Best Documentary Movies of 1996
When We Were Kings
It's 1974. Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman is ten years younger and the heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a willing backer in Mobutu Sese Suko, the dictator of Zaire, and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set, including a musical festival featuring some of America's top black performers, like James Brown and B.B. King.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.
Looking for Richard
Al Pacino's deeply-felt rumination on Shakespeare's significance and relevance to the modern world through interviews and an in-depth analysis of "Richard III."
George Carlin: Back in Town
Back in Town is George Carlin's ninth HBO special. It was also released on CD on September 17, 1996. This was also his first of many performances at the Beacon Theater in New York City. He rants about Abortion, The death penalty, prison farms, fart jokes, free floating hostility and words.
Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires
It happened more or less by accident; the people who made it happen were amateurs; and for the most part they still are. From his own Silicon Valley garage, author Bob Cringley puts PC bigshots and nerds on the spot, and tells their incredible true stories. Like the industry itself, the series is informative, funny and brash.
Oingo Boingo: Farewell (Live from the Universal Amphitheatre)
Oingo Boingo's Farewell Concert at the Universal Amphitheatre
The Celluloid Closet
This documentary highlights the historical contexts that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have occupied in cinema history, and shows the evolution of the entertainment industry's role in shaping perceptions of LGBT figures. The issues addressed include secrecy – which initially defined homosexuality – as well as the demonization of the homosexual community with the advent of AIDS, and finally the shift toward acceptance and positivity in the modern era.
Patrice Chéreau, Pascal Greggory, une autre solitude
A look at the entire process of creating and developing Patrice Chéreau’s third staging of "In the Solitude of Cotton Fields" by Bernard Marie Koltès with Pascal Greggory and Chéreau himself. From the first reading around the table through the first contact with the performance space, rehearsals and lighting to opening night, the entire creative process unfurls in front of our eyes. The film shows us the evolving and ongoing dialogue between Greggory and Chéreau, a dialogue full of crises and magical moments of harmony and insight via which the truth, intensity, complexity, mystery and depth of Koltès’ text gradually emerge to form an implicit bond between these two men. The film also shows Chéreau directing rehearsals for Mozart’s "Don Giovanni" in Salzburg, revealing both the unity of and profound differences between his opera and theater work.
The Battle Over Citizen Kane
Documentary about the battle between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst over Welles' Citizen Kane (1941). Features interviews with Welles' and Hearst's co-workers also as a relative complete bio of Hearst.
This documentary examines the Seattle scene as it became the focus of a merging of punk rock, heavy metal, and innovation. Building from the grass roots, self-promoted and self-recorded until break-out success of bands like Nirvana brought the record industry to the Pacific Northwest, a phenomenon was born.
The Titanic's Lost Sister
An account of Dr. Robert D. Ballard's exploration of the wreck of the Britannic in September 1995. Britannic, the sister-ship of the Titanic, was sunk after a mysterious explosion while serving as a hospital ship during World War One. Ballard sets out to relocate the wreck and attempts to prove once and for all whether it was a German mine or torpedo which inflicted the fatal damage. Documentary-
The Many Faces of Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee talks about his film career, while showing clips from some of his best films.
Children Only Once
The lives of random children from different parts of the Philippines, facing the same predicament of living life of arduous labor to cope with the harsh realities of poverty.
The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of 'Twelve Monkeys'
A documentary following Terry Gilliam through the creation of "Twelve Monkeys."
Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged
Alice in Chains returned to the popular music eye with this live, acoustic performance in New York on 10th April, 1996. After an absence from the stage of three years the band performed a 13-song set, including 'Heaven Beside You', 'Rooster' and 'Would?'.
The film documents, in an often dramatic and humorous fashion, Gray's investigations into alternative medicine for an eye condition (Macular pucker) he had developed.
Riverdance: The New Show
Riverdance Show is a cultural phenomenon that defies criticism for the enthusiastic and leaves everyone else scratching their heads. The wonderfully talented cast, headed by the Riverdance Irish Dance Company, bewitchingly spins (and stomps) its Celtic folk choreography featuring numerous breathless solos by Michael Flatley (since departed) and Jean Butler. The mellifluous Riverdance Orchestra boasts Davy Spillane, who coaxes plaintive lamentations out of a peculiar instrument that resembles a bagpipe in a metal leg brace. For Enya fans, there is the sound-alike choral group Anuna, who casts a similarly New Age-style vocal spell. Also thrown into the mix are such disparate folk traditions as American gospel and Spanish flamenco. Though it's only 70 minutes long, Riverdance is repetitive by half. But judging from the ecstatic audience ovations and the continued foot-stomping during and after the curtain calls, too much is still not enough.
The Burger & the King: The Life & Cuisine of Elvis Presley
Before he won the Academy Award for Documentary for Man on Wire, director James Marsh made this lighthearted film about the artery-clogging cravings of Elvis Presley. Marsh’s portrait of Elvis is constructed from the recollections of friends, relatives and Elvis’s favourite cook, Mary Jenkins, who, with help from Elvis’s father, perfected those infamous fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. The resulting film traces Elvis’s taste from his humble Mississippi start to his Vegas finale with stops along the way in the school cafeteria and army mess hall. Known for his gustatory excess, Elvis was a picky eater whose success manifested itself in quantity not quality. Marsh’s talent is in full effect in this stylish blend of form and content. Lit like an all-night diner, with a colour palette reminiscent of a sparkly Formica countertop, it’s a perfect backdrop for the King and his southern fried fare.
Intimate Portrait: Bette Davis
Margo Channing's famous line, "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night," characterizes well the actress who played her in All About Eve--the inimitable Bette Davis. In fact, Davis's son comments in Lifetime's Intimate Portrait: Bette Davis that watching Margo Channing is much like watching Bette Davis. Davis's film career spanned six decades, in which she starred in 112 films, receiving 10 Academy Award nominations and 2 Oscars. Yet her life was not always the charmed one of a starlet; from a broken home, herself three times divorced, once widowed, betrayed by her own daughter's scathing biography, Davis found solace in her work, which didn't always come easy for her. When she first approached Hollywood in 1930, the studios didn't know what to do with such an odd beauty. This portrait of the actress covers a lot of ground, and leaves you wanting more.
Moments with Johan
The beautiful gay erotic superstar Johan Paulik is enthusiastically celebrated in this jam-packed compendium of Johan's greatest on-screen performances, plus an exclusive interview with the charming boy himself and previously unseen out-takes which reveal the charm and humor of this much admired adult model.
Portrait of the last year of the life of famous New York drag queen Consuela Cosmetic.
Tina Turner: Live In Amsterdam - Wildest Dreams Tour
Footage of Tina Turner's amazing three-night stint at the Amsterdam Arena in September, 1996, where she performed all her biggest hits in a spectacular visual production.
Rats in the Ranks
Every September Sydney's inner-suburban Leichhardt Council re-elects it mayor. Incumbent Larry Hand was popular with the citizenry but they don't vote for mayor - the 12 councillors do - and after three years of Larry, at least four councillors were after his job. When film-makers Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson settled in at Leichhardt Council in early 1994 the knives were already being sharpened. A battle royal was in the making, and so it came to pass. By the end of September Larry had fought the fight of his life, with Connolly and Anderson documenting every bit of it on film. Ambition, courage, envy, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, disaster, triumph... in other words, a classic study in politics.
Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants
This was an HBO special, a filmed performance of Jay's Broadway show, directed by his friend, David Mamet. It is literate, intelligent, and better than any magic performance you have ever seen.
Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press
This documentary examines the 80 year career of journalist George Seldes, his encounters with Lenin and J. Edgar Hoover, his long battle against press censorship, the tobacco lobby, and his eventual blacklisting.With Ben Bagdikian, Jeff Cohen, Daliel Ellsberg, Ralph Nader, and Marian Seldes
Michael Jordan, Above and Beyond
"Michael Jordan Above and Beyond" provides a much-needed look at Michael Jordan's fantastic return from retirement in 1995. The first 20 minutes or so recap his retirement, attempt at minor league baseball, and his dealing with his father's murder. It picks up when it starts looking at the huge frenzy that was his return to the NBA in the Spring of 1995. It covers his mediocre first game back against the Pacers, his Friday night Chicago return against the Magic, and his subsequent return to form with a game-winning shot against Atlanta, and a career night dropping 55 on the Knicks.
100 Years of Horror: The Frankenstein Family
No overview found.
The Universal Story
Richard Dreyfuss hosts a celebration of the 80 year history of Universal Studios. Founded as IMP by Carl Leammle to oppose Edison's Motion Picture Tust, it soon grew under the leadership of 21 year old production head Irving Thalberg with classic silents from artists like John Ford, Erich Von Stroheim, and Lon Chaney and prospered further in the Sound Era under the leadership of Carl Leammle Jr. with such classics as "All Quiet on The Western Front," "Showboat," and the studio's signature monster franchises, "Frankenstein" and "Dracula."
White Shamans and Plastic Medicine Men
This documentary deals with the popularization and commercialization of Native American spiritual traditions by Non-Indians. Important questions are asked of those seeking to commercially exploit Tribal rituals and sacred ceremonies...and those vested with safeguarding sacred ways. The film represents a wide range of voices from Native communities, and speaks to issues of cultural appropriation with humor, righteous anger, and thoughtful insight.
Director Alan Berliner takes on his reclusive father as the reluctant subject of this affecting and graceful study of family history and memory. Ultimately this complex portrait is a meeting of the minds -- where the past meets the present, where generations collide and where the boundaries of family life are stretched, torn and surprisingly, at times, also healed. Berliner has transformed a story of a troubled man who has sealed himself off from life's pain into a work of universal resonance.
In only 15 minutes with some 30 people Jane Elliott manages to build up a realistic microcosmos of society today with all its phenomena and feelings. As already known from the ill reputed Milgram experiment, even participants who knew the "rules" are unable to remain uninvolved. What starts as a game turns into cruel reality which causes some participants' emotions to erupt with unforeseen intensity
The Fatal Game
In 1994, New Zealand mountaineer, Mark Whetu, summitted Mt Everest with climbing partner and friend Mike Reinberger. However it was late in the day and after a freezing night on the summit, Whetu was faced with a terrible decision...to leave Reinberger or stay with him forever.
25 Million Pounds
25 Million Pounds details the collapse of Barings Bank in the mid 1990s primarily by a broker called Nick Leeson, who lost £827 million ($1.3 billion) by speculating on futures contracts. The film contextualises the downfall as the history of Barings Bank was one of the oldest and most prestigious merchant banks in Britain, run by the same family for decades with extensive ties to Britain's elites. But in the late 19th century Barings almost went bankrupt after investing heavily in South American bonds, including backing the construction of a sewer system in Buenos Aires. The bank was saved by The Bank of England, but Edward Baring, the head of the bank, was financially ruined and never recovered.
100 Years of Horror: Baron Frankenstein
No overview found.
100 Years of Horror: Scream Queens
No overview found.
THE TITANTIC DOCUMENTARY She was the pride of the White Star Line. Nicknamed "The Wonder Ship" and "The Millionaire's Special," theTitanic steamed out of Southhampton, England with a gala send-off that made headline news. Bound for new York, the hulking ship cillides with an iceberg ripping a gash over 300 feet into the hull of the ship. Shocking the world, "The Unsinkable" descends to its legendary resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic. As the massive ship slowly slips into the mercy of the icy waters, Captain Edward J. Smith orders the lifeboats readied. With room for only half the passengers, they were quickly filled with women and children. Take a look back in time at this historic event, the event that still remains a great mystery the actual causes related to the sinking of the Titanic.
The Story Behind 'Toy Story'
The documentary short of Toy Story of why and how the feature length blockbuster sleeper movie became a success and helps to boost Pixar's popularity of making one of the few animation movie production companies in the world today, especially in North America.
Sigmund Freud: Analysis of a Mind
Sigmund Freud's revolutionary ideas transformed our conception of the mind. Yet, fears and obsessions wracked the father of psychoanalysis. His theories continue to inspire debate, even as the discipline he invented drifts farther from his work. Through personal letters, diaries and interviews with biographers, psychiatrists and Freud's grandchildren, this documentary explores the life of the man who was once derided as the doctor of love.
Islands on the Edge of Time
From 1982 to 1996 award-winning filmmakers Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle documented on film and video unfolding events in the fledgling island nation of Palau. When Palau's voters made it the first nation in history to adopt a nuclear free, green constitution, Washington's war planners saw it as 'the threat of a good example.' Palau became the poster child for the growing Nuclear Free Pacific movement and a cause celebre for the global nuclear free zone movement. The 10-year-long manipulation of the electoral process the U.S. then unleashed to force the rollback of Palau's nuclear ban became a text book case for subversion of the democratic process in developing countries...and at home. Their experiences covering this story made the filmmakers life-long advocates of election integrity.
John F. Kennedy: A Personal Story
Relive the glory moments of John F. Kennedy's life as A&E's award-winning "Biography" series presents the compelling story of this unforgettable leader and the rich dynasty he left behind. John F. Kennedy will always be remembered as the youthful president who inspired America, a charismatic leader who gave the nation a sense of pride and confidence. His sharp mind, quick wit, and boundless determination won him friends, confidantes, and devoted followers. A World War II hero, respected senator, and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Profiles in Courage," Kennedy regarded life as a race against boredom. Through archival footage and interviews with friends, famous journalists, Hollywood actors, and former staffers- including ex-cabinet member John Kenneth Galbraith- "JFK: A Personal Story" revisits pivotel moments of Kennedy's life and presidency with clarity and insight.
François Truffaut: The Man Who Loved Cinema - The Wild Child
A fascinating glimpse into Truffaut’s creative process and how his life informed his art, told from the perspectives of those who knew him best.
François Truffaut: The Man Who Loved Cinema - Love & Death
A fascinating glimpse into Truffaut’s creative process and how his life informed his art, told from the perspectives of those who knew him best.
The Money Masters
A documentary that traces the origins of the political power structure that rules our nation and the world today. The modern political power structure has its roots in the hidden manipulation and accumulation of gold and other forms of money.
Video Essentials on DVD was assembled by the early part of 1997 as a tool to help measure and adjust your audio/video system. The program was released at the beginning of the DVD format in order to help the industry in the development of DVD. It is a source of signals for system calibration, including Dolby Digital, test tones, and anamorphic video test patterns.
Lon Chaney: Behind the Mask
A documentary on the life and career of actor Lon Chaney, with clips from his films and interviews with people who knew him.
The Lumière Brothers' First Films
A collection of short films made by the Lumiere brothers, a team of pioneering filmmakers in turn-of-the-century France, narrated by Bertrand Tavernier.
Filmmaker and journalist Bruce Burgess (Broken Dagger) goes deep into the heart of the greatest secret of the 20th century: Area 51, or "Dreamland," in this award-winning documentary. Along with his camera crew, Burgess sets out to uncover the truth of what is really goin on in the most secret military base in the world. Originally a skeptic, Burgess was converted, and now he presents his findings here. Footage of UFOs performing impossible maneuvers under over of darkness. Multiple aircrafts flying over the base are only the beginning of this account of what goes on in a base that is roughly the size of Switzerland. Learn about the unexplained deaths of Area 51 workers, government-funded Black Projects, abductions, and the reverse engineering of extraterrestrial technology. Dreamland goes beyond the perimeter wire, through the fields of motion sensors, past the armed patrols, jet fighters, and attack helicopters to uncover the truth of the greatest secret yet to be exposed.
The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Often called the worst director in the history of cinema, Ed Wood is nevertheless a beloved figure among cult-film aficionados for his oddball productions. This documentary takes a look back at Wood's unique career at the margins of 1950s Hollywood, speaking to those who loved him and hated him. Bela Lugosi Jr. discusses his father's work in the abysmal "Plan 9 From Outer Space," while a Baptist reverend recalls how he was tricked into financing the film.
Bob Hope: Laughing With the Presidents
For 11 Presidents, Bob Hope was a golfing buddy, national jester and constant guest at the White House. This special includes personal recollections about Bob from the Clintons, the Bushs, the Fords, and David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower. Guests Tony Danza, Don Johnson, Naomi Judd, Ann-Margret and Tom Selleck also appear on what was to become Bob Hope's final television special.
Making Frankensense of Young Frankenstein
Via reminiscences from writer/actor Gene Wilder and others, this documentary recalls the making of the 1974 film Young Frankenstein.