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Documentaries

Documentaries

MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA

Dziga Vertov Soviet Union, 1929

Dziga Vertov’s masterpiece remains a visually thrilling chronicle of modern life, and an ode to the power of film. A lucid mixture of documentary and avant-garde techniques, it’s a radical redefinition of cinema’s boundaries—essential viewing that is just as groundbreaking many years later.

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OBIT

Vanessa Gould United States, 2016

A single day in the New York Times’ obituary writers’ room, Vanessa Gould’s deftly structured Obit is a journey into one of the world’s most fascinating professions. Moving beyond curiosity for writing craft, the film hints at the philosophical questions about mortality that concern us all.

AGAVE: SPIRIT OF A NATION

Nick Kovacic, Matthew Riggieri United States, 2018

From the red highlands of Jalisco to the rugged mountains of Oaxaca, families have passed down the tradition of distilling agave for generations. Three producers in the burgeoning renaissance of Tequila and Mezcal unfurl their successes and sacrifices in this interwoven story.

SAVING BRINTON

Tommy Haines, Andrew Sherburne United States, 2017

When an eccentric small-town collector discovers the showreels of the man who brought moving pictures to the Heartland, he begins a journey to restore the legacy of America’s greatest barnstorming movieman and save these irreplaceable cinematic treasures from turning to dust.

REMINISCENCES OF A JOURNEY TO LITHUANIA

Jonas Mekas United States, 1972

Jonas Mekas’ second diary film lovingly records a return to his native Lithuania after 27 years of absence. The émigré avant-garde pioneer negotiates the trauma of being a “displaced person” by weaving together bittersweet memories with moments of beauty and loss: finding a home in cinema forever.

LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF

Thom Andersen United States, 2003

Both a moving homage to his adopted hometown and an insightful work of film criticism, essayist and professor Thom Andersen has made a wide-ranging epic that explores how the City of Angels has been used in TV and cinema in the 20th century. Featuring clips from more than 200 LA-set films!

ATLANTICS

Mati Diop France, 2009

Niece of the Senegalese auteur Djibril Diop Mambéty (Touki Bouki), luminous actress Mati Diop (35 Shots of Rum) has blossomed into a beautiful director. This, her atmospheric, dreamlike debut short film, is rich with suppressed histories and emotions.

THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS

Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier Denmark, 2003

Lars von Trier, will you ever stop provoking people? Here’s a movie that’s about his provocations: the Nymphomaniac director challenges his hero, the great Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth, to remake his own movie under von Trier’s maniacal guidelines. Can he do it? Or will both filmmakers go insane?