Best Documentary Movies of 1967
Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back
In this wildly entertaining vision of one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists, Bob Dylan is surrounded by teen fans, gets into heated philosophical jousts with journalists, and kicks back with fellow musicians Joan Baez, Donovan, and Alan Price.
The film is a stark and graphic portrayal of the conditions that existed at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Massachusetts. TITICUT FOLLIES documents the various ways the inmates are treated by the guards, social workers and psychiatrists.
The Things I Cannot Change
"This feature documentary is considered to be the forerunner of the NFB's Challenge for Change Program. The film offers in inside look at 3 weeks in the life of the Bailey family. Trouble with the police, begging for stale bread, and the birth of another child are just some of the issues they face. Through it all, the father tries to explain his family's predicament. Although filmed in Montreal, the film offers an anatomy of poverty as it occurs throughout North America." - NFB
In the Labyrinth
"Labyrinth" is a groundbreaking multi-screen 45-minute presentation produced for Chamber III of the Labyrinth at Expo 67 in Montreal, using 35 mm and 70 mm film projected simultaneously on multiple screens. A film without commentary in which multiple images, sometimes complementary, sometimes contrasting, draw the viewer through the different stages of a labyrinth. The tone of the film moves from great joy to wrenching sorrow; from stark simplicity to ceremonial pomp. It is life as it is lived by the people of the world, each one, as the film suggests, in a personal labyrinth. Re-released in 1979 as "In the Labyrinth" by the National Film Board of Canada in a 21-minute single projection format.
Portrait of Jason
Interview with Jason Holliday aka Aaron Payne. House-boy, would-be cabaret performer, and self-proclaimed hustler giving one man's gin-soaked, pill-popped view of what it was like to be coloured and gay in 1960s Unites States. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2013.
The Paperwork Explosion
The Paperwork Explosion is a four and a half minute film shot by Jim Henson in 1967 for IBM's Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter. The film features a number of office workers and other employees (including Frank Oz and the voice of Jim Henson) placing an emphasis on the innovation of machines in the workplace: "Machines should work; people should think." The soundtrack, provided by Raymond Scott, was featured on the album "Manhattan Research, Inc." as a music-only track, the original track with dialogue and other sound effects, and a test reel including improvisational material that would end up in the final film. (Muppet Wiki)
Bruce Conner’s most celebrated film for a reason: it takes historical moments that were replayed over and over on television—chilling repetition of Kennedy assassination coverage—and repurposes them into a meditation on how the media tries to exert authority and apply a sense of order to the anarchic. And though it may sound perverse to say so, the film is also—not incidentally—a thrill to watch. -- The A.V. Club
A promotional short film hosted by Walt Disney, filmed on October 27, 1966, less than two months before his death. Here he details plans for the "Florida Project," later known as Disney World, and how his EPCOT concept will be integrated into it.
Monument to the Dream
Soaring above the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Arch stands today as the nation's tallest arch and national monument. "Monument to the Dream", at unnerving heights, traces the adventures of the Arch's evolution, from the early concepts on the drawing board to the fabrication of its stainless steel sections, and the triumphant placement, in a race against the sun, of its final section in the fall of 1965. Through the words of the master architect Eero Saarinen, and the ambient chorus of mallets beating metal sheets into graceful curves, the film reveals the innovative structural techniques and the brilliant design of this avant-garde monument, presenting one of this century's greatest civil engineering achievements as a metaphor for the struggle to win the West. This film went on to be nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short in 1967.
Rush to Judgment
Mark Lane interviews witnesses to the Kennedy assassination and exposes serious flaws in the conclusions made by the Warren Commission.
This ground-breaking cinéma-vérité classic documents five weeks in the lives of twelve children in a home for emotionally disturbed children. It is the first in the form that King later described as actuality drama. All the action is spontaneous and undirected, with neither interviews nor narration. The theme is the outrage of life. The children asked the filmmakers, Why is it that whenever pictures of us are put in the papers, our faces are blacked out. What is so awful about us that we cant be seen? They wanted to be filmed so that they could be seen.
"Rail" captures British Railways at a major turning-point in its history. In certain respects, this was a period of considerable upheaval and loss. There was a facing-up to the increasing need for a big modernisation drive. Full and speedy electrification, or the wider promotion of diesel-power on remaining lines, became a matter of top priority. Geoffrey Jones recorded a rapidly disappearing world of everyday steam travel, with its labour-intensive rail workforce : some of the footage in "Rail" (recognisable from "Snow") dates from around 1962. (IMDb)
Four minutes of heavily cut-up sound and vision with collage, animation and multiple exposures throughout.
Far from Vietnam
In seven different parts, Godard, Ivens, Klein, Lelouch, Marker, Resnais, and Varda show their sympathy for the North-Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War.
Homeo is a mental construction made from visual reality, just as music is made from auditive reality. I put in this film no personal intentions. All my intentions are personal. I’ve made this film thinking of what the audience would have liked to see, not something specific that I wanted to say: what the film depicts is above all reality, not fiction. Homeo is, for me, the search for an autonomous cinematographic language, which doesn't owe anything to traditional narrative, or maybe everything. Cinema is, above all, part of a way of life which will become more and more self-assured in the years and century to come. We are part of this change, and that’s why I tried in Homeo to establish a series of perpetual changes, in constant evolution or regress, which tries, above all, to focus on things.
Holy Ghost People
A study on a small Pentecostal congregation in Scrabble Creek, West Virginia. Explores the individual experiences of Pentecostal Christians at the Scrabble Creek Holiness Church, in Scrabble Creek, West Virginia. The documentary includes faith healing, snake handling, speaking in tongues, preaching, gospels and singing. Pentecostal Christians may also be described as "Charismatic." Pentecostals include Protestant Christians who believe that the "manifestations of the Holy Spirit" are alive, available, and experienced by modern day Christians.
A Time for Burning
Explores the attempts of the minister of the Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, to persuade his all-white congregation to reach out to "negro" Lutherans in the city's north side.
The Maltese Cross Movement
The film reflects Dewdney's conviction that the projector, not the camera, is the filmmaker's true medium. The form and content of the film are shown to derive directly from the mechanical operation of the projector - specifically the maltese cross movement's animation of the disk and the cross illustrates graphically (pun intended) the projector's essential parts and movements. It also alludes to a dialectic of continuous-discontinuous movements that pervades the apparatus, from its central mechanical operation to the spectator's perception of the film's images... (His) soundtrack demonstrates that what we hear is also built out of continuous-discontinuous 'sub-sets.'
Ship Hotel - Tyne Main
Documentary profile of The Ship Hotel Public House, Gateshead.
The story of the influential 19th century British poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his troubled and somewhat morbid relationship with his wife and his art.
I am 20
Those born on Independence Day in 1947 were selected from different parts of India and interviewed to know their hopes and desires,ambitions, hobbies, fears and frustrations and the result is this unique film.
Pestilent City covers Manhattan from South to North, from Times Square to Harlem, finding along the way ever more poverty, violence, rage and tragic drunkenness.
A Place to Stand
A multi-image large-format film showcasing life in Ontario without narration and dialogue. Produced by Christopher Chapman for the Ontario Department of Economics and Development, it premiered at the Ontario Pavilion at Expo '67 in Montreal.
The “Patterson-Gimlin Film” is a famous shot of something resembling the famous creature known as “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch”. Critics are divided over the authenticity of this short film, which is likely the most famous piece of evidence concerning the argument of Bigfoot's existence.
Exploding Plastic Inevitable
Exploding Plastic Inevitable was a series of multimedia events organised by Andy Warhol between 1966 and 1967, featuring musical performances by The Velvet Underground and Nico, screenings of Warhol's films, and dancing and performances by regulars of Warhol's Factory. It is also the title of a 18-minute film by Ronald Nameth filmed during one week of the show in Chicago, Illinois in 1966.
The London Nobody Knows
Based on Geoffrey Fletcher’s book, this captivating documentary exposes the real London of the swinging sixties. Turning its back on familiar sights, the film explores the hidden details of a crumbling metropolis. With James Mason as our Guide, we are led on an tour of the weird and wonderful pockets of London from abandoned music-halls to egg breaking factories.
Notes on the Circus
The short film is a montage of sped up clips of The Ringling Brothers Circus in action set to a musical track. The film is separated into four segments, each segment which focuses on different acts within the circus. The later segments often incorporate clips from earlier segments, mostly as background to the featured acts. The speed of the clips match the tempo of the soundtrack music.
A short film of what appears to be the first captured footage of Bigfoot.
Sailing with Bushnell Keeler
In 1967, a young David Lynch grabbed his new Bolex 16mm camera, to film his friend and mentor Bushnell Keeler and brother Dave Keeler sailing on the Chesapeake Bay in Bush's King's Cruiser. This was David Lynch's very first film, which he prefers to call a "home movie". It depicts a man, a painter, who changed David's life forever pursuing the artist's life, which he continues to this day.
The Benefit of the Doubt
A documentary following US, Peter Brook's experimental play about the moral issues surrounding the Vietnam War, Benefit of the Doubt is the only known film record of the Royal Shakespeare Company production. It was filmed by Peter Whitehead concurrently with his Tonite Let's All Make Love in London (1967), on the surface a very different film, yet both share a central concern with the war, protest and Britain's political and cultural relationship with America.
Black and white footage of performances, interviews, and conversations at the Newport Folk Festival, from 1963 to 1966. The headliners are Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan, who's acoustic and electric. Son House and Mike Bloomfield talk about the blues; John Hurt, Howlin' Wolf, and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee show its range. The Osborne Brothers perform bluegrass. Donovan, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Mimi and Dick Farina, and others less well known also perform. Several talk musical philosophy, and there's a running commentary about the nature and appeal of folk music. The crowd looks clean cut.
Elie Wiesel, a survivor from Sighet, a town from which a thousand Jews were deported to the ovens of Auschwitz, returns, unknown and unseen, a silent witness to the town where he was born and grew up.
The White Rose
Jay De Feo started painting THE WHITE ROSE in 1957. When the unfinished painting was removed eight years later it weighed over 2300 pounds.
Netsilik Eskimo Series, II: At the Caribou Crossing Place
The time is early autumn. The woman wakes and dresses the boy. He practices with his sling while she spreads a caribou skin to dry. The boy picks berries and then the men come in their kayak with another caribou. This is skinned, and soon night falls. In the morning, one man leaves with his bow while the other makes a fishing mannick, a bait of caribou meat. The woman works at the skins, this time cleaning sinews and hanging them to dry. The man repairs his arrows and then sets a snare for a gull. The child stones the snared gull and then plays hunter, using some antlers for a target. His father makes him a spinning top. Two men arrive at the camp and the four build from stones a long row of manlike figures, inukshult, down toward the water. They wait for caribou and then chase them toward the stone figures and so into the water where other men in kayaks spear them. The dead animals are floated ashore and skinned.
The Mind-Benders: LSD and the Hallucinogens
This FDA film explores the history of hallucinogenic drugs, and specifically the effects and therapeutic uses of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Combining graphics that suggest a hallucinogenic experience, snippets of interviews with users (who explain their reasons for taking the drug) and doctors, and taped sessions of research with volunteers, the film delves into the destructive as well as possible positive uses of the drug.
Comments on the background and popularity of disc jockey "Emperor" Bob Hudson, who bases his shows on the idea that radio is a fantasy.
Netsilik Eskimos, VIII: Jigging for Lake Trout
More signs of winter's end as more wildlife returns. The family makes an excursion for fresh fish from a lake. They build a karmak and move in the furs, cooking troughs, etc. The woman sets up her lamp, spreads the furs and attends to the children. There are signs of returning wildlife. The man moves out on the lake ice and chips a hole for fishing. He baits his hook and lowers it jigging the line to attract the fish. Crouched by the hole, he persists with his purpose and takes some fish, as does his wife who has joined him. Both remain at the hole through a severe blizzard.
Pasolini interviews Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound, an acclaimed modern American poet living in Rapallo, was tried for treason because of his radio broadcasts extolling Mussolini. This is Pasolini's interview with him.
The Hippie Temptation
CBS TV news special hosted by Harry Reasoner explores the way-out world of the Hippies and the Haight-Ashbury psychedelic 1960s LSD scene. Footage of LSDs users experiencing bummer trips. The Diggers, the Oracle and cool street and Golden Gate Park scenes with hippies tripping out. The Grateful Dead are interviewed and are shown performing "Dancin' in the Streets" on a flatbed truck in Golden Gate Park. The Hippie Temptation!
See You at the Pillar
A short film about Dublin City using a mixture of contemporary footage, folk music and quotations from past residents, Shaw, Wilde and Behan etc. Narrated in a "conversation" by Anthony Quayle and Norman Rodway.
The Song of Avila
In 1966 I came up upon a book of Meher Baba, the Indian guru/scientist, in which he said that there are three great holy places in Europe: Avila, Assisi, and Fatima. In 1967, I decided to visit Avila where I had an enlightening experience. This is a filmed record of my visit to Avila, with my voice telling how I felt there and what happened (especially with the little dogs).
6-18-67 is a short quasi-documentary film by George Lucas regarding the making of the Columbia film “Mackenna's Gold”. This non-story, non-character visual tone poem is made up of nature imagery, time-lapse photography, and the subtle sounds of the Arizona desert.
A 1967 documentary film chronicling the travel experiences of The Young Americans choir. It was given an Academy Award in 1969, though it was revoked because it was released in 1967 and was thus ineligible, the only film in history to have done so.
The Song of Assisi
In 1967, I decided to visit Avila where I had an enlightening experience.
Fictitious Anacin Commercial
A fictitious advertisement for a real product by David Lynch.
Valley of the Dolls: A World Premiere Voyage
The maiden cruise of the ocean liner Italia travels from Italy to California for the premiere of the motion picture "Valley of the Dolls."
A short film from Jonas Mekas depicting an afternoon in New York of people joining in singing "Hare Hare"
'LSD': Trip or Trap!
The Inglewood Police Department's 1960s video, "LSD: Trip or Trap?" is a classic of the genre. Alex sez, "It's a story of two friends who enjoy flying model planes, except that one becomes an 'acidhead' so he can be 'groovy' with the other acidheads. The other does research into LSD and decides it's a 'bummer'."
The Comedians in Africa
Behind the scenes short documentary about the cast and crew during the filming of The Comedians.
Lenny Bruce in 'Lenny Bruce'
Iconoclast Lenny Bruce appears at San Francisco's Basin Street West in what was his next-to-last live appearance. His act that night consisted of reading allegations and transcripts from one of his several obscenity trials and then commenting on what he'd actually done or said. While there are some "bits" in the performance (including the prison riot with Dutch, the Warden, Father Flotski, and Sabu, the prison doctor), this is much more a social commentary on government intrusion and censorship than it is a comedy routine. (IMDb)