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…)
Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #92 – “Turning My Life Around,” from Anna and the Apocalypse
92. “Turning My Life Around,” from Anna and the Apocalypse
This is the song I’d show people who want to get an idea of what they’re in for with this movie. It perfectly captures both genres and the tone of the film. It’s basically that opening of Shaun of the Dead where he walks to the shop, oblivious to all the death and destruction in the neighborhood. Plus it acts as sort of the ‘princess’ song you’d get in Disney, where she’s ready to go out there and go after her dreams… which is brilliantly undercut by everything going on behind her. And what’s great about it is, if you didn’t have the visuals, you’d think it was just this really earnest song about people looking to make the most of a new day.