Best Documentary Movies of 2003
Touching the Void
A documentary based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson about Simpson's and Simon Yates' disastrous and near-fatal attempt to climb 6,344m Siula Grande in the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.
End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones
Filmmaker Michael Gramaglia's years-in-the-making biography of the legendary punk band the Ramones entitled End of the Century traces nearly all the various and sundry peaks and valleys which the seminal rockers experienced over the course of its 20-plus year career before disbanding in 1995. Beginning with the band's first concert performances in the mid-'70s, Gramaglia explores the eccentric and highly volatile band members -- in all the various line-ups that were presented over the years -- as the Ramones slowly gained fame for their high energy and high-tempo style of music that would later influence generations of punk rockers around the world. Mixing archival interviews with new interviews of the various surviving bandmembers, as well as interviews with a number of the Ramones' contemporaries, End of the Century encapsulates the East Coast underground music atmosphere of the 1970s and '80s that the band inadvertently shocked into existence.
Bukowski - Born into This
Director John Dullaghan’s biographical documentary about infamous poet Charles Bukowski, Bukowski: Born Into This, is as much a touching portrait of the author as it is an exposé of his sordid lifestyle. Interspersed between ample vintage footage of Bukowski’s poetry readings are interviews with the poet’s fans including such legendary figures such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joyce Fante (wife of John), Bono, and Harry Dean Stanton. Filmed in grainy black and white by Bukowski’s friend, Taylor Hackford, due to lack of funding, the old films edited into this movie paint Bukowski’s life of boozing and brawling romantically, securing Bukowski’s legendary status.
Los Angeles Plays Itself
From its distinctive neighborhoods to its architectural homes, Los Angeles has been the backdrop to countless movies. In this dazzling work, Andersen takes viewers on a whirlwind tour through the metropolis real and cinematic history, investigating the myriad stories and legends that have come to define it, and meticulously, judiciously revealing the real city that lives beneath.
Faster is an electrifying tribute to the white-knuckle world of MotoGPâ„¢ â€“ the fastest sport on two wheels â€“ where the world's top riders go wheel to wheel at over 200mph and crash at over 100mph. Narrated by Ewan McGregor, Faster chases two seasons' worth of the world championship, featuring revealing interviews with riders, mechanics, doctors, commentators and fans. If you want high octane, adrenaline fuelled thrills, Faster will take you on a nerve shredding journey through the most exciting sport on the planet!
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
A homeless musician finds meaning to his life when he starts a friendship with dozens of parrots.
Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette's documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother -- a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more -- culled from 19 years of his life.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood
Step Into Liquid
Ghosts of the Abyss
Academy AwardÂ® winning director and master storyteller James Cameron journeys back to the site of his greatest inspiration, the legendary wreck of the Titanic. With a team of the world's foremost historic and marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives almost a century ago.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Live at Slane Castle
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
British documentarian Nick Broomfield creates a follow-up piece to his 1992 documentary of the serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a highway prostitute who was convicted of killing six men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. Interviewing an increasingly mentally unstable Wuornos, Broomfield captures the distorted mind of a murderer whom the state of Florida deems of sound mind -- and therefore fit to execute. Throughout the film, Broomfield includes footage of his testimony at Wuornos' trial.
Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie
Alternately hilarious and horrifying, Overnight chronicles one man's misadventures of making a Hollywood movie. It starts out as a rags to riches story as Troy Duffy, a Boston-bred bartender, sells his first screenplay for The Boondock Saints.