Top 40 Documentaries about films

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director. (96 mins.)
 
2.
Burden of Dreams (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo, showing how the film... (95 mins.)
Director: Les Blank
 
3.
Lost in La Mancha (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, off the ground. (93 mins.)
 
4.
Side by Side (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The documentary investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation. (99 mins.)
Director: Chris Kenneally
 
5.
Jodorowsky's Dune (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel. (90 mins.)
Director: Frank Pavich
 
6.
Visions of Light (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography)... (92 mins.)
 
7.
The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Documentary about the art of film editing. Clips are shown from many groundbreaking films with innovative editing styles. (98 mins.)
Director: Wendy Apple
 
8.
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The career and life of Stanley Kubrick is explored through pictures, clips from his films, his old home movies, comments from his colleagues and a narration by Tom Cruise. (142 mins.)
Director: Jan Harlan
 
9.
Directed by John Ford (1971 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on the life and films of director John Ford. (99 mins.)
 
10.
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In 2001 Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first director of photography in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Honorary Oscar... (86 mins.)
Director: Craig McCall
 
11.
My Voyage to Italy (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
World-renowned director Martin Scorsese narrates this journey through his favorites in Italian cinema. (246 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
12.
Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian and musician Woody Allen allowed his life and creative... (195 mins.)
Director: Robert B. Weide
 
13.
The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans's famous 1994 autobiography). (93 mins.)
 
14.
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Martin Scorsese describes his initial and growing obsession with films from the 1940s and 50s as the art form developed and grew with clips from classics and cult classics. (225 mins.)
 
15.
François Truffaut: Portraits volés (1993 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Twenty-six people - including two daughters, an ex-wife, his last lover, actors, fellow directors and writers... (88 mins.)
 
16.
This Is Not a Film (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema. (75 mins.)
 
17.
The Five Obstructions (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967) (90 mins.)
 
18.
The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Slavoj Zizek examines famous films in a philosophical and a psychoanalytic context. (150 mins.)
Director: Sophie Fiennes
 
19.
The Short Films of David Lynch (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A collection of visionary director David Lynch's short films from the first 29 years of his career is accompanied by a special introduction to each film by the director himself. (97 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
20.
The Thing: Terror Takes Shape (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A revealing and insightful look into the making of this underrated horror film. (83 mins.)
 
21.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Follows the routines of those employed at Studio Ghibli, including filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki as they work to release two films simultaneously, The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. (118 mins.)
Director: Mami Sunada
 
22.
Arabian Nights: Volume 1 - The Restless One (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Some of the chapters from Arabian Nights are adapted to a modern Portugal in this epic. (125 mins.)
Director: Miguel Gomes
 
23.
Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A look at Fellini's creative process. In extensive interviews, Fellini talks a bit about his background... (105 mins.)
 
24.
Tales from the Script (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
War stories and life lessons from the industry's top writers. (105 mins.)
Director: Peter Hanson
 
25.
De Palma (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary about writer and director, Brian De Palma. (110 mins.)
 
26.
Tokyo-Ga (1985 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Moved by the work of director Yasujirô Ozu, Wim Wenders travels to Japan in search of the Tokyo seen in Ozu's films. (92 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
 
27.
Trespassing Bergman (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A group of filmmakers visit Ingmar Bergman's house on the remote Swedish island of Faro to discuss his legacy. (107 mins.)
 
28.
Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In 1996, Marcello Mastroianni talks about life as an actor. It's an anecdotal and philosophical memoir... (198 mins.)
 
29.
Mr. X, a Vision of Leos Carax (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The image of a mysterious, solitary filmmaker - a cineaste maudit - who flees from both the media and the public... (71 mins.)
 
30.
Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary concerning the violent Italian 'poliziotteschi' cinematic movement of the 1970s which... (137 mins.)
Director: Mike Malloy
 
31.
Life Itself (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert. (120 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
32.
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood. (95 mins.)
Director: Alex Stapleton
 
33.
The Chair (2014 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
"The Chair", created by Project Greenlight executive producer Chris Moore. The competition documentary... (60 mins.)
 
34.
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski's sudden flight from the United States. (99 mins.)
Director: Marina Zenovich
 
35.
The Sion Sono (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(97 mins.)
Director: Arata Ôshima
 
36.
Tarkovsky: Time Within Time (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Tarkovsky: Time Within Time explores the acclaimed Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky through his... (73 mins.)
Director: P.J. Letofsky
 
37.
Overnight (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary on the rise and stumble of Troy Duffy, the bartender-cum-filmmaker who was swept up by Miramax's Harvey Weinstein to turn his script for The Boondock Saints into a feature film. (82 mins.)
 
38.
Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A tribute from filmmakers and critics around the world to the Taiwan New Cinema movement in the 1980s. (109 mins.)
Director: Chinlin Hsieh
 
39.
Listen to Me Marlon (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brando recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend's story. (103 mins.)
Director: Stevan Riley
 
40.
Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Martin Scorsese narrates this tribute to Val Lewton, the producer of a series of memorable low-budget horror films for RKO Studios... (77 mins.)
Director: Kent Jones
 
41.
American Movie (1999 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before. (107 mins.)
Director: Chris Smith
 
42.
Milius (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A look at the life of filmmaker John Milius. (103 mins.)
 
43.
Daguerréotypes (1976 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Portraits of the people that occupy the small shops of the Rue Daguerre, Paris, where the filmmaker lived. (80 mins.)
Director: Agnès Varda