Friday, September 09, 2011

Current TV Counts Down the 50 Best Documentaries

The cable channel Current TV recently had a countdown hosted by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. He did a countdown of the 50 best documentaries of all time. Spurlock's film Super Size Me was #5 on the list. I have written about that film here before, and mentioned how it is a cautionary tale of the health risks associated with eating fast food. I have stayed away from McDonald's ever since seeing that film back in 2004. I think that documentary films address some important issues, but seldom are they viewed by large audiences. Overall the countdown show was good, but I think that some outstanding films were omitted such as; No End in Sight, King Corn, Pressure Cooker, Waiting for Superman and Wild Man Blues. Flint native Michael Moore had three films on the countdown, including Fahrenheit 9-11, Bowling for Columbine and Roger and Me.

Here is the top 10;

10. Grizzly Man---This is about a man who lives with Grizzly Bears and documents all of their behavior.
9. Trouble the Water---This shows the effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans.
8. An Inconvenient Truth---Starring Al Gore, this looked at global warming.
7. The Celluloid Closet---This showed hows gays have been portrayed in Hollywood films.
6. The War Room---This showed behind-the-scenes activities during Bill Clinton's run for the White House.
5. Supersize Me---I loved this since it showed how harmful McDonald's food can be to the body. You get what you pay for, cheap food with almost zero nutritional value. Yet everyday millions of people eat their disgusting food.
4. Waltz with Bashir---Animated film about war.
3. Roger and Me---This started it all for filmmaker Michael Moore. This movie showed how the city of Flint, Michigan has been devastated by the loss of General Motors jobs.
2. The Thin Blue Line---This was a true crime movie, that led to a conviction.
1. Hoop Dreams---This was about young boys in the inner city who have dreams of playing in the NBA.

Many documentaries take a very left wing approach to politics. I am republican on some issues and democrat on others. I do not always agree with the political viewpoint of the filmmakers but I can look past that to see the art of the film. Some of the best documentaries have nothing to do with politics, such as The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which is about the battle to be the best Donkey Kong player in the world.

* Countdown information from Current TV network.