012

POV blog offers a list of 100 documentary films to see

Now I know what to add to my Netflix queue! I copied this list from the PBS program POV's blog.  They crowd-sourced a list of documentaries from their viewers. Naturally, some readers left their expressions of outrage in the comments, but also included more titles.

I have seen 33 of them (marked with strike-through) and have heard of most of the others. Some I will probably never see (The Cove, no, I can't). There are at least 2 or 3 that I think I might have seen, but I honestly can't actually remember if I just saw a clip in a class (Shoah, Gimme Shelter) or did see them at the PFA  (For the 15 years I lived in Berkeley, I don't think I ever lived more than six blocks from the Pacific Film Archive, where I went instead of watching the TV I did not have: a different double feature almost every night of films new and old, from all over the world).

This list has struck my "completist"  nerve, and I will probably look at the titles with a different sense of motivation the next time I am scrolling through my queue, trying to decide what I feel like watching.

I really want to see the Up series.

The 100 “Greatest” Documentaries

In November 2012, POV asked its viewers, “What do you think are the greatest documentaries of all time?” Viewers were allowed to define “greatest” however they wished, whether that meant the most expertly crafted, influential, illuminating, impactful, form-defining, beloved or simply those that were the most successful at the box office. After 30 days of voting on over 1000 submissions, these 100 came out on top. How many have you seen?
  1. Grey Gardens (1975)
  2. Paris is Burning (1990)
  3. Hoop Dreams (1994)
  4. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
  5. Bowling for Columbine (2002)
  6. Harlan County, USA (1976)
  7. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
  8. Grizzly Man (2005)
  9. Roger & Me (1989)
  10. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
  11. Man on Wire (2008)
  12. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)
  13. The Up Series (1964-)
  14. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
  15. Crumb (1994)
  16. Jesus Camp (2006)
  17. Food, Inc. (2008)
  18. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)
  19. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
  20. Salesman (1968)
  21. Man With a Movie Camera (1929)
  22. Super Size Me (2004)
  23. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
  24. Woodstock (1970)
  25. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
  26. American Movie (1999)
  27. Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard) (1955)
  28. The Civil War (1990)
  29. March of the Penguins (2005)
  30. Titicut Follies (1967)
  31. Sherman’s March (1986)
  32. Planet Earth (2006)
  33. Eyes on the Prize (1987)
  34. Religulous (2008)
  35. The Last Waltz (1978)
  36. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
  37. Spellbound (2002)
  38. Born into Brothels (2004)
  39. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)
  40. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991)
  41. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
  42. The Cove (2009)
  43. Nanook of the North (1922)
  44. The Corporation (2003)
  45. The Celluloid Closet (1995)
  46. Buena Vista Social Club (1998)
  47. Sicko (2007)
  48. Waltz with Bashir (2008)
  49. Gimme Shelter (1970)
  50. Stop Making Sense (1984)
  51. Shoah (1985)
  52. When We Were Kings (1996)
  53. Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)
  54. Inside Job (2010)
  55. Hearts and Minds (1974)
  56. Murderball
  57. The Gleaners & I (2000)
  58. Restrepo (2010)
  59. Bill Cunningham New York (2010)
  60. Sans Soleil (Sunless) (1983)
  61. Dont Look Back (1967)
  62. Touching the Void (2003)
  63. Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone (2010)
  64. Baraka (1992)
  65. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)
  66. Tongues Untied (1989)
  67. Brother’s Keeper (1992)
  68. High School (1968)
  69. F for Fake (1973)
  70. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
  71. Dark Days (2000)
  72. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
  73. Cosmos (1980)
  74. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
  75. Helvetica (2007)
  76. Why We Fight (2005)
  77. Winged Migration (2002)
  78. The Aristocrats (2005)
  79. Last Train Home (2009)
  80. The Atomic Cafe (1982)
  81. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
  82. Wordplay (2006)
  83. Burden of Dreams (1982)
  84. Monterey Pop (1968)
  85. The Battle of Chile (1975-1979)
  86. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003)
  87. Gasland (2010)
  88. The Interrupters (2011)
  89. Catfish (2010)
  90. The Endless Summer (1966)
  91. Marwencol (2010)
  92. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (2011)
  93. Triumph of the Will (1934)
  94. King Corn (2007)
  95. Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
  96. No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005)
  97. Sweetgrass (2009)
  98. The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)
  99. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
  100. Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (1997)

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