Best Documentary Movies of 1973
The World at War
The World at War (1973â€“74) is a 26-episode British television documentary series chronicling the events of the Second World War. It was produced by Jeremy Isaacs, was narrated by Laurence Olivier, and includes a score composed by Carl Davis.
Made shortly after his death, this documentary explores the brief life and remarkable legacy of guitarist Jimi Hendrix. After finding fame in the U.K., Hendrix brought his act back to the U.S., where his influential playing style left a blazing imprint on a whole generation of musicians. Employing interviews with family and contemporaries, such as Eric Clapton, as well as scorching live performances from Woodstock and Isle of Wight, the film paints an indelible portrait of a rock 'n' roll legend.
Prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi and Manson "family" members Lynette Fromme, Mary Brunner and Sandra Good discuss the Tate-LaBianca murders.
Speaking Directly is an essay-film making for a kind of State of the Nation address, from the perspective of someone other than the President of the United States, circa 1972-4. This film addresses both the political and cultural situation of the US at the height of the Viet Nam war, Watergate and its aftermath, and likewise addresses the personal life, in this context, of the filmmaker, at that time thirty years of age, recently out of two plus years in federal prison for refusal to accept military service.
Charles Bukowski is filmed going to a poetry reading in San Francisco.
JUVENILE COURT shows the complex variety of cases before the Memphis Juvenile Court: foster home placement, drug abuse, armed robbery, child abuse, and sexual offenses. The sequences illustrate such issues as community protection vs. the desire for rehabilitation, the range and the limits of the choices available to the court, the psychology of the offender, and the constitutional and procedural questions involved in administering a juvenile court.
"The tape is one of the seminal works in video. In three short exercises, Campus uses basic techniques of video technology and his own image to create succinct, almost philosophical metaphors for the psychology of the self. In these concise performances, he employs video's inherent properties as a metaphorical vehicle for articulating transformations of internal and external selves, illusion and reality."
Action : The October Crisis of 1970
A long and thoughtful look at those desperate days of October 1970, when Montre?al awaited the outcome of FLQ terrorist acts. This film puts the October Crisis in the long perspective of history. Compiled from news and other films, it shows independence movements past and present, and their leaders; it reflects the mingled relief, dismay, defiance, when the Canadian army came to Montre?al; and it shows how political leaders viewed the intervention.
Wattstax is the 1973 documentary film about the Afro-American Woodstock concert held in Los Angeles seven years after the Watts riots. Director Mel Stuart mixes footage from the concert with footage of the living conditions in the current day Watts neighborhood. The film won the Golden Globe for Best Documentary Film.
In Search of Ancient Astronauts
An edited version of the 1970 German documentary "Erinnerungen an die Zukunft" (Chariots of the Gods), this examines the theory that aliens have landed on Earth in ancient times and were responsible for many of mankind's oldest mysteries.
Catch the Sun
A fast-paced collage of Ontario life. Highlights include a rollercoaster ride, a hair-raising speedboat skim along Ottawa's Rideau Canal, a downhill ski run through the trees on a Thunder Bay trail, and the sleek beauty of a small fleet of ice boats whistling over a gleaming lake.
Double Headed Eagle: Hitler's Rise to Power 1918-1933
Presents a unique and disturbing look at the rise of the Nazi party. The documentary, directed by Lutz Becker, attempts to remain as objective as possible, serving as a neutral observer of the years 1918 through 1933 in Germany. Via newsreel footage and clips of features from the era, the film offers a kaleidoscopic view of the many elements that fueled the rise of the Socialist Nationalist Party, including post-WWI poverty. Hitler occupies a central place in the documentary.
Marc Bolan & T.Rex - Born To Boogie
By 1972, the seminal English glam-rock band T-Rex was at the height of what came to be known as "T-Rexstacy:" they had already scored three of their soon-to-be ten straight Top 10 hits. To celebrate their success, Bolan and T-Rex played two sold-out performances at London's Wembley Empire Pool, captured on film by none other than former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and released as the now-legendary concert film BORN TO BOOGIE. The only existant recording of a full T-Rex concert, BORN TO BOOGIE is centered around the dual live performances (with Ringo and Elton John guest starring on two tracks) and interspersed with an acoustic set filmed at John Lennon's mansion, goofy backstage footage of Bolan, and surreal sequences of nuns and dwarves inserted for visual effect. While the original film ran for roughly one hour, this reissue of BORN TO BOOGIE restores many of the hours-worth of material shot by Ringo.
Let's Visit the World of the Future
A travelogue inviting viewers of today to come visit the future. The person who found this mysterious 16mm film in his basement in 1973, Rev. Ivan Stang, later ran The SubGenius Foundation, the Slack Prophecy religion devoted to Texas cult religion salesman J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.
David Bailey, self-taught photographer and one of the prime architects of the Swinging Sixties, broadened his horizons in the early 1970s by making high-profile documentaries for ATV. With his standing among the artistic community, Bailey was given unprecedented access to Pop Art legend Andy Warhol and his followers, in an attempt to penetrate behind the expressionless exterior of a man who was one of the most controversial figures of his generation.
A young filmmaking student turns his camera on a female friend as she gets ready to go out for the night. She confides in him something he struggles to come to grips with.
The Decisive Moment
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment is an 18-minute film produced in 1973 by Scholastic Magazines, Inc. and the International Center of Photography. It features a selection of Cartier-Bresson’s iconic photographs, along with rare commentary by the photographer himself.
Painters Painting: The New York Art Scene 1940-1970 is a 1972 documentary directed by Emile de Antonio. It covers American art movements from abstract expressionism to pop art through conversations with artists in their studios. Artists appearing in the film include Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Barnett Newman, Hans Hofmann, Jules Olitski, Philip Pavia, Larry Poons, Robert Motherwell, and Kenneth Noland.
Warhol superstar and icon of sixties bohemia Edie Sedgwick delivers her final performance in this semiautobiographical look at the price of fame. Fiction and documentary—including snippets from Sedgwick’s own audio dairies—mingle in a freewheeling portrait of Susan Superstar (Sedgwick), a New York celebrity on a drug-fueled downward slide that mirrors Sedgwick’s own self-destructive spiral. Released after her death from an overdose of barbiturates, CIAO! MANHATTAN endures as a testament to Sedgwick’s unique magnetism and as a haunting elegy for the counterculture she embodied.
Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones
A concert film taken from two Rolling Stones concerts during their 1972 North American tour. In 1972, the Stones bring their Exile on Main Street tour to Texas: 15 songs, with five from the "Exile" album. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman on a small stage with three other musicians. Until the lights come up near the end, we see the Stones against a black background. The camera stays mostly on Jagger, with a few shots of Taylor. Richards is on screen for his duets and for some guitar work on the final two songs. It's music from start to finish: hard rock ("All Down the Line"), the blues ("Love in Vain" and "Midnight Rambler"), a tribute to Chuck Berry ("Bye Bye Johnny"), and no "Satisfaction."
Sound of the City: London 1964-73
Vintage film footage from the hey-day of the London's rock and roll scene. Interviews with rock artists and London's hippies and flower children.
In Search of Ancient Mysteries
An examination of mysteries of the ancient world and their connection to the possibility that aliens visited Earth.
With a rambling, unstructured style that echoes Andy Warhol’s own approach to filmmaking, this 1973 documentary profiles his career, showing him to be a brilliant manipulator, dedicated voyeur and person of astute commercial judgment.
Visions of Eight
Eight acclaimed filmmakers bring their unique and differing perspectives to the 1972 Summer Olympic Games held in Munich. The segments include Lelouch's take on Olympic losers and their struggle to remain dignified even in the face of bitter disappointment and defeat; Zetterling's dramatic exploration of the world of weightlifting; and Pfleghar's piece on young Russian gymnast Ludmilla Tourischev's majestic performance on the uneven bars.
While a mother busies herself with sewing, a clock counts down the last minute of her daughter’s life as we hear a chilling voiceover reminding us to keep watch over our children when they're near traffic.
Journey to the Outer Limits
Journey to the Outer Limits is a 1973 American documentary film directed by Alexander Grasshoff. The fillm is a National Geographic documentary about students in the Outward Bound program as they confront themselves while training to climb the Santa Rosa Peak in the Peruvian Andes. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
The first part of this Academy Award-winning short consists of a behind-the-scenes look at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra as it prepares to perform Ravel's "Bolero." Individual musicians offer their thoughts as workers set up chairs and music stands; there are also comments by conductor Zubin Mehta and scenes of Mehta and the orchestra rehearsing. The rest of the film features a complete performance of "Bolero" with striking images of the orchestra as the music relentlessly approaches its climax.
Thrilling musical portrait of Zydeco King Clifton Chenier, who combines the pulsating rhythms of Cajun dance music and black R&B with African overtones, belting out his irresistible music in the sweaty juke joints of South Louisiana.
Pinscreen animation makes use of a screen filled with movable pins, which can be moved in or out by pressing an object onto the screen. The screen is lit from the side so that the pins cast shadows.
The Great American Cowboy
The battle between two rodeo stars for the world championship: veteran Larry Mahan and newcomer Phil Lyne. Narrated by Cowboy Hall of Fame actor Joel Mc Crea, this Academy Award-winning documentary takes the viewer inside the rodeo arena with today's cowboys. Features incredible "in-the-saddle" photography.
The Men Who Made the Movies: Howard Hawks
A documentary filmography of Howard Hawks, including lengthy footage of Hawks himself discussing his films and many clips from his best-known pictures.
The Incredible, Indelible, Magical, Physical, Mystery Tour
A partially-animated ABC Afterschool Special about two youngsters who are miniaturized, then travel through their Uncle's body to understand more about his health.
Featuring the stories and music of seminal Cajun musicians "Bois Sec" Ardoin and Canray Fontenot, Dry Wood is a short, vibrant documentary portrait of life, food, music and festivity in the Louisiana Delta from the singular Les Blank.
Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls
Looks at the musical extravaganzas which constitute the main bulk of commercial cinema in India; in particular at the career of Helen, the undisputed Queen of such sagas, having appeared in some five hundred since 1957. Excerpts from some of her films are interspersed with an interview with the star in her dressing room.
Across This Land with Stompin' Tom Connors
Stompin' Tom performs live at the Horseshoe Tavern on Queen St. in Toronto.
About the English musician, composer, record producer, singer, writer, and visual artist, Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, made shortly after his departure from Roxy Music. Featuring the recording sessions for Eno's record "Here Come the Warm Jets". A long lost documentary.
This is one of those abstract animated films in which colored, richly textured light moves in a black, three-dimensional space. The pictures and the electronic score are unified in a strict structure made of three main sections which progressively develop three subsections. This film may look like it was made using computers or video to the uninitiated, but only animation and much optical printing are to be seen herein.
Let the Good Times Roll
Documentary of a 1950s rock and roll revival show, with split-screen editing to rival Woodstock.
Come On Children
Five boys and five girls ages 13 to 19 live on a farm for ten weeks, to be filmed, and to see what might emerge for each of them personally.
The Wrestling Queen
This documentary is a must have for "old school" wrestling fans! It's loosely focused on the career of 23 year old Vivian Vachon during her first professional tour, and the wrestling legends she shares the ring with. Through interviews with wrestling superstars, the promoters, the fans, and the critics, Wrestling Queen will give you a snapshot of a rarely seen part of 70’s culture, along with a healthy dose of wrestling nostalgia!
The life of Jerome Hill corresponded with the first formative decades of cinema and a greater part of the 20th century. Through fragments of Hill’s surrealistic, handpainted and documentary films (as well as the James J. Hill family's home movies), this autobiographical work serves as an aesthetically complete documentary of Jerome Hill as an artist and offers a personal perspective of the seventh art.
The Men Who Made the Movies: George Cukor
In the series of documentaries directed by Richard Schickel following classic film directors, this episode interviews the creative mind behind "My Fair Lady", "The Philadelphia Story", "Born Yesterday" among other classics. The great George Cukor reveals details about the production of several of his movies, the actors he directed and also shares his personal views about films.
"The TRUE story of the HARVESTING, CULTIVATION, and SMUGGLING of marijuana in the U.S. and Mexico today. Filmed in color in the Bluegrass Fields of Kentucky, the Kaw Valley of Kansas, The Ozark Mountains of Missouri, San Diego, California, and the golden hills of Acapulco and Tijuana, Mexico. See nameless Gringos risk their lives for the legendary weed. Music by Leo Kottke, Carlos Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Heads, Hands and Feet, The Rainy Daze, Tonto's Expanding Headband and Billy Baker."
The Porn Brokers
Quasi-documentary that looks at the sex industry in Europe.
Four Stones for Kanemitsu
Four Stones for Kanemitsu is a 1973 American short documentary film, written and produced by June Wayne and filmed by Terry Sanders. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. The film is educational and records in details each of the steps in making of a color lithograph by artist, Matsumi Kanemitsu.
A Bigger Splash
A fictionalised biopic about the end of David Hockney's relationship with Peter Schlesinger which was named after Hockney's pop-art painting 'A Bigger Splash'.
Erotikus: A History of the Gay Movie
The film, narrated by "LA Plays Itself" director Fred Halstead, begins by looking at the muscle magazines and films of the late 1940s-early 1960s, then at the softcore films of the late 60s and the boundary-pushing and legal-testing which allowed these to evolve into hardcore loops and then features.
Trees in the River, Kent OH
A loose biography of surfer and documentarist George Greenough, one of the most famous and unique members of the surfing subculture.
Don't Be Like Brenda
The brutally entitled Don't Be Like Brenda (1973) is an eight-minute lecture to young women, telling them not to be sexually promiscuous like the film's hapless heroine – although heaven knows, the promiscuity hinted at here is tragically modest. Poor Brenda goes all the way with a boy who does not marry her. The film is stunningly without any useful educational content on contraception and makes it entirely clear that the woman, not the man, is to blame. The film even makes her poor unwanted child suffer from a heart defect, so that no one wants to adopt the poor little thing – just to hammer the point home. (from: http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2009/feb/11/sex-education-films)