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 must see documentaries on laserdisc or dvd

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PostSubject: must see documentaries on laserdisc or dvd   Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:12 am

I have just watched juvenile liaison a nick bloomfield documentary , this documentary is a great insight to how the authorities and the police dealt with problem children . This brilliant documentary is about the day-to-day working of a juvenile liaison section attached to the police force in Blackburn, Lancashire back in 1968 as it deals with young offenders. Intended for police, probation officers and social workers, it is an interesting snapshot of how juveniles were dealt with in the 60s.
This documentary is unitentionally funny at times but mostly it is shocking how these children were dealt with by todays standards , the officer george ray is often very intimidating to these small children and even drags a 14yr old boy with learning difficulties out of bed by his hair. Officer ray is called into a school about the theft of felt tip pens and interviews the child , well he then discovers she is also suspected of the theft of an apple. In his words the child wouldnt 'break' under his interogation so a trap is layed and it works and a full admission is made by the young girl who is about 11yrs old. Then there is a 7yr old and the cowboy suit well when he wouldnt own up he was taken from his primary school for a trip to the police cells.
It all seems ridiculous but it is real , soon after this film was made there was an attempt to prevent its release and mr ray lost his job.
There is also a juvenile liason 2 which was filmed 15 years later and caught up with how these children had turned out as adults.
This is a brilliant documenary and nick bloomfield unlike the likes of michael moore lets the people involved in the documentary tell the story without trying to take the spotlight and become the star himself.

I have also watched another nickbloomfield documentary Aileen Wuornos - The Selling of a Serial Killer and Aileen - Life and Death of a Serial Killer which is also very good but not really for me as I dont think they should have given her the attention after her conviction for murder and her wait on death row. This one was enjoyed more by my wife than myself.

There is another nick bloomfield documentary that I fancy seeing called tattooed tears :-

This look at a maximum security juvenile prison becomes an odyssey into hell as Nick Broomfield charts with compassion the young men's struggle for survival in a brutal environment. They rebel to make life hard for the guards, they act brutally to the prisoners who rebel even harder in a cycle of violence.
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PostSubject: Re: must see documentaries on laserdisc or dvd   Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:53 pm

Nick Broomfield is a really challenging documentary film-maker: he's either very brave or very foolish. I've watched many of his films, and they are always gripping. Sometimes the subjects of his films, usually rather dubious people, don't seem to deserve the attention he gives them, and my main gripe with Broomfield is that he lets himself become too much a part of the story he's telling. He often gets into shot, and the final film is often more about him and the trials of film-making than it is about the issues.

But I love documentaries, and from my own LD collection I would cite these as particularly good examples:

MICROCOSMOS - a stunning French documentary (no commentary, none needed) of the most amazing micro-photography of insects, etc.
MOON SHOT: The Inside Story of the Apollo Project - a 4-sided disc telling the same story as "The Right Stuff", only with real footage and the real people!
THE LAST PARTY - a personal documentary by Robert Downey Jr. on the parlous state of American politics. Sounds dull, but it ain't!
LOOKING FOR RICHARD - Al Pacino digging deep into the whole psyche of Shakespeare's Richard III in preparation for a theatre production. Again, much more fascinating than it sounds.
and, of course, THE BEATLES: ANTHOLOGY - better than its DVD equivalent (has different footage in places).

However, most of my laserdisc documentaries are movie based, and the best of these include:
THE UNIVERSAL STORY - Richard Dreyfus hosts,
HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU WARNER BROS. - hosted by a galaxy of Warner big names including Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg & Chevy Chase,
MGM: WHEN THE LION ROARS - a superb 4-disc boxed set hosted by Patrick Stewart, and
HOLLYWOOD MAVERICKS - a detailed look at the careers of Samuel Fuller, Sam Peckinpah, Orson Welles, David Lynch and many others who have operated outside the Hollywood mainstream,
and not forgetting, DOCUMENT OF THE DEAD - the ultimate look at George Romero's zombie trilogy and how he did it. Loads of inside info.

The beauty of these film-themed documentaries is that they are chock-full of clips of all the best movies. The MGM one is so comprehensive - it includes virtually every big film the studio made before it was sold to Ted Turner. My favourite, however, is the Universal documentary, particularly covering the early years when they were the pioneers of the golden age of horror. Wonderful!
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