I’ve been watching stuff online via Netflix when there’s nothing on TV (which, since I don’t have cable, is pretty frequently). I’ve seen a bunch of good documentaries recently:
[li]The Great Happiness Space (bar boys in Japan)[/li][li]Almost Elvis (Elvis impersonators)[/li][li]Home Movie (people who live in quirky houses – tree house, missile silo, '50s sci-fi-futurama, etc.)[/li][li]Word Wars (competitive Scrabble players)[/li][/ul]
I know there are plenty of standard movies in there as well – but what are other good, short, quirky pieces that aren’t as well known? They don’t have to be documentaries!
Columbo! You can watch them one episode at a time.
12 O’Clock High
Remains of the Day
The Enemy Below
2010: The Year We Made Contact
This is my list:
East of Eden
In the Company of Men
Once Upon a Time in America
A Boy and His Dog
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
The Endless Summer
A Streetcar Named Desire
Best of the Best
The Last Picture Show
Dial M for Murder
Even Dwarfs Started Small
Five Easy Pieces
Cloak & Dagger
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Kramer vs. Kramer
Stand by Me
I’m Reed Fish
The Evil Dead
The City of Lost Children
Empire of the Sun
A Man for All Seasons
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Deliver Us from Evil
Moscow on the Hudson
Better Living Through Circuitry
The Omega Man
Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man
I watched Soylent Green (never seen it before, although the jokes are a dime a dozen) and rewatched Logan’s Run a few weeks ago (LR holds up surprisingly well IMO).
I’m pleased to see that La Vie en Rose is on the instant watch list, and I hope to catch it this weekend if I get time.
ETA: NM, noticed you wanted short stuff. I can read for comprehension, I promise!
American Pop - I don’t really care for Ralph Bakshi’s style, but this journey across the American musical landscape has some good moments. I still don’t understand the choice of Bob Seger’s Night Moves for the New York punk character at the end though.
After Stonewall - Documentary on the impact of the Stonewall Riots on American gay life from 1970 to 1999.
Beef - Documentary on the evolution of rivalries between hip-hop artists, from on-stage freestyle battles in the early 80s to more recent ones which too often involve bullets.
Before Stonewall - Documentary on American gay life from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Dark Days - Documentary on homeless people living in a railroad tunnel in New York. It makes one think about what makes a home, and what can happen when you let things in your life slide too far. It was filmed by one of the tunnel-dwellers using borrowed equipment and features an atmospheric soundtrack by DJ Shadow.
Heroes - I’ve heard the second season is disappointing, but the first one is quite enjoyable.
A Man For All Seasons - A classic that still holds up. I saw a few episodes of Showtime’s The Tudors recently, and they paled in comparison. Robert Shaw really puts some gusto into his role as Henry VIII (though unfortunately he isn’t on screen for long).
Six-String Samurai - Ultra low-budget featuring a sword-wielding Buddy Holly wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is sort of a weird rock ‘n’ roll pastiche of Mad Max, anime, and samurai movies. It’s not for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it.
“The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” - I just watched it on Saturday and it was a lot of fun.
Being one to jump onto bandwagons late, I’ve now finally seen The March of the Penguins. Fairly good, though as an anime fan, one of the themes they were using kept jarring me with it’s similarities to a theme from the score for Miyazaki’s Nausicaa.
And while the whole film is rather long at two and a half hours, the first singing scenes in 1776 with Sit Down, John!, Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve and Til then is a fun bit, and some of the most enjoyable parts of the movie.
I just watched Little Dieter Needs To Fly earlier this evening. It’s Werner Herzog’s documentary about Dieter Dengler, a German-American soldier who escaped from a Laotian prison camp during the Vietnam War. The bulk of the movie is Dengler “reliving” his experiences in Laos with locals acting as his prison guards. Even if you’re tiring of documentaries, it’s only 77 minutes long and Herzog’s style really makes it stand out. He also recently filmed a non-doc version of Dengler’s story titled Rescue Dawn, although I haven’t seen that yet.
I just watched the first season of Dexter, and it was awesome! Working on This American Life now. It’s pretty short.
Thanks for the recommendations, also. I don’t have cable TV, and I’m often catching my free time at weird hours, when there’s nothing on. I think I’m going to watch “King of Kong” next.
Thanks for the recommendations, all! Keep 'em coming!
(And Number – not to betray my age or anything, but I saw American Pop – in the theater, on its first release. :eek: )
Did the Night Moves thing make any more sense back in '81?
Wow, I didn’t realize there were so many great movies available.
The only thing I’ve watched is My Best Fiend - Klaus Kinski, the surreal tale of Herzog’s relationship with Klaus Kinski. It’s probably better to watch if you’ve seen Fitzcarraldo or Aguirre: The Wrath of God first. I’ll have to start watching Dexter.
Beyond the Fringe