Rian Johnson is a filmmaker best known for his fiction features Looper, Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He also helmed two of the best episodes of Breaking Bad — “The Fly” and the DGA Award-winning “Fifty-One” — as well as the upcoming episode “Ozymandias” (airing Sept. 15). While he hasn’t (yet) directed any nonfiction films, he is a professed huge fan of documentaries, and so he was kind enough to share a list of his 10 favorites in no particular order, plus an additional pick that he elaborates on.
Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (Erroll Morris, 1999)
The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda, 2000)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
F For Fake (Orson Welles, 1973)
Salesman (Albert and David Maysles, 1968)
Hollywood (Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, 1980)
Catching Hell (Alex Gibney, 2011)
Missile (Frederick Wiseman, 1987)
Original Cast Album: Company (D.A. Pennebaker, 1970)
Burden of Dreams (Les Blank, 1982)
Titicut Follies (Frederick Wiseman, 1967)
Putting this one separate because it provoked such a profound reaction of horror in me that I couldn’t finish watching it. That sounds like something Herzog would say, but it’s the truth. I’ve never reacted to a film that way, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to revisit it.