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.
This documentary was made three years after Jimi Hendrix's untimely death. At the time it was an example of how a visual biography should be done, but some of the information in it needs revising in the light of new information uncovered over the years. The film contains concert footage spanning the Marquee in 1967 to his last UK performance at the third Isle of Wight festival in 1970; along the way we see classic performances at Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969), Fillmore East (1969/70), and Berkeley (1970). A double album was released to tie-in with the film, containing the complete performances in the film, along with interviews with people in the film (not necessarily the same interviews). The film is worth seeing for Jimi's performances, and to hear what his contemporaries have to say about him (Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Pete Townsend, and others).
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.
Charles Bukowski is filmed going to a poetry reading in San Francisco.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.