When I first got into film, I somehow decided I was adamantly against documentaries as a medium. Part of it’s an attention span thing — most of the time when I watch a documentary, I get what it’s trying to say within fifteen minutes and the rest of the time it just feels like I’m being beat over the head with the same themes over and over again. I also, for a time, felt like every documentary was the same. They were either about how badly the government and corporations were screwing us and how awful certain issues are, or they were looking back at the Holocaust for the millionth time. So, for a time, I avoided all documentaries unless I had to or if they seemed really interesting.
Though, over the decade, there’s definitely been a real uptick in how many documentaries I see. To the point where I now rank my favorite 15 documentaries at the end of each year. I still, of course, have a preference for certain subject matters over others and do tend to not care about docs others might deem important and essential, but I’m definitely not as dismissive as I used to be about them. So as I rank my favorite 100 documentaries of the decade, the message I’d like to impart is this — people grow. The fact that I’m even doing this list when, a decade ago I’d have scoffed at the notion of it — you don’t have to love everything in order to appreciate everything.
So here are my favorite documentaries of the past decade: (more…)
94. “Bang Bang,” from The Great Gatsby
Gatsby’s back. This is where we start getting into the good stuff. This soundtrack, a lot of people forget about it. It’s amazing. They incorporate a lot of the songs into the score, which makes the whole thing feel really seamless. And also, it’s just all-out excessive, which fits the film perfectly. This one I like because of the 20s-echoing big band intro that comes in and out. I’m not as in love with the beat portions of it, but that’s fine. Because in the later parts, they bring both in at the same time, and it’s awesome. Plus it just feels like a party song, which works for me.