100 Must See Documentary Films – File Ten

“When I left university I was working for a documentary film company for six or seven years to the great relief of my father whose greatest waking fear was that I would become an actor.” – – – Sam Neill Koyaanisqatsi (1982) Godfrey Reggio The unbalanced life forms in so many words the sub-title and translation […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Nine

“It’s a funny thing with documentary films – you want them to feel as entertaining and as gripping as a fictional film. With a fictional film you want it to feel as realistic as a documentary film.” – – – Jonathan Demme Dior and I (2015) Frédéric Tcheng A large chunk of audiences had already made […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Eight

“There is so much investment in it of people’s labor time that it will never make money. But there are other documentaries that you might make that are sort of on assignment for television that turn around in three to six months. Then the margin can be much be better for you because you’re not […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Seven

“I’ve been encouraging documentary filmmakers to use more and more humor, and they’re loath to do that because they think if it’s a documentary it has to be deadly serious – it has to be like medicine that you’re supposed to take. And I think it’s what keeps the mass audience from going to documentaries.” […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Six

“When you’re shooting a feature that costs $200,000 a day with a crew of 250, you don’t want accidents; you want to know exactly what’s going to happen. But with a documentary, you don’t, so you have to be sensitive to accidents because that is where the gold is.” – – – Sydney Pollack She’s […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Five

“I try to learn from both, from features and documentaries. In both cases you have to find a way to make the camera as discreet as possible, and flexible enough to be able to capture the moment when it happens. I know from documentary how to not have a preconceived idea of what the scene […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Four

“I like the idea of the documentary as a portrait. There’s not a chronological beginning, middle, and end structure. You build something in the editing room that’s shaped by getting to know the person and digging deeper, unpeeling the layers of them as you get to know them.” – – – Spike Jonze Side by […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Three

“You kind of form a bond with your subjects, in a way. You’re in it together. To a degree that people don’t realize, documentary films – or at least the kind of documentary films I’m interested in – are a collaborative undertaking with the subjects.” – – – Steve James Nuit et brouillard / Night […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File Two

“If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.” – – – Salman Rushdie After Spring (2016) Ellen Martinez, […]

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100 Must See Documentary Films – File One

“My hat’s off to documentary filmmakers. I don’t know if I’m ever going back to it. You’re treated like a second-class citizen at most film festivals. You take the bus while everybody else is flown first-class. If you’re a feature film director, you’re put in a five-star hotel, and if you’re a documentary director, you […]

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