documentary end of year 2016

2016 End Of Year Lists: Documentaries

9.2.17



As much as it feels weird to still be posting end of year lists in the middle of February, the film categories can often take longer to evaluate, and after all it is awards season in full swing, so we thought it's still relevant at this time to talk about last year's finest in film.

Film Scores and Films Of The Year are also coming shortly.






10. Voyage Of Time



Terrence Malick's best film of 2016 is a grandiose documentary about itself and the story of this universe, and it may be comprised of of some ravishing and surreal CGI, but that does not make it any less of a real and impactful film. The version narrated by Cate Blanchett comes more recommended than the sixty minute one done by Brad Pitt.


9. Lo And Behold, Reveries Of The Connected World



Werner Herzog confronts a subject so vast that it would normally need hours of film and research to get a decent grasp of its importance, but the legendary filmmaker does a fine job in his attempt to profoundly present the history of the internet deliver a better comprehension of its mechanics in a single movie.


8. Amanda Knox



If you hadn't followed much about the case of Amanda Knox in the news when the tragic events that led to her imprisonment occurred, this film by Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn might be a more cliff-hanging experience for you than a nice suspense thriller flick.


7. Before The Flood



Before The Flood can easily be translated as Leo Di Caprio's activism and obsession with climate change manifested in the form of a thoughtful film with gorgeous cinematography, but in the end, after all the facts, the scientific investigation and the interviews with the leaders of the world, the movie feels more than an apt documentation of global warming that needed to come into existence as evidence at any cost.


6. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years



There are many documentary films about The Beatles but this latest one by Ron Howard instantly emerges as one of the most impressive ones ever, a first-rate film about the legendary band at the top of their notoriety that uses new and old footage as well as much interesting interviews with the surviving protagonists to re-tell the band's story, a celebrated tale which may be over but it never gets old.


5. Weiner



Anthony Weiner is a disaster of a person, but he is surely a fascinating character to examine, and this film about him and his shenanigans does exactly that, often leaving the viewer in wonder about how the hell is he still continuing to give the crew his full consent to keep on filming.


4. Kate Plays Christine



The world is long in need of a profound, elaborate documentary about Christine Chubbuck, the reporter who committed suicide live on national TV back in 1974, but still there is not much footage of her left behind, at least not available to the public, Kate Plays Christine is the next best thing and it's captivating from the very start when Kate Lyn Sheil, an upcoming young actress accepts the task of playing the late reporter in a movie. While we watch them prepare for the role, [SPOILER ALERT] it becomes apparent that there is no other film in which Sheil will portray Chubbuck, none except this brilliant faux documentary we've been watching this whole time.


3. Supersonic



Much like the previous Asif Kagadu-produced documentary, Amy, Supersonic does an amazing job with archival footage and interviews telling the story of Oasis, one of the last really popular pure rock 'n' roll bands, from its birth to the notorious 1996 headlining gig at Knebworth. While fans of the band are obviously expected to go crazy about it, followers of rock 'n' roll music and popular culture in general will enjoy this very well made film as well.


2. O.J.: Made In America



It doesn't get more elaborate than this. Eight hours of mind blowing documentary filmmaking in five parts, O.J. is not just the best film ever done about Simpson, not only one of the best of the year, but also of all time, including some exemplary research, interviewing and presentation, directed by sports director Ezra Edelman. Everyone knows O.J.'s from riches-to-rags case, but watching the history of modern America unfold through that man's life story is really a sensational experience.


1. Gimme Danger



Up there with End Of The Century, The Filth And The Fury and Westway To The World, Jim Jarmusch's film about The Stooges joins the list of the best punk biographical documentaries of all time. Watching the story expand it feels sad and weird to realize how every original member of the band - but Iggy - is long gone, but long live Iggy and hooray for The Stooges, a band that with its pure talent and punk rock gut made and changed history in just three albums fifty years ago, when achievement was not something you just self-proclaimed on the internet and people didn't feel entitled to anything just because they farted on a microphone.




ZR

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