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Added by johanlefourbe on 16 Aug 2011 10:26
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Weird, weirder and weirdest documentaries

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People who added this item 126 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4


What is it about?
The film consists of a series of travelogue vignettes that provide glimpses into cultural practices around the world with the intention to shock or surprise Western film audiences. These scenes are presented with little continuity, as they are intended as a kaleidoscopic display of shocking content rather than presenting a structured argument. Mondo cane was an international box-office success and inspired the production of numerous, similar exploitation documentaries, many of which also include the word "Mondo" in their title. These films collectively came to be recognized as a distinct genre known as mondo films.

Suggested by Zenn
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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6


What is it about?
Mr. Page and his two sons and two daughters live a primitive life in the woods in southern England. In their unlikely setting the daughters pursue traditional female roles while the men devote a great part of their time to maintaining and driving their ancient Allchin and Fowler steam engines around their land to no apparent purpose apart from the sheer enjoyment of it.
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What is it about?
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.
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People who added this item 103 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0


What is it about?
It is about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.

(directed by Errol Morris, the best documentary director ever)
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 3.8

(Before the movie, there was a book which was a huge bestseller back then...)

What is it about?
It is a treatment of literalist, premillennial, dispensational eschatology. As such, it compared end-time prophecies in the Bible with then-current events in an attempt to broadly predict future scenarios. Basically, they try to convince us that the Judgement Day is coming and all... According to Hal Linsdey, the guy who wrote the book "the decade of the 1980s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it"....

Suggested by VierasTalo
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What is it about?
It intersplices random chatter they captured on film of the genuinely eccentric residents of Vernon, Florida. A few examples? The preacher giving a sermon on the definition of the word "Therefore," and the obsessive turkey hunter who speaks reverentially of the "gobblers" he likes to track down and kill.

(directed by Errol Morris, the best documentary director ever)
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What is it about?
It is about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively driven director. Not only does he have major casting problems, losing both Jason Robards (health) and Mick Jagger (other commitments) halfway through shooting, but the crew gets caught up in a war between Peru and Ecuador, there are problems with the weather and the morale of cast and crew is falling rapidly.
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People who added this item 238 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1
Sans Soleil (1983)


What is it about?
A woman narrates the thoughts of a world traveler, meditations on time and memory expressed in words and images from places as far-flung as Japan, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, and San Francisco.

suggested by m08221196
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What is it about?
It is about the interaction between a sex surrogate and her clients. In case you didn't know, a sexual surrogate is a member of a sex therapy team who engages in intimate physical relations or sex with a patient in order to achieve a therapeutic goal.

suggested by ethereal_tard
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What is it about?
It revolves around 62-year-old Okuzaki Kenzo, a survivor of the battlefields of New Guinea in World War II who gained notoriety by slingshooting steel pinballs at Emperor Showa to protest against what he considered to be the ruler's war crimes. Setting out to conduct interviews with survivors and relatives, he finds the truth of the past to be elusive, achieving a breakthrough only when he confronts ex-Sergeant Yamada, who grudgingly admits the occurrence and instructional source of certain atrocities.

Suggested by VierasTalo
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What is it about?
It details the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

suggested by Lamourderer and Jaytrotter
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What is it about?
It 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.
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What is it about?
It introduces us to Jesco White, a hard-living, tap-dancing Boone County resident whose repeated run-ins with the law have interfered with his dream of becoming as renowned a "mountain dancer" as his late father, D. Ray White. We meet Jesco's three distinct personalities; the gentle and loving Jesse, the violent and dangerous Jesco, and the extremely strange Elvis. We also encounter various members of Jesco's family, all nearly as eccentric as Jesco himself.
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(Bare in mind, it is not a pic of the actual documentary....)

What is it about?
This documentary focuses on the subculture known as television evangelists. Shown are clips from their programs, interviews with them from news programs and events, and also incidents when they said or did things and didn't know a camera or microphone was on them, along with other embarrassing moments.

suggested by Lamourderer
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 7.4
Dream Tower (1994)

(Ron Mann, the guy who has directed 'Dream Tower')

What is it about?
Dream Tower chronicles Toronto's most notorious social experiment of the sixties. Inspired by cultural critic Paul Goodman, philosophies of alternative education, and the decade's political upheaval, a group of young idealists established Rochdale as a free university and student residence in 1968. Rochdale's founders envisioned an enlightened community of self-educators, and the first 100 or so students, earnestly studying subjects such as Heidegger and anarchism in eight-hour seminars, made the dream seem possible. But they didn't anticipate that some people wouldn't know what to do with freedom, that hippies kicked out of Yorkville would overrun the building, or that drug-dealing motorcycle gangs would camp out in the lobby.

suggested by rrrraygun
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People who added this item 314 Average listal rating (158 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8


What is it about?
It is a cinematic portrait of the controversial comic book writer/artist and his traumatized family.
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What is it about?
GG Allin was easily one of the most unpleasant and untalented individuals in the annals of rock music. He was crude, violent and utterly insane. Seeing him live was more like seeing a side-show Geek than going to a show. He hurled fences, he assaulted the audience, he was usually beaten up or arrested before the show even started... This movie follows GG Allin in the last weeks of his short life as he drinks, swears, fights, defecates and generally lives by his own misguided conceptions that what he's doing will really shock the world.
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People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8


What is it about?
The main character is an extremely endearing Japanese professor. He comes to America armed with a documentary team, an interpreter and the single objective of finding Einstein's brain. As is explained in the film, upon Albert Einstein's death his brain was removed for research purposes.

suggested by JayTrotter
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People who added this item 300 Average listal rating (165 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9


What is it about?
A documentary of insect life in meadows and ponds, using incredible close-ups, slow motion, and time-lapse photography. It includes bees collecting nectar, ladybugs eating mites, snails mating, spiders wrapping their catch, a scarab beetle relentlessly pushing its ball of dung uphill, endless lines of caterpillars, an underwater spider creating an air bubble to live in, and a mosquito hatching.
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What is it about?
It follows a Canadian fellow working on his dream: building a suit of armor so he can observe grizzly bears from a close distance.
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What is it about?
In conurbations where hundreds of thousands live alongside one another, in the era of a highly technological society, in which communication has never played such a significant role, man has become lonely. Disappointed by his fellow human beings, he turns to animals. Dogs and other domestic animals serve him as companions, life partners, cuddly objects and bedfellows.

suggested by Bael
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People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3


What is it about?
What do an elderly topiary gardener, a retired lion tamer, a man fascinated by mole rats, and a cutting-edge robotics designer have in common? Both nothing and everything in this unconventional documentary. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (Referring to the robot specialist's strange philosophy of robot design structure, not Erroll Morris's documentary techniques!) interplays, overlaps, and interrelates these four separate and highly specialized documentary subjects in order to in truth study all of humanity, raising questions about the future of mankind.

(directed by Errol Morris, the best documentary director ever)
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What is it about?
It is about writer and performance artist Bob Flanagan who died at 43 of cystic fibrosis. His life was indicated by pain from the beginning and he started to develop sadomasochistic practices, which he developed finally into performances.
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What is it about?
Twenty-four contestants compete in an endurance/sleep deprivation contest in order to win a brand new Nissan Hardbody truck. The last person to remain standing with his or her hand on the truck wins. An absurd marketing gimmick at first glance, the contest proves to be much more...
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6


What is it about?
Trepanation is is the process of cutting a hole in the skull. This movie examines the development of "modern" trepanation as used by people in the United Kingdom - The United States and The Netherlands for the purpose of attaining a higher level of consciousness. This procedure - used by the ancient Egyptians, Incas and others - is believed by the voluntarily trepanned to allow for renewed brain pulsations that increase brain blood volume and thereby improve brain function. Interviews regarding the history and efficacy of the procedure are also held with some of the worlds most respected neurosurgeons and anthropologists.

suggested by BobLoblaw00
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People who added this item 217 Average listal rating (123 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9


What is it about?
In the 1950s, when Werner Herzog was 13, he was sharing an apartment with Klaus Kinski, an ego-maniacal live-wire. In an unabated, 48 hour fit of rage, Kinski destroyed every piece of furniture in sight. From this chaos, a beautiful albeit volatile partnership was born. In 1972, Herzog cast Kinski in Aguirre, The Wrath of God. Four more films would follow. In this personal documentary, Herzog traces the often violent up and downs of their relationship, revisiting Munich apartment where they first met - and thrashed, and the various locations of their films.
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People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (89 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9


What is it about?
It is about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.
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What is it about?
It is a cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.

(directed by Errol Morris, the best documentary director ever)
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What is it about?
It is an shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The town of Black River Falls seems gripped by some peculiar malaise and the weekly news is dominated by bizarre tales of madness, eccentricity and violence amongst the local population. Suicide and murder are commonplace. People in the town are haunted by ghosts, possessed by devils and terrorized by teenage outlaws and arsonists.

suggested by Lamourderer
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What is it about?
Much like Prousts "A la recherche du temps perdue" Mekas's, it is a reflection on the years of his life past as seen through the eyes of a man who is perceiving his own death. Mekas beautifully edits together the scraps of film that fell to his cutting room floor while he was working on projects he "perceived" as important, not realizing that what was truly important were the details that he missed, that he left out in favor of the shot in focus, the shot in composition. He strings together these family films of his children, his wife, his friends, New York during a lightning storm, all while narrating the film from what seems to be "His Death Bed." It is an homage to life as much as it is a recognition that beauty lies in the places we least expect it and as we walk we may occasionally catch brief glimpses of it, if we are lucky enough to have our eyes that wide open.

suggested by m08221196
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What is it about?
Director Chris Smith (American Movie) continues his exploration of all things quirky by affectionately invading several unique homes. Linda Beech is a former Japanese sitcom star who resides in a tree house in Hawaii. Diana and Ed Peden are hippies who have converted an abandoned missile silo into an underground retreat. And Bob Walker and Francis Mooney have reconstructed their home to cater to their dozen cats.
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.7


What is it about?
The main "plot" is a man named Beanie and a guy named Larry Parrot writing and directing a movie about a vengeful ape-man creature and a guitar showdown between the devil and a man. It's all basically just a showcase to display some truly interesting people who live outside society's fringe.
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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3


What is it about?
After a number of "Egosurfs," (which is the word given to the act of looking up your own name on the internet,) Alan Berliner found twelve other owners of his name and flew them out to New York for dinner.
The bulk of the film is put together with stock footage, man-on-the-street interviews (What does the name Alan bring to mind? One woman's response: Fat!) and old home movies. At the end of the film, Mr. Berliner encourages the viewers to write to him and tell them if they've recognized any of the faces in the stock footage as their own relatives.
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People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Hell House (2001)


What is it about?
It provides a look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors each year. We see the organization and planning of the event - including auditions, construction, scripting and rehearsals - largely through the involvement of one family: a single father with 4 children (one of whom suffers from cerebral palsy) including his daughter, a cast member.

Hell houses are haunted attractions typically run by American, fundamentalist Christian churches or parachurch groups. These depict sin, the torments of the damned in Hell, and usually conclude with a depiction of heaven.

A hell house, like a conventional haunted-house attraction, is a space set aside for actors attempting to frighten patrons with gruesome exhibits and scenes, presented as a series of short vignettes with a narrated guide. Unlike haunted houses, hell houses focus on occasions and effects of sin or the fate of unrepentant sinners in the afterlife.

suggested by ethereal_tard
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People who added this item 271 Average listal rating (111 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4


What is it about?
It captures Terry Gilliam's attempt to get 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' off the ground. Back injuries, freakish storms, and more zoom in to sabotage the project (which has never been resurrected).
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People who added this item 140 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.1


What is it about?
This documentary about the culture of intense cinephilia in New York City reveals the impassioned world of five obsessed movie buffs. The filmmakers expose this delightfully deranged cult by capturing the daily lives of its members. Interviews in movie houses, on the street and in the homes of the subjects tell the story of each individual. Many cannot hold a job, or choose not to. All of them have demoted the importance of the real world, giving all of their attention to the fantasy world of the movies. These human encyclopedias of cinema see two to five films a day, and from 600 to 2,000 films per year. Many have no physical sex lives, living instead in a world of romance with stars like James Dean or Audrey Hepburn. In Cinemania, Hollywood's biggest fans become the true stars. This is the story of their lives, their memories, their unbending habits and the films they love.

(I will probably NEVER watch this one. Way too confronting...)
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People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
Thoth (2002)


What is it about?
SK Thoth comes through a whole pile of pain in his life and through the process learns who he wants to be. He was a shy, fearful child who never smiled after his parents broke up. Racism was rampant in the states and he was a product of a mixed marriage, a Jewish father and an Afro-American mother, both educated intellectuals. Close to suicide he makes a conscious decision to explore his whole being and dare to embrace all of it, including a language and country he invented as a child.
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7.3
Flyerman (2003)


What is it about?
What begins as a character study of an eccentric man who passes out flyers for a living, becomes an intense five year journey of self-discovery and the search for fame.
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People who added this item 180 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Tarnation (2003)


What is it about?
Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette's documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother -- a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more -- culled from 19 years of his life.
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What is it about?
It deals with the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes dealing with pedophilia and child molesting.
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People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.1


What is it about?
It is about 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.
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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.5


What is it about?
Unblinking and unsettling, it lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us - what happens to people who die with no next of kin.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7


What is it about?
Six Catholics share their thoughts and problems with Jesus in different churches (yeah, they are actually TALKING with the guy).

suggested by Bael
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.7
Monster Road (2004)


What is it about?
It explores the wildly fantastic worlds of legendary underground clay animator Bruce Bickford. Tracing the origins of his remarkably unique sensibility, the film journeys back to Bickford's childhood in a competitive household during the paranoia of the Cold War and examines his relationship with his father, George, who is facing the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.
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People who added this item 1830 Average listal rating (1119 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2


What is it about?
While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.
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What is it about?
Fabulously offbeat and refreshingly upbeat, this lovable film gets friendly with the natives of the Salton Sea, an inland ocean of massive fish kills, rotting resorts, and 120 degree nights located just minutes from urban Southern California. It details the rise and fall of the Salton Sea, from its heyday as the "California Riviera" where boaters and Beach Boys mingled in paradise to its present state as a decaying, forgotten ecological disaster.
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What is it about?
The quirky TRUE story of a small American town that actually elected a DOG as it's Mayor! Rabbit Hash - Center of the Universe answers the question: What kind of people in what kind of town in American would actually elect a four legged canine to run their city?
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What is it about?
Henry Darger worked all his life in menial jobs in Chicago. Living alone and in poverty, he had no friends or close family. Spending all his off hours alone, he whiled away the hours working on a 15,000 page illustrated novel called The Realms of the Unreal. A stunning amalgam of religious imagery, fantasy, and heroic drama, the work was only discovered after Darger was moved to a hospital during the last days of his life. Darger also wrote journals and an autobiography. The documentary uses interviews with Darger's neighbors and narration of passages from his works, along with his illustrations, to explore the mind and work of Henry Darger.

suggested by BobLoblaw00
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People who added this item 710 Average listal rating (430 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Grizzly Man (2005)


What is it about?
It is a devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.

(and yes indeed, it is already the 3rd movie on this list involving Werner Herzog...)
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People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8


What is it about?
A film about paraplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs - overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
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I have seen some of those flicks but not many of them.

This is a collection of weird documentaries.

Some of them are quite funny and even hilarious but some others are or seem rather unsettling so watch at your own risk !

Suggestions are most welcome.

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