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Films About Film in the Leavey Library (DVDs): Documentaries


Art of Observing Life: Conversations with Documentary Filmmakers
"Renowned documentarian Marina Goldovskaya provides a master class in cinema verite and an appreciation of the filmmakers who transformed the documentary. Featuring generous clips from many of the most important and memorable documentary works, the film includes intimate conversations with Robert Drew (Primary), Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker (The War Room, Monterey Pop, Don't Look Back, ), Allan King (A Married Couple, Warrendale), Richard Leacock (Primary, Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment), Albert Maysles (Salesman, Grey Gardens), Jonas Mekas (Walden, Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania), Lionel Rogosin (On The Bowery) and others. Filmed mostly in Goldovskaya's home in Los Angeles over an extended period of time, these conversations carry a loose and convivial tone. A fellow filmmaker and close friend, Goldovskaya poses straightforward questions and allows these legendary directors to talk freely about their work. They open up about the struggles and excitement of their early years, the making of some of their landmark films, their strategies and approaches to filmmaking and their philosophies to capturing life on screen. It is at once an homage to documentary filmmaking, a rare personal look at its luminaries, and a precious gift for students and lovers of documentary film.

Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary
"A genre as unique as the people who bring it to life, documentary challenges perceptions and inspires critical reflection on our world. But do documentaries represent the 'truth'? Over 30 renowned directors--including Errol Morris, Nick Broomfield and Werner Herzog--reflect on the power of their craft, and their ethical and social responsibility as filmmakers in Capturing reality: The art of Documentary. With emotionally charged insight and clips from essential works of the genre, this is a lively and panoramic view of contemporary cinema unlike any other."

Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque
"Life and work of the founder of the Cinémathèque Française."

Shameless Propaganda
"Some have called the documentary Canada's national art form. If it is, the foundations of that art were laid by the National Film Board in the first six years of its existence, 1939-45, under the inspired vision and watchful eye of John Grierson, its first Commissioner. Released in the year of the NFB's 75th birthday, Shameless Propaganda is filmmaker Robert Lower's take on the greatest and most compelling propaganda effort in our history. Lower has watched the films produced by the NFB up until 1945 -- all 500 of them -- and distilled the essence of their message to Canadians. Using only these films and still photos from that era, Lower recreates the picture of Canada they gave us and looks in it for the Canada we know today. What he finds is by turns enlightening, entertaining, and unexpectedly disturbing."

To Tell the Truth, A History of Documentary Film: Episode 3, The Strategy of Truth
"...explores the role of film as propaganda during World War II, and the different forms it took in the US, the UK, and Germany. It also raises the central question of whether a film can be both documentary - reflecting the truth - and propaganda."