Best Documentary Movies of 1968
Featuring performances by popular artists of the 1960s, this concert film highlights the music of the 1967 California festival. Although not all musicians who performed at the Monterey Pop Festival are on film, some of the notable acts include the Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, the Who, Otis Redding, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix's post-performance antics -- lighting a guitar on fire, breaking it and tossing a part into the audience -- are captured.
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One
In Manhattan's Central Park, a film crew directed by William Greaves is shooting a screen test with various pairs of actors. It's a confrontation between a couple: he demands to know what's wrong, she challenges his sexual orientation. Cameras shoot the exchange, and another camera records Greaves and his crew. Sometimes we watch the crew discussing this scene, its language, and the process of making a movie. Is there such a thing as natural language? Are all things related to sex? The camera records distractions - a woman rides horseback past them; a garrulous homeless vet who sleeps in the park chats them up. What's the nature of making a movie?
One of the very few films made by Etienne O'Leary, all of which emerged from the French underground circa 1968 and can be very loosely designated 'diary films.' Like the contemporaneous films by O'Leary's more famous friend Pierre Clementi, they trippily document the drug-drenched hedonism of that era's dandies. O'Leary worked with an intoxicating style that foregrounded rapid and even subliminal cutting, dense layering of superimposed images and a spontaneous notebook type shooting style. Yet even if much of O'Leary's material was initially 'diaristic,' depicting the friends, lovers, and places that he encountered in his private life, the metamorphoses it underwent during editing transformed it into a series of ambiguously fictionalized, sometimes darkly sexual fantasias. - Experimental Film Club
Sympathy for the Devil
An exhilarating, provocative motion picture. The Rolling Stones rehearse their latest song, "Sympathy For the Devil," in a London studio. Beginning as a ballad, the track gradually acquires a pulsating groove, which gets Jagger into a rousing vocal display of soulful emotion that Godard captures on film.
The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins
Les Blank's portrait of the great Texas bluesman, 'Lightnin' Hopkins. The film includes interviews and a performance by Hopkins.
Rivers of Fire and Ice
A Wildlife Safari through Africa.
A static camera records, in one single continuous shot, a woman's face before, during and after orgasm. The act of looking and the limits of the film frame are highlighted in this intimate sexual episode with Tina Fraser. Artist Stephen Dwoskin presents a powerful, personal moment while maintaining a distance and resisting the viewer being subsumed into the action on screen.
Rocky Road to Dublin
Rocky Road to Dublin is a 1968 documentary film by Irish-born journalist Peter Lennon and French cinematographer Raoul Coutard, examining the contemporary state of the Republic of Ireland, posing the question, “what do you do with your revolution once you’ve got it?” It argues that Ireland was dominated by cultural isolationism, Gaelic and clerical traditionalism at the time of its making.
Documentary featuring James Baldwin and Dick Gregory, discussing the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s Great Britain.
The 17th Parallel
On the border of North and South Vietnam, civilians live underground and cultivate their land in the dead of night, farmers take up arms, and bombs fall like clockwork. Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridanâ€™s record of daily life in one of the most volatile regions of a war-torn, divided country is both a hazardous piece of first-hand journalism and a shattering work in its own right, simmering with barely repressed anger.