MUBI brings you a great new film every day.  Start your 7-day free trial today!
All Topics  »

Documentaries on Film

Lerment​ov

over 4 years ago

Really loved Scorsese’s two forays into this area: A Personal History of American Film and My Voyage to Italy. Moreover, I learnt so much from Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood, which brilliantly documents the history of European silent cinema with each episode concentrating on a different country; unfortunately, not sure it is still available.

Are there any other documentaries out there on film that members could recomend?

Patrick

over 4 years ago

Are you looking specifically for films about film history as opposed to the making of a particular film or director?

Histoire(s) du cinema is the one I’d most like to see but have thus far been unable to squirrel away the time to do so. Plus I heard it’s most effective when you understand French, which I do not.

This might not be what you’re looking for, but I’d say Man with a Movie Camera is about as great a documentary about the process of filmmaking as any that I’ve seen.

I have to say that I’m normally suspicious of these things, as they normally offer up tantalizing images from forgotten films rather than a coherent historical insight. It’s great to watch such a documentary as Scorsese’s and furiously write down every referenced film, but they strike me as unnecessary as film history.

Lerment​ov

over 4 years ago

More film history Patrick. Agree about Man With a Movie Camera, wonderful.

Fredo

over 4 years ago

Visions of Light
Cinematographer Style
The Cutting Edge
Tell Them Who You Are

Bonus:

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession

Glemaud

over 4 years ago

Why Be Good? Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema
I don’t think Histoire(s) is a good example, since it’s more experimental and you don’t really learn anything.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated is a pretty decent expose on the MPAA.
I kind of want to see That’s Entertainment! to further fuel my hatred for musicals.

McBean

over 4 years ago

Ah Glemaud! A kindred spirit! I was beginning to think I was the only person on this site who hated musicals :o)

Jay Leighty

over 4 years ago

We had an interesting thread on musicals a few months ago: that seemed to draw a line in the sand between lovers and haters of the genre on this site. I loved My Voyage to Italy. If ‘A Personal History’ is in the same vein, I’m going to have to check that out as well.

Lerment​ov

over 4 years ago

You’re in for a treat Jay, because it’s even better in my opinion and is something I constantly refer back to and am inspired by.

apursan​sar

over 4 years ago

I also loved CINEMA EUROPE and consider it a great introduction for those who want to get to know more about the silent era. The most similar seems to be the 1980 series HOLLYWOOD although I haven´t seen that one yet, and I would also recommend you A DECADE UNDER THE INFLUENCE and EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS both of which have been insightful documentaries about American cinema from the 1970s.

Greasem​an64

over 4 years ago

“American Movie” is available on YouTube.

Here’s the link to the synopsis http://www.theauteurs.com/films/2290

casualt​imetrav​el

over 4 years ago

i love american movie so much

Ben Simingt​on

over 4 years ago

THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA with Zizek as your tour guide through film history…only available through official website due to rights issues, I think.
LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF…also can only be seen at museum screenings, due to rights issues.

Lefteri​s Becerra

over 4 years ago

if you really want a good insight to the work of some of the greatest auteurs, then you should take a look to the french tv serie, cinéastes de notre temps (1964 – 1972) as well as the new one, cinéma, de notre temps (1988 – 2006). some of them have been used as criterions’ extras. but the hole serie is amazing. let’s say, for example, one day in the life of andrei arsenevich, directed by chris marker, could you imagine something great? and so on. or what to say about 100 years of japanese cinema, directed by nagisa oshima? in mexico city the cineteca nacional will proyect a similar documentary on chinese cinema, bet i will be there just to tell you what’s all about

Pikoman

over 4 years ago

Visions of Light really is incredible, great way to find out about some movies with great cinematography you might not of seen as well, I instantly watched The Conformist after seeing it and am extremely glad I did.

Pikoman

over 4 years ago

Double Post :(

Laszlo Kovacs

over 4 years ago

I just saw The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema the other day on Netflix steaming and while I generally love Zizek, he lost me about 2/3 of the way through when he started talking about harvest musicals… I’m not sure where else you can get discourse on both David Lynch films and one of the Star Wars prequels within five minutes of each other.

Lost in La Mancha is excellent, if only because it serves as a trailer for a movie that might never get made

Personally, I like fictional films about filmmaking too.

Uli Cain, Cinefidel¹³

almost 4 years ago

There are two which are out now or about to come out: Great Directors which highlights the careers of ten directors including Lynch, Sayles, Haynes, Frears, Bertolucci, etc.

And Tales from the Script about screenwriters.

Dr. Szell

almost 4 years ago

Mr. Scorsese’s – marvelous for any/all audiences.

Truman Sparks

almost 4 years ago

NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD. Great doc about Australian exploitation films. Give it a shot—really good.

traag-1

almost 4 years ago

this film is not yet rated
easy riders and raging bulls
This kid stays in the picture
Z Channel documentary
Zizek’s pervert’s guide to cinema
Cinemania

all great in covering paerticular eras and egos.

Uli Cain, Cinefidel¹³

almost 4 years ago

JESCIE

over 3 years ago

http://mubi.com/lists/18729

Amadeus Magnus

11 months ago

My recommended documentaries about cinema.