Best Documentary Movies of 1970
The landmark documentary about the tragically ill-fated Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969. Only four months earlier, Woodstock defined the Love Generation; now it lay in ruins on a desolate racetrack six miles outside of San Francisco.
7 Plus Seven
After a 7 year wait, director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born children from Seven Up! The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last seven years.
Let It Be
Documentary film about The Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be in January 1969. The film features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public. Released just after the album, it was the final original Beatles release. This film has not been commercially available since the 1980s.
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
This 1970 concert documentary captures Elvis Presley midway through a fateful transition, seeking to reclaim his musical primacy after a decade of self-imposed exile from concert stages. Sidelined by his big-screen career, eclipsed by rock's mid-'60s transformations, the King had begun his return two years earlier with the relatively lean attack of his fabled network television appearance, '68 Comeback Special. Now the Memphis legend was poised to reposition his performing profile by pursuing the top rungs of headliner status in Las Vegas, a career choice that seems even more ephemeral in hindsight than it already did at the time. Elvis: That's the Way It Is follows the show's genesis from rehearsal to stage, with the performance footage that provides its inevitable climax shot over six nights. The rehearsal footage, expanded for this special edition, offers further proof that Presley's band was simply superb...
Filmmaker Ralph Arlyck interviews his neighbor, Sean Farrell, a 4-year-old living on San Francisco's Haight Street in 1969. Sean gives his thoughts on life in his home, a hippie crash pad, and casually mentions that he smokes pot, which caused this short film to become a national sensation.
King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis
A 1970 American documentary film biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., presented in the form of newsreel footage and segments of recordings by Dr. King, framed by celebrity narrators, including Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, Clarence Williams III, Burt Lancaster, Ben Gazzara, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte, The movie was produced by Richard Kaplan and Ely Landau.
Bukowski at Bellevue
In the spring of 1970 Charles Bukowski took his first plane trip for a poetry reading at Bellevue Community College in Washington state. That he was videotaped by two students apparently was later forgotten, but the tapes were recently rediscovered and have been released by Black Sparrow press. "Bukowski at Bellevue" gives us a fascinating glimpse of the man before he had to be concerned with how celebrity and financial security were affecting him. (It is said that this was only his fourth public reading.) This is Bukowski, then about 50, taken straight. No games, no irony, no self-consciousness--just an ordinary-looking guy, maybe hung over, sitting before a small group of students reading his work with gusto, humor and sensitivity. A man who clearly had lived the marginal life he wrote about with passion and at times a lyrical, even mystical beauty.
Black Roots is the fourth feature-length film produced and directed by American independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin. The film gathers a number of African American folk and blues musicians in a room, where they share stories and songs about the black experience in America.
Sad Song of Yellow Skin
A film about the people of Saigon told through the experiences of three young American journalists who, in 1970, explored the consequences of war and of the American presence in Vietnam. It is not a film about the Vietnam War, but about the people who lived on the fringe of battle. The views of the city are arresting, but away from the shrines and the open-air markets lies another city, swollen with refugees and war orphans, where every inch of habitable space is coveted. (NFB)
a.k.a. Cassius Clay
The study of crazy brilliance and flamboyant sincerity. a.k.a. Cassius Clay presents a fascinating look at the incredible life and achievements of one of the most courageous, outspoken and charismatic figures of boxing: Muhammad Ali. Born Cassius Clay in 1942, Ali soon rose to become a renowned athlete, an articulate author and a compelling political; leader. Audacious, ambitious and totally fearless, Ali became a symbol of pride, a legend of hope and one of the most extraordinary cultural icons of the 20th century.