Christopher Campbell is the managing editor of Nonfics and a freelance writer and editor for Film School Rejects, Movies.com, Fandango, RogerEbert.com and Moviefone. In the past he has contributed to Indiewire, MTV News, Movieline, Fandango, Spout, Documentary Magazine, Cinematical, Screen Crush, Pajiba, First Showing and The Documentary Channel Blog. He began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. Since then he has received a Master's degree in Cinema Studies from NYU, where he concentrated on nonfiction film.
Filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar ('In a Dream') evokes the work of Errol Morris, specifically 'The Thin Blue Line' and 'Tabloid,' in this perfectly schemed documentary on Pamela Smart, who was convicted of being an accomplice in the murder of her husband 23 years ago.
The September 2014 issue of Sight & Sound magazine features the results of their first ever polls to determine the best documentaries of all time. There's one list for filmmakers' picks and one list for critics, academics and programmers. I am among those who were invited to vote in the latter poll, and I'm including my chronologically listed ballot here. Stay tuned for explanations for why I chose what I chose.
Morgan Spurlock is one of the executive producers of this documentary on a rehab bootcamp outside Beijing for teenagers with Internet addiction. As one of a number of new films about the issue of online gaming and our world's greater dependency on the web, it shows us how one part of the world is dealing with a quickly changing society immersed in virtual connections. But is it the fault of the technology? Dysfunctional families? Government restrictions? Unfortunately this film doesn't go deep enough to really ask let alone answer these questions.
'Nixon by Nixon' is the latest "in their own words" doc from Peter Kunhardt ('Gloria: In Her Own Words'), and it's mainly a compilation of audio snippets from the notorious Nixon Tapes, including the former President's comments on big events like his trip to China and of course Watergate plus some smaller historical moments such as his attempt to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court and his appointment of Romana Banuelos as U.S. Treasurer.
Because some people don't think there's anything good to watch on Netflix Watch Instantly anymore, we've compiled an updated list of our top 100 recommended documentaries now available, as of August 1st, to stream on the site. This should keep you busy for a while.
For maybe the first time ever there's controversy brewing over docs double dipping as contenders for both the Oscars and the Emmys, thanks to 'The Square' being up for the latter mainly because Netflix is now considered a TV channel.
The latest HBO documentary from Kate Davis (director of 'Southern Comfort' and 'Jockey') and David Heilbroner (who with Davis helmed 'Stonewall Uprising' and 'The Cheshire Murders'), this film about a 2009 case of terrorism or entrapment -- depending on what you believe -- is perfect living room viewing material. It's not a cinematic work, but it's not playing in theaters and anyway it's about sparking discussion more than presenting interesting visuals.
Michael Lee Nirenberg makes his feature debut with a documentary about the magazine where his father worked for many years. The film covers some of the same ground as the 1995 dramatic movie 'The People vs. Larry Flynt,' but now after nearly two decades there's a doc option offering more genuine accounts of Larry Flynt, 'Hustler' magazine and the controversies within and without.
There are a few former Oscar nominees now up for Emmy Awards in news and documentary categories. Other favorites among those recognized include 'The Imposter,' 'Special Flight' and 'Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.'