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.
Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968
A close-up of bass player and composer Charlie Mingus as he and his five-year-old daughter await eviction by the City of New York.
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.
The Doors: Feast Of Friends
Feast Of Friends, filmed in 1968, was the first and only film produced about The Doors by The Doors. It offers a cinematic look at The Doors on the road during their summer '68 tour. Concert performances are intercut with fly-on-the-wall footage of the group in their natural habitat; At times playful, sensitive, chaotic and heady, the cinéma vérité style brings the film to life. Other than a few film festivals appearances in 1968, fans would not see an official release of the film for over 35 years.
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.