Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Netflix Review - Documentaries about Filmmaking

Top Five Netflix Documentaries about Filmmaking

Netflix has become an amazing place to learn about filmmaking, as well as consuming hours of films for a couple of quid a month.  Next time you spend hours browsing through the catalogue trying to find something to watch, why not try one of these documentaries about the film industry – instead of watching another b-movie horror that will inevitably disappoint… 

Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film

Free Radicals

An 88 minute lo-fi documentary from Pip Chodorov, an experimental filmmaker who has grown up with 8mm due to his family being in the industry.  It features insightful interviews with pioneers of the American experimental scene as well as screening full-length experimental shorts within the narrative:  A beautiful celebration of film techniques and breaking boundaries.


Clean Flix

An award-winning documentary from Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi about a company that edits Hollywood films for Mormon audiences, removing all of the ‘bad’ language and nudity.  The film follows the company through lawsuits from Hollywood and ends with such an insane climax that it is a wonder the story hasn’t been made into a Hollywood feature.  Amazing.

Side By Side

Keanu Reeves Side By Side

Keanu Reeves guides us through the history, process, technicalities and onscreen aesthetics of digital filmmaking.  Exploring the benefits of digital and photochemical filming, filmmaker Christopher Kenneally interviews a host of famous directors and cinematographers/colourists to get lots of anecdotes and opinions about the art of the pictures.

Double Take

Alfred Hitchcock Double Take 
Mixing archive footage with a fictional dramtisation, avant-garde filmmaker Johan Grimonprez creates a cerebral thought experiment about Alfred Hitchcock from the ‘60s meeting Alfred Hitchcock from the ‘80s and discussing the implications of the cold war.

Room 237

Stanley Kubrick Room 237Undoubtedly the most famous on the list, Room 237 explores five different theories about Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece The Shining.  By allowing conspiratorial viewers time and resources to explore their fantasies about the film, Rodney Ascher has created a film about film spectatorship – an aspect of cinema not often seen discussed on the big screen itself (read my review of the film here)

Did I miss any? Are there any better ones I haven't seen yet?

Let me know in the comments below...

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