Best Documentary Movies of 1987
Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll
St. Louis, 1986. For Chuck Berry's 60th, Keith Richards assembles a pickup band of Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato, Eric Clapton, himself, and long-time Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson. Joined on stage by Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, and Julian Lennon, Berry performs his classic rock songs. His abilities as a composer, lyricist, singer, musician, and entertainer are on display and, in behind-the-scenes interviews, are discussed by Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Springstein, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and others. There's even a rarity for Berry, a rehearsal. Archival footage from the early 1950s and a duet with John Lennon round out this portrait of a master.
Sign 'o' The Times
In 1987, to capitalize on his growing success in Europe, Prince toured extensively to promote the album of the same name and sales increased accordingly. However, the United States remained resistant to his latest album, and sales began to drop; it was at this point that Prince decided to film a live concert promoting the new material, for eventual distribution to theaters in America. Featuring the band that accompanied Prince on his 1987 Sign o' the Times Tour, including dancer Cat Glover, keyboardist Boni Boyer, bassist Levi Seacer, Jr., guitarist Miko Weaver, drummer Sheila E. and former member of The Revolution keyboardist Dr. Fink, the film sees the group perform live on stage (although "U Got the Look" is represented by its promotional music video).
The Other Israel
Compiled after 15 months filming and editing, this fast-moving, professional video documentary will give you a unique education on the inner teachings of Judaism and the Talmud. Through the television camera "The Other Israel" takes you where few Christian scholars have gone before.
Ah, the '80s! A time of hair bands and their ludicrous MTV videos filled with spandex-clad band members and skimpily clad bimbos. Kiss: Exposed returns us to that forgettable era, as Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons show how to desperately try to remain cock rock's elder statesmen. This 1987 compilation serves up several now-hilarious video clips from Kiss's '80s "unmasked" period, including "Tears Are Falling," "Heaven's on Fire," "Lick It Up," and "I Love It Loud." (Count the fires burning in these classic video relics of days gone by!) Also on hand are Stanley and Simmons themselves, looking properly embarrassed as they act out rock's biggest fantasy: lounging by the pool with a bevy of (mostly) bare beauties. The saving grace is the generous selection of vintage live performances: hearing the band do "Strutter," "Detroit Rock City," "Ladies Room," and "Deuce" in its late-'70s prime is worth wading through the outdated '80s-style power pop... if you're a real Kiss fan, of course.
A 1988 documentary film directed by Alexander Sokurov, about the later life and death of Soviet Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. The film was originally intended to mark the 50th birthday of Tarkovsky in 1982, which would have been before his death. Controversy with Soviet authorities about the film's style and content led to significant delays in the production.
Signed: Lino Brocka
Documentary filmmaker Christian Blackwood profiles controversial Filipino director Lino Brocka, detailing his rags-to-riches rise in the mainstream film industry of the Philippines. Primarily using interviews with the effusive director himself, Blackwood allows Brocka to describe, in his own terms, the common thematic threads tying together his work, from his own homosexuality to the political repression suffered by Filipinos at the hands of Ferdinand Marcos' dictatorial government.
The Way Things Go
Artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss create the ultimate Rube Goldberg machine with a complex imaginative devices that trigger each other for 30 minutes in a domino effect. The film was creating in an empty warehouse and with objects probably found at a junkyard as the creative contraptions fly, burn, roll, walk, melt, pop, push and fall in an endless science project that will mesmerize the mind.
Grace Kelly: The American Princess
Documentary - She came from a wealthy and competitive Philadelphia family, but the life of well-brought up society held little appeal for this acclaimed beauty. She left for New York City and worked hard as a model, stage actor and TV player. And then she was discovered by Hollywood. In less than four years she was acknowledged as one of movie's most sought after stars and an Academy-Award winner, playing opposite some of the greatest leading men of her time. Suddenly, like a modern-day fairy tale, Grace Kelly turned her back on it all - to become Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco.
Iron Maiden: 12 Wasted Years
The history of of heavy metal band Iron Maiden from 1975-1987. The documentary includes several rare videos and interviews from the band's career.
A series of interviews are conducted concerning people's beliefs towards the possibility of an afterlife. The interviews are filmed against a set of strange backdrops, and are intercut with clips from classic films and a variety of stock footage.