Best Documentary Movies of 2000
On the Edge of 'Blade Runner'
This is the rare UK Channel 4 documentary about Blade Runner, giving insights into it's history with interviews of Ridley Scott, the writers and nearly all the cast. Interviews with production staff, including Ridley, give details into the creative process and turmoil during preproduction. Stories from Paul M. Sammon and Fancher provide insight into Philip K. Dick and the origins of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Interweaved are cast interviews with the notable exceptions of Harrison Ford and Sean Young. Through these interviews we get a sense of how difficult and frustrating the film was to make as a result of an exacting director without allies and hot, wet, smoggy conditions; which added to the high pressure atmosphere everyone increasingly felt as the film went over budget. There is also a tour of some locations, most notably the Bradbury Building and the Warner Brothers backlot that was the LA 2019 streets, which look very different from Ridley's dark version.
The Trouble with Marnie
This hour long documentary on the making of Alfred Hitchcock's "Marnie" incorporates the usual melange of contemporary interviews with surviving participants and liberal helpings of film clips and production shots. It also presents a nice selection of script pages and memos as well. In the former category we find cast members 'Tippi' Hedren, Diane Baker, and Louise Latham, rejected screenwriters Joseph Stefano and Evan Hunter, final screenwriter Jay Presson Allen, daughter Pat Hitchcock O'Connell, production designer Robert Boyle, makeup artist Howard Smit, unit manager Hilton Green, Hitchcock historian Robin Wood, composer Bernard Herrmann biographer Steven C. Smith, and Hitchcock fan/filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich. An entertaining account of the film's production, the participants offer loads of valuable information and anecdotes. Highly enjoyable for Hitchcock fans and the film's growing number of admirers.
Oscar nominated documentary short from 2000
Lions: Spy in the Den
A nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough and published by BBC broadcasted as part of BBC Wildlife Specials in 2000. A motorised camera with state-of-the-art microphones disguised as a rock covered in leaves. It was invented specifically for this project of infiltrating a pride of lions to record their lives over a period of a couple of years.
Underworld: Everything, Everything
Techno fans will dig the power and energy in this compilation featuring nine of the innovative British trio's jam sessions captured in Japan, Holland, Belgium, England and Ireland during their 1998-'99 world tour. Crisp sound makes tracks such as "Push Upstairs" and "Pearls Girl" pulsate with perfection. Add vivid concert film melded with imaginative visuals, and this dynamic video can't be beat.
The Opera Ghost: A Phantom Unmasked
A documentary from Universal about their Phantom of the Opera movies.
The Mark of Cain
The Mark of Cain documents the fading art form and “language” of Russian criminal tattoos, formerly a forbidden topic in Russia. The now vanishing practice is seen as reflecting the transition of the broader Russian society. Filmed in some of Russia’s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the interviews with prisoners, guards, and criminologists reveal the secret language of “The Zone” and “The Code of Thieves” (Vor v zakone).
Time and Tide
Peter Hutton’s meditation on the Hudson River.
Phish: Bittersweet Motel
Bittersweet Motel is a documentary about the popular rock band Phish. The film focuses on Phish's music, with little emphasis on their die-hard fan base.
Rocks at Whiskey Trench
The fourth film in Alanis Obomsawin's landmark series on the Oka crisis uses a single, shameful incident as a lens through which to examine the region's long history of prejudice and injustice against the Mohawk population.