I love documentaries. They let you geek out over your obsessions (or find new equally geeky obsessions). They can rile you up, or make you helpless with laughter. They can be fiercely personal, or removed and scientific. Also, they can be really cinematic and innovative, or unfortunately just a collection of subpar video clips.
Netflix Instant has a massive collection of documentaries, some of which are fantastic, while others unfortunately are boring or just bad. Let me help you sift through the crap to find some gems!
1. The Queen of Versailles
A documentary about a pretty kooky, way too rich family who decide to build the largest, most expensive single family home in the USA would be special enough romp. Throw in the horrible real estate economic crisis though, and this film suddenly gets harrowing as the family and the house starts to fall apart. It’s hard to decide how you feel about this people. Greedy consumers? Victims of the American mindset of the early 2000s?
I’m still not sure how I feel, but I do know that this movie made me think about my own spending philosophy, while still having the most interesting characters I saw in any film, documentary or not, last year.
2. First Position
I could watch ballet clips on YouTube all day. The dancers are so graceful and perfect! HOW DO THEY DO IT?!
So, First Position, could’ve been made for me. The film follows a bunch of young ballet dancers as they prepare to audition for spots in elite ballet schools. The stakes are high, and these kids are just amazing. They live very intense lives (sometimes, perhaps, a bit too intense thanks to some overbearing stage mothers), but their dance skills are just astounding. I wish they could all win…but alas. That’s not going to happen in the surprisingly cut throat world of ballet.
3. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
I’m not particularly a Joan Rivers fan, but one day a friend and I were flipping around Netflix Instant looking for something to put on, and we stumbled on this one. I’m so glad we did! Joan Rivers has had a slight resurgence in the past couple years, but back in 2009 or so she was struggling. In this film, the documentarian follows Rivers to a bunch of gigs, as she struggles to find constant work. Her persistance is hard to watch at times and inspiring at others. Also, the celebrity gossip and stand up routines aren’t bad either. Joan Rivers is a funny lady.
What are some of your favorites? Any I should check out on Netflix Instant? We can sort through all the crap together!