Criterion Collection Themes - Documentaries

Criterion Collection Themes - Documentaries's icon

Created by yormovies.

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“Life caught unawares”—that’s how Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov expressed the principle and art of documentary in the 1930s. But the documentary has taken so many forms over the past century that it would be oversimplifying to call it merely the recording of reality. From its anthropological origins in the works of Robert Flaherty, the documentary has come to encompass Soviet and fascist propaganda of the thirties; the Direct Cinema and cinema verité of the sixties; the populist social-reform tradition of today; and so much more. What all great documentaries have in common is the ability to capture a place and time so vividly as to equal the imagery and storytelling of the best fiction.

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  1. 1 new

    And Everything Is Going Fine

    2010, in 1 top list Check
  2. 2 new

    ...And the Pursuit of Happiness

    1986, in 1 top list Check
  3. 3 new

    Antonio Gaudí

    1984, in 1 top list Check
  4. 4 new

    The Beales of Grey Gardens

    2006, in 1 top list Check
  5. 5 new

    Bergman och filmen, Bergman och teatern,...

    2004 — a.k.a. Bergman Island, in 1 top list Check
  6. 6 new

    A Brief History of Time

    1991, in 2 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Burden of Dreams

    1982, in 4 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Carl Th. Dreyer: Min metier

    1995, in 1 top list Check
  9. 9 new

    Chronique d'un été (Paris 1960)

    1961 — a.k.a. Chronicle of a Summer, in 8 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Come on Children

    1973, in 1 top list Check
  11. 11 new

    A Constant Forge

    2000, in 1 top list Check
  12. 12 new

    Crumb

    1994, in 10 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Dying at Grace

    2003, in 6 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    F for Fake

    1973 — a.k.a. F For Fake, in 10 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Fishing with John

    1991, in 1 top list Check
  16. 16 new

    For All Mankind

    1989, in 2 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Général Idi Amin Dada: Autoportrait

    1974 — a.k.a. General Idi Amin Dada, in 2 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Gimme Shelter

    1970, in 9 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    God's Country

    1985, in 1 top list Check
  20. 20 new

    Grey Gardens

    1975, in 10 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Harlan County U.S.A.

    1976, in 8 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Hearts and Minds

    1974, in 6 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    Hoop Dreams

    1994, in 13 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Humain, trop humain

    1974 — a.k.a. A Human Condition, in 1 top list Check
  25. 25 new

    Ingmar Bergman gör en film

    1963, in 1 top list Check
  26. 26 new

    Jimi Plays Monterey

    1986, in 1 top list Check
  27. 27 new

    Shake!: Otis at Monterey

    1987, in 1 top list Check
  28. 28 new

    Koko, le gorille qui parle

    1978 — a.k.a. Koko, a Talking Gorilla, in 1 top list Check
  29. 29 new

    Koyaanisqatsi

    1982, in 12 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    Pays de cocagne

    1971 — a.k.a. Land of Milk and Honey, in 1 top list Check
  31. 31 new

    Louie Bluie

    1985, in 1 top list Check
  32. 32 new

    Dokument Fanny och Alexander

    1986 — a.k.a. Document Fanny and Alexander, in 1 top list Check
  33. 33 new

    A Married Couple

    1969, in 6 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company

    2005, in 1 top list Check
  35. 35 new

    Monterey Pop

    1968, in 2 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    My Crasy Life

    1992, in 1 top list Check
  37. 37 new

    Nanook of the North

    1922, in 16 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Naqoyqatsi

    2002, in 1 top list Check
  39. 39 new

    Nuit et brouillard

    1956 — a.k.a. Night and Fog, in 16 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    L'Inde fantôme

    1969 — a.k.a. Phantom India, in 4 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Pina

    2011, in 3 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Place de la République

    1974, in 1 top list Check
  43. 43 new

    Poto and Cabengo

    1980, in 2 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Powaqqatsi

    1988, in 1 top list Check
  45. 45 new

    Routine Pleasures

    1986, in 3 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Salesman

    1969, in 10 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    Sans soleil

    1983 — a.k.a. Sans Soleil, in 15 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Shoah

    1985, in 17 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    The Times of Harvey Milk

    1984, in 6 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Tôkyô orinpikku

    1965 — a.k.a. Tokyo Olympiad, in 5 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jun 1, 2014; source