Recommend me a documentary! (Please, 1 per person)

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#1 Edited by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

I saw a weird documentary yesterday called Tickled. It starts off looking at the world of professional tickling competitions but quickly turns into something else. It's actually not a well made doc in terms of production but the strangeness and darkness of it kept me watching from start to finish.

Anyway, now I wanna check out more docs. I'm not that well versed in the genre but I'm very open to any subject matter. I've seen the zeitgeist-y ones like Making a Murderer, The Jinx, and O.J.: Made in America. I've seen the super acclaimed ones like The Act of Killing and Look of Silence and probably most of the ones that got some mainstream attention over the years like Bowling for Columbine, March of the Penguins, Super Size Me, Deliver Us from Evil, An Inconvenient Truth, Waltz with Bashir, Dear Zachary, Room 237...there must be plenty more.

I've seen (relatively) older ones like The Thin Blue Line, Koyaanisqatsi, F for Fake, and Hoop Dreams.

I've seen wrestling docs like Beyond the Mat and GLOW.

Finally, yup, I've seen Indie Game: The Movie.

Also, I want to get into Werner Herzog docs but it's like a mile long and I kinda want to start from some of his earlier work. Does anyone know a good one to start with?

Again, please just one suggestion per person. Movies are preferred though I am eyeing The Keepers... Did anybody see that doc series or watching it atm? You have any thoughts?

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#2 Posted by csl316 (14981 posts) -

Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Dude loves his sushi.

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#3 Edited by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

@csl316: I liked it. Having lived in Japan as a kid, it's very...what's the word...pedestrian? I can see why it got some exposure in the States but watching it, I could easily tell it was made by a foreigner. It's like a TV program you'd see in Japan if you turned on any random channel. Not hating on it, I certainly enjoyed it but it's like if I went to Spain and made a doc about some part of their culture and had a Spanish person watch it, I don't think I'd blow any of their minds or tell them anything they have't heard a million times.

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#4 Edited by Mike (17998 posts) -

Moving to Off Topic, General is for stuff about games and the site only. Thanks.

Also if you don't mind something longer, check out Long Way Round.

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#5 Posted by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

@mike: Ops, I thought it was off-topic, my mistake. I've actually been eyeing this for years but never pulled the trigger. I get kinda skittish about the stuff entertainers branch out and make, especially when I really like their main work.

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#6 Edited by rentfn (1409 posts) -
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#7 Edited by locovoco (59 posts) -

I would recommend The Barkley Marathons. It doesn't have a darker, broody feel like many of the ones you reference, but I really enjoyed its off-beat sense of fun.

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#8 Posted by xanadu (2046 posts) -

If you've never seen King of Kong id highly recommend that

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#9 Posted by deactivated-5a923fc7099e3 (534 posts) -

Grizzly Man.

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#10 Posted by deactivated-5a48049f850e3 (80 posts) -
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#11 Posted by alwaysbebombing (2713 posts) -

It's a little older but this documentary about the Red Fox in English suburbs is interesting

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#12 Posted by OldGuy (1687 posts) -

Burden of Dreams (then watch Fitzcarraldo).

Lost in La Manchu.

Gimme Shelter.

Grey Gardens.

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#14 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

Bigger Stronger Faster

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#15 Edited by clagnaught (2136 posts) -

The best documentary I have ever seen, Hoop Dreams, you already listed.

How To Die In Oregon is a damn good documentary. It's incredibly sad and depressing...but still really good.

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#16 Posted by BeachThunder (15158 posts) -

Jesus Camp...

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#17 Edited by Slaps2 (638 posts) -

A movie I've watched more than enough times is "Control Room". I cannot recommend it enough. I would suggest watching it without reading anything about it and then googling the career path of Joshua Rushing. Seriously OP. Check that one out.

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#18 Posted by dgtlty (1236 posts) -

Check out docos by James Marsh. Man on Wire is his best. An incredibly well-made film that tells the story of Philipe Petit, a tightrope walker who gathered a team of friends to help him sneak through security at the World Trade Center and achieve his dream of walking between the twin towers - which he did. It's insane and extraordinary.

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#19 Posted by Slaps2 (638 posts) -

@dgtlty said:

Check out docos by James Marsh. Man on Wire is his best. An incredibly well-made film that tells the story of Philipe Petit, a tightrope walker who gathered a team of friends to help him sneak through security at the World Trade Center and achieve his dream of walking between the twin towers - which he did. It's insane and extraordinary.

+1

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#20 Posted by Rayeth (1204 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Dude loves his sushi.

This one is honestly an amazing film. Love it.

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#21 Posted by TopCat88 (378 posts) -

I watched Tim's Vermeer recently and although it's sounds dull at first, it really isn't. If you have an interest in art, science or obsession you'll find something here for you. Also it's made by Penn and Teller, the magicians. Although it's done straight, it's not a trick or a joke.

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#22 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (2520 posts) -

Fan of baseball?

Then I recommend No No. It is the story of Pirates pitch Dock Ellis, the man who famously pitched a no-hitter while high on LSD.

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#23 Posted by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

@slaps2: Oh I've seen that one but wouldn't mind seeing it again.

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#25 Posted by shorap (431 posts) -

It's a bit old but back in 2002 the documentary, "Chiefs" came out that covered the Wyoming Indian basketball team and a bit of life on the rez here. Funny tidbit if you watch, one of the assistant coach's nieces who is briefly shown in the doc is Tahnee Robinson, who about ten years later, would become the first indigenous player ever to play in the WNBA.

Last I knew, Netflix still was streaming it.

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#26 Posted by Slaps2 (638 posts) -

@slaps2: Oh I've seen that one but wouldn't mind seeing it again.

Do you know where Rushing's career path landed him?

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#27 Posted by Vamino (286 posts) -
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#28 Edited by pyromagnestir (4505 posts) -

Touching the Void, a couple mountain climbers try to go up a mountain and one of them breaks his leg real bad and they have to make it back down. I thought it was pretty darn great.

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#29 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (1088 posts) -

Multiple good ones in this thread.

I'd go with Night and Fog (imdb link) which a little bit more experimental than your typical documentary without being too over the top.

I could go for a while I'll abide by the rules.

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#30 Edited by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

@slaps2: No idea. Is that someone in the film? lol Sorry, I saw it over a decade ago.

@vamino: Isn't that the one Jeff is in?

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#31 Edited by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

@fear_the_booboo: I appreciate a shorty. Also, I remember you and a friend recommended I see Stranger by the Lake. That was a good one.

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#32 Posted by Ringedwithtile (100 posts) -

West of the Tracks

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#33 Posted by Brackstone (925 posts) -

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.

This documentary is great because it really goes in depth on how scummy the church of scientology is, but it also does a good job at presenting why the religion can be appealing outside of the intergalactic ghosts and space stations. Real, intelligent people have joined scientology, and the film never really admonishes those people, it's very focused on the manipulative leaders and administration. If you liked Tickled, I think this one might be up your alley as well. It has a similar dark peculiarity.

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#34 Edited by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

Hot Girls Wanted. Doc about the harsh realities a lot of women go through when trying to get into the porn industry and why they would even want to do it in the first place. To those who it may concern, there's actually not any "porn" in it. There's some moans, I think some blurred out scenes, and close-ups on some faces during scenes, but none of it lasts for more than a few seconds is usually there serve the purpose of accenting an accompanying scene e.g. "I was so miserable today" and here's a quick shot of her face during a scene. Other than that, there may be some boobs here and there, but nothing too crazy. Point is it's no worse than anything you'd see in something like GTA.

It's not the best documentary in the world (arguably, a very superficial look at the industry and one that focuses on almost nothing but the ones who failed to make it), but I still found large chunks of it to be genuinely fascinating.

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#35 Posted by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

@brackstone: I thought it was ok. Having seen other pieces on Scientology here and there, I felt most of it was treading water. Something about Scientology docs that always leaves me unsatisfied.

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#36 Edited by liquiddragon (3468 posts) -

@babychoochoo: I actually saw this one and it's a really badly produced doc but it captures these girls in a real way that resonated with me. Definitely has stuck with me to this day. I saw the first 2 eps of the new series based on it and it's way better produced but didn't grab me like the original doc.

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#37 Posted by whitegreyblack (1967 posts) -

Under the Sun (on Netflix in my region, last I checked) is an incredible behind the scenes view into the North Korean propaganda machine.

The filmmaker was given a script and handlers/overseers but managed to keep filming between the shots of the propaganda narrative to capture the real happenings behind the scripted "ordinary family" film he was supposed to be making.

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#38 Edited by Christoffer (2376 posts) -

I've been thinking about The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (2011) again lately. It's a very sad and tragic story about a housing project that began in 1950's Saint Louis. I can't remember if it was a great documentary, it could be a bit dry, but the lessons it's trying to teach and the personal stories in it has stuck with me for some reason. So I guess that's my recommendation.

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#39 Posted by Monkeyman04 (2799 posts) -
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#40 Posted by StrikeALight (1270 posts) -

The Art of Killing

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#41 Edited by Monkeyman04 (2799 posts) -

@strikealight: To quote the OP "I've seen the super acclaimed ones like The Act of Killing and..."

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#42 Posted by Colonel_Pockets (1315 posts) -

You Don't Know Bo

It's an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Bo Jackson. It's damn good.

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#43 Posted by SeriuzBiznus (163 posts) -

Icarus is released on Netflix this Friday. It started off as a documentary about general doping in sports but it spirals into a crazy deep dive on the Russian doping scandal. I obviously haven't seen it yet as it's not yet released, but it looks really interesting from the trailer.

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#44 Edited by Carryboy (1098 posts) -

Precinct Seven Five

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#45 Posted by dudeglove (13768 posts) -

The Werner Herzog film you want to start with is Grizzly Man. I think it's even on YouTube.

And really? Nothing by Adam Curtis?

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#46 Posted by glots (4367 posts) -

What We Do In The Shadows...fine, it's a mockumentary, but still!

As for real docs, An Honest Liar was a fun one about the magician James Randi exposing con-artists and the likes.

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#47 Posted by Blackout62 (2194 posts) -

I'm gonna say Senna with the added detail that it was recommended by Drew Scanlon many Bombcasts ago.

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#48 Posted by Bones8677 (3535 posts) -

If you're a lover of art and World War 2, then I highly recommend The Rape of Europa. A doc about how the Nazis were also the biggest thieves of fine art in the world.

I also recommend The Square, about the Egyptian Revolution from a few years back. Truly inspiring and heart breaking.

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#49 Edited by Goboard (293 posts) -

Cave of Forgotten Dreams - Werner Herzog.

It's about the paleolithic cave paintings in Chauvet Cave and a rare and beautiful glimpse into some of the oldest and seldom seen works of art.

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#50 Posted by hippie_genocide (2443 posts) -

Have you seen Blackfish? It's a documentary about killer whales in captivity and examines the practices of animal parks like Sea World.