Smurfs versus Conan

May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment


I love documentaries. Now, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, for the majority of my life I thought that documentaries were 30 minute, terribly acted, and horribly boring movies my social studies teacher would leave for the substitute. This left me wondering 1. What did substitute teachers do before there was a tv in every classroom and 2. Why was best documentary even a category at the Oscars? For years I lived with these questions and sadly misinformed belief that documentaries were just not for me. However, this all changed a few years ago when I started helping out at a film festival.

I was perhaps the least likely person to volunteer for such an activity – I have no training in film and to this day don’t understand the movie Pi (though I think I got Inception… I think). No, the reason I signed on was because of a boy. While that relationship did not work out, I was left with one great gift from our time together, documentaries. Helping screen festival submissions I was amazed at the quality of work, the fascinating stories, and the craftsmanship that went into a great doc. This opened a whole new world for me, and I loved it.

Browsing through the offerings at my local theater, I find myself wishing that documentaries got more credit. Sure, a few sneak through and get nationwide screenings (of course, only if Morgan Freeman is the narrator, I would listen to that man read the phone book) but generally we’re left with Smurfs 2 (even smurfier?). So, while I love NPH, I’m happy to stick with the streaming options on Netflix and selection at the library. Check out The Queen of Versailles, Beauty is Embarrassing or Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop and tell me documentaries shouldn’t get more respect. And of course, join me and the great folks at Landlocked in August for some fantastic selections.



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