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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.