2014 End Of Year Lists: Documentaries

In this case do not forget the other lists, because there were so many interesting documentaries produced in 2014, which we haven’t had the chance to watch yet, films like National Gallery, Death Metal Angola etc, but anyway, from those that we did see, here’s a list of 5…

5. Super Duper Alice Cooper

From the creators of Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Global Metal and Metal Evolution, Super Duper Alice Copper chronicles the rock star’s life and times from his childhood and early beginnings as an artist, up to 1986 and his then comeback tour, through much success, drama, booze and unhappiness. The people interviewed get zero screen time, instead the filmmakers preferred to use the interesting technique of animated photographs and occasionally some old horror film footage to accompany the narration of a story an Alice Cooper fan must have heard and read a hundred times before, yet this new take could engage anyone to sit through it all over again.

4. Jodorowsky’s Dune

If you are an artist of any kind and would like to feel like shit about yourself for a while, Jodoroswksy’s Dune is the one film that can do that to you. Moebius, Foss, Dali, Giger, Dan O’Bannon, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger were all parts of the so called best movie that never got to be made and the amount of talent that had been gathered there is far beyond a human brain can comprehend. Jodorowsky’s bad english may become a bit annoying after a while, however his enthusiasm about his (and other people’s) art, his many years of experience, his drive and willingness to complete his vision, can be truly inspiring.

3. Banksy Does New York

Throughout the month of October 2013, Banksy did his “residency” in New York, doing 31 works in 31 days all around its streets. This HBO film works almost like a diary of that month in the life of the artist that took the term “street art” to a whole other level and while the art is captivating like usual, the most interesting part here is in the crowd’s reactions and the whole craze Banksy brought along with him to the people of New York.

2. Pulp

Pulp became a household name in the mid-90s along Britpop massive success, but at that point they had already been around for over a decade, making insanely good but overlooked records a few people bought and cared about. Pulp is one of those cases where justice has been served, the band got the fame it deserved and Jarvis earned recognition and everyone’s respect as a writer and composer. Watching them reunite for a tour, to say a last goodbye to their fans and give the life of the band a proper closure, united again under the guidance of their leader, as well as the documentation of the band’s effect on the people of Sheffield, has been remarkable. If you’re not already a fan of the band, this is more likely to convert you.

1. 20,000 Days On Earth

20,000 Days On Earth balances between being a documentary about an enigmatic rock star and a fictional portrayal of his life, as Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s direction is like nothing you have seen in a documentary before. This is supposed to be a journal of Nick Cave’s 20,000th day on earth and it is as compelling as it is inspiring, from his session with his shrink, to the browsing of his personal archive, to the long drives from one place to another where he rides along with ghosts from the past. Musically it is centered around his latest album with the Bad Seeds, Push The Sky Away, with Cave’s long term collaborator, Warren Ellis, being more prominent, having lunch with Cave, gearing up the band and going insane on violin during the jamming sequences. Cave’s poetic narration, his philosophies and views about the memory and its mythologising, the breathtaking cinematography give more insight into the mind of this mysterious, yet humble, down to earth artist in the overall best documentary we’ve seen in 2014.

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