Good Documentaries (1 Viewer)

Haven't seen this one yet but it looks very interesting and I would love for it to be shown in Denver (so I can see it on the big screen). Been a fan of Arhoolie Records and Chris's work for years.

In addition to the trailer there is a website that goes with it: http://nomousemusic.com/

 
Last edited:

mjp

Founding member
The documentary Looking For Johnny - the Legend of Johnny Thunders is coming out soon. It started as an indiegogo thing a couple of years ago. I should be getting it soon. If it's any good I'll post something in the documentaries thread.
Looking for Johnny is really good. Admittedly my expectations were not high, since it was an indiegogo project, but it's a good documentary regardless of how it came about.

Balance is often a problem in this kind of movie. Too much focus on parts of the person's life that are outside of what they are primarily known for (If Robert Plant made a documentary about himself I suspect it would have about five minutes on Led Zeppelin and another 120 minutes about the rest of his life and his solo music that no one listens to). But this was balanced perfectly, about 40% New York Dolls, 40% Heartbreakers, and 20% everything else. Nice balance also between people telling stories and performance clips.

So you could say it is a well-balanced meal. Of sorts. I didn't learn a lot, since I already knew a lot about Johnny, but you watch these things primarily to hear people's stories, and it delivered on that.

One thing was new to me, the fact that Bob Dylan once said he'd wished he had written You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory. Who knew. (Tidbit apropos to the forum here, the last line of Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory is "Don't try.")


And a splendid example of the often imitated, never duplicated Thunders guitar sound (the parts that sound like a runaway freight train frantically blasting its air horn because it's about to run over a school bus full of innocent children - that's Johnny):

[This video is unavailable.]
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
I recently enjoyed Partly Fiction about Harry Dean Stanton. Not much in terms of straight documentary, but I sure liked seeing him sing "Blue Bayou."
 
220px-Digposter.jpg
 

mjp

Founding member
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways, which is ostensibly about them making their latest album, but it's really a history of American cities and American music.

We watched the last episode tonight and I want to watch every one of them again. Soon.

10++

[This video is unavailable.]
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Sonic Highways is excellent until they get to the Foo Fighters song at the end. But everything else is really good.
 

justine

stop the penistry
i recently binged-watched all three of the Paradise Lost docs (about the West Memphis 3) - very interesting, and maddening, but FUCK there should be a warning at the start that they show video and still footage of the boys' corpses and injuries (in the opening scenes! and repeatedly throughout!). they're available fro free streaming on amazon prime. will probably rent West of Memphis soon too (not part of the original trilogy, but the same subject).
 

mjp

Founding member
I saw hype! a few months ago and while it's a perfectly competent oral history, it left me cold. The birth of grunge just isn't an interesting story.

Maybe because the music was just a rehash (and melding) of the first and second waves of punk, or maybe because there weren't many interesting characters there. Usually documentaries about the seeds of new musical forms are fascinating, because the forms are new (I think of documentaries about the birth of rock and roll, jazz and reggae). Since grunge was nothing new I guess a documentary celebrating it and making a case for its importance fell short for me.

Don't get me wrong, I was happy to see the kids in the 90s kicking out the jams, I just couldn't take it seriously as a "new music," because it wasn't. They all seemed like nostalgia bands to me. Like a band at my high school in the 70s playing Bill Haley and Elvis Presley music or something.

Now there's an interesting idea for a documentary: the rapidly closing nostalgia gap. We used to wait a generation to feel nostalgia. Now people are fondly remembering the "old days" of five years ago.
 
@mjp I certainly see your point about the melding of art forms and I think many of the artists and people in the documentary seem at times to be conflicted with elements of that same notion - certainly weary of the "grunge" label as a new and viable thing. But yeah, for me the best part was just seeing the kids in the 90s rocking out (in the spirit of the MC5 at least) and having a good time.

Also, definitely think the rapidly closing nostalgia gap would make for an interesting doc indeed.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Finally online. Or buy it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005TZFYWU/?tag=charlebukowsa-20

Best documentary ever. Sue me.


8 Chapters (over 6 hours long), and a 2 hours Follow-Up, 9/10.

Chapter 1: Crime or Accident?
Chapter 2: Secrets and Lies
Chapter 3: A Striking Coincidence
Chapter 4: A Prosecution Trickery
Chapter 5: A Weak Case
Chapter 6: The Prosecution's Revenge
Chapter 7: The Blowpoke Returns
Chapter 8: The Verdict


If you don't know the case (n)or the outcome, then you're a lucky bastard.

[This video is unavailable.]
 
Last edited:

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
I put off watching this because a lot of performance art leaves me cold, but I've been reading about Marina Abramovic for years in art magazines, so I figured if she can spend 40 years doing her work and stick to it like some sort of stubborn warrior, the least I can do is give two hours of my time.

I found myself liking the documentary, and her performance/installation at the MOMA was oddly fascinating and sometimes moving.

6a00d8341c2b7953ef0163066b5456970d-pi.png



Anyway, I'm off to stand naked and blindfolded in my backyard screaming "Horseradish!" at the top of my lungs for 12 hours. Hope the critics dig it.
 
Super Duper Alice Cooper is on Palladia now. I'd heard about the chicken incident but I didn't realize that this was right before Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band went on in Toronto '69. Good stuff.
 

mjp

Founding member
Finding Vivian Maier

A street photographer equal to Diane Arbus or Mary Ellen Mark, but unknown until recently. A compulsive picture taker, hoarder of newspapers, abusive nanny - she was a nut, but a genius with a camera.

 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Vivian Maier. fascinated by her life and work. Got "Street Photographer" for my bday. It really is an excellent collection. Very much looking forward to seeing the doc.
 
Last edited:

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
Watched Obscene a while ago (on Netflix maybe?), about Barney Rosset and Grove Press...that's worth a look.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top