The Best Documentaries You Might Have Missed

Posted: October 2, 2011 in Career Resources, FU News, Industry News

Compared to feature Hollywood films, documentaries have a smaller, more specialized audience.  Let’s be honest, a documentary isn’t the typical date-night movie; you have to be in the right mood and setting to watch a documentary.  Unfortunately, once a documentary leaves the movie theaters, it is often forgotten about (unless, of course, it gets an Academy Award nomination).

With all that being said, and an upcoming workshop about documentary filmmaking on October 19th, we thought we’d post some great documentary picks that you might have missed.

Life in a Day (directed by Kevin Macdonald, 2011) – A documentary shot by filmmakers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010

Inside Job (directed by Charles Ferguson, 2010) – Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown. Don’t watch this film if you have anger-management issues; it can make the most apathetic viewer care about the state of the US economy

Super Size Me (directed by Morgan Spurlock, 2004) – While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month

30 Days series, “Living on Minimum Wage” (directed by Morgan Spurlock, 2005) – An unscripted, documentary-style program where an individual is inserted into a lifestyle that is completely different from his or her upbringing, beliefs, religion or profession for 30 days. The first episode, Minimum Wage, is especially eye-opening as Spulock and his wife struggle to survive on minimal income; a reality for an alarming amount of Americans

Waiting for “Superman” (directed by Davis Guggenheim, 2010) – Guggenheim follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth

Trouble the Water (directed by Carl Deal, Tia Lessin) – A redemptive tale of an aspiring rap artist surviving failed levees of Hurricane Katrina and her own troubled past and seizing a chance for a new beginning

An Inconvenient Truth (directed by Davis Guggenheim, 2006) – A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide. Regardless of what you believe, this film is a must-see

Man on Wire (directed by James Marsh, 2008) – A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City’s World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974, what some consider, “the artistic crime of the century.” This film is a bit slow, but has an incredible story

March of the Penguins (directed by Luc Jacquet, 2005) – A look at the annual journey of Emperor penguins as they march — single file — to their traditional breeding ground.

Planet Earth (series) – narrated by Sigourney Weaver, 2006)(This breathtaking series won 4 Emmy Awards and features rare footage of life and organisms from all over the globe

Documentaries aren’t the most popular movies to see on a Friday night with friends, but they have a powerful effect on audiences and are usually well-crafted and well-researched.  All of the films listed above are great to check out whether you are a film enthusiast or if you are looking for something new and interesting to watch.  What are your favorite documentaries? Tweet your favorite at UGAFilmmaking. 

*Don’t forget to come out for Cinematic Showdown on Wednesday, November 9th at 8pm, Tate Theater. Film submissions excepted until November 2nd!

  1. Justin Crews says:

    Try Who Killed the Electric Car. The Pixar Story. Capitalism: A Love Story.

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