Documentaries for a New Year: The Film Guide
The quirkier and more unusual a documentary, the more likely I am to enjoy it. There are stories of all types whether they are serious or silly. Adventure through different worlds and experience these unique films.
My first film suggestion is directed by the graffiti artist, and sometimes director, Banksy. Exit Through the Gift Shop follows the story of an eccentric French shop keeper named Thierry Guetta. Thierry decides to film different graffiti artists even though he has no training in film. He may be a lousy director, but he is an interesting character. Banksy takes some poorly shot video and creates an interesting take on how easy it is to become an overnight pop sensation, whether this fame is deserved is another question.
Man on Wire follows the exploits of French thrill seeker Phillippe Petit as he attempts to walk between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. Plenty of humorous and perilous situations make this documentary an entertaining work of nonfiction. This artistic criminal reminds me how important it can be to take risks and step out onto dangerous edges.
One of the best documentaries I saw last year follows an eccentric sushi chef in Japan. Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows the world renowned 85-year-old chef named Jiro Ono as attempts to create perfection. He works tirelessly buying the best ingredients and expecting the best from his sous-chefs. Relationships between the characters can be strained and the pursuit of perfection can be extremely hard on all parties involved. This film shows that simplicity can be underrated in many ways.
One last bonus documentary is my favorite of all time: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It's a film that follows the world record arcade video games competition and shows how it can bring out the best, and worst, in everyone. Donkey Kong may be a simple game, but it causes a multitude of complicated issues for these combatants. It's a film that is both unreal and amazing at the same time.
Leave a comment below about documentaries that you love or loathe. Great characters are not always the good guys.