Best Documentary Movies of 1998
Hitman Hart - Wrestling With Shadows
This documentary follows superstar Bret Hart during his last year in the WWF. The film documents the tensions that resulted in The Montreal Screwjob, one of the most controversial events in the history of professional wrestling, in which Vince McMahon, Shawn Micheals, and others, legitimately conspired behind the scenes to go against the script and remove Bret Hart as champion.
The life and times of Baltimore film maker and midnight movie pioneer, John Waters.
The Last Days
Five Jewish Hungarians, now U.S. citizens, tell their stories: before March, 1944, when Nazis began to exterminate Hungarian Jews, months in concentration camps, and visiting childhood homes more than 50 years later. An historian, a Sonderkommando, a doctor who experimented on Auschwitz prisoners, and US soldiers who were part of the liberation in April, 1945.
Affectionate portrait of Timothy "Speed" Levitch, a tour guide for Manhattan's Gray Line double-decker buses.
Richter The Enigma
Bruno Monsaingeon wrote and directed this 144-minute French documentary about Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, who died August 1, 1997. Black-and-white performance clips from the 1930s are combined with later Mosfilm color footage, while Richter's personal history is revealed in digital video interviews shot two years before his death.
Kurt & Courtney
After rocker Kurt Cobain's death, ruled a suicide, a film crew arrives in Seattle to make a documentary. Director Nick Broomfield talks to lots of people. Portraits emerge: a shy, slight Kurt, weary of touring, embarrassed by fame, hooked on heroin; an out-going Courtney, dramatic, controlling, moving from groupie to star.
Meeting People Is Easy
Meeting People Is Easy takes place during the promotion of Radiohead's 1997 release OK Computer, containing a collage of video clips, sound bites, and dialogue going behind the scenes with the band on their world tour, showing the eventual burn-out of the group as the world tour progresses. The inaugural show of the OK Computer tour began on 22 May 1997 in Barcelona, Spain.
John Leguizamo: Freak
John Leguizamo's semi-falsified, one-man stand-up performance as...himself. This is his autobiographical story, about his life growing up, and his journey to try to be accepted by his father. We see this story through a bizarre myriad of characters and situations, which include the eccentric Uncle Sanny, the Fat Boy Called Bitch (John's little brother, Poochie), his mom, his evil grandmothers, and Lee Stratsberg, not to mention a brief appearance by Cantinflas as God.
An international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return to Base Camp. It also shows many of the challenges the group faced, including avalanches, lack of oxygen, treacherous ice walls, and a deadly blizzard.
Behind the Planet of the Apes
Roddy McDowall takes you, film by film, from production meetings to make-up sessions, then right onto the movie set to see the actual filming of the science fiction masterpiece. The most comprehensive history of Planet of the Apes ever created, this fascinating 127-minute documentary explores one of the most imaginative and influential series in movie history.
Le cas Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Disgusted by life and uninterested in earthly subjects, Lovecraft intentionally avoided reality when writing, veering into the unknown and inspiring the fear that lurks in nightmares. But, how do you portray the indefinable mythology that gave birth to Dragon, or the mysterious Cthulhu, or the uniquely strange Necronomicon? Directors Patrick Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic asked themselves this question before responding with this unorthodox documentary that re-creates the atmosphere of claustrophobia, anxiety, and madness of Lovecraft s life and work.
What's a Carry On?
Documentary commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 'Carry On' comedy film series. Archive clips and out-takes are mixed with interviews with the cast.
Angel on My Shoulder
Donna Deitch directed this documentary about the illness and death of her friend, actress Gwen Welles (Nashville). Diagnosed with an cancerous tumor in 1992, Welles chose not to go for conventional treatments, and the film shows her deterioration. Shot on video with a later transfer to 16mm, this film was shown at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival.
The Decline of Western Civilization Part III
The Decline of Western Civilization III is a 1998 documentary film directed by Penelope Spheeris that chronicles the 'gutter punk' lifestyle of homeless teens in Los Angeles.
PNYC: Portishead - Roseland New York
Portishead concert in the Roseland Ballroom, New York City, on the 24th July 1997 with tracks from the albums "Dummy" and "Portishead" played by the band and a 30 piece orchestra.
Spice Girls in America: A Tour Story
Want to know what life is like on tour with the Spice Girls? Well here's your chante to get inside the real SpiceWorld. In June 1998, the world's most successful all-girl band wen on tour all over America performing over 40 shows in 35 US cities and America discovered Spice Fever! This rare, behind-the scenes portrait is the story of the Spice Girls' sell-out tour of forty shows, following their progress as they cope with the pressures of life in a world of tour buses & private jets, press conferences & performances. Played out alongside the highs & lows of the World Cup, this is the story of life in the Spice bubble - of photo shoots, TV appearances, shopping trips, hotel rooms & the stresses & strains of life on the long and winding road. "A Tour History" is a unique & intimate snapshot of the Spice Girls during an American summer they will never forget.
The Making of 'The Frighteners'
Documentary about the making of the 1996 horror-comedy.
Marilyn Manson: Dead to the World
The controversial events from the Antichrist Superstar tour serve as the backdrop for this amazing document, all as seen through the video eye of the band's own cameraman. The picketing zealots, the fulminating moralists, the disingenuous politicians, the tens of thousands who came to see for themselves and, of course, gazing outward from the very heart of the storm, Manson himself. One hour of live concert performances intercut with behind the scene and backstage footage that will help you to understand what it must have been like to be at the center of these extraordinary occurrences.
Party Monster: The Shockumentary
Tells the story of the rise and fall of Michael Alig, a kid from Middle America who aspired to take the place of Andy Warhol. Michael quickly rose to become the biggest party promoter in New York and King of the so-called Club Kids. But after spiraling into drug addiction, Michael brutally murdered his roommate Angel Melendez.
Serengeti Symphony is a breathtaking look at the astounding landscape and exotic animals that make up the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The film accounts the daily lives and intricacies of animals such as giraffe, flamingos, leopards and cheetahs, each vivid scene flawlessly paired with a musical score written by Laurens van Rooyen. Serengeti Symphony brings the beauty of Africa to life like never before, with close up colourful images of the terrain and unimaginable glimpses of the wildlife, allowing the true character of the landscape, and the grace and spirit of every animal, to shine through.
A documentary about the making of "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth
In 1948, Lenny Bruce was just another comic who couldn't get arrested. By 1961, all that would change.
Image of an Assassination: A New Look at the Zapruder Film
Abraham Zapruder's home-camera footage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is treated to digital re-mastering.
The Metalheadz Documentary is an intimate and immediate account of a Drum & Bass label poised for world domination. DJs and producers talk openly of the artistic freedom they enjoy, how the label has evolved to represent such a diverse musical scene and why moving forward and pushing the boundaries is so vital. These names have created a global phenomenon and here talk for the first time of how it was achieved, where it's at and what the future holds.
Kiss: The Second Coming
For over a quarter century, KISS has shaped the face of popular music and rock culture. The KISS Alive Worldwide tour saw the rebirth of rock's most incredible band. Witness firsthand the amazing story of how after 17 years, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace frehley and Peter Criss's paths finally crossed, reuniting one of rock and roll's biggest success stories ever. This bombastic behind-the-scenes documentary details the events that led up to KISS's record-breaking Alive Worldwide tour of 1996-97. Come witness the story of how Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter reunited and strove to write a new chapter in the history of rock & roll. This is KISS - The Second Coming.
Life of Crime 2
This follow-up to the 1989 documentary ONE YEAR IN A LIFE OF CRIME revisits three of the original subjects in New Jersey during a five-year period in the 1990s. We share in their triumphs and setbacks as they navigate lives of poverty, drug abuse, AIDS, and petty crime.
Backstreet Boys: All Access Video
1. The Making of "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" 2. "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" [Extended Dance Mix with Dialogue] 3. On the Set of "As Long As You Love Me" 4. "As Long As You Love Me" 5. "All I Have To Give" (Sneak Preview) 6. "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" 7. Get Down (You're The One For Me)" & "Anywhere For You" [Recorded Live at Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany] 8. "I'll Never Break Your Heart" [Recorded Live at MuchMusic, January 4, 1998] 9. "We've Got It Goin' On"
The Thing: Terror Takes Shape
An in-depth look at the making of John Carpenter's cult classic sci-fi horror The Thing, telling the story of a group of researchers in Antarctica who encounter a parasitic extra-terrestrial life-form that assimilates, then imitates other organisms.
Sex in a Cold Climate
Interlocking interviews of 4 women interred in various Magdalene asylums and/or orphanages because of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, being sexually assaulted, or just being "too pretty".
American Experience: A Midwife's Tale
A docudrama adaptation of Ulrich's Pulitzer-winning book, which was based on thousands of entries in the journal of Martha Ballard, a Maine midwife, in the late 1700's and early 1800's. The movie intercuts between reenactments of Ballard doing her Maine midwifery and related tasks, and Ulrich in her eight years of research on her book; in the end, clear comparisons are made between the work of the two women.
A Place Called Chiapas
In 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army, made up of impoverished Mayan Indians from the state of Chiapas, took over five towns and 500 ranches in southern Mexico. The government deployed its troops and at least 145 people died in the ensuing battle. Filmmaker Nettie Wild travelled to the country's jungle canyons to film the elusive and fragile life of this uprising.
The Making of 'American Graffiti'
Documentary that features many interviews and other footage of the cast and crew for the film American Graffiti (1973)
Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters
A fascinating look at one of the most unforgettable groups of the '70s. You'll see Richard and Karen Carpenter performing lots of their classic songs, plus rare archival footage and tributes by Herb Alpert, Les Paul, Burt Bacharach and more. Contains exclusive footage not seen on the PBS broadcast. 1997/color/75 min/NR/fullscreen.
Spotlight on Location: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Behind the scenes of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Six Days in Roswell
A feature film docu-comedy about UFOs, Aliens, Sightings, Abductions, Other Worldly Visitors, Extra Terrestrials, UFO Researchers, Government Cover-ups, Close Encounters, Flying Saucers, Alien Spacecraft, an Impact Site, Alien Bodies, an Alien Autopsy, the 509th Bomb Group, Atomic Bomb Testing, The Trinity Site, the White Sands Missile Test Range, Los Alamos, the crash of 1947 at Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.A. which became known as the Roswell Incident, and the people of the town of Roswell who now commemorate the UFO crash every july 4th weekend at the Roswell UFO Encounter celebration.
Divorce Iranian Style
DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE unfolds inside an Iranian divorce court, providing a subtle and intimate look at the lives of women in a country stereotypically associated with fanaticism and oppression. Astute and beautifully observed, the film reveals the ingenuity and humour with which Iranian women negotiate the restrictions of their society.
Lucky People Center International
Lucky People Center International takes us on a journey around the world through human souls. Music's rhythms and the film's pulsing form reminiscent of the music video aesthetics and gives the documentary a new face. The film traveled around the world for two years to find people and lifestyles that reflect the world before 2000.
Dire Straits: Sultans of Swing, The Very Best of Dire Straits
Sultans of swing - Lady writer - Romeo and Juliet - Tunnel of love - Private investigations - Twisting by the pool - Love over gold (live 1983) - So far away - Money for nothing - Brothers in arms - Walk of life - Calling Elvis - Heavy fuel - On every street (live 1992) - Your latest trick (live 1992) - Local hero - Wild theme (live 1992)
Human Remains is a haunting documentary which illustrates the banality of evil by creating intimate portraits of five of the 20th century's most reviled dictators. The film unveils the personal lives of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Francisco Franco and Mao Tse Tung. We learn the private and mundane details of their everyday lives -- their favorite foods, films, habits and sexual preferences. There is no mention of their public lives or of their place in history. The intentional omission of the horrors for which these men were responsible hovers over the film.
B.B. King: Live In Africa '74
In 1974, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman held their heavyweight title fight in Zaire, billing it as the "Rumble in the Jungle". A three-day music festival was staged concurrently, and B.B. King was the headlining act. Anyone who has ever had the fortune to see B.B. King play live, even in his later, seated years knows that he is a consummate showman. B.B. King: Live in Africa '74 presents the man at the peak of his powers, as a performer and as a player.
A documentary about the era of classic monster movies that were made at Universal Studios during the 1930s and 1940s.
Bruce Lee: In His Own Words
A collection of old interviews with Bruce Lee show us his beliefs, thoughts on fighting and what martial arts means to him.
Less a documentary than a primer on all electronic music. Featuring interviews with nearly every major player past and present, as well as a few energetic live clips, Modulations delves into one of electronica's forgotten facets: the human element. Lee travels the globe from the American Midwest to Europe to Japan to try to express the appeal of music often dismissed as soulless. Modulations shows that behind even the most foreign or alien electronic composition lies a real human being, and Lee lets many of these Frankenstein-like creators express and expound upon their personal philosophies and tech-heavy theories. Lee understands that a cultural movement as massive and diverse as dance music can't be contained.
Inside The X-Files
Inside the X-Files for a behind-the-scenes look at the show. Also included are interviews with the cast and creator Chris Carter, never before seen segments from the show, outtakes and a sneak preview of the upcoming feature film.
Megacities is a documentary about the slums of five different metropolitan cities.
The Fear of God: 25 Years of The Exorcist
A behind-the-scenes retrospective made for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the classic horror film, The Exorcist. Includes interviews with Linda Blair and the other stars of the film, along with commentary from the director and writer on some of the deeper meanings behind the elements they used to terrify their audiences, and previously unreleased footage including make-up tests and deleted scenes.
Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu
Documentary recounting the life story of Louise Brooks in 5 sections: "Lulu in Toe Shoes"; "Lulu in Hollywood"; "Lulu in Berlin"; "Lulu in Hell"; and "Resurrection". Narrated by Shirley MacLaine.
The first documentary by Wojciech Staro?. He just finished film school, his wife Ma?gosia just became a teacher. The year is 1997. They decide to go for a year deep into Siberia: she’ll teach Polish, he’ll shoot a film. And this is that beautiful film, narrated in the first person by Ma?gosia as she meets all sorts of colorful characters and reflects upon reality with her beautiful, monotone voice, seeing the good in people individually and collectively. This is also about her transformation in this travel undertaken in the centuries-old fashion of the observer who, by observing others, observes herself.
The Farm: Angola, USA
Documentary depicting day to day life in Angola Prison mostly from an inmate's perspective. Interviews are with several inmates including one with a life sentence who is about to die.
The history of color photography in motion pictures, in particular the Technicolor company's work.