Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Lately I've been really into watching documentaries. I felt like I was getting into some little-known subculture and first, got scared that I was getting too hip for my own good. But then second, the very same day that I realized I was getting into documentaries, Joanna at A Cup of Jo made a post about her favourite docs. And I realized if one of the most popular blogs on the internet discusses docs and then garners 224 comments of documentary recommendations...I'm not suddenly privy into some super secret underground club. In fact, I'm pretty much boarding the trendy train as it happens.
But I don't care, because holy shit this new interest has opened up so many freakin' frakkin' windows! Or DVD boxes, in this case. I read through most of the comments on Joanna's post so I could get some recommendations as to what to watch...let's just say, it's going to take me a little time to get through 120 documentaries.
The ones pictured at the top of the post are the ones I've watched in the past week, and I decided to do short 1-line reviews of each. I've also linked each title to its respective trailer, if you wish to find out more.
No Impact Man: Despite the fact I am most definitely not on the forefront of green, sustained living, this one definitely made me consider my own life as I was completely entertained by this family and their dynamic. Recommended.
Frontrunners: Following the high school student elections at the most prestigious public high school of New York City, I was surprisingly drawn into each of the featured kids and who they turned out to be--and I actually found I was eager to know who would win! (Which is strange, since I didn't even care about my own high school's student elections.)
Mad Hot Ballroom: The cutest, most adorable children ever, ballroom dancing through school programs at the ripe age of 11 and 12 working towards a trophy from the city-wide school ballroom competition; I really don't think you could find the most open, eager and honest subjects anywhere else, and I loved watching them all interact (tell me, would you have wanted to hold the waist/hand of a boy/girl when you were 11?). Highly, highly recommended.
Radiant City: Perhaps it's because I myself currently live in the suburbs, I found this documentary about suburban life and the culture it creates to be extremely skewed and not at all fair; even the "twist" towards the end, while interesting, did not win me over in the least--in fact, it made me like it even less. (I did, however, love the boy in it.)
Spellbound: There's nothing I could really say about this film to properly express how amazing it is; highlighting seven regular kid's lives who participate in the National Spelling Bee, you would never think words and spelling could become such a lesson and moral theme to a life. Could not recommend more.
Helvetica: Though I'm not sure people who aren't typography/graphic design nuts will enjoy this, I found it incredibly interesting and really made me want to notice the things around me more. Recommended for the artist in all of us.
I'm looking forward to watching more, and this may become something of a recurring thing if my interest stays. Anyone else really like documentaries? I'm open for suggestions!