Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Top 10 Documentaries of ALL TIME (probably) - part 3

2. Spellbound

I, of all people especially, love a good nerd. When I was growing up my dad used to call me Gretchen (she's the one with the epic glasses and freckles and teeth from Recess who speaks through her nose). I feel that on the whole I've been lucky enough to mainly grow out of my nerdiness. No, maybe I've grown into it. But either way, I will always feel a great affinity with all diminutive bespectacled creatures.

But Spellbound is more than your average lolz-they-have-no-social-skills flick (for this see: Deborah 13: Servant of God or anything featuring Mormons). Spellbound shows how, for these gawky kids, many of whom are the children of immigrants, exceptional command of the English language offers a sense of belonging, and in some strange way, affirms their Americanness.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Top 10 Documentaries of ALL TIME (probably) - Part 2

I know you've been waiting for this with baited breath. So here it bloody well is:

5. The Imposter 

Ok so this gets points from me for being produced kinda like it's a feature film. Because documentary IS an equally valuable art form. And the story is absolutely fantastically fascinating- a tiny French man pretends to be a Texan child and gets away with it... possibly because the family have a secret to hide... possibly because they are crazy too... simply fabulous. Everyone loves a tiny French man. Although this one looks a little too much like Gavin (a la Gavin & Stacy) for my liking...

Do you see it too....???

4. Paradise Lost

So this is really long and depressing and involves a court-case and intrigue and child-murder. Right up my street. It's about the notorious Robin Hood murders and tells the story of the three young boys accused of the murder and sexual mutilation of some kids even younger than them. Horrific as the subject matter is, it is incredibly engrossing. And it is sort of hideously fun to try and work out whether the accused boys are guilty or innocent. Made me want to be a lawyer for about ten minutes.

(For something similar (I don't know why but I find child criminals really interesting...) there was recently a very excellent documentary on Channel 4 called 'Twelve Year Old Lifer' about a twelve and a fifteen year old boy who shot dead the fifteen year old's step-dad. It raised lots of issues about the American justice system and about whether or not children should really be tried as adults. And significantly, I think, pointed out how tragic the situation was for absolutely everyone involved- teenage killers included. Highly recommended (not only because I did some transcribing work on it whilst I interned at NERD tv...))

3. Thin Blue Line

Are you in the mood to feel outraged? Do you want to feel ANGRY and APPALLED and for there to be ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do about it? Watch this film. (Then Wikipedia check what happened in its aftermath and glory in the catharsis of vindication). It's about a man who is serving in prison for a murder he quite blatantly did not commit- and tells the infuriating narrative of how and why he ended up there. It makes one glad that one does not live in stinking America. Vastly better entertainment than your average episode of CSI Miami. Next time its on tv and you're tempted, think twice, watch this instead. Honestly this one is just brilliant.


These three will keep you busy 'til then.
Toodles x