Best Documentary Movies of 2010
The remarkable story of Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna, charting his physical and spiritual achievements on the track and off, his quest for perfection, and the mythical status he has since attained, is the subject of Senna, a documentary feature that spans the racing legend's years as an F1 driver, from his opening season in 1984 to his untimely death a decade later.
A film that exposes the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the separation barrier on the Palestinian West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. Exit Through the Gift Shop tells the incredible true story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner.
Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Wee Man and the rest of their fearless and foolhardy friends take part in another round of outrageous pranks and stunts. In addition to standing in the path of a charging bull, launching themselves into the air and crashing through various objects, the guys perform in segments such as "Sweatsuit Cocktail," "Beehive Tetherball" and "Lamborghini Tooth Pull."
Directors Hetherington and Junger spend a year with the 2nd Battalion of the United States Army located in one of Afghanistan's most dangerous valleys. The documentary provides insight and empathy on how to win the battle through hard work, deadly gunfights and mutual friendships while the unit must push back the Taliban.
It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas." Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground-a hydraulic drilling process called "fracking"-and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.
Waiting for "Superman"
Gripping, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful, Waiting for Superman is an impassioned indictment of the American school system from An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
For decades, Freddy Krueger has slashed his way through the dreams of countless youngsters, scaring up over half a billion dollars at the box office across eight terrifying, spectacular films.
Nev, a 24-year-old New York-based photographer, has no idea what he's in for when Abby, an eight-year-old girl from rural Michigan, contacts him on Facebook, seeking permission to paint one of his photographs. When he receives her remarkable painting, Nev begins a friendship and correspondence with Abby's family. But things really get interesting when he develops a cyber-romance with Abby's attractive older sister, Megan, a musician and model. Prompted by some startling revelations about Megan, Nev and his buddies embark on a road trip in search of the truth.
Over four decades, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister has registered an immeasurable impact on music history. Nearly 65, he remains the living embodiment of the rock and roll lifestyle, and this feature-length documentary tells his story, one of a hard-living rock icon who continues to enjoy the life of a man half his age.
An ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe. Part thriller, part meditation on the vanishing wonders of the sub-aquatic world.
When You're Strange
The creative chemistry of four brilliant artists —drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Kreiger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison— made The Doors one of America's most iconic and influential rock bands. Using footage shot between their formation in 1965 and Morrison's death in 1971, it follows the band from the corridors of UCLA's film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, to the stages of sold-out arenas.
Life Cycles tells a spectacular story of the bike, from its creation to its eventual demise. A visually stunning journey, with thought provoking narration, Life Cycles uses Ultra HD to document the many stories surrounding the mountain bike and its culture. Ride along into breath taking natural settings, as we battle the elements, showcase the progression of riding, take a road trip, fix the bike, and show the destruction and eventual creation of trails. Semenuk, Hopkins, Schwartz, McIntosh, McCaul Agassiz, Hunter and Vanderham guide you through this wonderful story. Life Cycles is a celebration of the bicycle, and is sure to entertain anyone who has ever ridden one.
Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking
Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking is a science documentary mini-series written by British physicist Stephen Hawking. The series was created for Discovery Channel and features computer generated imagery of the universe. In the United Kingdom the series has a modified title, Stephen Hawking's Universe.
An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Top-selling contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes us on an emotional journey from Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to the heights of international art stardom. Vik collaborates with the brilliant catadores, pickers of recyclable materials, true Shakespearean characters who live and work in the garbage quoting Machiavelli and showing us how to recycle ourselves.
The War You Don't See
This film investigates how the media has reported war, from the First World War to the present day.
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals is a 2010 television documentary film broadcast on HBO. The film chronicles the rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird that begin with the 1979 NCAA Basketball Championship Game and lasted throughout their lengthy, Hall of Fame careers in the NBA. The film makes an argument that without the massive media attention that was placed on the rivalry that Magic and Bird had, the NBA might not have made through the 1980s following the merger with the ABA, among other things.
Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage
An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.
Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac were two friends who grew up together sharing the common bond of basketball. Together, they lifted the Yugoslavian National team to unimaginable heights. After conquering Europe, they both went to USA where they became the first two foreign players to attain NBA stardom. But with the fall of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, Yugoslavia split up. A war broke out between Petrovic's Croatia and Divac's Serbia. Long buried ethnic tensions surfaced. And these two men, once brothers, were now on opposite sides of a deadly civil war. As Petrovic and Divac continued to face each other on the basketball courts of the NBA, no words passed between the two. Then, on the fateful night of June 7, 1993, Drazen Petrovic was killed in an auto accident. This film will tell the gripping tale of these men, how circumstances beyond their control tore them apart, and whether Divac has ever come to terms with the death of a friend before they had a chance to reconcile.
The Weight of Chains
The Weight of Chains is a Canadian documentary film that takes a critical look at the role that the US, NATO and the EU played in the tragic breakup of a once peaceful and prosperous European state - Yugoslavia. The film, bursting with rare stock footage never before seen by Western audiences, is a creative first-hand look at why the West intervened in the Yugoslav conflict, with an impressive roster of interviews with academics, diplomats, media personalities and ordinary citizens of the former Yugoslav republics. This film also presents positive stories from the Yugoslav wars - people helping each other regardless of their ethnic background, stories of bravery and self-sacrifice.
The Making of The Walking Dead
The Making of the TV Series The Walking Dead
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
In the center of the story is the life of the indigenous people of the village Bakhtia at the river Yenisei in the Siberian Taiga. The camera follows the protagonists in the village over a period of a year. The natives, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, keep living their lives according to their own cultural traditions.
Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)
The documentary explores the enigmatic life and music of Harry Nilsson in an attempt to answer the question, "Who is Harry Nilsson?" The film includes new and archive audio and film including interviews with Robin Williams, Yoko Ono, Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Ray Cooper, the Smothers Brothers, and Micky Dolenz. "Who is Harry Nilsson?" uses promotional films, music videos, and home movies; segments from the unreleased documentary made during the recording of Son of Schmilsson (Did Somebody Drop His Mouse?); and excerpts from Nilsson's rare TV appearances in his BBC specials, the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour", "Playboy After Dark", and in an episode of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir".
Van Gogh: Painted with Words
A drama-documentary presented by Alan Yentob, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.
Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks
Reggie Miller single-handedly crushed the hearts of Knick fans multiple times. But it was the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals that solidified Miller as Public Enemy #1 in New York City. With moments to go in Game 1, and facing a seemingly insurmountable deficit of 105-99, Miller scored eight points in 8.9 seconds to give his Indiana Pacers an astonishing victory. This career-defining performance, combined with his give-and-take with Knicks fan Spike Lee, made Miller and the Knicks a highlight of the 1995 NBA playoffs. Peabody Award-winning director Dan Klores will explore how Miller proudly built his legend as "The Garden's Greatest Villain".
After a vicious attack leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.
All Time Low: Straight to DVD
This is a story of a band who never set out to change the world... and still hasn't. Take a journey with All Time Low as they travel America with one mission... to tell as many dick jokes as possible, with lots of laughs, a little bit of crying, and nude scene after nude scene after nude scene. Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson, and Zack Merrick star in a film so massive that no theater can contain it. It's a documentary, it's a live performance, it's more than you have ever wanted to know... and it's going... Straight to DVD.
Everything In-Between: The Story of Ellipse
Imogen Heap decamps to Maui, Hawaii in spring 2007 to start writing her third solo album. With only a video camera for company, she begins documenting its progress and doesn't stop until she's collected a Grammy Award for it. Aided by friend and film maker Justine Pearsall, every moment in the life cycle of the album is captured. From the writing trip; to her return to her family home to build a state of the art studio in her childhood playroom; to the songs themselves, their origins and journey to completion, This is an intimate and comprehensive portrait of the album and the artist. Including interviews with the people who know her best and appearances by Jeff Beck, Nitin Sawhney and Mika, Everything In-Between is part making of, part intimate diary confessional. A rare and inspiring insight into the life and work of a unique and exceptional artist and the creation of an acclaimed album. Filmed over three years and compiled from 374 hours of footage.
The Two Escobars
Pablo Escobar was the richest, most powerful drug kingpin in the world, ruling the Medellin Cartel with an iron fist. Andres Escobar was the biggest soccer star in Colombia. The two were not related, but their fates were inextricably-and fatally-intertwined. Pablo's drug money had turned Andres' national team into South American champions, favored to win the 1994 World Cup in Los Angeles. It was there, in a game against the U.S., that Andres committed one of the most shocking mistakes in soccer history, scoring an "own goal" that eliminated his team from the competition and ultimately cost him his life. The Two Escobars is a riveting examination of the intersection of sports, crime, and politics.
Blur: No Distance Left to Run
A documentary film about the British rock band Blur. Following the band during their 2009 reunion and tour, the film also includes unseen archive footage and interviews.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
A thoughtful portrait of a renowned artist, this documentary shines the spotlight on New York City painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Featuring extensive interviews conducted by Basquiat's friend, filmmaker Tamra Davis, the production reveals how he dealt with being a black artist in a predominantly white field. The film also explores Basquiat's rise in the art world, which led to a close relationship with Andy Warhol, and looks at how the young painter coped with acclaim, scrutiny and fame.
The Tillman Story
Pat Tillman never thought of himself as a hero. His choice to leave a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military wasn't done for any reason other than he felt it was the right thing to do. The fact that the military manipulated his tragic death in the line of duty into a propaganda tool is unfathomable and thoroughly explored in Amir Bar-Lev's riveting and enraging documentary.
442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity
Medal of Honor Recipient George Sakato said with tear, ' I am not a hero. I just killed a lot of people. It's not good. This medal is for the people who couldn't return their homes, not for me.' Even many soldiers who received the decoration still have deep scars in their hearts now. He is the veteran of 442nd Regimental Combat Team in WW2 composed of Japanese Americans, who were at first seen as the problem because of their race, but later seen as problem solvers because of their splendid achievements on the battle field. They had to fight not only the enemy but also prejudice. This is the story of the 442nd and their veterans now and then.
Portrayal of the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. Andrea Dunbar wrote honestly and unflinchingly about her upbringing on the notorious Buttershaw Estate in Bradford and was described as ‘a genius straight from the slums.’ When she died tragically at the age of 29 in 1990, Lorraine was just ten years old. The Arbor revisits the Buttershaw Estate where Dunbar grew up, thirty years on from her original play, telling the powerful true story of the playwright and her daughter Lorraine. Also aged 29, Lorraine had become ostracised from her mother’s family and was in prison undergoing rehab. Re-introduced to her mother’s plays and letters, the film follows Lorraine’s personal journey as she reflects on her own life and begins to understand the struggles her mother faced.
The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz
The Emmy-winning story of how an American treasure hunter and a Mexican artist transformed a dying desert village into a home for world-class art.
Carrie Fisher: Wishful Drinking
"Wishful Drinking" is based on Fisher's memoirs of the same title. The stage adaptation had its world premiere in 2006 at the Geffen Playhouse in L.A. It later played at Berkeley Repertory before opening on Broadway in October at Studio 54. The show takes audiences on a comic tour of Fisher's messy personal life and career. The actress-writer recounts stories about her work on the "Star Wars" series as well as her relationship with her parents Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. She also discusses her much-publicized problems with alcohol and drugs.
Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America
When it debuted in October 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, the show’s producer and host, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Christine Aguilera and R. Kelly; Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block and Stevie Wonder.
Video Nasties - The Definitive Guide - The Final 39
Every Video Nasty from the DPP list of 39 is critiqued and explored, followed by the original trailers.
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
In 2001 Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first director of photography in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Honorary Oscar. But the first time he clasped the famous statuette in his hand was a half-century earlier when his Technicolor camerawork was awarded for Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus. Beyond John Huston's The African Queen and King Vidor's War and Peace, the films of the British-Hungarian creative duo (The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death too) guaranteed immortality for the renowned cameraman whose career spanned seventy years.
A feature-length documentary starring Fran Lebowitz, a writer known for her unique take on modern life. The film weaves together extemporaneous monologues with archival footage and the effect is a portrait of Fran's worldview and experiences.
Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape
A documentary analyzing the furore which so-called "video nasties" caused in Britain during the 1980s.
The Art of the Steal
A gripping tale of intrigue and mystery in the art world, this film traces the history of a collection of Post-Impressionist paintings - worth billions - which became the subject of a power struggle after the death of its owner. Dr. Albert Barnes.
An IMAX 3D camera chronicles the effort of 7 astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
The film follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia.
Gypsy Spirit - A Journey to the roots of Gypsy Music in India
"I've always played Gypsy Music, that's what my father taught me. But I would like to know where this music is from". Willing to discover the roots of Gypsy Music, famous Austrian guitarist Harri Stojka goes on a journey to Rajasthan, India, to meet local musicians and play with them. There, he encounters several artists using the most original instruments, and always eager to share the joy of playing. More important, he realizes that the Gypsy spirit is something that brings them together. After all, they speak the same language: the language of music.
The evolution of the depiction of Native Americans in film, from the silent era until today, featuring clips from hundreds of movies and candid interviews with famous directors, writers and actors, Native and non-Native: how their image on the screen transforms the way to understand their history and culture.
The Rise of Black Wolf
In Yellowstone National Park, several wolf packs reside, competing for territory etc. Successful wolf packs survive by keeping order, but a black wolf is about to challenge the definition of this "normal" behaviour.
Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics
A look at the history of the comic book publication that launched such legendary characters as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of - after cursing his way through a Winnebago sales video, Rebney's outrageously funny outtakes became an underground sensation and made him an internet superstar. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer journeys to the top of a mountain to find the recluse who unwittingly became the "Winnebago Man".