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HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


I believe that Schrader's solution is to just let society end if it's ending. I've always liked it because of it's weird, fatalistic tone, it's a hopeless jeremiad.

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magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I didn't really like the second half of either of the docs. They relied too heavily on moment-of-death footage, and not enough reporting about said footage.

PS I like the doc Kumare, but that really has nothing to do with the previous statement.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 16:23 on Apr 29, 2013

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


I dunno what to tell you, I don't like The Killing of America for statistics and sound prescriptions for action.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


One that's probably been mentioned in this thread already but has to do with exposing religious fraud of sorts is Marjoe, a doc made in the 70's (I believe) about a guy who was groomed by his parents to be a religious icon from birth, leading him to become the youngest Baptist pastor in the world with him doing all kinds of weird poo poo like faith healing. At the time of the documentary he had grown out of his religious ways and went along with the doc crew to pretty much expose what a load of rubbish the whole thing is. I thought it was really fascinating and in the end Marjoe turned out to be a pretty cool dude.

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



magnificent7 posted:

Both of those docs really were just masquerading as part of that "Faces Of Death" series from back then. We didn't have the internet, and most people didn't carry around video clips of people getting killed.

I honestly don't think either of those docs were worth a poo poo. They were collected clips, horribly edited, and the gory parts replayed a few extra times so you really got to see it happen. Hell - the very last execution on that Execution doc was IN the one "Faces Of Death" videotape that I did watch.

Both of them posted some stats that were interesting, but then just kind of fell apart after they ran out of instantly available data. Instead of doing any interviews or deeper digging, they just showed more "goddamn that's a guy dying!" clips.

Go watch Kumare again. THAT was a great documentary within a documentary. Shows a pissass film maker who wants to expose gurus, and then wants to show how stupid people are that get into gurus, and yoga, and stuff.

He ends up realizing he's become a major tool sack and has to come clean. I loved it. It was everything I love in a doc - pokes holes in religion, but shows compassion (eventually) for those who believe in it, it shows how people can be led like sheep if they let themselves, and then shows those people how they don't need to be sheep.

drat. I need more coffee.

I want you to know that this is a pretty bad and quite puzzling post.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


penismightier posted:

I want you to know that this is a pretty bad and quite puzzling post.
Yeah. I know. I watched the docs around 2AM last night. Been missing a lot of sleep. So that post is definitely a freestyle thoughtbubble kind of a thing. I could go back and edit it up if you'd like.

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



magnificent7 posted:

Yeah. I know. I watched the docs around 2AM last night. Been missing a lot of sleep. So that post is definitely a freestyle thoughtbubble kind of a thing. I could go back and edit it up if you'd like.

No, just as long as you're aware.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


I almost hesitate to call The Killing of America a documentary because of its editorial but when you consider that's what pretty much every documentary is nowadays, from totally fabricated nonsense like Zeitgeist to whatever that one is that's just an advertisement for juicers, I'd say it's in good company.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

whatever that one is that's just an advertisement for juicers,
Bigger, Stronger, Faster?

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010



Really enjoyed This Film is Not Yet Rated. Really felt like Dick took no prisoners but the MPA did themselves no favors.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


El Gallinero Gros posted:

Really enjoyed This Film is Not Yet Rated.
Yeah it was okay and a pretty interesting exposé about the ratings system, but at the same time I kind of hated the amount of time the doc spent with that weird private detective woman.

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010



I questioned that too but she was interesting so I didn't mind too much. I suspect that her sexuality served as motivation (given the unfair double standards about straight and gay depictions of sexuality in Hollywood) so it sorta served a purpose.

El Gallinero Gros fucked around with this message at 17:43 on Apr 29, 2013

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


Halloween Jack posted:

Bigger, Stronger, Faster?

Very funny.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


El Gallinero Gros posted:

Really enjoyed This Film is Not Yet Rated. Really felt like Dick took no prisoners but the MPA did themselves no favors.
I loved it.

But, like with any great documentary, I always wonder how many things change as a result of documentaries?

Supersize Me for example. I remember hearing that McDonalds changed their practice after the movie came out, so that they'd only supersize the meal if the customer requested it... (but I notice they still offer it).

Can you think of any other significant changes as a result of a documentary? I don't mean a lawsuit settlement, but a complete overhaul of a system? The ratings system for instance - upon watching Not Yet Rated, I was positive the MPAA would overhaul everything they're doing, down to changing the ratings themselves. But nnnnnnope.

Give me some examples. What docs changed a fundamental value or law?

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


Didn't Michael Moore's Sicko get something done about medical insurances or something? It's been years since I saw that but I do distinctly remember him taking sick people to Cuba or something to get medical care.

And on that note Bowling for Columbine got K-Mart to stop selling ammunition.

CMYK BLYAT!
Nov 7, 2011

tolko zhaesh, poshli ikh na X
ne umru ya, moi drug, nikogda!



Stare-Out posted:

Didn't Michael Moore's Sicko get something done about medical insurances or something? It's been years since I saw that but I do distinctly remember him taking sick people to Cuba or something to get medical care.

And on that note Bowling for Columbine got K-Mart to stop selling ammunition.

Yeah, now we have the public optio--oh right.

acephalousuniverse
Nov 3, 2012


magnificent7 posted:

I loved it.

But, like with any great documentary, I always wonder how many things change as a result of documentaries?

Supersize Me for example. I remember hearing that McDonalds changed their practice after the movie came out, so that they'd only supersize the meal if the customer requested it... (but I notice they still offer it).

Can you think of any other significant changes as a result of a documentary? I don't mean a lawsuit settlement, but a complete overhaul of a system? The ratings system for instance - upon watching Not Yet Rated, I was positive the MPAA would overhaul everything they're doing, down to changing the ratings themselves. But nnnnnnope.

Give me some examples. What docs changed a fundamental value or law?

Well the Thin Blue Line actually saved that dude from getting executed for something he didn't do, which is about the biggest effect I think a movie could be expected to have.

And the ratings board actually changed a lot of poo poo after This Film Is Not Yet Rated came out so it's weird that's the one that makes you question whether documentaries actually have any effect. The fact that it didn't like singlehandedly erase the MPAA from existence is maybe a little too much to expect.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


acephalousuniverse posted:

The fact that it didn't like singlehandedly erase the MPAA from existence is maybe a little too much to expect.
Maybe? But when the movie shines a light on just how out of touch they are? I was hoping for a complete re-vamp.

Ropes4u
May 2, 2009



Stare-Out posted:

And on that note Bowling for Columbine got K-Mart to stop selling ammunition.

Nothing that douche bag does is a documentary.

This sums up MM douchabggery nicely.

http://whatculture.com/film/5-reasons-why-bowling-for-columbine-is-not-a-real-documentary.php

Ropes4u fucked around with this message at 23:00 on Apr 29, 2013

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


What's a real documentary? I'm serious. Nearly every single one I can think of has been manipulated to hell.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

What's a real documentary? I'm serious. Nearly every single one I can think of has been manipulated to hell.

The article gives a great shout out:

The Article posted:

Unlike a credible documentary maker like Louis Theroux’s approach which is to observe and ask neutral questions, thus letting the audience make up their own mind about the issue...

http://whatculture.com/film/5-reasons-why-bowling-for-columbine-is-not-a-real-documentary.php

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


I feel like that's a little disingenuous. That's like saying Ali G is pure documentary. Not to dis Theroux but he's definitely got a schtick and he's definitely not some paragon of an objective documentarian.

mod sassinator
Dec 13, 2006

I was living a doritos and mt dew incel life locked in my room. Then covid happened and I could pretend I was some sort of special hero for that. Now I spend all day worrying that could get ruined.I guarantee the post next to this message is me talking in baby talk while hyping up fake doomer news.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

What's a real documentary? I'm serious. Nearly every single one I can think of has been manipulated to hell.

Werner Herzog documentaries are pretty good about not having too much of an agenda in my opinion. I think it's because he's always looking for the weird personal stories happening behind the scenes. For example Into The Abyss covers a pretty political issue without the heavy handedness of Michael Moore-style documentaries. Herzog just focuses on interviewing a man who's about to die, and its effect on him and his family.

mod sassinator fucked around with this message at 02:03 on Apr 30, 2013

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


"Neutrality" is a garbage argument when applied to journalism as a whole. If you are saying it, you are regurgitating it whole and probably haven't thought about it.


mod sassinator posted:

Werner Herzog documentaries are pretty good about not having too much of an agenda in my opinion. I think it's because he's always looking for the weird personal stories happening behind the scenes. For example Into The Abyss covers a pretty political issue without the heavy handedness of Michael Moore-style documentaries. Herzog just focuses on interviewing a man who's about to die, and its effect on him and his family.

Werner Herzog literally thinks the opposite of what you're saying he thinks.

Ropes4u
May 2, 2009



Documentary
adjective
1 : being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing <documentary evidence>

2 : of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : factual, objective <a documentary film of the war>

nocal
Mar 7, 2007


Ropes4u posted:

Documentary
adjective
1 : being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing <documentary evidence>

2 : of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : factual, objective <a documentary film of the war>

I was worried that I was laughing at things that weren't comedies, but I checked the dictionary and I'm safe.

Bowling for Columbine was unfairly attacked because it was big and successful, and some people didn't like its message. What about The Thin Blue Line or Paradise Lost, where the filmmakers make an extremely convincing case for the innocence of someone who was convicted by "documentary" evidence?

fenix down
Jan 12, 2005



Ropes4u posted:

Documentary
adjective
1 : being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing <documentary evidence>

2 : of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : factual, objective <a documentary film of the war>
Copy and paste some more stuff, you'll be sure to win the internet.

rotinaj posted:

The Killing of America is one of those documentaries that came out in the early 80s with a lot of graphic footage of Bad Things Happening. They use the Zapruder film of JFK's assassination, actual footage of the famous "Shooting a dude through the head in Vietnam" picture, footage of all sorts of riots and things...

What the Killing of America is about is that is forwards a thesis that America has become a super-violent nation, since the death of JFK up until the film was released in 1982. It covers riots, suicides, sniper attacks, massacres and weird violent crimes like when a guy took a banker hostage, wired up a shotgun so if it was removed from his grasp, the gun would go off, or if it was removed from being against his hostage's neck, it'd go off.

It was oddly fascinating, but I'm more interested in how the docu showed different crimes not just to shock and gross you out, but to show how America has been getting its crimes and violence more and more publicized. A couple different people who committed these crimes just wanted to be known. So, here's the thing.

Anyone have any other recommendations for documentaries to watch, that maybe show vignettes about crimes and dramatic incidents after '82? I doubt a sequel was made of this particular film, but something in the spirit of it(Bowling for Columbine is close, but not perfect) would be interesting.
Thanks for the link, I also think serial killers are fascinatingly horrifying.

As for recommendations: If a Tree Falls takes a look at eco-terrorism incidents. Invisible War covers rapes in the military. The Corporation and Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room talk about various white-collar crimes. America's Largest Street Gang is a fake doc with a bunch of police brutality clips (it's been awhile but that's what I remember). Taxi to the Dark Side is a carnival of horribleness about the US troops abusing detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq. The House I Live In has something to do with prisons and the war on drugs (I have not seen it yet).

nocal posted:

Bowling for Columbine was unfairly attacked because it was big and successful, and some people didn't like its message. What about The Thin Blue Line or Paradise Lost, where the filmmakers make an extremely convincing case for the innocence of someone who was convicted by "documentary" evidence?
It wasn't unfairly attacked. The film is chock full of faulty argument techniques.

...of SCIENCE!
Apr 26, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 4036 days!


Literally nothing Michael Moore does is noteworthy or unusual as far as documentarians go, he just gets a much larger amount of scrutiny because he's popular and he makes people angry. It's the same reason why people who would yell until they were blue in the face about how it was disrespectful to make fun of George Bush's appearance and voice made non-stop fat jokes about Moore after he made Farenheit 9/11.

magnificent7 posted:

I loved it.

But, like with any great documentary, I always wonder how many things change as a result of documentaries?

Supersize Me for example. I remember hearing that McDonalds changed their practice after the movie came out, so that they'd only supersize the meal if the customer requested it... (but I notice they still offer it).

Can you think of any other significant changes as a result of a documentary? I don't mean a lawsuit settlement, but a complete overhaul of a system? The ratings system for instance - upon watching Not Yet Rated, I was positive the MPAA would overhaul everything they're doing, down to changing the ratings themselves. But nnnnnnope.

Give me some examples. What docs changed a fundamental value or law?

Pedigree Dogs Exposed was directly responsible for a lot of Kennel Club rules being changed, like forbidding euthanizing healthy puppies for not fitting the breed standards and banning father/daughter and mother/son breeding pairs.

rotinaj
Sep 4, 2008





Fun Shoe

Were Sicko and Capitalism: A Love Story worth a watch?

Edit: Are there better documentaries on those topics to watch? I read Too Big to Fail, and that was fascinating.

rotinaj fucked around with this message at 04:17 on Apr 30, 2013

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


mod sassinator posted:

Werner Herzog documentaries are pretty good about not having too much of an agenda in my opinion. I think it's because he's always looking for the weird personal stories happening behind the scenes. For example Into The Abyss covers a pretty political issue without the heavy handedness of Michael Moore-style documentaries. Herzog just focuses on interviewing a man who's about to die, and its effect on him and his family.

I think Herzog is a far better documentarian than Moore as is Theroux but unless you're talking about, I dunno, some thing about following around a family of moose you're not likely to get a neutral perspective on anything.

Diodeous
May 14, 2002



Documentarians should take the approach that many social scientists are taking: don't try to go through all of the fuss of pretending to be neutral or trying to attempt to correct for your bias; be upfront about your views and try to produce work that stands on its own merit and is not unnecessarily distracted by efforts to present objectivity. As consumers we have to accept and digests what we're presented with and then we create our own understanding of the subject material and decide from there. The bias will always be there, regardless of how the film-maker presents the material, so all we can do is hope that the quality of the factual contents outweighs whatever elements of bias are purposely included/excluded. In the case of someone like Theroux, its interesting to watch him struggle with his own thoughts and emotions and to see him try to naively bait his subjects into revealing more, and I have to think that his inability to hide his bias or to try to be objective is what gives color to his interviews

Diodeous fucked around with this message at 05:15 on Apr 30, 2013

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



HUNDU THE BEAST GOD posted:

I think Herzog is a far better documentarian than Moore as is Theroux but unless you're talking about, I dunno, some thing about following around a family of moose you're not likely to get a neutral perspective on anything.

Even then, just by making the moose doc you're probably making some kind of eco-statement.


Documentaries are categorically the least "truthful" genre of filmmaking. They're often the most honest, but they are in and of themselves inherently an act of reductionism and selective point-of-view-generating editing.

Bolek
May 1, 2003



The only documentary argument more stupid and cliched than "objectivity" is inherent truthfulness in verite style docs.

fancyclown
Dec 10, 2012


penismightier posted:

Even then, just by making the moose doc you're probably making some kind of eco-statement.


Documentaries are categorically the least "truthful" genre of filmmaking. They're often the most honest, but they are in and of themselves inherently an act of reductionism and selective point-of-view-generating editing.

Stella Bruzzi posted:

The key issue is that observational cinema has been mis-defined,
and has misdefined itself. Any documentary, including observational ones, testifies to
the absence rather than the presence of purity at its heart. Having presented itself as
the mode most capable of collapsing the difference between image and reality, of
best representing an unadulterated truth, direct cinema suffers particularly
harshly from such a realisation. If one strips the films of the theoretical baggage
they come burdened down by, they offer less stifling, more exciting possibilities.
Salesman and Meet Marlon Brando, or the political films Primary and Crisis, show the
notion of documentary purity to be deeply flawed, but this is not what makes them significant
and interesting. Rather, it is the suggestion that the dynamism of the documentary text is
predicated upon and created by the central dialectical relationship between content or unadulterated
truth and representation, not destroyed by it.

Even a fly-on-the-wall type of documentary like the Maysles brothers Salesman (1968) (which is awesome by the way) creates it's "truth" by editing events sometimes in a non chronological order to make the audience emotionally attached.

Are there any filmmakers today who believes they/try to create pure observational documentaries?

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

fancyclown posted:

Are there any filmmakers today who believes they/try to create pure observational documentaries?
I remember Jesus Camp's directors attempted to frame the documentary as being purely observational but the fact remains that there is always some point of view inherent from what is ultimately shown.

The bottom line is there's far more directing going on in documentaries, even if it is placing subjects in an environment to exaggerate the argument you're making.
For example, get a Wall Street broker to talk about making money whilst standing in a poor neighborhood has a completely different effect than if you kept him in the office saying exactly the same lines.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Probably been recommended before but very powerful, The Celluloid Closet is an adaptation of the Vito Russo book concerning portrayals of gay and lesbian relationships in Hollywood, from the Hays Code to today. It's worth watching just for the more obscure movie clips alone, and uniquely uplifting as far as documentaries go.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


penismightier posted:

Even then, just by making the moose doc you're probably making some kind of eco-statement.

Yes, or what I immediately thought of, something tons of nature docs do - they anthropomorphize the animals.

fancyclown posted:

Even a fly-on-the-wall type of documentary like the Maysles brothers Salesman (1968) (which is awesome by the way) creates it's "truth" by editing events sometimes in a non chronological order to make the audience emotionally attached.

Yeah, exactly. Watch that, and then watch John Landis' Slasher and see how different two takes on basically the same subject can be. The presence of editing alone makes film biased. I don't mean to make a false equivalency where I'm saying flat nonsense like The Man Who Saw Tomorrow/Zeitgeist is at the same level of "truth-telling" (or whatever it may be) as Food, Inc or even a Vice doc. But on that continuum almost no documentaries even approach "objectivity".

exquisite tea posted:

Probably been recommended before but very powerful, The Celluloid Closet is an adaptation of the Vito Russo book concerning portrayals of gay and lesbian relationships in Hollywood, from the Hays Code to today. It's worth watching just for the more obscure movie clips alone, and uniquely uplifting as far as documentaries go.

I love documentaries like this, or stuff like Not Quite Hollywood/Blank City that's just a tour of this whole world you had no idea existed.

Diodeous posted:

Documentarians should take the approach that many social scientists are taking: don't try to go through all of the fuss of pretending to be neutral or trying to attempt to correct for your bias; be upfront about your views and try to produce work that stands on its own merit and is not unnecessarily distracted by efforts to present objectivity. As consumers we have to accept and digests what we're presented with and then we create our own understanding of the subject material and decide from there. The bias will always be there, regardless of how the film-maker presents the material, so all we can do is hope that the quality of the factual contents outweighs whatever elements of bias are purposely included/excluded. In the case of someone like Theroux, its interesting to watch him struggle with his own thoughts and emotions and to see him try to naively bait his subjects into revealing more, and I have to think that his inability to hide his bias or to try to be objective is what gives color to his interviews

Sorry for skipping over this, you basically just said what I am trying to say more plainly and succinctly, so good poo poo.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD fucked around with this message at 14:32 on Apr 30, 2013

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


my posts are lame this week. So. edit. clear. move on.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 18:42 on Apr 30, 2013

papasyhotcakes
Oct 18, 2008


Excuse me, but I was trying to remember the name of a doc someone posted here on the forums a few weeks ago (I think it was here or on the military history thread) which was about the cold war. It featured interviews with both sides of the conflict and it was a series which was available for free on youtube and had a big company attached to it (PBS, BBC, CNN, one of those, but google fails to turn up anything). Does anyone remember it?

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BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

papasyhotcakes posted:

Does anyone remember it?
Possibly Cold War which was commissioned by Ted Turner who hired Jeremy Issacs who did the fantastic World at War series.

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