Best Documentary Movies of 1971
A Blank on the Map
In his now well-known role of narrator of wildlife expeditions, Attenborough accompanies a government-sponsored trek into the central New Guinea highlands to make contact with a group of natives never before seen by Europeans.
"…elegant yet rustic in its simplicity of execution; tugged gently toward different sides of the set by hints of color and motion interactions, positive and negative spaces, etc., and the unyielding delivery on one of the great apotheoses of poetic cinema at fade-out time." – Tony Conrad
Shot during the summer of 1970 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Frederick Wisemanâ€™s film Basic Training focuses on a group of men going through infantry training, showing how they are turned from civilians into soldiers. As well as being a unique portrait of the US army at work, the film is also a fascinating snapshot of a time and place at a defining moment in American history.
Fulton made the film during his brief time at Harvard, where he had been invited to teach by Robert Gardner, his friend and collaborator (Fulton would later serve as a cinematographer on Gardner’s 1981 documentary Deep Hearts, among others). Reality’s Invisible could be described as a portrait of the Carpenter Center, yet it is a portrait of an extremely idiosyncratic and distinctive sort. Fulton moves us through the concrete space of the Center’s Le Corbusier-designed building—the only structure by the architect in North America—but, more centrally, presents us footage of students making and discussing their work alongside figures like Gardner, theorist Rudolf Arnheim, artist Stan Vanderbeek, filmmaker Stan Brakhage, and graphic designer Toshi Katayama.
Morning of the Earth
Morning of the Earth is a classic surfer film from 1971, created by Alby Falzon and David Elfick. The film has a soundtrack created by Australian musicians including Brian Cadd, and is set in Bali, Hawaii and Australia's north-east.
Blue Water, White Death
Peter Gimbel and a team of photographers set out on an expedition to find and Film, for the very first time, Carcharodon carcharias....The Great White Shark. The Expedition took over nine months and traveled from Durban, South Africa, across the Indian Ocean and finally to South Australia.
Short film on the ceremony of â€˜Sing Singâ€™ practised by Papua New Guineaâ€™s tribes.
Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story
Dr. Harvey Wallinger is one of Nixon's aides who rises through the ranks to become the "real" power behind the president.
Breathing Together: Revolution of the Electric Family
The title of this Canadian documentary may have some relation to Canadian Marshall McLuhan's theories. It combines interview with famous U.S. militants of the '60s, such as Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, with reenactments of their Chicago trials (i.e., the "Chicago Eight," etc.). Other figures of cultural interest from the time, including Alan Ginsberg and Buckminster Fuller, are interviewed or featured. The filmmaker indicates his belief that powerful forces in the U.S. government worked together to suppress American radicals. This view, widely disbelieved at the time, has since been confirmed.
Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Film Maker's Life
Documentary about Italian movie director Pier Paolo Pasolini, with interviews with some of his actors and friends.