Wednesday, 28 January 2015

some really good documentaries on youtube and netflix

My favourite type of film, by a landslide, is the what others would describe as the "brown bread" of cinema: documentaries. I will happily watch a good documentary about something I have no interest in, (see "Chess Computers", about computers playing chess, I'm serious), but my favourite subgenre, and often googled phrase is the "mysterious documentary" or "documentaries with a twist". If you are of a similar mindset, here is a list I have compiled to save a long journey down an internet rabbit hole. And these are all ones you can basically watch for free legally, via youtube or netflix.

1) The Imposter on US Netflix. This story is so weird and cool, but it is basically about a twenty something man who impersonates a missing child and the family take him in and everything. Everyone I have showed this to has sat next to me the whole time going "wha -- what? hang on, how-?" and I have to keep a smug look on my face which obviously pains me. There is no reason not to watch this if you haven't, also I think it has won some sort of big prize (I want to say an oscar).
 2) The Paradise Lost trilogy which are ALL on youtube. This is a serious black hole you can fall into and end up buying books and stuff about (hangs head in shame). It's about these really awful child murders which happened in a pretty small town in Arkansas and the three "misfit" boys who were arrested for them. Super interesting and weirdly intimately done - you really end up feeling like you're a part of the tragedy you're watching, and that you really know the characters (or "people" as I'm sure they'd prefer to be known.) Really good for whiling away a hungover Sunday.
 3) Dear Zachary which is on youtube. I'm not going to explain too much, but this is a film made for a son about his father who was murdered. When I watched this film, I decided I was fed up of half watching things while occasionally checking my phone, so I put my phone in another room. I don't know if it's because of this or just because the film was so good, but at a certain point the film prompted such a strong reaction in me that I actually nearly puked, which is certainly some sort of recommendation for it. 
 
 4) PBS Frontline: The Confessions which you can watch on the PBS website (google it). This is a bit of a rando, which I may be stealing from someone else who made a list like this. It's about how the police managed to get false confessions to a rape and murder out of a whole bunch of normal guys by being sneaky. It will make you feel emotions such as: anger, disbelief, sadness.

   5) Madness in the Fast Lane which is on youtube is completely mad. The first thirty seconds are nuts, and then although it seems to calm down, you quickly realise it is actually getting more and more nuts. Also it's only an hour long so you can fit it in during anytime you have a free hour.
 6) The Disappeared Investigation Discovery series, loads of which are on youtube, is something I spent almost as much time as getting my degree on during my university years. It's incredibly hammy and over-dramatic and the suspense is really laid on with a trowel, however, it is incredibly watchable. I would particularly recommend the one about Maura Murray and the one about the McStay Family, because the stories are just so unfathomably weird. (Fun fact - or maybe just a fact - once Lil, Tiff and I got home really drunk and watched one of these and all slept in a bed together, and woke up like "I had this weird dream about a family who got kidnapped..." "No way! So did I!").

Go forth and indulge your darkest desires to find out about horrible crimes and mysterious things and really good twisty plots. And, if you have any recommendations along the same vein, hit me up, because I am all in.

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