Documentaries are these wonderful little films that can be just about anything. Want to tell the story of a tight rope walker walking between the World Trade Center towers? Go for it. Do you want to show the political injustices of your country for the world to see? You can do it. But it wasn’t always this way. The first documentaries were often single shots depicting an event, usually a train arriving at a station, or a boat entering a harbor. No real story telling. But in 1922, Robert J. Flaherty made what is considered the first narrative documentary. Even though it wasn’t completely true, Nanook of the North is still a very important film in the history of cinema. Now, with the advent of Michael Moore, digital video cameras, and cheep editing software, documentaries are being viewed by people who traditionally wouldn’t be interested in docs.
Which brings us to today, as we present the Flixie for Best Documentary. Will it be the “Is it real?”documentary of the year Catfish? Or Banksy’s incredible street art movie Exit Through the Gift Shop? Hit the break to see who won the coveted prize.
And it’s Exit Through the Gift Shop by a landslide. Banksy’s first film chronicles the sudden commercialization of street art, as well as an acquaintance’s seemingly overnight transition from nobody, to successful street artist.. The movie has been scrutinized for it’s authenticity. But regardless of how much of the film was real or not, there’s no denying that it’s a brilliant movie.
In the same vein, fellow nominee Catfish has been under fire for similar accusations. What’s not being brought to the table though, is the absolutely wretched marketing for the film. And while I haven’t seen the other films nominated, they all seem interesting. Best Worst Movie, a film about the popularity of cult movie Troll 2. Restrepo, about two journalists following a platoon of American soldiers in Afganistan. Last Train Home, which chronicles 130 million migrant workers as they go to their hometowns for holiday. And Gasland, which focuses on American families impacted by the drilling for natural gas.
Congratulations to Banksy, and Exit Through the Gift Shop!
Exit Through the Gift Shop – 8
Catfish – 2
Restrepo – 2
Best Worst Movie – 1
Last Train Home – 1
Gasland – 1