I’m not a very big fan of horror, but I do enjoy a mockumentary, especially a comedic one, and horror is a genre that’s always ripe to be mocked.
I hadn’t heard of this movie before the part of the internet that works in mysterious ways (okay, the mysterious ways governed by data and math) brought it to the surface. It’s a pretty simple premise, as a serial killer to be invites a documentary team to follow him as he plans his blaze of glory, and instead of calling the police or anything, they go get their killer story.
I wouldn’t have thought that surfing would make an interesting topic for a documentary until I saw that this existed. Maybe that’s one of the functions of good documentary film, to highlight things about the world you wouldn’t have thought you’d be interested to learn about. Apparently the director made a series of several surfing docs over ten years, which seems a bit much, but this seems to be considered the best.
I’m hoping to see 95 minutes painting the picture on the poster, living in the world of the 60s surfing scene and memorializing how great it was.
I’ve probably been aware of this movie since shortly after it came out. I remember for years seeing it on the shelf at the library, picking it up, and putting it down again. It always looked like something I should be interested in, but it never grabbed me. It’s about a dog show. It’s a mockumentary. It’s by Christopher Guest. And none of that ever really put it over the edge for me, until now.
For an improvisational mockumentary with a huge cast, the only thing I know to expect is that I can’t predict anything.
This just came up in my digital recommendations a few weeks ago. I thought at first it was a documentary because the promotional images really don’t do much to convey that this is a scripted comedy, instead really getting into the cold war aesthetic.
So basically an Australian woman raises Josef Stalin’s love child in the true Party way, and somehow this leads to political disaster in the modern day. My first thought is that it’s another Australian comedy inserting Australians into places in history where they were not (an interesting apparent trend that may not exist outside these two movies, and I could do with more stories of real Australian history), but I’m really looking forward to the journey getting there, especially with a cast of familiar names, some of which I can actually place.
For years, Terry Gilliam has wanted to make a Don Quixote movie. And for decades, it’s been in development hell. Except once, it actually went into production. And never came out. This is the story of Terry Gilliam’s impossible dream.
I always thought Gilliam made this documentary himself when production fell apart, but it’s attributed to a couple of other directors. Makes sense, I guess. He’s too busy making weird movies (or at least trying) to make a documentary.
Apparently the title for Gilliam’s movie is The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. I always thought it was going to just be Cervantes’s story with a Gilliam bent, but that title sounds like he intended to at least tell a new frame story. I am unfortunately not familiar enough with Quixote to know how the original story ends, but I expect it’s a classical tragedy. So it might yet not be an original story on Gilliam’s part.
This is one of those movies I’ve heard the title bandied about and little else. Perhaps the phrase predated the movie, since I’ve always known it as an idiom rather than a title.
Unfortunately, that gives me very little to go on for comment in this section. It apparently has an incredibly positive reputation, but yet I only came across it by specifically researching documentaries to consider for this month. I know it follows two inner city kids who are trying to get basketball scholarships to lift them out of where they are. Do they compete, or simply run parallel? I couldn’t say. There must be plenty of athletic scholarships out there, but they might be both scouted by one school for one spot. I can see the potential for a powerful portrait of their lives and potential, but I couldn’t guess at much more.
Unrelatedly, anyone who wishes to can now support this blog on Patreon. I promise not to have obtrusive reminders about it, whether it works out or not.
I understand that this has reenactments. Originally, I was thinking of the technique of historical documentaries putting actors in appropriate dress and marching across a battlefield, sitting at a desk writing, or talking in a group, basically silent illustrations for a narration to play over. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s more like a traditional dramatization, just mixed in with the documentary.
I find the idea of the latter an interesting mix, but kind of disappointing to think that half of my doc selections are more fabricated than a documentary should be.