Best Documentary Movies of 1962
Prelude: Dog Star Man
A creation myth realized in light, patterns, images superimposed, rapid cutting, and silence. A black screen, then streaks of light, then an explosion of color and squiggles and happenstance. Next, images of small circles emerge then of the Sun. Images of our Earth appear, woods, a part of a body, a nude woman perhaps giving birth. Imagery evokes movement across time.
Dog Star Man: Part I
From a murky landscape, a wooded mountain emerges. We watch the sun. We see a bearded man climbing up the mountain through the snow. He carries an ax, and he's accompanied by a dog. His labors continue. There is no soundtrack. Images rush past - water, trees, and surfaces too close up to distinguish. He struggles. A fire burns. Nature, in long shots and magnified, is formidable and silent. It's tough going; he carries on. In a capillary, blood flows.
Elgar: Portrait of a Composer
A partly dramatised account of the life of Sir Edward Elgar classical composer. Huw Wheldon narrates the life story over backdrops of beautiful mountain scenery, especially memorable is the image of young Elgar riding his horse around Malvern Hills.
Documentary focusing on 25 year-old actress Jane Fonda as she and her director Andreas Voutsinas prepare a stage play called The Fun Couple for Broadway.
Discovered in summer of 1985, of a set of “haiku-imagistic films” I did before coming to my characteristic style, as in Ray Gun Virus; I thought I’d destroyed all these pre-pure films, in about 1969-1970, the time of my separation from my first marriage. The film concerns my marriage, which lasted seven years; it was shot during its first year, when I was a painting student at the University of Denver. It is full of apprehensions, in a montage style which counterposes “opposites”: sexuality and religion; seasonal opposites; hopefulness undercut by fears of eventual separation (the image of a statue of two women, arm in arm, reading a book). I find it visually and kinetically interesting, after all these years. (Paul Sharits) —Canyon Cinema
Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy
Hilarious scenes from his silent and sound films as compiled and produced by Harold Lloyd himself.
Government propaganda film about the erection of the Berlin Wall. From the holdings of the National Archives. (archive.org)
Visit to a Foreign Country
They come in high-powered convertibles, with cameras and curiosity, to look at French Canada and French-Canadians. Their usual objective is Québec City, where they can soak up a bit of French culture without a trip to France. With an eye for humour, VISIT TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY shows the people of Québec taking a look at American tourists who have come to Québec to take a look at them.
Black Fox: The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler
The rise and fall of Nazi Germany in part through the use of classical allegory.
Day After Day
A film that looks at life in a small paper-mill town in Québec where most of the 6,500 inhabitants derive their livelihood from the one industry. Day after day, the same work, the same hours, the same machines, the same product, until the entire routine of living becomes but a reflection of the dominant routine of the mill.