From biographical portraits, seafaring adventures and a trip through an art museum to issues regarding privacy, war, decolonization and racism, 2014 was a varied year for docs. It was an incredibly difficult task to choose only 14 titles -- and rank them -- for this year's best-of list.
Criterion's new 14-film box set of Les Blank documentaries is probably the most essential purchase for fans of nonfiction cinema this year (and this holiday season -- it will make an excellent gift). We examine Blank's oeuvre as it came out of and against his initial work as a director of industrial films, how he relates to documentarians like Pennebaker and the Maysles brothers and why he was important for American culture.
In this week's episode, Daniel and Christopher are joined by Kristy Puchko (Cinema Blend; PopCrush) to discuss Lotfy Nathan's '12 O'Clock Boys,' which is one of the most critically acclaimed and honored docs of 2014 so far. Somehow the three of us are united in not thinking it's such a great film, though it is definitely one with a lot to discuss.