Continuing with our do-it-yourself film festival ideas, here are some suggestions for a documentary fest.
Super Size Me
Super Size Me is the film by Morgan Spurlock that showed us how McDonald’s was going to be the downfall of modern civilization. I actually liked his series 30 Days a great deal, and even if I didn’t give up the joys of Big Macs entirely, I definitely think more about how often I really want to drive thru anywhere.
This is a rebuttal to Super Size Me, in which Tom Naughton also goes on a 30 day fast food diet. Unlike Spurlock, he does it with any eye on maintaining some nutritional guidelines, like eating around 2,000 calories. His results, rather shockingly, were quite different than those in Super Size Me. I recommend a back-to-back viewing to judge the two for yourself.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Loved this documentary, even as I was infuriated by what I knew had happened and finding out how much worse it was than I even suspected. The lack of oversight and supervision is shocking. In fact, I’m still stunned thinking about it now.
Herb and Dorothy
The story of two people with a fairly limited income who amassed a huge collection of modern art rivaling that in most museums; terrific background provided by artists who know the Vogels and their perspective on the growing collection.
My Kid Could Paint That
Documentary film that follows the controversial work of Marla Olmstead, who became a professional painter before entering elementary school. It seems like the filmmaker does his best to present the story objectively and provides both sides of the controversy.
The Art of the Steal
I was fascinated with this film and how a man from fairly humble beginnings became a multi-millionaire and collected some seriously important works of art. The documentary unfolds and reveals that the wishes of Dr. Barnes will systemically be violated. After watching, I realized how incredibly naïve I really am.
Black and Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop
In the 90s, the NYPD created a rap unit following some headline crimes involving the rap community. Great perspective from law enforcement, ACLU attorneys and civil rights activists, leaving no easy answers or clear-cut bad guys.
Step Into Liquid
If you have a desire to travel but a limited budget, this could fit the bill. It’s a beautifully narrated film that documents some of the most gorgeous beaches and waves that you may have never even known you wanted to visit. I think the brothers surfing in Ireland is my favorite part of the movie.
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
Its mindboggling to think about how we still haven’t recovered from the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast. Think what you will about Spike Lee, but he definitely tells some hard truths, especially when it’s not something we want to hear.
Living in Texas, I was engrossed in this documentary covering land development in Austin. As you can imagine in a place that embraces the “keep Austin weird” lifestyle, land development is a fairly controversial proposition. The comparisons between disease and subdivisions definitely allowed some of the filmmaker’s bias to show, but frankly since I shared the same bias I didn’t really mind.
I loved this film, but did have the foresight to go with a vegetarian option for dinner. I’m a big fan of food, cooking and all other things foodie. Because of that, I’m also a huge proponent of knowing where your food comes from and making good food easily available to everyone. Admittedly, I always end up wanting to move back home to Missouri to start a small farm with cows, chickens and produce. My husband then reminds me of my black thumb, heat intolerance and loathing of snakes/insects. I’m sticking with the farmer’s market and making friends with my local butcher.