My Top 5 Documentaries

I love movies and I love learning. So of course I'm going to love documentaries! And even though I find it mostly pointless to buy movies these days, I've bought three movies on iTunes in the past few years. One is Elf. The other two are on this list. Just compiling this list is making me want to go watch all of them again. Do yourself a favor and carve out a few hours for one or more of these gems this weekend.

5. American Movie
Mark Borchardt is all of us. He's the guy who lives in a small town and is working to make his creative dreams come true. Unfortunately, he's stunted by a rag tag crew made up of his family and friends who can never quite seem to catch his vision. Coven is his first feature-length film and American Movie follows his journey to try to make it happen.


4. Don't Stop Believing
Another underdog artist story? Ok, don't mind if I do. I was a fan of Journey as a kid. I'm a fan of Filipinos and Philippine culture now as an adult living in Hong Kong. Don't Stop Believin' is the story of how a superstar band from the 80's unconventionally found a new lead singer from halfway around the world because of a video posted to Youtube. Maybe you already know the story. But the whole documentary is so captivating from start to finish I have to include it on this list. 

3. Searching for Sugarman
If you are really interested in seeing this film, don't even click that link and watch the trailer. I'm serious. I put it there for people who don't want to watch it. Not that it gives away the whole movie but part of the thrill for me was seeing this one with no spoilers at all. I went in cold. And then I promptly bought it because I will watch it many, many times. It's that inspiring.


2. Exit Through the Gift Shop
Banksy is a first-rate troll. And a crazy-famous graffiti artist from England. And somewhat of a human paradox, if I'm completely honest. But I happen to appreciate his wry sensibilities and this movie ticked the boxes for me. Feel free to watch the trailer on this one. Then watch the movie. And then go google people's thoughts on the movie. And then leave your comments here so we can discuss.


1. This is It
I'm not sure that Michael Jackson is an underdog story but he's so much larger than life in this film. Someone recently told me a first-hand account of working with him a few years back. "Nobody said a word. We all just sort of walked out of the studio and then gathered in a circle to hold hands and pray. Then I called my mom and cried on the phone for 15 minutes." Like most kids from the 80's and 90's, I loved Michael Jackson then and he continues to be a huge inspiration through his art.

What's missing here? What are your favorites? Comment below because I'm always down for a good documentary.

Jeff CaylorComment