Things that I think are awesome (the documentary edition)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Last night I was "taking a break" from studying and I watched "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" - a documentary about Kevin Clash, the "arm" behind Elmo.  It was super sweet and I loved looking at how puppets are made and brought to life.  There are these great scenes in their workshop where drawers get opened and you see hundreds of different eyes, ears, noses, eyebrows, etc., lying there, waiting to be used in some new Muppet.

Loryn and I will spend hours watching movie trailers on Netflix or Hulu (seriously, it's almost better than actually watching a movie), but if we ever finally pick one, we often see a documentary.  I tend to like social and personal ones rather than political ones.  I've decided to show you some of my favorites, so you can benefit from my impeccable taste in film.
Young@Heart - a choir of senior citizens (average age, 80!) sing Hendrix and Sonic Youth.  It starts out being warm and sweet and turns into a giant cry-fest.  Highly recommended.
First Position - young ballet dancers prepare for an international ballet competition.  I saw this last year at the Violet Crown and immediately started dreaming of ballet lessons for my future kids.
Spellbound - I changed my mind, my kids are going to be spelling champs, not ballet dancers.
King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - a battle over the world record high score on Donkey Kong.  I've never met Billy Mitchell, but I'm convinced he's a very mean person.  (Watch and you'll understand.)
Make Believe - six teenagers prepare for the Teen World Championships of magic.  First arcade games, then magic, I know, I know, you just have to trust me.
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop - follows Conan after he was fired from the Tonight Show and goes on his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.  I love Conan and I liked this doc, but I will say that Conan kind of comes off as a jerk in this.  Yes, he'd just been fired from his dream job, but still...
My Kid Could Paint That - Marla Olmstead, a child prodigy abstract painter rises to fame and then becomes the focus of much controversy.  The film tries to make you question the origin of these paintings, but it just makes me ask, "What exactly do I consider art?"
Mad Hot Ballroom - adorable kids dancing like little adults.  Changed my mind again - my kids are going to be ballroom dancers.
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement - Loryn and I saw this after a marathon movie trailer watching session.  It is the sweetest movie I've seen in a long time. Definitely beat the trailers (that's hard to do!)
Forks over Knives - I first watched this when I was a vegetarian eating little dairy or eggs.  I probably won't be so validated (read: smug) about my eating habits next time I watch this (I'm eating meat now) but it'll still be thought provoking.
I Think We're Alone Now - rides the fine line (for me) between documenting and condescending.  The film follows two people "in love" from afar with 80's pop star Tiffany.  It's sad and depressing, but a good watch.
Bill Cunningham New York - Bill Cunningham has been photographing street fashion for the Times for over 30 years.  Brilliant look at a brilliant man.
The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia - this family is loud, trashy and don't care at all what their neighbors (or the law) think of their actions.  I love love love this film.  WATCH IT.
The Business of Being Born - Evane and I watched this one night and decided to adopt.  Ouch.

Next on my list: Grey Gardens and Man on Wire... I foresee more studying breaks in my future.  Like, in a few minutes.
Because I'm nothing if not supremely helpful, all of these are available on Netflix.  Make Believe, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, Edie & Thea, Forks Over Knives, I Think We're Alone Now, Bill Cunningham, The Wild and Wonderful Whites, The Business of Being Born, and Man On Wire are all available on "watch instantly".  Dude, I'm so nice.

What do you think?  I have perfect taste, no?


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