Thursday, April 10, 2014

3 documentaries to watch right now

favorite documentaries
I'm a huge documentary nerd. Documentaries are pretty much all I've been watching over the past six months and I've watched over 20 since the beginning of the year. I've loved watching docs since the days of Spellbound, but ever since I moved in with a boy who insisted we get HBO (and I then gained access to HBO GO on my iPad) and since I splurged and subscribed to Netflix last year, I've been obsessed with watching all the documentaries that I missed during my years of living under a rock without technology. I've even forsaken watching the new seasons of my beloved House of Cards and Scandal because I've been so obsessed with watching documentaries lately.

I love documentaries because they are educational and a great way to learn about all sorts of topics, while being entertaining at the same time. Between working at home by myself and no longer being subjected to formal education, sometimes I feel like I'm getting dumb. (Dumber?) Education came so easily when I was in school, but as an adult I feel like I have to seek out opportunities to learn. I'm interested in many things and will watch documentaries about all sorts of surprising subjects. True, some docs can be propaganda-ish, but the best docs convey the facts and teach you something new through real-life stories of people who are vulnerable and imperfect and human.

It's hard to choose favorites since I've watched so many over the past year, but over the past few weeks I've watched a few documentaries that I can't stop thinking about. If you haven't seen these, I suggest logging on to Netflix ASAP:

An extraordinary and tragic love story - I cannot stop thinking about it. Have a box of tissues handy.

Breathtaking and fascinating and upsetting.

I'm late to the party on this one, as it came out a few years ago and has been in my "To Watch" queue for a while. I'm glad I waited though because we decided to watch this a few weeks after Larry's dad had bypass surgery and we were working on changing our diet. I realize that nutrition can be a controversial, constantly evolving, and much disputed topic, but Larry and I both found the information presented to be extremely compelling and it's resulted in a lot of discussion about food, diet, lifestyle, and society in our household. This documentary along with several other sources have given us a lot to think about and have inspired a lot of changes in the Smoellke kitchen.

So those are my recent favorites. Here are some other docs that have fascinated me over the past few years, ranging from entertaining to inspiring to nerdy:


sam said...

If you haven't seen it yet, Stripped is excellent. A fun look into the history and future of comics as an art form. I really enjoyed just getting to learn more about the artists, see a bit of their studios...

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Thanks, Sam - that documentary looks right up my alley! Can't wait to check it out.

Serena McClain said...

Me, too (re OBSESSED). I signed up for a Netflix trial over my sabbatical and was happy as a clam to finally be able to catch up on some of the documentaries on my list. First Position and Blackfish were definitely some of the first I watched. I also really enjoyed (eh...weird word when talking about heavy issues) Chasing Ice, Dirty Wars, and The Invisible War. If you haven't checked out Beautiful Losers and Helvetica (both older docs), I think you'd dig them as an artist.

Sorry to word vom all over your comments. I just recently went through an "OMG I forgot how much I love docs" phase, so I'm enthusiastic :-)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Ooh, thank you, Serena! Glad someone shares my obsession with documentaries! I have Helvetica in my queue and I just added the others. :)

veevee v said...

Have you seen Hungry for a Change, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (I watch a lot of food docs), and Jiro Dreams of Sushi? Cutie and the Boxer is currently in my queue.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Veevee - I just watched Cutie and the Boxer last week! And I love food docs - those others are in my queue, but am trying to space them out so I don't overload on too much nutrition information at once! ;)

veevee v said...

oh one more I watched recently, though not yet on Netflix streaming yet was The Crash Reel (although Im bit obsessed with snowboarding). Awesome soundtrack too.

I also saw Dear Zachary somewhat recently...that movie was depressing and strangely uplifting? I still think about that one.

I could go on and on and on...I love documentaries too!

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