Here are all our reviews of documentary films.

Post Tagged with: "Documentary Reviews"

Gimme Danger movie poster

Gimme Danger

in American Documentaries

Knowing how cool his movie soundtracks are, it’s not really surprising to see Jim Jarmush (Dawn by Law, Broken Flowers) devoting a documentary to one of the most iconic rock bands, The Stooges (see pictures of Iggy and the Stooges here).  Intertwining archive footage with a long interview with singer Iggy Pop – who also starred in Mr. Jarmush’s  most […]

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Salero documentary poster

Salero

in Bolivian Documentaries

A vast, white salt flat that can be seen from space, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is one of the rare places that had been left untouched by modern civilization, until now. Through the portrait of one of the last saleros (salt gatherers), first time director Mike Plunkett documents the sudden, inexorable modernization of the area, capturing a world in transition. […]

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Daft Punk Unchained poster

Daft Punk Unchained

in French Documentaries

Back in 97, I remember being at the Borealis festival in Montpellier, France, and being blown away by two scruffy guys’ infectious set, some of the highlights including their noisy “Rollin’ and Sctachin’”, the muscular ”Da Funk” and their freshly baked hit “Around the World”.  Almost 20 years later the two young men have mutated into shiny robots, conquered the […]

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Electric Boogaloo

Electric Boogaloo

in American Documentaries

For those of us who grew up in the 80’s, Cannon Films were synonyms for an aging Charles Bronson blowing up dozens of punks in some desolated neighborhood or the almighty Chuck Norris shooting his way through the jungle. There is however much more to the – colorful – story of The Cannon Group, which is what this unofficial documentary […]

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Los Angeles Plays Itself

Los Angeles Plays Itself

in American Documentaries

Dating back to 2003, this somewhat confidential documentary had gained an almost cult status among Los Angeles cinephiles before finally getting a proper release on Blu-Ray, DVD and streaming. A labor of love written and directed by local film scholar Thom Andersen, Los Angeles Plays Itself documents LAs’ onscreen incarnations, from the early days to modern cinema. The film provides […]

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Purgatorio

Purgatorio

in Mexican Documentaries

One thing you should know before watching Rodrigo Reyes’ documentary is that it isn’t an objective work. Rather this is a meditative piece designed to make us experience the filmmaker’s personal feelings about the Mexican border. Purgatorio follows the filmmaker as he ventures along the border, from Tijuana to Juarez, meeting various figures from both sides of the fence. While […]

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The Great Museum

The Great Museum

in Austrian documentaries

The great museum mentioned in the title of this film is Vienna’s renowned Kunsthistorisches museum, which features several world-class masterpieces by Finish, German and international masters such as Johannes Vermeer, Pieter Bruegel (his Tower of Babel is seen prominently here and used as a metaphor for the complex museum) as well as gold artifacts, armors, musical instruments and more. Growing […]

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The Missing Picture

The Missing Picture

in Cambodian Documentaries

In this striking and haunting documentary, Cambodian director Rithy Panh uses clay figures and archival footage to recount his experience as a survivor of Pol Pot’s labor camp. Starting with happy images of family gatherings and busy city streets, the film quickly takes a darker turn as the Khmer Rouge takes control of the country, executing opponents, artists and sending […]

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Manakanama

Manakanama

in American Documentaries

If you consider watching Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez’s documentary Manakarama, you should be warned that this meditative, naturalistic piece is as minimalist as it can be:  The filmmakers just placed their camera in a cable car heading to the Manakamana temple in Nepal and observed silently the occupants whether they go up or down the hill. The film is, […]

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Casting By

Casting By

in American Documentaries

As its title suggests, this documentary by Tom Donahue pays tribute to casting directors, one of the most underrated professions in the movie industry. The film principally focuses on Marion Dougherty, a pioneer in that field. Starting her career in New York working for T.V. series, she then moved to Hollywood, changing forever the way movies were casted. She became […]

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The Woman and the Passenger

The Woman and the Passenger

in Chilean Documentaries

A documentary from Chile, The Woman and the Passenger gives us a candid look at sex and love through the eyes of a group of maids working in a Santiago sex hotel. Directed by two women, Valentina Mac-Pherson and Patricia Correa, this is a lighthearted, allegoric work that avoids being voyeuristic despite its somewhat provocative setting. After having themselves worked a […]

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La Camioneta

La Camioneta

in Mexican Documentaries

Mark Kendall’s La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus shows the journey of a school bus, from being sold at an auction in Pennsylvania to enjoying its new colorful life as public transportation in rural Guatemala. What’s interesting here is that we get to follow the bus through each of the steps that will bring it closer to […]

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Vampira And Me

Vampira And Me

in American Documentaries

With her long figure, dark hair and black dress, Vampira is probably the original Goth icon, having established this trademark look years before Siouxsie Sioux emerged from the punk scene. The creator of a pioneering late-night Horror show, she is probably better known these days for her role in Ed Wood’s “masterwork”, Plan 9 From Outer Space. Originally discovered in […]

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